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Top 3 Best Keytars | Rated & Reviewed (2023)

Before to say in detail I just picked three different cheap keytars and also the best keytars for the beginner and advanced player.

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Keytars: A Quick Overview

Best Keytars

A keytar is a type of electronic keyboard that is designed to be played in a standing position, with a strap like a guitar. Keytars were first introduced in the 1980s as a way to combine the sound and functionality of a keyboard with the freedom and movement of a guitar.

They quickly became popular among musicians who wanted to add a visual element to their performances and were particularly popular in the new wave and synthpop genres. While Keytars have gone in and out of fashion over the years, they remain a unique and distinctive instrument that is favored by performers who want to add a touch of showmanship to their live shows.

Let’s get started!

Best Keytars for Beginners

1. Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 – Best Wireless Keytar

The Alesis Vortex Keytar is one of the most popular Keytars in the market. As a MIDI controller keyboard, I have enjoyed playing this keytar for many years. Vortex 2 is a version of the Alesis vortex.

For the Vortex 2, the durability was improved for on-stage and travel durability, as well as battery life.

Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 Features

  • 37 velocity-sensitive keys with aftertouch, providing a wide range of expression and control
  • Pitch bend and modulation wheels, ribbon controller, and assignable knobs for dynamic control of sound
  • Built-in accelerometer and gyro sensors for motion control and triggering of effects
  • Wireless connectivity via Bluetooth or USB receiver for easy integration with a variety of setups
  • Compatible with a wide range of software and hardware synthesizers, samplers, and sequencers
  • Lightweight and ergonomic design, with an adjustable strap for comfortable and versatile playing positions
  • Long battery life of up to 7 hours, with the ability to charge via USB for added convenience
  • Bundled with software including Ableton Live Lite and Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech for a complete music production experience.

YouTube video of Alesis Vortex Wireless 2

2. Roland Ax-Edge Keytar

In my opinion, the Roland Ax-Edge is the best Roland Keytar.

I was impressed with its extra Bluetooth MIDI capacity features and its ability to last up to 4 hours on rechargeable batteries.

Roland Ax-Edge Keytar

Roland Ax-Edge Features

  • Available in black or white with a sleek, modern design that’s sure to turn heads on stage
  • 49 full-sized keys with velocity and aftertouch for a comfortable playing experience
  • Wide range of customizable sounds, including SuperNATURAL acoustic and synth tones, plus an onboard vocoder with mic input
  • Unique and eye-catching LED light strips are built into the body of the keytar, with customizable color and pattern options
  • Dedicated software editor for deep customization of sounds and settings
  • Versatile performance controls, including a modulation bar, ribbon controller, and assignable knobs and buttons
  • Wireless connectivity via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, with compatibility for the Roland Ax-Edge Editor app for iOS and Android
  • Durable construction with a metal frame and high-quality components for reliable performance on stage or in the studio

See the performance of Roland Ax-Edge

3. Yamaha Vocaloid Keyboard VKB-100

The Yamaha Vocaloid Keyboard VKB-100 is a unique and innovative instrument designed for vocal synthesis and manipulation. It allows users to create realistic vocal performances using a combination of keyboard input, live effects processing, and Vocaloid software technology.

Yamaha Vocaloid Keyboard VKB-100 Features

  • 37 full-sized keys with velocity and aftertouch for expressive playing
  • Includes Yamaha’s Vocaloid technology for realistic vocal synthesis and manipulation
  • Vocaloid software allows users to create custom vocal performances and apply live effects processing
  • Dedicated controls for pitch, vibrato, and other vocal parameters
  • Built-in arpeggiator and phrase recorder for easy composition and performance
  • USB connectivity for integration with DAW software and MIDI controllers
  • Compact and lightweight design for easy portability and performance on stage or in the studio

See the unboxing of the Yamaha Vocaloid Keytar

6 Tips for Playing the Keytar while standing up

  1. Adjust the strap to the appropriate length: Make sure the strap is adjusted so that the keytar sits comfortably on your body. It should be at a height where you can comfortably reach all of the keys.
  2. Keep your back straight: Standing up straight will help you maintain good posture and reduce the risk of injury or discomfort during long performances.
  3. Use your feet: If your keytar has a sustain pedal or other foot controls, make sure they are within easy reach so you can use them while playing.
  4. Find a stable stance: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and distribute your weight evenly between both feet. This will help you maintain your balance while playing.
  5. Practice with a mirror: Use a mirror to check your posture and playing technique while standing up. This will help you identify any areas that need improvement and ensure you are playing comfortably and efficiently.
  6. Take breaks: Playing the keytar standing up can be physically demanding, so make sure to take breaks when needed to rest your arms and legs.

