Essential Equipment for Beginner Piano Students

Written by Dorian Britton

As a composer and a performer, I strive to be the best musician that I can be. I push my boundaries to achieve new levels of musicality. This is the same reason that I love to teach! I enjoy seeing the faces of my students when they push through their boundaries and realize that they are capable of amazing things!

January 10, 2023

 Essential piano accessories: everything you need to get started playing the piano.

From a sturdy bench to crystal clear headphones, reliable sustain pedal and online learning software, these are the must-have piano accessories to help you get started.

Buying a piano is fun, exciting and inspiring – thinking about piano accessories is not. That said, the accompanying accessories we recommend here can make a real difference to your overall playing experience and shouldn’t be overlooked. Most people will put in a lot of time researching which is the best piano for them. From weighing up the benefits of going down the digital piano route or sticking with something more traditional, to what key action is best for their playing style, a lot of thought goes into choosing the right instrument. But when it comes to choosing the right bench or headphones, most people either don’t give them much thought or forget about them altogether.

So, to ensure you don’t forget anything and get the most out of your beautiful new instrument, we have put together this handy checklist of must-have accessories for piano. So, whether you are a beginner keyboard player looking to hit the ground running and fully kit yourself out, or an intermediate pianist looking to optimize their current set-up, we have you covered.

A solid, comfortable piano bench has to be the most important accessory you’ll buy for your piano. A well-made piano stool will not only ensure you are comfortable while sitting for hours and hours practicing, but it will also ensure you play with the correct posture. Now, benches come in various styles, and which you choose is dependent on your specific needs.

Adjustable benches – or a rise and fall bench – give you the ability to set the height of the stool to the perfect position, no matter who is playing the piano. These are great for young players, or even if you have multiple musicians in the household sharing one instrument.

The Roland RPB-300BK is a solid option if you find yourself wanting to go down the adjustable route.

As the name suggests, Storage benches include a compartment within the seat for storing books and other learning materials. So, again, sticking with Roland, we have the Roland RPB-100 and for a more budget-friendly option, we have the On-Stage KB8902B.

Obviously, one of the biggest advantages of going for a digital piano is the ability to practice day or night in peace and quiet with a set of headphones. Still, it’s worth taking the time to carefully consider which headphones you go for – as you really want to make sure you hear your piano at its best.

We strongly suggest avoiding earbuds. As convenient as they are when out and about, they aren’t large enough to reproduce the massive frequency range of the piano accurately – not to mention they aren’t exactly the most comfortable. So, for those reasons, we would recommend a set of over the ear headphones. Almost any set of studio headphones will do the trick. For beginners, we would recommend the budget-friendly Sennheiser HD-206. These headphones may be cheap, but as they are made by Sennheiser, they are robust, comfortable and sound fantastic. However, if you want to take your headphones to the next level, then the Beyerdynamic DT-770 is a solid option. These closed-back headphones will ensure you hear every detail of your piano.

It’s common for stage pianos – or portable keyboards – to come with a very basic sustain pedal, and although these may work, they aren’t the most responsive. We’d always suggest upgrading the basic sustain pedal with something more substantial if you can. We’re big fans of the Yamaha FC4, which will work with any piano with a sustain jack input.

Sticking with stage pianos and keyboards for the moment, you’re going to need a stand to sit your piano on. As stage pianos are typically 88 notes and weighted keys, we’d recommend going with a double-braced X frame stand. For more information, check out our guide to the best keyboard stands on the market.

While all pianos have a built-in music rest, they can be a little small, and it can be difficult to fit multiple pieces of music on them – not to mention heavy books. So it’s worth considering a sturdy music stand. We’ve got more choices and advice in our guide to the best music stands.

It’s safe to say that we are living in the golden age of information, with everything you’d ever want to know about the piano just a click away, as well as a wealth of online lessons. However, it can be challenging to separate genuinely informative lessons from standard YouTube videos. This is where Sonic Alchemy U comes in.

That said, sometimes there is no substitute for a quality tuition book, and there are countless options covering the subject of piano. From the basics of music theory to overall playing technique, classical concertos, to popular Disney songs, you’ll find a book to suit everyone.

Okay, we know this isn’t the most exciting item you can buy, and the monotonous tick can drive some people mad, but a metronome is a must-have tool for learning the piano. These ticking boxes have come a long way since the pendulum style of the old days and are now more advanced than ever. You can read our complete guide to the best metronomes for a more in-depth look into these timekeeping devices.

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