Best Wireless and Wired Keytars

Best Wireless and Wired Keytars of 2024

The present-day live performance arena is engaging and developed as ever. With huge fireworks and pyros and re-adjustable stages, every band is stepping things up to a whole new level to keep the audience engaged.

With all these external techniques making a huge difference to the live experience arena, there has also been a re-emergence of the 80s style keytars to the live performances. Bands are starting to put an emphasis more than ever on how they look and interact on stage and this instrument makes it possible for keyboardists to cover the stage.

The old, yet new and improved instruments are now turning heads with elegant and unique designs and it just may be the new fling that you or your band need to make things interesting again.

Here is everything you need to know about keytars!

If you are in a rush, here is a quick rundown of everything:

Yamaha Sonogenic Keytar 37 Mini Keys Electronic Keyboard MIDI Controller with Yamaha Chord Tracker app and Bluetooth MIDI Wireless iOS Connectivity Bundle with Cables & Zorro Keyboard Cloth - Black
Behringer MS-1-RD Analog Synthesizer with Handgrip - Red
Top Pick
Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 - High-Performance USB MIDI Wireless Keytar Controller with Professional Software Suite Included,Black
Vocaloid Feature
YAMAHA VOCALOID Keyboard VKB-100【Japan Domestic genuine products】
Roland AX-Edge 49-Key Keytar Synthesizer (Black) includes Free Wireless Earbuds - Stereo Bluetooth In-ear and 1 Year Everything Music Extended Warranty
Yamaha Sonogenic Keytar 37 Mini Keys Electronic Keyboard MIDI Controller with Yamaha Chord Tracker app and Bluetooth MIDI Wireless iOS Connectivity Bundle with Cables & Zorro Keyboard Cloth - Black
Behringer MS-1-RD Analog Synthesizer with Handgrip - Red
Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 - High-Performance USB MIDI Wireless Keytar Controller with Professional Software Suite Included,Black
YAMAHA VOCALOID Keyboard VKB-100【Japan Domestic genuine products】
Roland AX-Edge 49-Key Keytar Synthesizer (Black) includes Free Wireless Earbuds - Stereo Bluetooth In-ear and 1 Year Everything Music Extended Warranty
Yamaha Sonogenic Keytar 37 Mini Keys Electronic Keyboard MIDI Controller with Yamaha Chord Tracker app and Bluetooth MIDI Wireless iOS Connectivity Bundle with Cables & Zorro Keyboard Cloth - Black
Yamaha Sonogenic Keytar 37 Mini Keys Electronic Keyboard MIDI Controller with Yamaha Chord Tracker app and Bluetooth MIDI Wireless iOS Connectivity Bundle with Cables & Zorro Keyboard Cloth - Black
Behringer MS-1-RD Analog Synthesizer with Handgrip - Red
Behringer MS-1-RD Analog Synthesizer with Handgrip - Red
Top Pick
Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 - High-Performance USB MIDI Wireless Keytar Controller with Professional Software Suite Included,Black
Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 - High-Performance USB MIDI Wireless Keytar Controller with Professional Software Suite Included,Black
Vocaloid Feature
YAMAHA VOCALOID Keyboard VKB-100【Japan Domestic genuine products】
YAMAHA VOCALOID Keyboard VKB-100【Japan Domestic genuine products】
Roland AX-Edge 49-Key Keytar Synthesizer (Black) includes Free Wireless Earbuds - Stereo Bluetooth In-ear and 1 Year Everything Music Extended Warranty
Roland AX-Edge 49-Key Keytar Synthesizer (Black) includes Free Wireless Earbuds - Stereo Bluetooth In-ear and 1 Year Everything Music Extended Warranty

Quick Navigation

What is a Keytar?

whats a keytar - cheap keytar for beginners

A keytar is an electronic keyboard that could be worn and played like a guitar, giving the player more flexibility and accessibility on stage than the normal keyboardist. Originally invented in the 1970s, they are now being resurfaced to the modern music stages of electronic music.