Famous Musicians Who Play The Keytar

  1. Herbie Hancock: Hancock is a jazz and funk keyboardist who is known for his innovative use of technology in his music. He is credited with popularizing the keytar in the 1980s, and he frequently used it in his live performances and recordings.
  2. Prince: The late Prince was a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who was known for his flamboyant and energetic stage performances. He frequently played the keytar in his live shows, using it to add a distinctive visual and sonic element to his performances.
  3. Stevie Wonder: Wonder is a legendary soul and R&B musician who has been blind since birth. He is known for his incredible musicianship, and he frequently played the keytar in his live performances, using it to add a modern twist to his classic sound.
  4. Jan Hammer: Hammer is a Czech-American keyboardist who is known for his work in jazz, fusion, and progressive rock. He played the keytar extensively in the 1980s, using it to create innovative and futuristic sounds that were ahead of their time.
  5. Vince Clarke: Clarke is a British musician who is best known for his work in the electronic music groups Depeche Mode, Yazoo, and Erasure. He frequently played the keytar in his live performances, using it to add a visual element to his synth-driven music.

These are just a few examples of famous musicians who have played the keytar. The instrument continues to be a popular choice for performers who want to add a touch of showmanship and innovation to their music.

Guess Who Invented The Keytar

Here’s a discovery I certainly wasn’t aware of: The inventor of the keytar is a musician by the name of Prince R. Nelson, aka; Prince, aka; the artist previously known as Prince!

That’s right. Not only was Prince an award-winning singer, songwriter, and musician, he was also an inventor.

Prince designed the keytar for his keyboardist, Tommy Barbarella.

Originally dubbed the “Purpleaxxe”, the design of the instrument appears to have been inspired by the glyph that served as Prince’s name for a good portion of the 90s.

Creating a hybrid keyboard with the freedom to move around on stage as if playing the guitar suddenly opens up new performance opportunities for keyboard players.

No longer bound to sitting on a piano/keyboard stool, the keytar offers a great way to shake things up on stage by allowing the keyboard player to rock & roll!

FAQ’s

Wired Or Wireless?

Most are wired. However, with the Bluetooth technology, some are wireless. Wireless keytars are literally terribly reliable because Bluetooth technology has gotten higher over the years.

Why is the aesthetic an important aspect to consider when buying a keytar?

Is your instrument esthetically pleasing, and will the planning of it alter you to hide most ground on stage? Some will look very cool and even have a design that’s sleek and works for the musician.

How to clean your keytar?

A cleaning hack that I learned as a traveling musician is to use some alcohol in terribly small amounts. This kills the odor from sweating on your instrument, and it conjointly cleans the keys nicely.

The good issue concerning alcohol is it dries quickly. Thus it won’t leave your keytar wet. The issue with this can be to only place a tiny low quantity on a napkin so slowly rubs the required space to wash.

What criteria should I consider for my keytar strap?

With the Alesis Vortex, the strap was the sole issue that wasn’t high-quality. You don’t want a crazy pricey strap since the newer models are usually very lightweight, so just find a good quality strap and a reasonable price.

How do wireless keytars transmit MIDI data?

The Alesis Vortex transmits MIDI data through a USB wireless receiver that plugs into your laptop or portable computer, permitting your keyboard to transmit MIDI data to the electronic device.

One issue I like to recommend is getting a couple of the dongles since they’re low-cost and simple to lose. The USB dongles do feel a touch on the cheaper facet. Thus it additionally makes Pine Tree State feel more well-off.

Are they hard to program?

