The 5 Best Keyboards for Worship

Editor’s Choice

  • Weighted keys provide an excellent feedback
  • The keyboard delivers a similar resonance to that of a grand piano but on a smaller scale
  • Perfect for beginner and intermediate players

Best Overall

  • Superb keyboard action
  • Has 9 nine drawbars for live-action
  • Has advanced emulators for great EP sound

Budget-Friendly

  • It has a Free Smart Pianist App to control voices, rhythms and settings
  • The size is compact and great for smaller spaces
  • Great for amateur keyboard players

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best keyboards for worship is then I’d recommend Roland RD-2000 Premium 88-key Digital Stage Piano as the best one.

As I grew into my faith, I needed to attend church at least once a week. I would listen to the soft and beautiful melody coming from the keyboard as we usher ourselves to the humbling experience of being inside the House of God. 

The church choir is the heart of the worship service. The choir and band is the perfect accompaniment to the other different roles during the church service. That is why picking the best keyboards for worship will help you achieve your position as a pianist.

Here are the Best Keyboards for Worship we will be reviewing:

Why Choose a Keyboard for Church Worship?

Plato once said that “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” The music we hear in the church embodies our love and faith in God as our Father. It is our way of expressing ourselves through a medium that best encapsulates our devotion to God.

The keyboard is one of the best instruments for church worship because it exudes an elegance that we can all attribute to the divine presence. A keyboard has the versatility of an electronic piano and it enables you to choose many different kinds of sound to best suit the music you want to play. It also helps that keyboards are cost-effective to buy and maintain.

How to Choose the Best Keyboards for Worship

There are a variety of piano keyboards in the market. Choosing the best one for your Church will depend on what you are trying to find as a musician. Consider these factors when choosing the best keyboards for worship.

Type of Keyboards for Worship

Worship keyboards come in many different types. Here are the ones that are most commonly used during church worship:

Keyboard Workstation

If you want to create music, you may want to consider this keyboard option. Keyboard workstations generally have more synth sounds and effects that you can use to experiment with what kind of music you want to make. You can use them to create a piece of loop-based music as well.  Many worship songs and performances use the same features. This keyboard type comes in different sizes and has a weighted piano feel.

MIDI Controller

The MIDI controller helps you connect to different devices that make and control sounds. It can sequence data from computers, synthesizers, and samplers as well. It lets your keyboard process the sounds from different virtual instruments that you chose to play. It is the most common type of keyboard that you see keyboardists play during concerts.

Stage Piano

This keyboard type is portable and it makes it easier for you to transport. The stage piano is designed for live performances. It has a limited inventory of sounds which are the acoustic piano, organ, and electric piano sounds. The quality of sound more than makes up for it. Stage piano does not have built-in speakers. So stage pianos have to connect to an amplification system.

A stage piano will be your best choice if you are looking primarily for piano sounds. They typically concentrate on electric piano sounds with realistic piano action. Stage pianos are semi-portable but have a hammer action, fully weighted keyboard.

Sound Quality

Good quality music comes from good quality instruments. The sound quality of the keyboard should determine whether you should buy it or not. High-quality sounds attract listeners to enjoy the music they are hearing. So as a keyboard player, this kind of factor matters to you. 

One factor to consider is good piano sounds. Take advantage of the good piano sounds your keyboard has to offer.

Weight of the Keyboard

If the keyboard will not be a permanent fixture in the church, you’ll consider the actual weight of the keyboard. The weight of a full-sized keyboard with 88 keys is around 40-50 lbs. That is one big haul after the church service!

Weight of the Keys

Professional pianist prefers keyboards that have weighted keys. Weighted keys emulate how an acoustic piano feels and plays. But the weight of the keys depends on the style of your music. Semi-weighted keys are doable for aux key players. 

Number of Keys

For most keyboardists, I would recommend the full set of 88 keys. A full-size keyboard can play the entire range of bass and treble notes.

Price

The price always matters. Some keyboards are very expensive. If you have a flexible budget, go for the more professional keyboards. They have more features compared to cheaper ones. But if your budget is restricted, go for what your money is worth. It’s best to set a budget that you can easily afford without breaking the bank.

