The small digital keyboard pianos have become a reality with the miniaturization of electronic components. This downsizing of the different electronic components has also engendered a significant increase in the number of brands and models of small digital keyboard pianos on the market today. Moreover, it unleashes a substantial decrease in the prices of these sophisticated musical instruments.
Investing in a full-size acoustic piano can be a bit expensive. In fact, not everyone can readily purchase one even if it is the cheaper upright type. Thus, not all people have the luxury of having an acoustic piano in their homes. Additionally, the acoustic piano is a significant investment. This means you cannot easily move it around your house. Thus, not many people want to overburden their cramped homes with a bulky acoustic piano. Hence, many piano lovers often demand or opt for a lighter alternative. Thus, many music lovers were gladdened when digital pianos were first introduced.
Most Significant Criteria of Good Small-sized Piano Keyboard
At present, you can readily buy a small digital keyboard piano of your choice. Here are two important parameters that you should consider when buying a small keyboard piano:
1) Your Musical Goal
At the onset, it would be good to ask yourself: “What is your musical goal?” If your goal is simply to learn how to play the piano, it is best to settle for a smaller and less expensive keyboard. A small keyboard with unweighted keys will surely suffice for a beginner. Moreover, it is easier to carry around than the larger and more expensive ones.
If you want to become a professional or you want to hone your professional piano-playing skill, you would surely weigh the consequences of buying a portable one over something that is of quality. Hence, you would surely forgo of the smaller one in favor of something like a full-sized piano. Of course, some professionals view the smaller keyboard as a trite degradation of the instrument for obvious reasons.
A full-size piano, on the other hand, would be great for professionals. It contains 88 keys. Small keyboard pianos, however, have fewer keys. Moreover, if you want to get a good feel of weighted keys, the full-sized classical and digital pianos would surely be a great choice. Thus, your musical goal really matters when it comes to your choice of which size of digital piano you should buy.
2) Number of Keys
Another critical factor that you should consider is the number of keys. The manual (or rows of keys) of a keyboard can vary from 25 keys to 88 keys. The number of keys usually dictates the length and weight of a keyboard.
A 44-key digital piano may weigh as little as 3.6 pounds. Its 3 ½ octaves are unquestionably adequate for beginners; yet, they are insufficient for intermediate users. Furthermore, longer keyboards are significantly heavier. Thus, the greater the number of keys, the heavier the digital piano would be.
At present, most portable keyboard offerings on the market today have 61 keys. The 61-keys keyboards, of course, are intended for intermediate to advanced users. Its five octaves provide more tone than the four octaves of a 49-key keyboard. But it is bulkier, and thus, it is costlier for a beginner.
Best Small Keyboard Pianos
As mentioned above, the miniaturization of the electronic components of keyboards has produced myriads of small keyboard options for prospective buyers. As such, it has become a bit confusing to find the ideal brand and model of a small piano, given these myriads of options. Yet, in our effort to help consumers zero in on the best small keyboard pianos, we offer here a short list of the most highly recommended digital small keyboards on the market today:
1) Casio SA76 44 Mini-Sized Keys
Casio is one of the most prolific manufacturers of small digital pianos. One of their well-known offerings is the SA76 mini personal keyboard. The Casio SA76 tends to be viewed as a toy by many piano enthusiasts. However, you should not be deceived by its size, especially by its diminutive keys. The SA76 can actually execute complex musical tasks. Although the SA76 was specifically designed for kids, it is also suitable for piano players with thin fingers.
The dimensions of the Casio SA76 mini keyboard are 23.8 x 8.3 x 2.24 inches or 605 x 211 x 57 millimeters. It weighs around 3.6lbs or 1.63 kilograms. It also has 26 white and 18 black keys that span three and a half octaves from F₂ to C₆. Five percussion pads also compliment this 44-key keyboard.
The Casio SA76 mini-keyboard features 100 different tones as well as 50 rhythm patterns. Also, it carries a song bank with ten built-in kiddie songs. The SA76 is also equipped with two built-in 1.2-watt speakers with sliding volume control, a tempo controller, a piano/organ selector knob, and an easy to read LCD monitor. However, like in any other products, it is fraught with annoying drawbacks. One of these drawbacks pertain to its power adaptor for it comes separately.
2) Rockjam 54-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard
The Rockjam 54-key electronic keyboard is a midsize digital keyboard with an ample selection of features. This keyboard is surely well within your budget. Its 54-key manual spans four and a half octaves from C₂ to F₆ with 32 white and 22 black keys. Eight percussion pads complement these keys. Other features of this keyboard include:
- A selection of one hundred different tones and a hundred rhythm patterns from which the user can choose.
- Two built-in 3-watt speakers with volume control that provide a superb stereo sound quality.
- An LCD display with interactive teaching mode that shows what key to play along with the beat to ensure the music is played in the correct tempo.
- The inclusion of a built-in eight demo songs as well as access to another 30 songs using the Piano Maestro iPad app.
- Two power source options.
- An input port for microphone other devices as well as an output terminal that can be connected to external speakers.
- The inclusion of recording and/or playback function supporting up to 41 notes.
The 54-key Rockjam has the dimensions of 33.5 x 13 x 4.7 inches (851 x 330 x 119 millimeters). Moreover, it weighs around 8.27 pounds or 3.75 kilograms. This musical instrument is very compact and lightweight. Lastly, you can power this keyboard with six 1.5-volt D-size batteries if an electrical outlet isn’t available.