best roland digital piano

You really need to do your research to ensure that you buy the right digital piano for your (or your loved ones) individual needs. There are so many different options on the market that can be overwhelming for you to choose from, especially if you do not do your research before you start looking. Consider what your needs and wants are, then move forward from there.So what are the Best Roland Digital Piano options and the roland digital piano prices that suit your budget?

Best Roland Digital Piano

1) Roland VR-09 V-Combo Organ

For both mobility and excellent features, this model is a choice to consider. There are a lot of sound features that users can find with this option, including the grand piano and electric piano sounds.

You will also find a great deal of synth options, which range from those vintage classics that have proven timeless to more modern options that give a new edge to the music. There is also an onboard looper, along with a huge selection of rhythm and drum sounds in its library.

On this keyboard, one of the great features is the real-time controls that allow you to tweak your music as you go while you are performing live. It also has surprisingly good sounds to it, especially with the horn and drum sounds. No matter what genre of music you prefer to play, this keyboard can help you achieve the sound that you want.

It has an amazing sound quality to it and it is an incredibly lightweight option so that you can take it with you wherever you need to go. Lastly, this keyboard is very user-friendly so people of all skill levels will be able to use this without too much of a hassle.Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

2) Roland JUNO-DS88 88-key Synthesizer

Seasoned professionals that want a keyboard that offers all of the enhanced features and pro sounds should look at this one as an option. There are so many different sound options that you can find with this keyboard including electric piano, various organs, acoustic piano, and many other sounds that you will need on stage when you are performing.

If the sound options are not enough for you, there is an expansion slot where you can download more options from the company’s website. This is an excellent synthesizer that is portable for all of those performers who are constantly on the go.

One thing that people look for in a digital piano, especially a performer, is versatility. The ability to play a variety of different music can be essential to a musician. This keyboard also has a lot of mobility to it so you can take it to all of your performances and practices without much of a hassle.

It also has a great feel to it when it comes to the keys, which is very important to any pianist. You will find that this is an incredibly easy to use synthesizer, which can be excellent if you are a newer pianist.Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

3) Roland F-140R Digital Piano

For the techie musician, this is a great choice. It looks and can sound like a regular piano, with tones that resemble a grand piano. There are over 72 different rhythm styles that users can enjoy, including 6 pianist styles for a more classical sound. You will also notice that there are over 300 additional tones for strings, electric pianos, synths, guitars, and a wide array of other sounds to create some pretty amazing music.

What really makes this stand out for the tech lover is that you can connect your tablet or smartphone to it through its Bluetooth features so that you can turn the sheet music pages completely wirelessly.

The quality of this keyboard is fantastic and it is very easy for anyone to assemble. This is a great stationary keyboard for musicians of all skill levels. It is easy to use and has surprisingly good sound quality, almost as good as an acoustic piano that most musicians tend to favour.

There are so many features of this keyboard that you will find the creative freedom you seek when making music with this digital keyboard. The only issue with this keyboard is that it is a stationary one meant to keep in one place rather than to travel with you.Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

4) Roland RD-800 Digital Piano

With this choice, you are going to get a professional keyboard with a ton of features. There are well over 1100 sounds to choose from, including modern synth options and more vintage sounds. You can also select a variety of different sounds for pianos that make performing live pretty great.

This is a choice that offers versatility, which is perfect for the musician who wants to be able to maximize their creativity. The vintage feel and quality sound really make this piano stand out. Performers will also love how portable this is, making it easy to take with them for gigs or practices.

As far as performing live goes, you can very easily layer the music and create live sets. It can be a bit complicated to use at first but as you work with it, you will quickly catch on. The wide variety of samples that you can use with this keyboard that can allow for creativity and versatility when playing especially live.

This high-end keyboard is also an excellent choice for in-studio sessions. Overall, this specific keyboard can be an excellent choice for a seasoned professional that expects a little bit more out of their digital piano.Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

5) Roland A-88: MIDI Keyboard Controller

The best feature of this keyboard is the fact that it is so compact and lightweight. The portability of this keyboard makes it an ideal option for the musician on the go. It feels like a weighted keyboard, which gives the musician a great feeling when they are playing.

