Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Portable Keyboard

A portable keyboard is a 61-key musical instrument filled with fun and an exciting new world to explore, discover, and create. Nowadays, learning to play on a portable keyboard is getting more interest from everyone (kids and adults) in Singapore thanks to the many joyful and enriching features it offers.

There are hundreds (or even thousands) of portable keyboard models in the market nowadays, for beginners trying to pick one that is suitable for them would be similar to looking for a needle in a haystack. The price is one of the many factors that you should consider before choosing one.

Rest assured, because our team has been in this industry for more than a decade, will share their best approach on how to choose a suitable portable keyboard for beginners. Read more below.

Things to Consider When Buying a Portable Keyboard

1. The Keys Sensitivity

Normally, a portable keyboard comes in a 61-key format – some advanced models have up to 88-key. The key itself has a sensitivity or action touch that provides some resistance when pressed.

For a portable keyboard, this resistance is quite lighter (called lightweight) than the digital piano but still each keyboard model has its own key resistance level. The heavier the resistance will be the better choice if you are planning to advance to an actual piano at a later time. That’s why we always recommend trying them at our store first to get a better understanding.

If you’d like to try the many keyboards we have, simply schedule an appointment here: Showroom Appointment.

key action sensitivity - guide to buying a portable keyboard
keyboard sizes - guide to buying a portable keyboard

2. The Keyboard Sizes

As mentioned previously, there are advanced portable keyboards with 76 up to 88 keys. These models certainly have a bigger size than the regular 61-key keyboard. However, even the 61-key keyboard has different sizes. Usually, the bigger the size also comes with many additional features such as better speakers.

Although size does matter, always remember to check on your surrounding – will it fit in your limited-space room? The standard size of a 61-key keyboard is around 930 mm (Width) x258 mm (Depth)x83 mm (Height) about the size of a Casio CT-S1 Keyboard which is suitable for kids and adults.

3. Keyboard Types

Most keyboard looks similar, have 61-key, built-in speakers, many sounds, and more. Actually, keyboards are categorized into three types, they are Arranger, Synthesizer, and Workstation.

  • Arranger Keyboard is a portable keyboard that has an auto-accompaniment feature.
  • Synthesizer Keyboard is a portable keyboard that has a sound editing/creation feature.
  • Workstation Keyboard is a portable keyboard that has a full set of Audio/MIDI Recording features.

For beginners, it would be best to start with the Arranger (Standard) keyboard because its features help beginners learn the instrument faster.

keyboard types - guide to buying a portable keyboard
keyboard sound sets - guide to buying a portable keyboard

4. The Sound Sets

The main advantage of a portable keyboard is the many fascinating sounds set it features. A 61-key keyboard could have up to thousands of instrument sounds. For users who are interested in advancing to a piano later, best to look for a keyboard that features a piano-focused sound that resembles an actual piano, such as Roland GO:PIANO61 and Yamaha NP-12 keyboards.

Another thing to note is the polyphony numbers. Polyphony is a measure of how many keys can be pressed and will generate sounds at the same time. The standard polyphony for a 61-key keyboard is 64 notes max

5. Accompaniment Styles

Accompaniment is preset music that includes rhythmic and harmonic melodies of certain songs that most Arranger keyboards have. In short, you can play a song in a full-band format by using a few chords on a keyboard. This feature is pretty useful if you are learning a Pop Keyboard/Piano Lesson or playing a Worship song. The preset music in accompaniment is called Styles, and the number of the Styles are varied from each keyboard model, some that have a wide variety of styles are Yamaha PSR-E373 and Roland E-X30 keyboards.

keyboard accompaniment - guide to buying a portable keyboard
keyboard built-in recorder - guide to buying a portable keyboard

6. Recording and Storage

Most keyboards (even the Arranger/Standard) have the recording feature (at least a MIDI recorder). The built-in recorder will be very useful for beginners to analyze their progress – you can record your play every time you practice.

Each keyboard has a different storage capacity which is related to how many songs can be recorded inside the keyboard. Choosing a keyboard with a bigger storage capacity will be convenient but today’s keyboard is equipped with a USB port that can be also used to store the record.

7. Connectivity Options

Today’s portable keyboards are so advanced, not only do they have MIDI connectivity but also USB ports and Bluetooth seamless connections. Buying a keyboard that has them all (MIDI, USB, and Bluetooth) will be very convenient. Especially, the Bluetooth connectivity where you can connect the keyboard to a learning app in the smart device and stream the music from the smart device to the keyboard’s speakers. A good recommendation for beginners would be Casio LK-S450 Keyboard.

keyboard connectivity - guide to buying a portable keyboard
keyboard accessories - guide to buying a portable keyboard

8. Essential Accessories

The keyboard by itself is fine but adding some accessories will make you play better. Some essential accessories should be considered to be included when you buy the keyboard.

  • Sustain Pedal, very useful when you play the piano sound because it will provide a sustaining sound much like in an actual piano.
  • X-Stand, to safely place the keyboard that can be easily adjusted.
  • X-Bench, if you don’t have a spare bench at home, this one could be an option.
  • Keyboard Bag, to safely store the keyboard when not in use and easy to bring anywhere.

For a complete list of useful keyboard accessories, please check out this article: Digital Piano Accessories Starter Pack.


These eight simple guides are essential for beginners to understand before deciding to purchase a new portable keyboard for the first time because they will help you to get a better idea when you try them one by one at the store.

However, if you still have more questions about a certain feature of a keyboard. Feel free to reach us by filling out the form below and our expert will get back to you soon.

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