One of the most important pieces to your live performance is your keyboard. Whether you’re playing leads, bass lines, or chords, it’s crucial that you find a keyboard that allows you to play comfortably and doesn’t slow down your performance. You want something small enough so that it doesn’t take up too much room on stage but large enough so that you can actually play it well.

The best small keyboard for live performance is one that is light, easily transportable, and sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of travel. You’ll also want a MIDI controller with an intuitive layout so you can focus on your performance instead of searching through menus.

Some other considerations include whether it has aftertouch or not, how many keys it has (61-key keyboards are generally considered standard), what its dimensions are (smaller = lighter), and most importantly: how much it costs. The best small keyboard for live performance will be easy to carry around while still being able to withstand wear and tear when traveling.

Smaller-sized keyboards work best for live performance because they require less space and are easier to transport and set up. However, smaller keyboards also can pose a challenge when performing live as it becomes harder to play larger, more complex chords or switch between different sounds quickly. This article discusses how certain brands and models of small keyboard controllers have features that allow the user to perform more easily in such circumstances.

 Although highly expensive keyboards afford many advantages over inexpensive ones, all the products highlighted below cost under $1000 – which is still very expensive for a keyboard controller but within budget for musicians who plan on using the instrument extensively. There are, however, lower budget options available and users can map different parameters to different parts of the touch strip according to specific tasks.

Here You Might Also Go For Best Keyboard Workstation For Live Performance

Roland’s JUNO-DS 88-Key Lightweight Weighted-Action Keyboard with Pro Sounds is a powerhouse of sound and style. It’s the first keyboard with Roland’s new SuperNATURAL Piano engine, which delivers unparalleled realism in sound and feel. It also features the SuperNATURAL Sound Engine, which provides world-class sounds that are rich in tone color and dynamics. You can choose from more than 1,000 superb instruments covering everything from acoustic instruments to electronic synthesizers.

This keyboard is a great choice for musicians who want to add some extra weight to their playing. It has 88 weighted keys, and it’s very lightweight. This means that you can play for hours without getting tired. It comes with a large number of voices and effects, so you can create your own unique sound.

With Pro Sounds is a gig-ready instrument that gives you enhanced performance features in a lightweight design. It delivers the tone and feel of an acoustic piano with Roland’s SuperNATURAL Piano sound engine, including Ivory Feel-G Keyboard action. This lightweight, weighted action keyboard has 256 different voices and 128 preset songs.

It comes equipped with all of the acoustic and electric pianos, organs, strings, synths and other essential sounds found in the popular JUNO-Di—plus newly updated versi ons of classic Roland instruments like vintage electric pianos and analog synths. It also includes an expansion slot for downloading additional sound waveforms from Roland’s Axial website at no charge.

It features eight Phrase Pads for triggering samples and audio songs stored on USB memory, as well as a mic input and dedicated Reverb, Vocoder, and Auto Pitch effects for impressive vocal performances. The intuitive eight-track pattern sequencer with non-stop recording makes it easy to develop song ideas. With USB audio/MIDI and DAW Control mode, you can use for better performance.


  • USB control mode

  • Eight track pattern sequencer

  • Mic input

  • Free sounds available


  • No proper software

  • Sound issues

The Korg EK50L is a portable keyboard with 61 velocity-sensitive keys and onboard speakers. It’s great for making music on the go, and its lightweight and compact design make it easy to carry. The EK50L has an easy-to-read LCD display that shows you all your settings at a glance, as well as 128 internal memory locations for storing songs. This portable keyboard also features 400 high quality voices, including acoustic piano, electric pianos (including vintage organs), strings, brass, synth basses, and more.

It is a lightweight and portable keyboard that features high-quality speakers and a wide selection of tones. The 50-key model now includes high-output speakers for enhanced live performance. It features a built-in sound processor with 3 band EQ, plus reverb and chorus effects. The USB keyboard also has a USB port so you can connect it to your computer for use as a MIDI controller or to save your performances as audio tracks in WAV format.

It provides the capabilities to create music with both acoustic and electronic sounds. The onboard speakers can be used to amplify the sound of the instrument, as well as other devices such as smartphones or tablets.