Pianists look for the right feeling in their keyboard, something that this can offer. Another excellent feature is that will interest users is that this easily has one of the best MIDI controllers on the market.

The software that comes with this keyboard only adds to the excellence that comes in this compact little package. The sound module is the particularly stellar quality of this keyboard. You have plenty of options for most of your needs, though you may not get as much of a selection as you would hope.

The software that comes bundled in with this keyboard does an excellent job at replicating the sound of an analogue piano. There are plenty of easy to access knobs and switches, making playing a seamless and effortless task for you as a musician. With this keyboard, you are going to get a top of the line feel in a compact and lightweight little keyboard.Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

6) Roland JUNO-DS61 61-key Synthesizer

One of the great features of this keyboard is the ability to record as you go. If you are looking to record song ideas on the fly, this keyboard can help you to accomplish this goal. You will also notice that it has some incredible features for if you are going to perform live somewhere, including updated sounds that sound amazing when performing.

There are also expansion slots, where you are able to download new waveforms directly from the company website. If you are looking for an excellent synthesizer, this is a great choice for you.

The sound quality of this keyboard is quite outstanding. Users can take music from their USB drive to enjoy a more customizable sound that will help your music to stand out and give you more options for creativity. Not only is the sound quality amazing, but you will also get fantastic quality from the recordings that you make.

It is lightweight and portable, something that is especially useful if you are going to be travelling a lot with this keyboard. There are so many great things about this keyboard, including the capabilities to really customize your music and make it your own through the array of parameter adjustments.Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

7) Roland FP-30 DIGITAL PIANO Black

Here you will find a portable option that packs a lot of punch. This is an excellent keyboard that can excel as both a stationary piano or as one that can travel with you wherever you need to go with it. It has the same feel and sound as an authentic piano.

One of the best things about this piano is that portability you can get with it. This keyboard is both lightweight and compact, making it easy for you to take it to gigs or practices while also being small enough to not take up too much space in a room.

Another great feature is the Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to connect your keyboard to your mobile devices. There are over 30 different sounds that you can use with this keyboard, which is not nearly as much as you can get with other options, but it is still a substantial amount if you do not want to spend a fortune on a keyboard.

It does have the ability to use a USB stick, so you can compensate for the lack of onboard sounds. Another issue with this particular option is that it may not have the best sound quality when compared to other options, but this can be attributed to the placement of the speakers.Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

8) Roland FP-50 Digital Piano Black

At first glimpse, this digital piano may seem very basic. It has about 90 rhythm types, with each style having 2 variations. It is a classy option that has a truly authentic feel to it, something that a musician who wants the traditional piano feel on the go can appreciate.

Speaking of on the go, this keyboard is incredibly portable. It is both lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport wherever you need it. Part of the musician life is to be on the go, so performers are always looking for high-quality options that they are able to take with them.

This keyboard also excels at being a great option for the home since it can fit in rooms without taking up a lot of space. It may not be the best option if you want something for performing live, but it does have the portability for you to be able to take it to practices.

Musicians at any level, whether they are a beginner or a longtime player, will love this keyboard. It does not have a lot of features, but that makes it great for people who are just starting out that want something that is easy to use.Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

9) Roland GO61PC PIANO Education Bundle

This is a perfect option for the beginner musician. Users will notice that this model has standard full-size keys with 61 notes. There are also additional sounds that users can take advantage of to really create something unique and incredible with their keyboard, including organs and electric piano sounds.

Users will also love that it has a Bluetooth audio and MIDI support, which allows it to be connected to your tablet or smartphone.It is a portable keyboard so that you can take it to your lessons or anywhere else that you want to travel with it. Besides, you get all of the tools that you need as a pianist that is just starting out.

Users love the sound quality that may not be expected in a beginner digital piano. This is also a great beginner keyboard because it is incredibly easy to use. When you hook up your mobile device, you can play along to the music so that you can learn all of your favourite songs on the piano. With this ability to hook up to mobile devices you can also get apps that help you learn how to play, making learning the piano an easier task for any beginner.Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

10) Roland RD-64 Digital Piano

For a quality of sound that mimics the classical grand piano, this is a digital piano that gives you that really authentic piano sound. There are 12 tones that you can access onboard this keyboard, which gives you some flexibility when you are playing it.