Digital keyboards are very cost-effective. They are much more affordable compared to acoustic pianos. Additionally, digital keyboards have low maintenance since they don’t need to be tuned.

How to Play the Keyboard in Worship

Here are some steps on how to play the keyboard if you want to be in the music ministry. 

Start with the basics

It is never too late to learn new things, especially when you want to dedicate time to something that matters to you. The best musicians started as amateurs as well. It is okay to make mistakes. You should learn from them so it will make you a better keyboard player in the future.

Learn to read chord charts

To be an effective keyboardist, you should be able to read music sheets and chord charts. Some musicians learned to play by ear. It may take some time to memorize all the chords but you will get there. 

Practice playing the different keyboard chords

Major, minor, and sus chords are a staple to learning different keyboard chords. Start slowly by alternating your fingers into different sets of keypads.  Familiarize yourself with the position of the keypads. It is a constant rinse and repeat process that may get tedious as time goes on. But you will see the results in time if you dedicate yourself to practicing.

Harmonize with other instrument players

In the music ministry, there is usually more than one playing the instrument. Most times, your sense of rhythm may not coincide with the other player. That is why it is always advisable for bandmates to take the time to schedule for band practice. 

How to Lead the Keyboard to Fast Worship Songs

During the church service, we always hear the keyboard player lead almost every single song in the church. Here are some guidelines on how to lead your congregation in worship. 

Know your place

Understanding your place in the music ministry is a big thing. Remember that you are not the only one calling the shots. Make sure that you do not dominate the other musicians. The band is not focused on you. But it is an entirely different story if you are the only member of the worship team. Stick to your role and do your part.

Familiarize yourself with your keyboard

In the actual performance, you will be experiencing a lot of distractions. You may miss some parts of your cue if you are not familiar with your keyboard. If you still find it hard to read the chords while playing the piano, consider memorizing the chords before a performance. You should do a few warm-up exercises before the actual performance as well. 

Know as many songs as you can

As a keyboard player, you must know all the chords to the songs you are playing. There are a lot of Christian songs out there and learning new songs can look a bit challenging. Ask for recommendations from your congregation.  Draw inspiration from the people around you so you can learn as many songs as you want. 

Finding the best keyboards for worship can be pretty intimidating. It’s a tough decision especially with the thousand of keyboards in the market today. So we created this list to save you the hassle of tons of trial and error. 

Roland RD-2000 Premium 88-key Digital Stage Piano

The Roland RD-2000 Premium 88-key Digital Stage Piano portable keyboard for church worship comes in a wonderful shade of black and a sturdy keyboard stand to complete the set. It has two independent sound engines that remove the need to create and mix sound effects from scratch. This feature will save you time whenever you are performing in front of the congregation. 

The sound engines installed on the Roland RD-2000 digital piano will make your music sound better for your live performances. There are instructions in the manual that comes with the product for new keyboard players as well. The Roland RD-2000 acoustic piano keyboard is equipped with weighted keys for a more realistic piano playing experience.  This is the best keyboard if you want the best quality.

Pros:

  • Superb keyboard action
  • Has 9 nine drawbars for live-action
  • Has advanced emulators for great EP sound
  • Product weight less than 50lbs for better transport
  • A good replacement for a traditional grand piano
  • Each note quality is easily customizable

Cons:

  • When percussion sounds are enabled the upper drawbars get canceled
  • The user interface sets up inefficiently

Roland FP-90 Premium 88-key Portable Piano

The Roland FP-90 has the SuperNATURAL piano technology program installed. This means that there are three key elements on the keyboard that are improved. This is a powerful keyboard for many churches because it is packed with so many features.

The elements include a quick velocity response, keynote decay, and key-range behavior. Roland FP-90 has many sounds you can choose that range from electric piano songs to synth sounds. There are four speakers installed to produce a rich and powerful sound ideal for faith-centered live performances. 

You can even connect your smartphone and tablet via Bluetooth wireless connection to play songs on the keyboard speakers. 

