The Yamaha YPT-240 is a portable keyboard that is the perfect introductory model for beginners. Not only is it one of the best priced entry-level keyboards, it comes with a host of handy features, great sound, and compact and lightweight build, making it an ideal option for anyone seeking an affordable keyboard to start learning with.
While the YPT-240 is certainly a fine choice for anyone getting started, it may not be a good option for more experienced players. Advanced and intermediary players will likely find the keyboard lacking in appropriate features, but when it comes to beginner’s you couldn’t go for a better keyboard.
As a 61-key digital keyboard, the YPT-240 is on the smaller side, being among the most compact digital keyboards. This is quite useful for people still learning to play, as it’s not just less intimating to play with fewer keys, but it’s also much easier to take on the go.
Any experienced player will testify that the early stages of learning involves carrying your keyboard all over the place! From lessons to practicing session, beginner players tend to need more portability in their keyboard, and the YPT-240 certainly delivers on this front.
Of course, the lightweight build is somewhat attributed to the lack of advanced internal components, but that’s to be expected from a keyboard in this price range. However, beginners can’t go wrong with a compact and lightweight keyboard, especially younger players still at school.
Nothing is quite as off-putting for someone learning to play keyboard than having to lug around a heavy instrument, so the lightweight build of the YPT-240 is great for many players.
Similarly, being a 61-key model means the length of the YPT-240 is quite short. The 38-inch length is a good bit shorter than most standard 88-key models, which typically measure around 54-inches.
Again, this is only beneficial to beginners, as it makes carrying around the keyboard much easier. Practice is vital at early stages, so you need a keyboard that is easy to carry to various lessons and practice sessions.
As mentioned, the YPT-240 is a 61-key digital keyboard. While not that useful for experienced players, the smaller number of keys is a great option for beginners, as it makes learning the basics that bit easier.
Coming to grips with an entire 88-key keyboard is often overwhelming, so you can’t go wrong with fewer keys when learning the ropes. With that said, anyone that is serious about learning to play may find a keyboard with more keys beneficial in the long-term.
That’s not to say a 61-key model such as the YPT-240 isn’t a good choice, as you can always use this to come to grips with the basics before moving on to a keyboard with a full range of keys.
The keys themselves are responsive, reacting to how lightly you press down on them, although the responsiveness is somewhat basic. That’s to be expected on entry-level models such as the YPT-240, but it is still a good level to help beginners understand touch responsiveness.
Given the cost of the YPT-240, the keys are not weighted, which is to be expected in most models in this price range. The keys are non-lighted too, which is quite a disadvantage when considering how well-suited the YPT-240 is for beginners – it would be a fine feature to help with practice sessions and placements.
Another slight drawback regarding the keys is how they feel.
They feel notably plastic, so don’t replicate an acoustic piano that well, with the overall feeling being quite cheap. But when you consider the price of the keyboard, it’s less of an issue and more of minor setback, as it doesn’t impair learning.
The YPT-240 features AWM Stereo Sampling, which is one of the earliest sound engines developed by Yamaha. It is basic technology, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Remember, this is a keyboard designed for beginners, so the sampling technology doesn’t need to be world class.
In fact, the smooth sound produced is more than fine for most players getting started. A basic touch response feature is also included, which is a good inclusion for allowing beginners to get a feel for how pressing the keys effects the dynamic response of the tone.
One of the best features of the YPT-240 is the various sounds on offer. With up to 385 voices built into the keyboard, there is no shortage of sounds that can be produced. Countless instruments can be replicated, allowing every track to have a nice variety.
The selection of instrument sounds available is certainly impressive, including the likes of a grand piano, electric piano, organs, strings, percussion, brass, and much more. There is even a selection of sound effects to choose from, highlighting the versatility of the voices on offer.
Styles and Songs
There is a total of 100 accompaniment styles and 102 songs built into the YPT-240, which is a good selection for beginners. It makes learning that bit more enjoyable, as you can change practices up by playing along to different songs.
This great for leaning more diverse playing styles, so is a very useful feature, especially for younger players looking to learn some songs.
Yamaha Education Suite
To further emphasise how great the YPT-240 is for beginners, look no further than the Yamaha Education Suite. This is actually quite impressive for a keyboard in this price range, as you don’t always get a built-in education suite for such an affordable model.
The Yamaha Education Suite makes learning so much easier for beginners. Players can enhance their skills and better learn songs by using this feature, which is innovative yet simple to use.
It works by playing back any chosen song from the song back in the YPT-240. When playing in this mode, the song automatically adjusts to the tempo of the currency player.
So, you can get a feel for how to play the song at an easier tempo, slowly working your way up until you have a good grasp of the song. When considering the selection of songs available in the YPT-240, it’s an excellent inclusion that only reinforces how good a keyboard this is for novice players.