It is a compact keyboard, making it perfect for users who want a bit of mobility out of their keyboard. You can fit this keyboard in any vehicle, making it especially convenient. One of the things that users are going to most appreciate about this keyboard is the natural feeling that is very similar to a classical piano.

Essentially, this model is a little grand piano that you can transport with you wherever you need it. You will love the vintage feeling of classic keyboards when using it, giving you the right amount of traction that your fingers need for optimal play.

The sound quality on this keyboard is just as amazing as the feeling of playing it. It especially shines if you are looking for a high-quality acoustic sound to it. For users that need to travel a lot with their keyboard but want a more natural piano sound, you may want to consider this option.

Why Choose Roland Keyboards?

best roland keyboard
  • Ability to Record

Roland digital pianos have recording features that are built within the keyboards to record music. Musicians or students practicing in a session are enabled to register their courses to review later. These instruments would allow musicians to record their performances for future purposes. These models also have a USB port that allows the transfer of the music files to another computer.

Recording music allows the musicians to learn their mistakes by referring to the recorded musical piece. Music teachers have appreciated this make of pianos because it will enable them to record exercises for students to apply during class time.

  • Silent and private practice

Roland digital pianos are now designed in a way that you can plug in headphones. Headphones keep the sounds away from the other listeners only limited to the piano player. Plugging headphones ensures privacy and reduces distractions. It also prevents outsiders from hearing the player’s mistake. Most of the reviews from the Roland keyboards users have appreciated this design.

Using headphones not only enhances privacy but also enables flexibility because you now practice when people are around and cause no disturbances.

  • Affordable and Easy to Maintain

Roland keyboards come in many varieties with different price ranges that affordable to purchase. The pianos are found in significant outlets in most countries in the world, reducing the cost of importing.

Roland keyboards have a digital engine that is not affected by factors such as humidity and temperature that affect tuning. They are tuned before purchasing, so one does not have to tune manually.

These pianos are durable because the synthetic materials use to make the body and the keys are easy to clean. The fact that the keyboards are already tuned reduces mechanical maintenance and makes it easy for the users to use. Synthetic materials have a long lifespan lowering the cost of buying a new piano, especially if the keyboard is for children who want to learn to play the piano as they grow up.

  • Quality Tone and Touch

Roland digital piano is upgraded to produce tones and sounds like that of an acoustic piano. These pianos have a sophisticated keyboard action that provides high-quality tones and brings out an acoustic touch. They have quality sound engines combined with the technology of sound modeling, behavior modeling, and multisampling.

All these qualities come with the digital piano making competitive since the piano technology produces real tones like that of an acoustic piano.

Digital Piano keys are made in a hammer-action design instead of spring action design found in other pianos. It not only enhances the authentic detail but produces feel-good sounds. Both the audio and behavior modeling enables the digital pianos to adapt to changes in the playing styles and the size of the room without affecting the tone and sounds produced.

How to Choose a Piano or Keyboard

Deciding to learn piano is the first step on an incredibly rewarding journey. The good news is that you won’t be taking that journey alone. You will have an instrument to learn on. It will be a daily source of satisfaction, a comforting presence in your home, a companion with keys.

So let’s find you the right instrument. Even a short search can uncover a wide range of terminology and options that can be a little daunting. We’re here to help. This chapter gives you all the knowledge you need for choosing a piano or keyboard to choose the right instrument for you. If you don’t need all the information, take a look at the quick buyer’s guide at the end of this chapter. If you already have an instrument and you’re happy with it, feel free to skip ahead to Chapter 2 – Piano Learning Methods

Let’s start by splitting your options into three categories:

  • Digital keyboards – The cheapest, most convenient, and most versatile. Sound and feel aren’t as good as acoustic pianos, but keyboards work well as a first instrument.
  • Digital pianos – Larger and more expensive, but nearly as versatile while mimicking the feel of an acoustic piano well. A great alternative if budget and space allows.
  • Acoustic pianos – The best option for playing experience and sound quality, but by far the largest and can be extremely expensive.

