If you ask any keyboard teacher for advice on the best keyboard for a student, they will likely tell you that it should have a simple layout but also include all the necessary features for building a solid foundation.

What does this mean? While flashy keyboards with numerous knobs and buttons may be appealing, they can easily distract beginners from focusing on the essential skills. Moreover, starting out on a keyboard with complex controls can be intimidating for beginners, leading to lower confidence and motivation to learn, which is something no student should go through.

Yamaha, a highly experienced instrument manufacturer, understands this well. Their expertise is evident in all the instruments they produce, whether acoustic or digital. The Yamaha P80, an entry-level digital keyboard, is designed to meet the criteria for easy learning. As we will see, this keyboard has everything a beginner needs to develop relevant skills that will enable them to play on more advanced keyboards or even acoustic pianos.

Yamaha P80
Yamaha P80


The Yamaha P80 is an entry-level 88-key keyboard that features graded and weighted keys. For those unfamiliar with these terms, graded and weighted keys are designed to provide an authentic and responsive touch, making playing easier. This technology also aims to replicate the feel of playing an acoustic piano, giving learners a hands-on experience at a more affordable price point.

Yamaha even claims that the keyboard is virtually indistinguishable from an acoustic piano in terms of touch response, although this claim may be used for marketing purposes. However, using the keyboard for some time does indeed give the impression that it feels and responds like an acoustic instrument, with keys that have weight and resistance that increases towards the lower notes, similar to an upright acoustic piano.

One of the reasons Yamaha has been successful in the music instrument industry is their ability to provide high-quality equipment regardless of the price tag. Many entry-level keyboards are affordable, but often come with poor quality features and subpar sounds. However, this is not the case with the Yamaha P80.

Yamaha uses their best-selling acoustic instruments to create the sounds for their digital keyboards, including the P80. This means that you not only get a beginner-friendly keyboard for learning, but also one that produces amazing sounds, allowing you to create and enjoy quality notes and music. The P80 produces rich sounds with subtle nuances that only experts may notice, making it sound like a more expensive keyboard, but at a surprisingly reasonable price.


The Yamaha P80 may have 64-notes polyphony, which is not as high as some other entry-level keyboards that offer around 120-notes polyphony, but it is still sufficient for beginners to learn complex performances without losing notes in between. It also includes an inbuilt metronome for improved performance. What sets the Yamaha P80 apart is the wide range of features it offers. As a keyboard student, it can be embarrassing to think you have mastered playing the piano only to come across an advanced keyboard and realize there are features you have never heard of, let alone used.

Yamaha has taken steps to ensure that users of the P80 don’t encounter this issue. While they can’t include all the features and keep the keyboard within a user-friendly price range, they have made significant progress in delivering both basic and advanced features. This makes the keyboard suitable for both beginners and intermediate players, without making it overly complex for newbies to use. The panel remains simple and easy to navigate, with the features accessible through a few knobs and buttons. After a few days of use, you should be able to navigate through all these features with ease.


Another great feature of the Yamaha P80 that beginners will find useful is its weight and overall design quality. As a learner, you may need to carry your keyboard for learning sessions or to practice with friends, and having a portable unit is essential for that. The P80 is lightweight and highly portable, allowing you to transport and use it anywhere without complications. You can easily take it wherever your instructor or music group is, making it convenient for on-the-go learning. Its compact design and lightweight nature also make it ideal for those with limited space. The P80 can fit almost anywhere, leaving you with ample room to play the keyboard and for other purposes.


Another noteworthy aspect of the Yamaha P80 is that it comes with a music stand and pedal, which adds to its functionality. The music stand is designed to blend in with the overall look of the keyboard, giving it an elegant appearance when fully assembled. The pedal, however, may differ from those found in acoustic pianos. Beginners who have never used an acoustic piano may not notice the difference, but when transitioning to an acoustic instrument, it may take some time to get used to the new pedal mechanism.


The Yamaha P80 is equipped with various connectivity options that enhance its convenience of use. One notable feature is the dual headphone jacks, which allow you to connect the keyboard to a pair of headphones for silent training sessions. The ability to connect two headphones also enables you to practice with your instructor in silent mode, avoiding inconveniences to others around you.

The Yamaha P80 keyboard is equipped with a computer interface jack, which enables you to connect the keyboard to your computer or laptop for enhanced functionality and integration with music software or DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) applications.This enables you to play along with your device and practice with other songs from your computer. It can also function as a MIDI controller, adding to its versatility and potential for music production.


However, there are some downsides to the Yamaha P80 keyboard. One notable issue is the plastic keys. While they are easy to clean, plastic keys can be problematic in terms of durability. They are prone to breakage, and in the case of the P80, they can also produce an annoying clicking sound that can be irritating to both the player and those around them. This clicking sound can detract from silent training sessions, even when using headphones, unless the volume is turned up to the maximum. 

Another limitation of the P80 is the lack of built-in speakers. This is a common trade-off in many entry-level keyboards, as manufacturers focus on delivering a compact and lightweight design at an affordable price.

Yamaha P80
Yamaha P80


  • Keyboard: 88 keys with weighted action (Graded Hammer Effect)
  • Weight:  16.8kg (37 pounds)
  • Tone Generation: Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) Stereo Sampling
  • Polyphony: 64 notes
  • 88 keys with Graded Hammer Effect, providing a realistic and authentic piano playing experience.
  • Voices: 30 voices including pianos, electric pianos, organs, strings, and more
  • Effects: Reverb, Chorus
  • Demo Songs: 50 preset songs
  • Recording: 1 song, 1 track (approx. 11,000 notes)
  • Accessories: Music rest, Sustain pedal, AC adapter
  • Amplifiers: 12W x 2
  • Speakers: 12cm x 6cm x 2
  • Connectivity: MIDI In/Out, USB-to-Host, Headphones, Sustain Pedal
  • Power Supply: AC adapter (included)
  • Dimensions: Width – 134.7cm (53 inches), Depth – 28.5cm (11 ¼ inches), and Height – 12.8cm (5 inches).
  • The tempo range of the Yamaha P80 keyboard is 32 to 280.


In conclusion, the Yamaha P80 is a versatile and portable digital piano that is ideal for professional musicians, serious piano players, and music enthusiasts who require a high-quality instrument for performances, practice, and recordings. With its authentic piano feel, advanced features such as Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) technology for realistic tones, and 88-key weighted keyboard, the P80 provides a realistic playing experience. Its compact and lightweight design, built-in speakers, and various connectivity options make it convenient for gigging and recording setups. Additionally, features like the metronome, recording capabilities, and dual mode enhance performance possibilities. The Yamaha P80 is a reliable and well-regarded digital piano that delivers premium sound quality and performance capabilities for pianists of all levels.