This post is all about the best 61 key weighted keyboards.
A 61-key keyboard is a great place to start learning the piano. It’s more affordable and compact compared to an 88-key digital piano, offering greater flexibility and affordability for beginner players to test out the waters. If you ever get serious about playing the piano, you can always upgrade to a keyboard with 88 keys.
However, there is one challenge when it comes to most 61-key keyboards on the market. Almost all of them feature unweighted keys, which is not the ideal situation for beginners who want to play with more realistic piano-like keys without getting an 88-key keyboard.
After extensive research on the market, we are here to share the best options among 61-key weighted keyboards. The good news is, it’s possible to find decent 61-key keyboards with weighted keys. The bad news is that they are not fully weighted keys, but semi-weighted keys.
If you’re after fully weighted keys and don’t have much budget, I recommend checking out my list of the best cheap 88-key keyboards.
So, before moving on the list, let’s answer some of the questions you might have about the weighted and semi-weighted keyboards.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Semi-Weighted Keys?
Semi-weighted keys offer a type of key action that provides a balance between the spring-loaded keys of a standard synthesizer and the fully-weighted keys of a traditional piano. Compared to unweighted keys, they provide a bit more resistance and allow for more expressive playing. However, they do not provide the same level of pressure as fully weighted keys, making them fall short in delivering a true piano feel.
What’s the Difference Between Weighted Keys and Semi-Weighted Keys?
Weighted keys have a resistance to them similar to those on an acoustic piano, which is accomplished by using weights attached to the keys or a mechanism called a hammer action that imitates the sound of hammers striking strings in a traditional piano.
Semi-weighted keys, on the other hand, employ a mechanism that is spring-loaded, which provides some resistance to the key push but not as much as weighted keys. This mechanism makes playing fast passages easier, while the fully weighted mechanism provides greater control and expressiveness over the music.
Are Semi-Weighted Keys Good For Beginners?
Because semi-weighted keys provide a certain level of resistance, they may better develop finger strength and dexterity compared to an unweighted keyboard. Ideally, I would always advise you to learn the piano on a fully weighted keyboard, but getting a weighted keyboard may not be an option for you, about which you shouldn’t worry too much as a beginner. I’ve also learned the piano on a semi-weighted keyboard and transitioned to a weighted keyboard after the first 8 months.
As I said and you will hear from many experienced players, playing on a fully weighted keyboard is better for accurately learning how to control your touch on the piano and establish your technique. However, it’s also not something vital if you aren’t obsessed with playing classical music or having the best piano technique. You can start with a semi-weighted keyboard and learn how to read notes or play basic songs on it, after which you can upgrade to a fully-weighted keyboard if you decide to get serious.
Best 61 Key Weighted Keyboards
With the excellent sound quality, speaker performance, and educational features it offers, Alesis Recital 61 tops our list. As I have mentioned, it’s nearly impossible to find a 61-key keyboard with fully weighted keys. Semi-weighted keys are what you can find at most, and this is also true for Alesis Recital 61. If you are a beginner looking for a 61-key semi-weighted keyboard, my personal opinion is that the Alesis Recital 61 is your best option.
Alesis is a very successful brand in the field of digital audio. Despite its relatively short history of producing digital pianos and keyboards, I think Alesis’ expertise in digital audio manifests itself, especially in sound quality. If you’re in the market for budget keyboards, you’ll see that sound quality is one of the first things to be given up on by manufacturers. Alesis Recital stands out among other budget keyboards with its realistic tones.
The semi-weighted keys of this keyboard are of decent quality and enough to familiarize beginners with the feel of a real piano. There are definitely better keyboards than the Alesis Recital 61 when it comes to the semi-weighted keys, but they are mostly 88-key keyboards. In any case, Alesis Recital 61 is a great semi-weighted option for those looking for a 61-key keyboard to learn the piano on or note down their musical ideas.
If you need a 61-key keyboard with weighted keys, you can also consider getting a MIDI keyboard. Other than music production, midi keyboards can make a great tool for learning the piano due to a range of features they offer that allow for easy practice and learning.
Considering what it offers for the price, M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3 is one of the best options for budding piano players or musicians who are after a more piano-like midi keyboard but don’t want to spend a fortune.
It has velocity-sensitive and semi-weighted keys with enough resistance that allows you to control your dynamics more like in a real piano. It doesn’t deliver the most realistic feeling, but certainly offers a surprisingly good semi-weighted mechanism that makes it a solid choice for any musician on a budget.
The uncomplicated interface and minimalistic control options of this MIDI keyboard make it an ideal choice for beginners who prefer a straightforward and easy-to-use keyboard.
Keep in mind that a midi keyboard doesn’t come with built-in speakers, so you’ll need to connect it to an external device such as your computer.
Terence TS-01 is another 61-key keyboard with semi-weighted keys that made it into our list. It’s less expensive than the Alesis Recital 61 while providing more features. The best of all is that the keys are touch-sensitive.
This keyboard is equipped with 140 tones, 60 demo songs, and 128 rhythm patterns, while the Recital features only 10 voices. Though the sound you get from the Recital 61 is closer to that of a real piano, if you value having many voices and rhythms to play with over the sound quality, Terence TS-01 is a better option. It’s also important to note that the semi-weighted key mechanism is better on Recital 61, but beginners won’t notice a huge difference.
Other than that, this keyboard can run on batteries and is very lightweight, which makes it very easy to move around. It also features Bluetooth and MIDI connectivity that allows you to connect the keyboard to various piano learning apps. Even if you don’t connect the keyboard to a device, it has a good variety of educational features to make learning the piano easy and fun for beginners.
We wouldn’t exactly call the Nord Electro 6D a beginner keyboard. However, if you’re looking for a stage piano that has 61 keys and weighted keys, Nord Electro 6D is your best bet. Nord pianos are known for their excellent build quality, top-notch key action, and intuitive user face. Nord Electro 6D combines everything great about the Nord keyboards in a 61-key compact body.
The keys are not fully weighted, but semi-weighted with a waterfall key bed to allow for the easier playing of agile passages. In this sense, Nord Electro 6D is best for organ players. It’s also an ideal piano for stage performances or studio recordings.
Weighing only 20 lbs, its lightweight and compact design also makes it ideal for musicians who are on the road. Add to that the incredibly rich sound library of organs, synthesizers, and electric pianos and you have the perfect instrument for professional recording and performing
Fverey takes one step further by offering a beginner keyboard that is the best of both worlds. In addition to featuring semi-weighted keys, this 61-key keyboard can be folded in half, making it incredibly easy to travel with. You can fold your piano, put it into its bag, and take it anywhere you want.
Overall, this keyboard is an excellent option for those who prioritize portability without sacrificing the feel of playing on a keyboard with semi-weighted keys.
Boasting a rich library of 127 sounds, 127 rhythms, and 20 demo songs with 3 different teaching modes, it also doesn’t fall short of features its competitors offer.
The MIDI and Bluetooth connectivity makes it a great choice for not only beginner pianists but any musician. It can be used as a midi controller, and the fact that it has touch sensitivity and semi-weighted keys makes it feel more like a proper digital piano.
In conclusion, a 61-key keyboard is a great choice for beginners due to its affordability and compactness. While most 61-key keyboards have unweighted keys, semi-weighted options are available and can be helpful in developing finger strength and dexterity. I’ve tried my best to recommend you only the ones that I’ve had a chance to get my hands on or trust.
If you have any questions or comments, please post them below!