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How to Buy Gifts for Piano Players (Holiday Gift Guide 2021)

Charmaine Li  /  Articles / Nov 20

Black Friday is approaching and the winter holidays are just around the corner. Now is the time to shop gifts for the piano players in your life!

If you’re not a pianist, buying a piano may feel intimidating. And even advanced pianists may not know what to get for a friend who’s just starting out. In this guide, we’ll take the guesswork out of shopping for you! Don’t stress—we’ll tell you how to buy piano gifts, what to buy, and for whom.

Table of Contents:

  1. How to Buy a Digital Piano
  2. Best Keyboards/Digital Pianos for Pianists of All Levels
  3. Piano Accessories
  4. Stocking Stuffers

*Note: This article contains affiliate links, which means we might earn a small commission from the product seller if you make a purchase. For more info, check out our privacy page.

Gifts for Piano Players: How to Buy a Digital Piano

Digital pianos make amazing holiday gifts for piano players of all levels. They’re compact, relatively inexpensive, and come in easily gift-wrappable boxes! They’re also perfect for beginners.

Now, you may have heard that acoustic pianos are far superior to digital ones. But today’s digitals are very sophisticated instruments. It is no longer universally frowned upon to learn piano on a digital keyboard. The trick is to buy a quality digital piano that checks the essential boxes:

✅ Try Before You Buy

If at all possible, try a piano before you buy it. How it feels under the fingers is subjective.

Now, this is more difficult if you intend to surprise someone with a new piano. But we still recommend trying a piano in-person if you can. If it passes your test, it’s more likely to pass the test of the person you’re buying for.

✅ 88 Keys

Aim to get 88 keys, even for a beginner. This way, you can access the full range of notes a piano has to offer. Even if you or your giftee don’t plan on playing complex music, you’ll run out of keys quickly if you get fewer than 88 keys.

If you can’t get 88 keys, 61 keys are the next best thing.

✅ Weighted Action

The action is how piano keys feel when you play on it.

Acoustic pianos can produce a wide dynamic range because how hard you press a key determines how loud you play. In recent years, digital piano makers have done a phenomenal job of imitating this mechanism.

Key feel can be a personal preference, but at the very least, buy pianos with weighted action. This means the keys will closely resemble that of an acoustic piano.

🎹 The Ultimate Guide to Buying Your First Piano 🛒

Shop with confidence! We’ve written this in-depth guide on how to buy your first acoustic or digital piano according to YOUR needs. You’ll also learn the history of pianos, how pianos work, and whether acoustic pianos are truly superior to digital ones.

READ IT NOW


Best Keyboards/Digital Pianos (All Levels) and Synthesizers

Still unsure? We’ve rounded up some top keyboards across three levels of piano skill: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

If you know a budding producer, we also have synthesizer recommendations for you!

Keyboards/Digital Pianos for Beginners (Least Expensive)

🎹 Roland GO:KEYS

Red keyboard - Roland GO:KEYS.

While it only has 61 keys, the GO:KEYS is a compact, lightweight instrument that packs a punch. It’s made a welcome appearance in many of our videos — Lisa has even gone stand-up piano boarding with one! If you want the full experience of 88 keys in a similarly compact package, check out the GO:PIANO88.

Buy Now:
Roland GO:KEYS
SWEETWATER | GUITAR CENTER

🎹 Roland FP-10

Black keyboard

The Roland FP-10 is low-profile and lightweight, but it’s a solid keyboard to learn on. Like the P-125, it has graded action and features Roland’s SuperNATURAL sound engine, which is renowned for its authenticity.

Buy Now:
Roland FP-10
REVERB

🎹 Yamaha P-125

Keyboard on stand - Yamaha P-125.

If you want to start on a solid keyboard, the Yamaha P-125 is a popular pick. This instrument has graded action, which means the bass notes are heavier and the treble notes lighter, which is how acoustic pianos work. You can watch Lisa review the P-125 here.

Buy Now:
Yamaha P-125 (stand sold separately)
SWEETWATER | GUITAR CENTER

🔥 Hot Deal Alert! 🎹

Get 90 days of Pianote membership with your Roland piano. What better reason to get started with playing piano today?

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Keyboards/Digital Pianos for Intermediate Players (More Expensive)

🎹 Yamaha P-515

Keyboard with music stand - Yamaha P515.