The keytar is mainly played with the same concept of the guitar. The right or the more dominant hand is used in handling the keys while the other hand is used to change tones and handling other features of the instrument. (I.e. volume, sustain, style, etc)

Although not the coolest instrument a fan would see in a live show when compared to the energetic bass lines, guitar riffs, and all the showstopping breaks of the drummer, this instrument has the potential to bring a different tone along with giving more mobility to the keyboardist.

The fans would see something more different and unique when they see their usual stagnant keyboardist running around the stage with his new instrument and hopping up and down to the drumbeats while jamming new parts with the keytar.


Keytars first came into light in the 1970s. The first production made for commercial purposes was extremely heavy and the designers had to remake it. The first name that was given to this instrument was ‘Syntar’. The Moog Liberation was the first keytar made for the public and it came out in 1980. It was widely regarded that the credits for this invention should go to the jazz guitarist Steve Masakowski.

It was created in hopes of giving keyboardists the freedom that a guitar player has. However, the extreme weight prevented this from happening and keyboardists didn’t want to wear them for full shows. However, as music technology has advanced, these instruments have advanced as well. The biggest advancement for these is their ability to be used as MIDI controllers.

Famous Musicians Who Play the Keytar

Herbie Hancock was one of the first musicians to play this instrument professionally. To this day, he still plays it live, though it’s not that frequent. Music giant Roland has been developing them for Lady Gaga and she has been playing them for several years. The instrument that Lady Gaga made famous was Roland Ax-synth. This custom-built keytar for the popular musician was designed in 2009. The most notable change for this custom masterpiece was the addition of an internal synthesizer. Another musician who uses this instrument is Tyler Joseph from twenty-one pilots.

Another example is the keytar bear from Boston. This character has been shredding and making headlines all around the US with his (or hers) bear outfits and playing. The bear typically uses a Roland Lucina and can be found all over YouTube playing with bands.

Matt Bellamy of Muse is also a joy to watch at. He does some incredibly cool solos and improvisation live with his keyboard. If you are a musician who wants to use the instrument as an improvisational instrument, it is highly recommended watching some live videos of Muse for Matt’s solos.

Things to Consider When Buying a Keytar

how to play keytar - tips, tricks- guide

Alright, here are some questions you should ask yourself before purchasing the instrument.

Does It Have Internal Sound?

Not every keytar in the world is going to have internal sounds and the player should be extremely cautious about this aspect. Having internal sounds would not matter if the keyboardist always plays and practices with a proper sound system. If not, it is better to go for a keytar that offers internal sounds. It’ll make things easier and less complex.

However, this issue could also be rectified by plugging it into a laptop. There is no limit to the sound you can get out of your instrument if you use it as a MIDI controller as there are so many different VST programs with thousands of sounds.

How Heavy (or Light) It Should Be?

The weight of the keytars has dramatically changed over the years for the better. They were originally extremely heavy instruments due to the hardware used.

In the present day, they are generally under 10 pounds. However, if you’re a musician who wants to dance around on stage, a lighter instrument is always recommended to keep you less exhausted and save the extra baggage.

What Price Am I Looking At?

The price always varies with the different range and the different and unique features of the keytars produced. Yet, prices are not extremely expensive.

However, if a player fancies a particular vintage instrument from the ’80s to bring back that gusty vibe on to the stage, the price would see a dramatic increase due to the simple reason that most of the vintage keytars aren’t produced at present.

Pads, Mod-Wheels, Aftertouch, Pitch-Bend:

Some keytars come with pads that can be programmable as triggers for live performances. Pitch-bend is also a new and cool feature that allows you to bend the note by tilting the keyboard upwards, making it a perfect instrument for live performances to get the crowd going.

Can a Keytar Act as a MIDI Controller?

Yes and no, depending on the brands and their variations. While there are some keytars which allow the player to control MIDI and jam off with different sounds, there are also basic keytars which only serves its original purpose. However, the vortex wireless 2 is a good choice for anyone on the lookout for some crazy sounds to electrify the audience.

Wired Or Wireless? 

Most keytars are wired with some exceptions. There are also wireless keytars with the addition of the Bluetooth technology. The wireless keytars have also proved to be very reliable, due to the advancement of Bluetooth over the decades.