Pros:

  • A smooth keypad action for seamless transitions
  • An adjustable option available for keypad weights
  • Features of the keyboard are fun to explore
  • It has a screen that shows the current status of the keyboard

Cons:

  • Requires a professional studio headphone to deliver a better piano sound
  • Consumer headphones aren’t applicable 
  • It only comes with a single damper pedal
  • Sounds may be too synthetic for some

Roland JUNO-DS 88-Key Weighted Action Keyboard

Equipped with the popular sounds from the JunoDi, the Roland Juno-DS is the perfect travel companion. It has built-in batteries that can last for hours and it has lesser baggage than the average piano keyboard. The Roland Juno-DS features hands-on knobs and sliders situated for access to help you easily manipulate sounds. 

Whenever you want to create a beat to accompany your music, the eight-track pattern sequencer installed on the keyboard will help you develop many song ideas. Plus, the Roland Juno-DS has downloadable sounds that you can download from your computer and transfer to add more keyboard sounds.

Pros:

  • There are more than 1000 different sounds to choose from
  • The weight of the keys feels good to the touch
  • It has a great build quality
  • Ambient pads are perfect for church worship
  • Controls are intuitive 
  • Hammer-weighted keys are great for amateurs

Cons:

  • The keyboard unit is complex
  • It takes time to learn the ins and outs of the keyboard
  • Many features need to be accessed on a small electronic screen

Roland GO PIANO 88 Digital Piano Bundle

The Roland GO 88 digital piano bundles come with an adjustable stand, a keyboard bench, a deluxe sustain pedal, a DVD instructional guide, and an Austin Bazaar polishing cloth. So all these items are up for grabs for the price of one. 

Installed with a SuperNATURAL piano sound engine, this piece of modern technology adds a powerful sound to your keyboard playing performance. The product doesn’t use sample looping but it does have a 22-watt stereo speaker system that is great for room playing gigs. 

Pros:

  • Weighted keys provide an excellent feedback
  • The keyboard delivers a similar resonance to that of a grand piano but on a smaller scale
  • Perfect for beginner and intermediate players
  • The keyboard stand and bench are easy to assemble
  • There are more octaves on the keyboard than in previous models

Cons:

  • The foot pedal isn’t of good quality
  • The free music holder doesn’t angle correctly
  • Some nubs from the keyboard don’t fit with the stand
  • Speaker quality does not sound loud enough at maximum volume

Yamaha P125 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano

Like most Yamaha products, the features in this keyboard are similar to an acoustic piano keypad weight. The Yamaha P125 includes a split mode that allows you to assign one sound to the lower half of the keyboard and another to the upper half. This lets you play songs that generally use two instruments. 

The Yamaha P125 is a Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) 88-key piano keyboard like an acoustic piano. The 88 keys provide a heavier touch in the low end and lighter touch in the high end.

The Yamaha P125 also has a feature that connects you to your smart device so that you can select through a variety of rhythms and voices. Adjusting the keyboard settings can be done through your smartphone or tablet. The Yamaha P125 also comes with a manual that contains helpful tips for beginners.

Pros:

  • It has a Free Smart Pianist App to control voices, rhythms and settings
  • The size is compact and great for smaller spaces
  • Great for amateur keyboard players
  • Cheaper than most keyboards
  • Yamaha has a warranty program you can avail

Cons:

  • The sustain pedal is small and not of good quality
  • You may experience a delayed tonal response on the keyboard
  • It has a poor sustain resulting in a shortwinded tone
  • When the keyboard is restarted the selected voice is not recalled

Conclusion

The keyboard is an integral part of the worship team. Some churches that don’t own an organ or a piano may feel like their options are limited. Buying the best keyboard is a perfect way for your congregation to enjoy worshipping the Lord. Keyboards are a great way to add life to your music ministry. They are generally portable and cheaper compared to a piano or organ.

I recommend the Roland RD-2000 Premium 88-key Digital Stage Piano to all aspiring and experienced Christian keyboard players. This bundle contains two items: the 88-key keyboard and a portable keyboard stand. It is the best keyboard for worship because of its compact design and advanced features. This keyboard is lightweight so it is easy to carry from place to place. 

Alex Shute
AUTHOR
Alex Shute
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow. In his free time, he enjoys perfecting pour-over coffee, smoking meats, and discovering new cycling routes around Southern California.