Is 61 Keys Enough To Learn Piano?

Last updated: Dec 27, 2020

With the plethora of keyboard options out there, you're probably wondering if you need more than 61 keys for your first keyboard. There are some really good 76-key keyboards and 88-key digital pianos, but is the significant price difference worth it? That's what we're going to find out in this post.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to find out if you really need more than 61 keys to learn piano:

Do you see yourself as a professional pianist in a few years?#

If yes, then a 61-key keyboard isn't really going to cut it for you. Depending on your talent and your music development, you may outgrow your keyboard in a year. So, if you've got the money and the commitment to succeed as a musician or as a pianist, then it's better to just buy a real acoustic or digital piano right away. You'd not only need to worry about selling or giving away your keyboard, but you'd also get to save money in the long run.

Pianos can last for years if you take care of it properly, so yes, it's going to be a good investment if you've got the skills to match it. But if you're only playing as a hobby, then you could be throwing your money away if you buy an expensive piano. In that case, a 61-key keyboard will be more than enough for your needs.

What's your price range?#

61-key keyboards are obviously going to be cheaper than 76-keys and 88-key ones. If you only have the budget for a 61-key keyboard for now, don't fret. There are many excellent keyboards from Casio and Yamaha that cost well under $200! Some of their older models can even go for as low as $100!

However, if money is not an issue, then by all means, go for a 76-key keyboard. There's probably a $100-$300 difference in most cases, so if you've got that extra cash lying around, then go for the 76-key keyboard.

Better yet, if you can afford to go for the "real thing," then do so. But then again, you need to consider your commitment and how seriously you're going to take your piano lessons to make it a worthwhile investment.

Are you planning to move anytime soon?#

It's going to be tough moving a piano that weighs several hundred pounds. So, if you're planning on relocating to another place, then it's better if you just purchase a portable keyboard for now. Obviously, a 61-key keyboard will have smaller dimensions than a 76-key or an 88-key keyboard, so keep that in mind if you've got limited space in your room or house.

So, can you learn how to play piano on 61 keys or not?#

Yes and no. Yes, you can learn how to read notes and play music. For simple enough music pieces that don't require multiple octaves, a 61-key keyboard will more than do the job. However, if you're serious about really learning how to play piano, then it's better if you get keyboards with weighted keys or those with hammer action, so that you can easily transition to a real piano's 'resistance.'

Just remember that learning how to play piano will take time. So, you better get your ducks in order and commit to pursuing your passion before you spend a considerable sum of money for a real piano. If that's something you're not sure about at this point, then don't worry, a 61-key keyboard will suffice for now.

Here are some top-of-the-line 61-keyboards for your consideration:

Best 61-Key Yamaha Keyboards For Beginners

Best 61-Key Casio Keyboards For Beginners

On, the other hand, if you want to go straight to 76-keys, that's a great option, too! Here are some of our top recommended 76-key keyboards:

Well, we hope this post has been helpful to you all. Remember, learning how to play the piano isn't a race, it's a marathon. You may not become a master pianist in a week or a month, but with time and practice, you can certainly reach your desired level of expertise!

Image Title Buy Brand Model
Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano With Sustain Pedal And Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive) Buy Now YAMAHA P71B
Alesis Recital 88 Key Beginner Digital Piano / Keyboard with Full Size Semi Weighted Keys, Power Supply, Built In Speakers and 5 Premium Voices (Amazon Exclusive) Buy Now Alesis
Yamaha Psr-E263 61-Key Portable Keyboard Buy Now YAMAHA PSRE263
Yamaha Ypt260 61-Key Portable Keyboard With Power Adapter (Amazon-Exclusive) Buy Now YAMAHA YPT260
Yamaha P125 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano With Power Supply And Sustain Pedal, Black Buy Now YAMAHA P125B
Yamaha P-45 Compact 88-Key Portable Digital Piano + Keyboard Stand + Keyboard Bench + Keyboard Pedal + Studio Monitor Headphones Buy Now YAMAHA N/A
Casio CT-X700 61-Key Portable Keyboard Buy Now Casio CTX700
Alesis Melody 61 MKII 61 Key Portable Keyboard with Built In Speakers, Headphones, Microphone, Piano Stand, Music Rest and Stool Buy Now Alesis
Alesis Recital Pro Digital Piano / Keyboard with 88 Hammer Action Keys, 12 Premium Voices, 20W Built in Speakers, Headphone Output & Powerful Educational Features Buy Now Alesis
Casio CTK-3500 61-Key Touch Sensitive Portable Keyboard with Power Supply,Black Buy Now Casio CTK-3500
Yamaha EZ-220 61-Lighted Key Portable Keyboard Package with Headphones, Stand and Power Supply Buy Now YAMAHA EZ220 PAK
RockJam RJ761 61 Key Electronic Interactive Teaching Piano Keyboard with Stand, Stool, Sustain Pedal and Headphones (RJ761-SK) Buy Now RockJam RJ761-SK
Casio Privia PX-160BK 88-Key Full Size Digital Piano with Power Supply, Black Buy Now Casio PX160BK
Yamaha P125 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano Bundle with Knox Double X Stand, Knox Large Bench and Sustain Pedal (4 items) Buy Now YAMAHA N/A
Roland, Key 88-note Portable Digital Piano, black, FP-30 (FP-30-BK) Buy Now Roland FP-30-BK
Yamaha PSR-EW300 76-Key Portable Keyboard (power adapter sold separately) Buy Now YAMAHA PSREW300