Digital keyboards

digital keyboard
A digital keyboard for beginners with 61 keys

A keyboard is the most minimal option, just a casing around the keys and controls. This makes it portable and usually the cheapest option. You may also see it called an “electronic” or “electric” keyboard because the sound is either synthesized or sampled. It comes from an in-built speaker with adjustable volume (or a headphone input if you don’t want to disturb).

Digital keyboards don’t need maintenance, and you can almost always choose to play with a range of instrument sounds: pianos, organs, or non-keyboard instruments like strings. The sound quality on cheaper, older keyboards isn’t great, but modern models are pretty good.

A downside of digital keyboards is that the playing experience can vary from excellent to not-so-good based on two key factors: the number of keys and the type of key action.

Number of keys

A full-size piano keyboard has 88 keys, spanning seven octaves and three extra notes. If you want the most accurate piano experience, go for this. If you’re limited by size, then the next largest is fine (76 keys: six octaves, three notes). This will serve you well, but you will find yourself hitting the lower limit on some classical pieces like Beethoven’s “Für Elise”, the upper limit on much of Chopin (he loved the high notes), and many 20th century composers like Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, and Bartok.

Anything less than 76 keys and you will regularly hit the upper or lower limits. Of course, if you simply don’t have the space and it would be a choice between 61 keys and nothing at all, then 61 keys it is. Five octaves will limit you, but that’s all they had back in the 1700s when Mozart was composing music. And if it was good enough for Mozart…

Key action

This term refers to the mechanism of a piano that produces sound. Digital keyboards and pianos don’t have the same physical parts as a real piano, so they use various techniques to recreate the heavier touch and feel of a real piano’s keys. Better instruments do this by including or replicating versions of the moving parts (see Key action guide). Simulating the key responsiveness of an acoustic piano, these are more expensive and heavier than other keyboards, but still smaller, cheaper, and lighter than both digital and acoustic pianos.

Key action guide

Hammer action The highest quality and most expensive. Each key moves a mechanical hammer, giving an almost identical feel to an acoustic piano.

Weighted Weights are built into the keys, similar feel to a real piano.

Semi-weighted Combines spring-loaded action with weights attached to the keys. Some dynamic lost, okay for a first instrument.

Unweighted (aka “synth action”) Typically moulded plastic keys creating resistance with springs. The cheapest option.

Accessories for keyboards

Sustain pedal. Piano pedals are foot-operated levers designed to affect the sound in various ways. On an acoustic piano or digital piano, they come attached, but if you go for an electronic keyboard, then you will need a sustain pedal (aka “damper pedal”).

Sustain pedals vary in price depending on how robust they are. The best option is a heavy “piano-style” lever pedal, made of metal and weighted to feel it is really attached to a piano. But if you are on a budget, there are small, square plastic pedals available that are also fine. Bear in mind that these lighter pedals may slide around a little and work with a simple on/off mechanism, so will not allow for subtle use of the pedal.

Keyboard stand. Unlike an acoustic or digital piano, a keyboard doesn’t come with a casing to raise it up. Don’t settle with putting it on a table; do your posture a favor and use a keyboard stand to ensure it is at the correct height. Sturdy, stable stands will feel better and won’t distract you by rocking back and forth when you play with feeling. For more on setting the keyboard height, see Chapter 3 – Proper Piano Technique.

This is all you need to know for now, but for a detailed explanation on what the pedals are for and how to use them, see Chapter 9 – Piano Pedals.

Digital pianos

digital piano
A clavinova digital piano with 88 keys

Digital pianos give the convenience and flexibility of a keyboard while recreating the playing experience of an acoustic piano very well, especially as technology keeps improving. They usually have hammer action keys (see Key action guide above) and are made of wood or an imitation material. This gives you the feel of playing a solid instrument, while they don’t require tuning or the same physical maintenance as an acoustic piano.

Like a digital keyboard, the sound is either synthetic or sampled, and like a digital keyboard, this gives you a range of piano and other instrument sounds. Unlike many digital keyboards, they have the full 88 keys, so you won’t limit what you can play (see Number of keys above).

One downside is that while they vary in size and shape, and are smaller than their acoustic counterparts, they are not easily portable. So if you go for one of these, then you may need to experiment with where to place it at home. In general, digital pianos are more expensive than keyboards, but far cheaper than the equivalent acoustic piano.

