When looking for your first keyboard, a step-up model or professional instrument, you will notice a huge variety of options available of different prices, functions and levels. It may be difficult to find the instrument you need that is tailored to your budget and purpose, therefore, we have put together this helpful guide to lead you right to your perfect keyboard. Consider what you are going to be using the keyboard for Portable keyboards are used for a range of different purposes and every musician will have different requirements. For example, if you are a beginner, you should lean towards a good student model that has everything to get you started and perhaps some lesson functions as well without making things too complicated. If you are a professional musician, you will have a lot more specific requirements and you would be looking for a high-performing keyboard with lots of features, options and functions as well as probably good amount of connectivity for MIDI Communication or amplification. Or maybe you just appreciate a good piano sound and do not want the keyboard to be overloaded with voices and rhythms, so you may want to opt-out for a piano style keyboard. Either way, you should definitely establish what will be the purpose of your instrument before shopping for one. Have a set budget in mind Once you have decided on the type of keyboard you need, the next thing to do is check your finances and decide how much you are willing to spend on your keyboard. Of course depending on which features you need, there will be an approximate price bracket you will need to bear in mind. A beginner's keyboard would usually cost between £79.00 and £259.00. Intermediate keyboards would typically range between £199.00 and £549.00 with the professional models starting from around £699.00 going up to £3999.00 mark. So when you are searching for the best keyboard for you, it is important to consider these price brackets and the budget you have available. Make sure you stick with it and go for the model that covers all aspects of what you need. If you do struggle to find the instrument you need within your budget, you can always consider applying for a finance scheme to help you split the cost. Establish which features you need and stick to it After considering your budget, it is extremely important to decide which features you would need. If you are a beginner and are not looking to take up lessons, you will probably find that having a lesson facility would be almost essential. If you want to experiment creatively, you may want a keyboard that has a good range of voices and rhythms as well as recording functions and some effects as well. If you are a professional and are looking for an arranger style keyboard, you would probably be looking for something that has plenty of voices and rhythms to choose from as well as arranger functions such as arpeggiator, more advanced effects, vocal harmonies etc. And if you are just looking for a piano-style keyboard, you are probably better off opting for an instrument with fewer 'bells and whistles' and one that has the best possible piano sound and response. Bottom line is, make sure you go exactly for what you need and choose a model that is best tailored to your needs. Choosing the best keyboard for you If you do have a chance to try out a few keyboards before buying the one, it would certainly be very beneficial. When trying a keyboard in the shop, make sure to try a few different brands and models of different prices. Make sure to try out all the features you will be using and see how comfortable you are operating the keyboard in general. Another key feature is great sound quality and how responsive and expressive the instrument is, so do pay attention to those aspects. Don't be afraid to ask any questions and try out as many options as possible to make sure you have selected the right instrument for yourself. If you do not get the chance to try out the keyboards you are interested in, there are usually plenty of videos and reviews available online so that you can listen to the sound of your potential instrument and also read what other musicians think. If you do need any further help or advice, please contact our sales team on 01283 535333 option 1 or email sales@normans.co.uk - we are all musicians just like you and will be happy to help. You may also be interested in: Buying A Keyboard: A Complete Guide Buying A Digital Piano | A Helpful Guide