Learning the harp - how to take the first steps
If you like the sound of the piano and want to get closer to the world of keyboard instruments, the keyboard is a great way to start. But it doesn't always have to be a classic keyboard. In addition to the conventional variants, mini-keyboards are also gaining in popularity and represent a space-saving and inexpensive alternative. But what distinguishes mini-keyboards from the classic variants and which models are recommended? That's exactly what we'll show you in this article and introduce you to the functions that await you on a mini-keyboard.
A mini-keyboard is a slightly smaller version of a classic keyboard. These are usually minimalistically designed and have a maximum of 44 keys. In terms of operation, the mini-keyboard is often much more modestly equipped, which is not a bad thing for your entry into the world of keyboard instruments. Mini keyboards are not only ideal for professional playing, but also for hobby music making.
However, you should basically say goodbye to the idea that the mini-keyboard is just toy. Even the smaller version has it all and is sufficient to play most piano pieces. Therefore, it should instead be seen as a full-fledged instrument that becomes practical in many areas due to its significantly smaller, more convenient size.
There are many reasons for buying a mini keyboard. On the one hand, it's nice to have a smaller version of the piano on-hand, and thus ensure smooth transportation. On the other hand, the small keyboard becomes an exciting choice for children and teenagers to gain their first access to music. Not only alone, but also with friends, making music on the small version of the keyboard thus becomes an enjoyable and exciting hobby.
A clear advantage of the mini keyboard is that all relevant basic functions of a conventional variant are already built into the device. Nevertheless, it is extremely child-friendly, but also much easier to use for adults than the large version. In addition, the mini-keyboard can be placed on any table, and can be connected easily which means it's always available.
Due to the numerous functions and the comparatively small size, mini keyboards are an ideal and above all exciting choice in many situations. Integrated options like an additional accompaniment of your own playing make it easier to develop a basic sense of time and to improve step by step on the real piano as well. Of course, you determine yourself whether you need such an accompaniment and can activate and deactivate it again with just the push of a button if necessary. Especially when practicing, the numerous additional functions are a real boon for young and old.
The aforementioned accompaniment feature is just one of the many options that await you when you buy a mini-keyboard. As a rule, you can choose from numerous sounds and rhythms that can help you learn as well as play as a hobbyist. However, if you want to buy your keyboard for consistent practicing, we don't recommend using a lot of sounds at first.
Especially for beginners, it is otherwise difficult to focus on the essentials and make real progress in playing. For this reason, keep an eye on the sound quality and make sure that the notes of your pieces are also shown to their best advantage on the mini-keyboard. Practical tools like additional musical accompaniment while playing on the keyboard will also help you get a feel for interplay and songs.
If you want to buy a mini keyboard, you should always keep an eye on important basic functions as well as the quality of the workmanship. While an inexpensive and not so finely-crafted version may suffice as a toy for the little ones, you should not make too many compromises for professional practicing. After all, the mini-keyboard should prepare you well for the real piano and already provide a realistic simulation. Therefore, make sure that the sound is as good as possible and that the usability is always the focus.
If you are interested in a new mini-keyboard yourself, you can already get some high-quality models and designs without breaking the bank. Manufacturers like Yamaha and Casio represent the high end when it comes to professionalism, and provide excellent quality over-all. This is noticeable in the workmanship as well as the actual sound. We therefore recommend the following mini keyboards when it comes to buying a high-quality and ideally usable model:
A practical mini-keyboard with 37 velocity-sensitive mini-keys awaits you with the Yamaha PSS-A50. Additional functions such as the motion effect and a headphone jack are also included in this mini-keyboard, which makes it noticeably easier to use. The weight of 1.2 kilograms (2.6 lbs) also clearly speaks for the Yamaha PSS-A50 and ensures maximum flexibility.
The Casio SA 76 is a powerful mini-keyboard with 44 mini keys. More than 100 sounds and over 50 styles make for a comprehensive usability, whereby you can see all details via the LCD. A headphone jack also awaits you here, so you can also play in peace. Feel free to test the ten practice pieces in the Casio SA 76.
If you're looking for a lot of sounds and rhythms, you'll always be on the safe side with the Alesis Harmony 32. The keyboard has 32 small keys and lets you play up to 40 demo songs. Especially for intensive practicing, the Alesis Harmony 32 is a practical and comprehensive keyboard. Its lightweight design is another benefit.
A total of 37 mini keys await you with the Yamaha PSS-F30, giving you a coherent and unique solution. Around 30 songs and 120 additional instruments as voices elevate our recommendation for this mini keyboard and enable digital content at the highest level. Also with further functions like the integrated metronome, nothing stands in the way of extensive usage.
A very small and kid-friendly mini keyboard awaits you with the Casio SA 51, which offers more than 100 sounds and over 50 rhythms. It also remains significantly smaller in size than many alternative versions, making it an easy-to-carry solution at a weight of just one kilo. Ten additional songs make it an optimal practice device.
In addition to the right product, it is of course also important to have suitable accessories to show off your mini keyboard to its best advantage. Learning programs are an especially popular choice for digital instruments like these small keyboards, and let you complete your execution as you like. Classic tools for learning notes or for filing the templates can of course also be used with the mini-keyboard, just like you are used to with the piano.
So you see, the mini-keyboard has a lot of advantages and is a nice introduction to the world of music. If you now have a taste for it and want to buy a mini-keyboard, you should pay attention to the following details when buying one:
Depending on the desired application, the priorities that need to be considered when choosing your new keyboard can also differ. Always keep an eye on the price-performance ratio, as the mini keyboard market can offer high quality with a low cost-of-entry.
Mini keyboards appeal with their small size and big sound at the same time. Here at mukken, you're sure to find many like-minded people and can exchange ideas about your favorite instrument. If you want to read more about the keyboard and how it works or about the principles of playing the piano, then you've come to the right place.
Originally published on February 9, 2023, updated on March 10, 2023