USB MIDI connections

Digital keyboards and digital pianos will almost always have a USB MIDI connection (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), allowing you to connect a computer or portable device. This allows you to use apps and other programs to access more sounds, record your playing, and access other functionality of piano-learning apps.

how to connect a piano via midi
MIDI connection of a digital piano

Acoustic pianos

The original sound and playing experience that has shaped Western music for centuries. As you play, you can feel the notes resonate up through your fingers and around the room. This “acoustic” sound is created with entirely physical parts, so no electronics, sampling, or loudspeakers are involved.

The physics of an acoustic piano

Pushing a key sets a hammer in motion that hits a string, creating the familiar piano sound. The hammer mechanism gives the key weight against the finger (“Hammer action” keyboards imitate this touch feeling). The strings’ vibration spreads to the air around them inside the instrument. This causes reverberations that bounce around the casing and escape through carefully designed holes in the body of the piano.

While this makes it difficult to fully recreate the feel of playing an acoustic piano using samples or synthesizers, technology is advancing fast. Modern digital pianos are excellent at simulating all physical elements of the sound- even the noise of the dampers muting or releasing the strings. A good digital instrument can sound and feel even better than a low-end acoustic piano.

inside grand piano
The inside of a grand piano with hammers, strings, and dampers

The downside of acoustic pianos is that they are the most expensive option by far, and the expense is not limited to buying. Moving a piano is costly, and they need maintenance. The parts react to small changes in moisture or temperature, so acoustic pianos need regular tuning. This also means you need to consider where you place an acoustic piano. They can’t be kept in damp conditions or too close to a radiator as they can easily dry out and warp.

High-quality pianos hold their value well, so you might see it as an investment. The flipside is that you should be careful of cheap, used instruments, as a “bargain” is often damaged and expensive to repair. You should always get an opinion from someone with expertise before buying any instrument, but this is especially critical for used pianos. Also, if you’re set on an acoustic piano but aren’t sure whether you want to learn in the long term, there is a range of options available online for renting a piano or hiring out a practice room with a piano.

Acoustic pianos are available in two forms: grand and upright pianos.

Grand piano

grand piano
A concert grand piano

This is the iconic, long, low, curved piano you may have seen in concerts or videos of famous classical pianists. The strings lie flat and are wound horizontally, giving the casing its signature shape. This means the hammer needs only gravity to fall back from the string, so the key pushes back on the fingers with an entirely natural feel. The high dynamic range gives a rich tone that rings out whether quiet or loud, in a living room or a large concert hall.

Upright piano

upright piano from yamaha
Yamaha upright piano

This is the tall, rectangular piano that comes to mind when you think of a Wild West saloon or a blues band in a bar. The sound quality is similar, but since the strings are wound vertically, the hammer action requires springs, slightly reducing the dynamic range and feel. While a little less impressive, the smaller floor space and square back makes them more convenient, as they can be placed up against a wall.

What is dynamic range and why is it important?

This is the range of volume available to you when pressing the keys. Low dynamic range forces you to either thump the keys or barely hear the notes. A high dynamic range allows smooth transition between loud, quiet, and anything in between. Good control of your dynamic range allows you to play with real passion and emotion.

Take Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” When played well, there are subtle differences between delicate and powerful notes throughout the piece. The best players have such good control over their dynamic range, they can even vary dynamic while playing multiple notes at the same time.

Other accessories

Bench/stool

Forget the keyboard players you see standing up. As a pianist, it is best to sit at the piano, and a bench or stool set at the correct height is essential. Larger, heavier stools remain comfortable for longer, but are generally more expensive. Make sure it is adjustable so you can set the height to allow for correct posture and sitting position. For more, see Chapter 3 – Proper Piano Technique.

Metronome (optional)

A metronome provides an audible sound (usually a click or a beep) to keep you in time with the tempo (speed) set by you. You don’t necessarily need one, but it can help at the start if you find yourself slowing down or speeding up. Be careful not to get into the habit of always listening for a count, as it often makes it harder to keep time without it. Most keyboards and digital pianos have a built-in metronome, but if you go for an acoustic piano and need one, there are plenty of apps available online, most of them for free.

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