If you (or your giftee) are ready for the next step, check out the Yamaha P-515. This instrument takes musical realism to the next level with built-in Yamaha CFX and Bösendorfer sounds, and the Piano Room feature lets you customize your soundscape. Watch Lisa and Kaitlyn discuss this piano in this video.

Buy Now:
Yamaha P-515
SWEETWATER | GUITAR CENTER

🎹 Casio Privia PX-S3000

Shiny black keyboard - Casio Privia PX-S3000.

The Casio Privia PX-S3000 is a sleek, aesthetically pleasing keyboard. With 700 tones, 200 rhythms, graded action, and five sensitivity levels for greater dynamic expression, this is a fun instrument for pianists hoping to take their creativity to the next level. There is also an authentic, textured finish on the keys.

Buy Now:
Casio Privia PX-S3000
SWEETWATER | GUITAR CENTER

🎹 Roland FP701

You might recognize this as the Singeo piano! The beautiful cabinetry is designed to fit into small spaces. The piano itself comes with Roland’s signature SuperNATURAL sound engine, powerful dual speakers, and Headphones 3D Ambience. Comes in three color ways: sleek black, snow white, or light oak.

Buy Now:
Roland FP701
SWEETWATER | GUITAR CENTER

Silver keyboard on wooden stand in homey warm studio setting.
The FP701 hanging out in the Singeo studio.

Keyboards/Digital Pianos for Advanced Players (Most Expensive)

🎹 Roland FP-90X

Large keyboard with music stand - Roland FP-90x.

The FP-90X is the most advanced instrument in the Roland FP series, which is their flagship digital piano series. It has the same action as the RD-2000, but fewer features and a slightly less sophisticated sound engine. Still, this is a beautiful piano that comes in black or white. You can watch Lisa and Kaitlyn discuss this piano here.

Buy Now:
Roland FP-90X
SWEETWATER | GUITAR CENTER

🎹 Roland RD-2000

Keyboard with many buttons and knobs - Roland RD2000.

The RD-2000 is an 88-key stage piano built for gigging musicians. This piano features two sound engines and is encased in sophisticated aluminum. You can hear the supreme sound quality for yourself by watching our friend and professional pianist Erskine Hawkins demonstrate it here. Also check out the RD-88 one tier down.

Buy Now:
Roland RD-2000
SWEETWATER | GUITAR CENTER

🎹Dexibell VIVO S9

The VIVO S9 is the top model of Dexibell’s line of professional stage pianos. Dexibell’s True 2 Life technology includes unlimited polyphony and a combination of sampling and modelling technology, all encased in a beautifully designed interface.

Buy Now:
Dexibell VIVO S9
SWEETWATER | GUITAR CENTER

Lisa (woman with short platnium hair in loose pink shirt) playing white keyboard with blue knobs in comfy light room with crystals.
The VIVO S9 makes a graceful appearance in our Calming Keys lesson.

Synthesizers for Budding Producers

🎹 Yamaha Reface Series

Woman with short platinum hair and blue sweater holding up Yamaha Reface keyboard to the camera.

The Yamaha Reface Series recreates the sound of vintage keyboards from the 1970s. Each model has its own sound. For example, the Reface CP imitates the sound of e-pianos (like the Fender Rhodes) and is probably the easiest for a beginner to navigate. Meanwhile, the Reface FM makes for a good introduction to FM synthesis techniques.

Buy Now:
Yamaha Reface CP
SWEETWATER

Buy Now:
Yamaha Reface FM
SWEETWATER

🎹 Yamaha MX-61

Angled blue keyboard - Yamaha MX61.

The Yamaha MX series comes in three different sizes—49, 61, and 88 keys. These entry-level synthesizers are easy to use and connect to a DAW with a USB cable. The 88-key version has fully weighted key action so you can play expressive jazz, classical, and pop songs too! You can watch Lisa and Kaitlyn discuss the 61-key model here.

Buy Now:
Yamaha MX-61
SWEETWATER | GUITAR CENTER


Gifts for Piano Players: Accessories

Piano Equipment for Better Practice

The most important tool in a pianist’s arsenal is their piano. But accessories like benches, lighting, music stands, and pedals can really elevate the playing experience.

And if you’re comfortable practicing, you’ll naturally practice more 😉

🎶 On-Stage KT7800 Piano Bench

Collapsible piano bench.

