Electronic keyboards are great instruments for learning and practicing how to play the piano even though they do not give the real feel of an acoustic piano. These devices, though, serve many different purposes for music professionals and are essential to their work as musicians, as you will see in the following article. 

Basic Keyboard

These are best for beginners, especially if you are still experimenting with the idea of learning how to play the piano or the keyboard. These keyboards are built for beginners, so the sound ranges available are usually 24 four octaves, with fewer instrument sounds to choose from.1 They include options to help beginners get familiar with the settings and learn how to use the instrument. Many of them have USB ports to transfer sounds to and from a computer. This feature can be used to save your work or transfer music to the keyboard.

Arranger Keyboard

Arranger keyboards have more features compared to the basic keyboard. They come with a larger collection of prerecorded accompaniment tracks in a wide variety of music styles such as indie rock, reggae, classic country, techno, etc. Similar to the basic keyboard, arrangers come with a USB port that can be used to record and save music on a computer or a memory drive. Arrangers also have more styles of prerecorded backing accompaniment tracks that can be used to add a jazz, rock, Latin, or any other vibe to your compositions  

Most solo artists prefer these instruments as they allow them to compose music on the spot during live performances with the myriad instrument and sound options available on the device. The composing and sequencing tools make it an ideal choice for songwriters. Other features that make arrangers a more comprehensive instrument are voice back-up capabilities, chord recognition software, and sound engines with a fairly good selection of sounds that add a live band feel.

Workstation Keyboard

These keyboards are also known as digital workstations because they come with composing, recording, and production features that make them as good as a compact studio. This keyboard is for professionals who need more control over the creation of their work, and therefore most features are designed to aid their creative process in making original music pieces. 

They come with extensive sound libraries that have a large collection of instruments. Workstation keyboards are meant for recording and altering music with precision. Workstations have all the features of an arranger and more advanced recording, composing, and production support. They also have far more built-in options to connect to software, hardware, and digital devices. Some also come with integrated synthesizers and samplers. However, these instruments may be too advanced for beginner piano students. 


Synthesizers are meant for creating new sounds using material that is available on the keyboard. These instruments look like keyboards, but their purpose is to create new and original digital sounds and effects using analog and digital signal processing. 

The sound sets on synthesizers cater to specific genres of music, and knowing what style of music you will be making is important to choose the right instrument. Synthesizers require considerable knowledge and experience in music as they are used by professionals to create unique sounds and soundtracks. They come with all the advanced connectivity, data transfer, and storage features of the other keyboards. These instruments usually have prerecorded piano sounds added to their libraries, but as a whole, the instrument is more suitable for a professional.     

Electronic Organ

Electronic organs reproduce the sounds of traditional pipe organs. Like the other keyboards, digital organs come with sound effects, sound sets, and good hardware and software compatibility with other devices. The sound on some high-quality electronic organs mimics the natural characteristics of the pipe organ to a large extent. Some manufacturers have also retained the parts of the pipe organ in the electronic version, such as the drawbars, pedal boards, and multiple key decks. 

However, this instrument is completely different from a piano and is in its own category, so it may not be what you are looking for if you are interested in learning the piano specifically. 

Learn how to play the piano on a keyboard with BYJU’S FutureSchool. Master the skill with a personalized curriculum and 1:1 classes with top teachers from across the world. Read more such blogs on music at BYJU’S FutureSchool blog

1. How To Choose Digital Pianos, Keyboards and Synths – The Hub. (n.d.). Retrieved July 6, 2022, from https://www.musiciansfriend.com/thehub/pianos-and-keyboards-how-to-choose#organs
2. Types Of Electronic Keyboards | My Piano Lessons. (n.d.). Retrieved July 6, 2022, from https://mypianolessons.co.uk/resources/types-of-electronic-keyboards/