It delivers incredibly expressive sounds that capture all the subtle nuances of a performance or recording. And thanks to its sound engine and high-output speakers, the EK50 is also ideal for live performances and home recording. The new MMT sound engine offers an expanded palette of electric piano sounds that capture every nuance of your playing style.  With its built-in speaker system and lightweight design, it is ideal for small venues where you need to be heard without being dependent on an external amplification system.


  • Built-in music bundle

  • Additional sounds

  • Powerful speakers

  • 61 velocity sensitive keys


  • No instruction for upgrading

Hamzer 61-Key Digital Music Piano Keyboard – Best orkstation Keyboard For Live Performance Instrument with Built-in Speakers, Bass, Drum, and more Sound Effects.

This is a digital piano keyboard that can be used by both professionals and amateurs alike. It has many features that will surely give you the best musical experience of your life. The Hamzer 61-key digital piano keyboard is an electronic instrument designed to provide users with high quality sounds in all kinds of music genres including rock, pop, classical music, and even reggae. This particular model has 61 keys which are fully weighted for a great experience when playing any kind of music. The built-in speakers are also great because they provide high quality sound that you can hear anywhere you go.

With a complete set of transparent stickers to label the piano keys in order to simplify and accelerate piano mastery, this multi-function keyboard piano features 61 keys, providing a traditional piano or organ feel for versatile learning and an exciting acoustic experience. The built-in stereo speakers deliver rich sound quality with adjustable volume. It comes with 10 demo songs and 100 instrument sounds so you can start playing right away. There is also a built-in metronome for keeping time while practicing.

This  Piano Keyboard is an ideal choice for any musician who wants to enjoy the benefits of playing the piano without the hassle of moving it from place to place. This portable keyboard features 61 keys, which are much larger than those found on most other keyboards in this price range, and they have a full 3-octave span. The keys also feature full-size velocity sensitivity that gives you greater tonal control over your music.

It is portable so you can take it anywhere. It has an audio input, output, and headphone jack. The keys are touch-sensitive so they respond to your touch. There are also drum pads included so you can play music like real drums.


  • Portable

  • User friendly

  • Flawless music

  • Record and playback option


  • Limited piano sounds

  • Loud on lowest settings

The Moog Subsequent 37 Analog Synthesizer is a monophonic, voltage-controlled performance synthesizer with an all-new sound engine that takes the classic Sub 37 to new heights. The Subsequent 37 features two discrete voltage controlled oscillators (plus sub octave) per voice, with continuously variable waveform selection between sawtooth, triangle, square/pwm and sine waves. It also has a noise generator which can be mixed with the oscillator signals prior to filtering. Additionally there are two separate filters per voice – one high pass and one low.

This Synthesizer is a performance-grade, analog synthesizer with classic sound and modern features. It’s the perfect choice for keyboard players who want to add some vintage flavor to their act. With its multi-colored front panel, this synth looks as good as it sounds. It has three oscillators that can be played independently or in unison mode for fat mono or polyphonic sounds. There are two sub octave generators and an external audio input for processing other instruments through the filter section.

This machine features a more powerful sound engine, oscillator calibration range from 22Hz-6.8Khz and note range at 8’ = 18 – 116. With its new design, the Subsequent 37 looks as good as it sounds. The new front panel is inspired by the original Minimoog Model D with an added touch of modernity that makes this synth stand out among other synthesizers.

The Moog Subsequent 37 analog synthesizer is a must-have for any musician interested in the history of synthesis and music. The Subsequent 37 has all of the features you would expect from a classic Moog synth as well as modern upgrades that make it an excellent choice for musicians looking to add some vintage flair to their sound.

This particular model comes with Duo Mode, which allows two performers to play together using only one keyboard. This is great if you want to give your bandmate control over the bass line or if you’re performing live.


  • Sound engine evolution

  • Multi drive

  • Duo mode sounds

  • Light weight

The product is very easy to use and it is highly recommended for beginners because of its simplicity in use. This is an electronic piano that has been designed to be user friendly, which makes it ideal for anyone who wants to learn how to play the piano.

