Are you starting out on the piano or keyboard and looking for a good-quality instrument? Perhaps you’ve heard of Yamaha’s reputable craftsmanship at great prices. Or maybe you own a Yamaha instrument, such as a violin or saxophone, and want to stick with the brand for your first keys purchase…
Yamaha have a wide range of keyboards and pianos available for all abilities, from beginner to expert, and all uses, from portable keyboards to large workstations. In this article, we will go through a few of our top picks for various musicians.
Best beginner keyboard
Yamaha EZ300 61 Key Lighting Keyboard
The Yamaha EZ300 is an excellent beginner’s keyboard. Its keys light up when you need to play them, which makes it perfect for learning new songs or how to read music.
There are 202 built-in songs, including popular songs from recent years.
It also boasts 622 voices, ranging from piano to orchestra to sound effects. With this kind of selection, you can play any instrument you want.
Extra features include lesson functions, smart chord functionality, and connection to your smartphone or tablet, helping you learn to play.
Better still, you can apply DSP effects to the sound, making playing this instrument even more enjoyable. It’s this kind of attention to detail that ensures the ES300 is one of the best keyboards for beginners.
You’ll be ready to start gigging in no time.
Shop now | Yamaha EZ300 61 Key Lighting Keyboard
Best for gigging keys players
Yamaha PSR E473 Portable Keyboard
The Yamaha PSR E473 is a great portable keyboard for gigging musicians. Featuring more sounds, effects, and styles, this instrument is designed to be a complete performer’s instrument.
A pitch bend knob allows you to add expression to your playing, which can further be enhanced by the two Live Control knobs. You can also map these knobs to parameters such as filter cutoff and many more.
Fancy more than just the 820 inbuilt sounds? Capture sounds from outside the instrument using the aux input, mic input, or even by importing sound files from a USB. These sounds can then be played and looped using the four pads, expanding your sonic palette.
This Yamaha piano keyboard is not only useful for gigging but also for home use. You can plug your PSR E473 into your computer via a USB cable and use your keyboard as a MIDI keyboard for your DAW and audio interface.
Shop now | Yamaha PSR E473 Portable Keyboard
Best for band leaders
Yamaha PSR SX600 Digital Arranger Keyboard
The Yamaha PSR SX600 is the smallest member of the PSR SX series of arranger keyboards.
An arranger keyboard is a keyboard that aids live performances and provides backing to bands. The SX600 does exactly this.
Many features are shared with the PSR E473, such as the live sampling feature, Live Control knobs, and ability to import sound files.
The pads can also be mapped to MIDI loops, giving you more flexibility. And you can even save playlists and styles for instant recall during a performance, perfect for presetting your setlist for your gig.
If you want to know more about arranger keyboards check out our article here.
Shop now | Yamaha PSR SX600 Digital Arranger Keyboard
Best for travelling
Yamaha PSS F30 Portable Keyboard
If you’re going on holiday, you might want to relax and jam on your instrument.
Usually, this is difficult or impossible for keys players, but thanks to Yamaha’s large range of small portable keyboards, this is now possible.
If you’re just starting out, the PSS F30 is a good option for you.
This instrument is very small – it can easily fit into a backpack or suitcase. It’s also lightweight, so you won’t get into any issues if you’re flying!
With a simple design and a multitude of sounds and styles built in, you can jam to whatever you like, wherever you go!
Shop now | Yamaha PSS F30 Portable Keyboard
For more experienced players, you may find the Reface series of keyboards enticing.
Reface keyboards are based on classic instruments.
The Reface DX is based on the DX-7 synthesizer used a lot in ’80s hits such as “Take On Me” by A-ha, whilst the Reface CS is based on the CS-80, used by Vangelis.
Yamaha’s Reface CP is inspired by classic electric pianos from the ’70s and includes many familiar tones, and the Reface YC stems from classic electric organs for a real vintage sound, it even has drawbars for an authentic experience.
All Reface keyboards are small enough to fit in a suitcase or large backpack, making them ideal for travelling with.
Shop now | Yamaha Reface series
Best for composers/producers
Yamaha MX49 II Music Production Synthesizer
The MX range of synthesisers features sounds from the Yamaha MOTIF series of workstations.
With 49 or 61 keys and a very low weight of under 5kg, the MX series is perfect for on-the-go music making. These keyboards aren’t just great for synthesis though, they’re designed to bridge the gap between hardware and software.
Extensive audio and MIDI USB connectivity provide a seamless interface for DAW and keyboard. You can control MIDI tracks in a DAW straight from your keyboard, send the audio from your keyboard into an audio track, and even listen to all audio from your DAW through the headphone jack on your keyboard.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can connect to them via USB and use your MX series keyboard in the same manner as you would on a computer.
Shop now | Yamaha MX49 II Music Production Synthesizer
Shop now | Yamaha MX series
Hopefully, this brief overview of Yamaha keyboards has shown you an instrument that interests you.
Yamaha offer many more keyboards, so if you haven’t seen one that quite works for you then check out our complete range of Yamaha keyboards on our website. You’ll almost certainly find your perfect keyboard there!