Sound and Effects
The YPT-240 utilises Ultra-Wide Stereo sound technology, resulting in a wide stereo image and all round good sound.
This is further enhanced by the inclusion of master EQ, which allows sound improvements to be made by adjusting EQ settings. When combined, players can create the optimal sound for various playing conditions.
Another well-known effect included with the YPT-240 is reverb.
This a popular feature and for good reason – it makes you sound like you are playing in a concert hall. While not an essential feature, it offers players the chance to understand how sounds are replicated in live venues, which is certainly helpful for any burgeoning musicians!
The chorus effect also works in a similar fashion. It helps to produce a much fuller, richer sound for instruments on the keyboard, like multi-layers of voice. It’s a nice feature and one that helps to round out the sounds, allowing the YPT-240 offer plenty of expressiveness to be conveyed when playing.
A built-in metronome is noteworthy feature of the YPT-240, and it’s yet another great inclusion for beginners. The reason for this is quite simple – a metronome helps to keep you playing in time.
As a result, keeping within the rhythm and pace of a song is much easier as you learn. It’s a great tool to help identify off-keys, essentially operating as a virtual teacher to steer players in the right direction.
Basically, you know you’re doing well if you keep up with the metronome, and you’ll have a clear indicator if you need to lower or increase your speed when playing to stay on rhythm.
The YPT-240 can be further enhanced by connecting to Apple mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad. There are many cool features to unlock by connecting to an iPhone, including the ability to control the keyboard from your mobile device.
This does require you to purchase the appropriate cable and download the necessary application however, although the app is readily available from the App Store. The cable needed is the –UX1, which simply connects your iPhone or iPad to the keyboard, allowing you to control various settings from your phone.
For instance, it’s a great way to control things such as pitch bend and modulation, which are easily adjusted from the device’s screen. Buying the cable is a bit of a nuisance however, but it is necessary as the YPT-240 doesn’t feature Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity.
This isn’t an essential feature, and not everyone will find that useful. But if you don’t mind splashing a little extra for the cable, then it is certainly cool to be able to connect your phone and keyboard, and some functions certainly have their uses.
Headphones and Speakers
The centre of the YPT-240 features two built-in speakers that produce a nice sound quality. They are found at the opposite ends of the keyboard, measuring 12cm and being powered using 2.5W amps. It’s certainly a good enough sound for most players starting out, but there are ways to enhance the sound.
For example, the YPT-240 also connects to external speakers. In this instance, it allows the keyboard to produce a much higher quality sound and is ideal for anyone planning on playing live or practicing with a better-quality speaker.
Furthermore, there is a headphone jack which is great for practicing without disturbing others. It’s worth noting that the jack isn’t a standard keyboard headphone size, but rather a 3.5mm.
This is actually a better option for most people, as 3.5mm headphones are more common, being the same used to connect to smartphones and computers. These are sold separately however, but there are some affordable options available, with the FC4 and FC5 recommended by the manufacturer.
A very cool feature included with the YPT-240 is the Melody Suppressor. By using an AUX-in connection, you can connect the YPT-240 to a computer device, allowing you to play along to your favourite songs.
When connected to an appropriate device, the YPT-240’s Melody Suppressor button reduces the lead vocals of a song. As a result, it’s easier to play along to a song, as you can focus on playing the backing track and not be distracted from the melody.
There are few considerations to make before buying the YPT-240. For instance, there is no guarantee that the keyboard comes with a power adaptor. While many retailers include the power adaptor, there is a chance you need to purchase it separately.
If not, the YPT-240 will need to be powered with batteries. While certainly handy, this can get quite expensive, as the YPT-240 require six AA batteries to operate. It drains them quite quickly too, so always make sure you have a power adaptor, or it becomes more expensive to run that it’s worth.
Similarly, you may want to consider buying a stand. Again, some manufactures include this, although this less common, so you may wish to consider buying a stand separately.
The Yamaha YPT-240 is a fantastic digital keyboard for beginners. It comes with an affordable price tag and plenty of useful features to keep novice players occupied.
Lightweight and compact, it offers exceptional portability, which is great for lessons and practice sessions. It’s a great keyboard for learning the basics, especially with features such as the Yamaha Education Suite and the built-in metronome.
The is certainly not perfect however. For instance, the 61-keys often limit the playing level you can reach, while the lack of weighted keys and the plastic material used for keys are somewhat off-putting.
If not careful, it may not come with a power adaptor or a stand, which means you’ll need to pay a bit more to get them
However, for the cost of the YPT-240, you can’t many complaints. If you have a child interested in learning the keyboard or have a mild interest in learning yourself, it’s a fine purchase and one that offers plenty of value for money.