The Korg SP280BK is a digital piano that offers an authentic acoustic piano touch and tone. It has 88-key weighted, hammer action keyboard with graded hammer response, the same as an acoustic grand piano. This digital keyboard features 3 pedals: damper, soft and sostenuto. With a built-in speaker system, this electronic keyboard can be used without connecting to external speakers or amplifiers. The SP280BK also features USB connectivity for MIDI recording and playback.

his powerful instrument features 88 weighted keys and delivers authentic vintage electric piano sounds that are perfect for live performance. It also offers a variety of expressive onboard effects, including reverb, chorus, flanger and delay. You can even edit your favorite patches to create custom tones! Other great features include an assignable control pedal input jack, headphone output jack.

A new sound source was created specifically for this instrument. It has an LCD display, which allows you to see what note you are playing and how much the volume is turned up. There are a variety of different sounds it can make, including electric piano, organ, flute, strings and many more. This digital piano also has drum patterns that you can play along with as well as metronome functions to help you keep time while practicing or performing.


  • Rich sounds

  • Hammer action

  • Easy to carry

  • Electric cord

  • 15W power consumption


  • Shipment issues with vendor

  • Keys are weighte

Best Small Keyboard For Live Performance – Buying guide

Built for live performances, the best small keyboards are typically lightweight and use minimal acoustic volume. They’re also available with features such as touch-sensitive keys and multi-instrument modes that make them a powerful tool onstage. 

Music’s always been one of life’s greatest pleasures and even though professional musicians are typically better equipped than amateurs, nowadays almost anyone has access to at least some basic musical instruments like keyboards or guitars. The problem for those who perform often is that if they don’t have room for all their equipment onstage (or if there’s not enough bandwidth), then anything small becomes an attractive candidate indeed!

Designing custom MIDI layouts

Making music on a computer is not just about ‘making’ new sounds, but also about performing it live. Therefore, the type of keyboard controller you get depends on your preference — some are made for hardware sequencers while some are made for making music using virtual instruments. If you’re into dance music then this post is perfect for you — because it’s all about live performance MIDI controllers that are light and portable enough to carry around.

Several keyboards have customizable controls that can be mapped to different functions depending on preference – for example, modulating delay levels instead of volume levels when switching between patches. This feature allows users to design relatively simple control setups can handle complex tasks like switching patches, playing chords, and controlling effects.

2 Touch strips

Although touch strips are found on most keyboards regardless of size, smaller sized units with touch strip control generally feature larger ones that are easier to manipulate. Some units with small keypads also include a touch strip above the keys (e.g., Akai’s LPD8) which allows one hand to control both functions simultaneously.

A drawback of this design is that the strip often cannot be used at the same time as some buttons or knobs because they are too close together; however, it does allow for more interactive performance (see video below). For example, in Ableton Live the touch strip above the keys can be used to control send levels and effects.

3 Display screens

Some keyboards with small keypads have LCD displays built-in that allow you to navigate through different menus and select patches without having to refer to a computer. This is useful for live performance because it allows users to preselect various parameters before being triggered by the computer.

Thus, reducing latency time between triggering a sound via MIDI notes or pads on an instrument and hearing the result through speakers/monitors. This also makes it easier to switch between patches in real time during a performance because there are no pop-up windows that take time to load. 

4 Multiple sound generation capabilities

Many keyboards of this size come with their own software synthesizers and allow users to create new sounds on the instrument itself without requiring a computer connection. This feature was introduced partly to address latency issues when triggering sounds from MIDI notes but also because computers cannot reproduce some complex sounds accurately enough for live performances.

However, controllers that have built-in synthesis capabilities only produce one type of sound at a time unlike ones that sync up with virtual instruments running on a separate DAW (e.g., Native Instruments’ Maschine Studio). Larger devices, however, have a wider range of sound generation capabilities.

5 Portability

Many smaller sized keyboards are designed to be used on the go and do not require an external power supply. They can be battery powered or run off a small USB cable that can easily connect to the computer into which it is being used – thus, reducing latency time between triggering a sound via MIDI notes or pads on an instrument and hearing the result through speakers/monitors. In addition, some models either contain built-in speakers or at least have 1/8 inch headphone output jacks (e.g., Akai’s APC mini) for group performances without monitors.