No, they’re really fairly straightforward to program, and also, the technology is advanced as way as MIDI goes. I actually just like the Vortex and also the Roland Ax-Edge due to their easy use.

Are keytars easy to play?

Keytars don’t seem to be implausibly troublesome to play, particularly if you’ve got a background with piano. I picked it up rather quickly as I’ve competed for piano for therefore, a few years. Personally, I feel it’s an excellent instrument to leap into.

What case should I use?

I recommend obtaining a case that will air the cheaper facet. I’m presently employing a keyboard case that’s a tough case. However, you wouldn’t essentially like a tough case. I actually have noticed that forty-nine key keyboard cases work best as cases for keytars.

A tip here is that these instruments work a small amount otherwise than traditional keyboards. Therefore, obtaining a case that comes with foam or simply getting some low-cost foam will very facilitate for cover.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of keytars?

The drawback is that the inner sounds intrinsically are generally not the most effective sounds. It was conjointly accustomed to being extraordinarily serious, which was a fairly huge disadvantage.

The biggest advantage is that it permits you to manoeuvre around. Having quality for a live show is, therefore, necessary to swing on an excellent show for the fans. Another advantage of exploitation is that newer instruments are principally MIDI controllers additionally. This is often what’s getting to provide your keyboard with unlimited sounds and utterly wipe out the actual fact that the inner sounds aren’t the best.

How to use a laptop with a keytar?

To use a portable computer with a keytar, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Connect your computer to your keytar: Depending on the type of keytar you have, you may be able to connect it to your computer using a USB cable or via Bluetooth. Check your keytar’s user manual for instructions on how to establish a connection with your computer.
  2. Install software: To make the most of your keytar and computer setup, you may need to install software such as a digital audio workstation (DAW) or MIDI editor. These programs allow you to record and edit your keytar performances, as well as control and customize the sound of your instrument. Many DAWs and MIDI editors are available online for free or for purchase.
  3. Set up your keytar as a MIDI controller: Many keytars come with built-in MIDI capabilities, which means you can use them to control software instruments and plugins on your computer. To do this, you will need to set up your keytar as a MIDI controller in your DAW or MIDI editor. Refer to the user manual for your software for instructions on how to do this.
  4. Adjust settings and preferences: Once you have connected your keytar to your computer and installed the necessary software, you can begin adjusting settings and preferences to suit your needs. This may include customizing the sound of your instrument, setting up performance controls, or configuring your computer’s audio and MIDI settings.

With your computer and keytar connected, you can now use your setup to record and produce music, perform live on stage, or simply explore the creative possibilities of your instrument and technology.

Is It a Tough Transition To Play Keytar From Piano?

Transitioning from piano to keytar can be challenging, but it’s not necessarily a tough transition. Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Keytar technique: While the basic principles of playing a keyboard instrument remain the same, the physical technique required to play the keytar can be different from that of playing piano. Playing the keytar often involves standing up, using a strap, and using different types of performance controls, such as a pitch bend or modulation wheel, which may take some getting used to.
  2. Sound options: Keytars often have different sound options and settings than pianos, which can require some experimentation to find the right sound for a particular song or performance. This can be a fun and exciting process, but it can also take some time to get used to.
  3. Performance style: The keytar is often associated with a particular style of performance, such as pop or rock, that may require different playing techniques than classical piano music. However, this is largely a matter of personal preference and can be adjusted to fit any style of music.

Ultimately, transitioning from piano to keytar will depend on the individual musician and their level of experience and comfort with different types of instruments. With practice and dedication, it’s possible to master both piano and keytar playing and enjoy the unique benefits and challenges of each instrument.

Conclusion

My current favorite keytar is the Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 because of its cool look, wireless capability and battery life and the numerous options offered as a MIDI controller.

Happy Playing!

Jake
Jake
Passionately invested in the music world for over 20 years, Jake studied music for 14 years at the Royal Conservatory Of Toronto. He has a degree from Champlain College & Bishop’s University in Business & Music. He is the owner of Fly Away Music & Media Studio in Montreal since 2014, with over 500 happy artists recorded, mixed and mastered.

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