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One of the biggest issues I see when new students buy budget keyboards, those that are in the sub-$1000 range, is that they don’t get the right extras. Even though the makers call these accessories, I like to deem them as essentials. If you are interested in what brands and models I like, you can find that in a longer article on my website, Choose the Right Piano. The focus of this post is solely to make sure you get the three essential items you’ll need to outfit your piano perfectly!
You will probably find all of these items included if you shop in the mid-tier (between $1000 and $2000), or the premium keyboards (over $2000). It’s purely a marketing decision by the companies not to offer these types of items in their basic package to keep the price low.
Let’s Start Here
Speaking of marketing, this beautiful photo comes directly from the Yamaha USA website, where we see a keyboard sitting on a writing or accessory table. This is a good model, but not a practical set up. The table appears to be too high, and the keyboard is likely to be unsteady when played with any force.
The slope-back chair might be great for relaxed sitting, but terrible for playing the piano because we want to tilt our weight toward the keyboard. At least they included the full-size sustain pedal.
A Lot Better
This photo, from the same web page, shows the same instrument in what I consider an ideal set up, with the furniture stand and the 3-pedal unit. Once you add a bench, you are all set. I can’t speak for all brands, but on Yamaha keyboards, the 3-pedal unit is not compatible with their least expensive keyboard, the P-45. For that reason, you may have to choose the single full-size sustain pedal.
List of Three Essentials
External links frequently change, so I have instead provided photos of each item. You can Google these models for reference. When I shop for these types of items, I either buy them at a music store or at an online music specialty retailer like Sweetwater.
Yamaha BB1 Bench – Any flat bench with wooden legs will do. This well-known basic model is easy to put together and does its job. Benches are better than chairs because they permit lateral movement, though a flat chair works, too. Do not use an office chair with arms or one that slopes backward.
Yamaha FC4A Standard Sustain Pedal – If your piano came with the sad little square pedal, buy this to replace it. This model is pretty generic, working with some other brands like Roland and Kawai, but not all others. You could also choose the more expense half-sustain pedal, but I’m not sure a beginner will recognize the difference. Check for compatibility!
Yamaha L85 Piano Stand – If your instrument came with the X stand or no stand, get one like this. Much like the pedals, these also vary by model and brand. Check for compatibility!
I wish you much success in your music journey. Thank you for taking the time to Outfit Your Piano!