6 drum pads

It should have pads – This feature really helps when laying down drum tracks . Playing drums on an 88-key keyboard won’t always be comfortable. Keyboards that have drum pads are perfect for live performances because you can use them to lay down beats and rhythm tracks in real time.

7 weight

It should be lightweight – You don’t want your controller (and all its controls) to be too big, heavy, or difficult to carry around. This is why it’s important for your keyboard controller to allow you the freedom to pick it up and move it easily from one place to another.


After reading this post of Best Small Keyboard For Live Performance, you should have a better understanding of the best keyboards for live performance. The keyboard is an integral part of any musician’s set up and it can make or break your sound quality on stage.

Not to mention that if you’re playing acoustic guitar, piano, violin etc., then there are other factors that come into play when choosing the right instrument. If you want some more personalized advice about which type of keyboard will work best with your individual needs, please contact us! We’ll be happy to help out in any way possible. 

I’ve used a lot of keyboards from different price ranges and from different companies, but none have been as good as the equipment I currently use. If you’re looking for a compact option that’s lightweight but still has all of the features of a full-size instrument then Roland JUNO DS 88 Key Lightweight Weighted Action Keyboard with Pro Sounds is perfect for you–not only does it have an authentic weighted touch, but also pro sounds as well as USB connectivity.

It may be slightly more expensive than other products in its class, but considering how much time musicians spend onstage this investment could make sense financially too. It has all of the features you would need in a compact, portable keytar with great sound quality and durability. If you’re looking to buy one without breaking your budget, this is the perfect option!


Which keyboard is best for live performance?

The keyboard with the best keystroke response, so you can maintain momentum when playing live. If the keys don’t register touch accurately then you won’t be able to play live- or not do well at least! There are few things that interfere with musicality other than a bad key stroke because it disrupts rhythm and, in turn, tempo. Some of these disconcerting sounds include “needles down syringe” or “teeth clacking”. 

What is the best mini keyboard for music?

The number one most important feature is compatibility with your computer’s operating system. Does it work with Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux distributions? What kind of sound-generating chip does it use? The type of chipset used determines its power and capabilities. Remember always to check reviews–most important consideration. 

What keyboards do professional musicians use?

Most professional classical pianists will use a digital piano or synth, as some things can’t be as easily replicated with a phenomenal acoustic piano. There are some stages where an acoustic piano is used, but those cases are few and far between.

Musicians also play with so many different sounds and tones that they need to match them across all their work – which is why the industry standard for musicians who spend more than 20 hours a week playing is an electric keyboard.

Which keyboard is best for making music?

I would say it’s an issue of personal preference and trial and error. I started playing electric guitar first and found what worked well for me (an extremely light weight guitar without the fake sound), so I recommend finding a keyboard that suits your personal preferences first before buying anything. Typically, people who prefer more strike force on keys will find themselves enjoying weighted or semi-weighted keyboards more than those with synth action. 

How do you make music with your keyboard?

To create a melody on the computer, you select a “virtual instrument” from a list of different virtual piano layouts. Virtual instruments are different sounds that you can use to accompany your song. 

Once selected, you can map any note on the keyboard to it’s corresponding virtual key and have instant access to those notes. Pressing any key will play out the assigned sound according to its virtual layout. If there is no key mapped for a specific sound, then pressing that key will produce an error noise that no one wants! 

Do i need 61 or 88 keys

 There’s no such thing as too many keys.

Software is updated all the time, and it can often be frustrating when your favorite keyboard just isn’t up to snuff anymore. The good news is that plenty of keyboards serve both Mac and Windows operating systems and do so with relative ease. Plus, there are lots of layout options to choose from: QWERTY or AZERTY? Numeric or alphabetical? If you’re still not satisfied with the selection at the store, find a custom specialist who will create your ideal layout.

What is the most versatile keyboard?

Kinesis split keyboards are unique ergonomic keyboards that move the arms, wrists, hands, and fingers into an actual natural position. Rather than relying on resting one’s hands in unnatural positions on a flat surface to type, the keys are arranged in rows over a trackball pointer device. This gives you hand positioning modulation at your fingertips with ease of use not possible on conventional designs.