A dedicated, adjustable piano bench is a must because it fosters good posture and correct technique. Technique isn’t just about playing fast; good technique can ensure someone keeps playing for years without developing tendonitis and pain.

Buy Now:
KT7800 Piano Bench
SWEETWATER | AMAZON

🎶 On-Stage SM7211B Music Stand

Tripod piano stand.

Many (but not all) digital pianos come with built-in music stands. If not, pianists should invest in a stable, durable, and trustworthy music stand to hold up their sheet music, chord charts, stationery, and whatnot. Here is Lisa’s pick.

Buy Now:
On-Stage SM7211B
SWEETWATER | AMAZON

💡 BenQ PianoLight

Modern lamp.

Lighting can make a big difference to the piano playing experience. There are specially designed piano lamps to help make the sight-reading experience more comfortable. Lisa is especially fond of the BenQ PianoLight.

Buy Now:
BenQ PianoLight
AMAZON

🎹 Roland DP-10

External piano pedal.

Pedals are one of the most important tools in a pianist’s toolkit. Try to avoid footswitches and make sure the pedal comes with a non-slip bottom. The DP-10 has an extended bottom that helps you anchor the pedal to the floor with your foot.

Buy Now:
Roland DP-10
SWEETWATER | GUITAR CENTER


Stocking Stuffers

Need a quick, inexpensive, but witty gift? Here are some cool piano-themed gifts we found around the web that your beloved piano person will appreciate!

🎹 Novelty Gifts

Piano stationery. When I was learning theory, my piano teacher gifted me a piano keyboard ruler that really helped me with understanding intervals and the Circle of Fifths.

Piano accessories. The black and white keyboard makes a good visual theme for gift items like socks, mugs, bags, and more. Here’s a creative gift idea: fingerless gloves for a piano player who always has cold hands! (We all know one.)

Roll-up piano. To be clear, we don’t recommend using this as your instrument to learn on! But roll-up and collapsible pianos are fun novelties for piano addicts on-the-go who have the itch to hammer out a tune between flights or in hotel rooms.

Cover of Why You Like It: The Science & Culture of Musical Taste. Book cover with colored circles.
Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste by Nolan Gasser. Click to buy on Amazon.

Henle sheet music. Henle is a premiere publisher of Classical sheet music. Their team of expert editors make sure their beautifully designed sheet music is true and accurate to the originals penned by composers.

Books. If you (or your giftee) love reading, we have these recommendations for you!

  • How Music Works by John Powell
  • Year of Wonder by Clemency Burton-Hill
  • Why You Like It: The Science & Culture of Musical Taste by Nolan Gasser
  • The History of Jazz by Ted Gioia
  • Pop, Rock, Soul by David Berkett


Pianote Merch

Pianote merch aren’t reserved for fans of Pianote. We hope piano enthusiasts of all stripes will find joy with these products designed by people who love music.

📝 Pianote Practice Planner

Black spiral bound notebook with grand piano logo and word "Planner."

One of the most challenging things about playing piano is knowing what to practice! This full-color, 198-page planner with resource pages is written by Lisa Witt and is lovingly designed by and for pianists. Take a look at all the features inside.

Buy Now:
Pianote Practice Planner
PIANOTE STORE

☕ Music Brings Happiness Mug

White mug with red inside, graphic outside

Take a break between practice sessions with this beautiful mug.

Buy Now:
Music Brings Happiness Mug

PIANOTE STORE

👕 Pocket Keys T-Shirt

Man and woman wearing grey v-neck Tshirt with keyboard pattern on left chest pocket.

Available in men’s and women’s sizes. Wear your love for the keys over your heart!

Buy Now:
Pocket Keys T-Shirt
PIANOTE STORE

👕 Grand Piano Hoodie

Man zipping up bright red hoodie.

This stylish, full-zip American Apparel hoodie is a cozy favorite.

Buy Now:
Grand Piano Hoodie
PIANOTE STORE

We hope this guide has helped you narrow down gifts for the piano players in your life! Happy holidays!


Charmaine Li is a Vancouver writer who has played piano for over 20 years. She holds an Associate diploma (ARCT) from the Royal Conservatory of Music and loves writing about the ways in which music—and music learning—affects the human experience. Charmaine manages The Note.

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