Keyboards for Both Amateurs and Pros

When you want to buy musical instruments, look no further than Best Buy. Whether you want to learn a new instrument, or need to complement your existing core gear, you'll find what you need here.

Keys and Action in Keyboards

Look for an appropriate number of keys for your music and your space. A traditional acoustic piano has 88 keys. Each key has "action" or a touch response. If you want to approximate a traditional piano, look for weighted and semi-weighted action, perhaps even with additional hammer action. Action, combined with touch sensitivity, affects your experience playing as well as the final musical product.

Computer Connections

Consider how you want to connect to a computer to share or enhance your music. The most common interfaces are USB, FireWire and MIDI. If you're not into playing music on a keyboard but instead want to control your digital or synthesized music, you can choose from a variety of MIDI controllers, which often take the form of MIDI keyboards, to create and enhance your digitally produced music.

Types of Keyboards

A portable keyboard is a great choice for a beginner. Many of these keyboards include learning functions for kids or adults learning music or keyboard fingering. You may also find USB connectivity on some models as well as the ability to download songs for karaoke. If you're serious about your playing, you may want to step up to a digital piano. These instruments are available in console form with a traditional cabinet design for home use or in stage versions, which are more portable and perfect for a performing musician.

Most digital pianos have 88 keys, though smaller versions have 61. If you desire the feel of a traditional piano keyboard, look for weighted keybeds and hammer action. Also understand that the sound a digital piano emits is reliant upon both its samples and amplification. Good digital pianos will get samples from high-end acoustic pianos. Some models have space-saving internal amps, while others require external keyboard amps.