Do Aesthetics Matter?

There always lies the issue in balancing the looks of an instrument along with its original purpose, to perform. While some cool keytars look something from another world, most of them do not perform well. There are also some keytars that perform extremely well, but the look isn’t that pleasing. It is not advisable to follow any of the said options. After all, another purpose of using a keytar is to look good on stage and entertaining the crowds. Some can look cool and also have a design that is sleek which works for the musician. So, it’s always advisable to stick to well-known brands when getting one.

Introduction to Keytars

This instrument is the perfect design for musicians who want to dance around on stage while making a big impact with the keyboard. Standard issue keytars come with 37 full-sized and velocity-sensitive keys.

These full-size keys are really handy when it comes to playing difficult chords and leads. The future for the keytars doesn’t look bleak either with lots of musicians now making the transition to get that extra bit of mobility on stage.

Most of the keytars in the present day also act as MIDI controllers with drum pads. These are essential for musicians who want to trigger additional parts or sounds from their instruments.

Hence, deciding on the right product to purchase will eventually come down to the quality of the sound and the way the keytar looks along with the price. However, keytars aren’t extremely expensive and usually fall under the affordable range.

In reality, getting a keytar with a MIDI controller would be a wise decision given the fact that lots of different sounds and tones could be made using this technology.

Buying an older model would cost less, but the repairs would cost a lot since some of the models and brands have stopped. Therefore, it is always wise to go for a new model with a well-known brand to avoid any unnecessary complications. Check out these hand-selected keytars for more information and expert analysis on the uniqueness of every model.

Best Wired and Wireless Keytars List

Now, let’s take a look at the contestants:

Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 – The Top Pick

Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 - best midi keytar

This keytar would be the obvious best buy, hands down. This is the new and improved version of its predecessor, the Vortex, where the manufacturer had done a really good job. This keytar is made focusing on improving the durability of the instrument, saving some bad dreams and giving the musicians a sound sleep.

The instrument also boasts of an excellent wireless range. The connection is crystal clear even when the instrument is far away from the laptop as long as 400 feet. This is also an improvement of the original Vortex and a feature greatly improved by the engineers by paying special attention to the connection.

The manufacturers have also paid special attention to the location of the display, which is now just above the key bed. This enables the musician to see the octave they are in and check out the different synths they are in at different times. The new and improved modulation wheel also helps the musician a lot to enhance the tones of the player.

The battery life is also very good in this keytar, something which is usually overlooked by other manufacturers. A player could easily play about 20 to 25 shows which last for an hour before it needs changing.


If you are a player looking to work on solos, the Vortex 2 has an accelerometer that allows any musician to do bends that sound like actual guitar bends. The new version also comes up with a feature that enables (or disables) the sound by simply angling the keytar upwards and sideways.

This instrument also has a sustain button on its neck that allows the player to play chords and sustain them. The sustain also works if a musician uses arpeggiators, which allows him or her to hold out arpeggiated notes.

What Kind Of Software Does The Vortex 2 Come With?

The Vortex 2 is equipped with 2 virtual instrument plugins along with the DAW Ableton Live Lite including Hybrid 3 and Loom 2. The manufacturer, Alesis had also been making MIDI controllers in the past few years and they have mastered the art. Therefore, the new and improved Vortex 2 comes with an elegant MIDI which is unparalleled in the present day. The keytar works well with the DAW Ableton Live and this is probably the most popular DAW there is right now for live music.

Using The Vortex 2 Live

The Vortex 2 is custom-built for live music. Experienced professionals in the field also say that the playing styles have been changed a lot with this new version. The Bluetooth wireless system has also proved to be extremely reliable for this device. The manufacturer, Alesis, did say that the technology of the Bluetooth is just better now than it was when they released the Vortex. This will make much more reliable for live music.

Features You Can Use While Playing Live

The main feature and the advantage a player gets when performing using this reliable piece of keytar is the ability to split the instrument. When this feature is activated, the player gets the ability to enable different sounds on each octave present. The player can do this by going into the DAW and putting two different patches together.

The player then can use the keytar to go up and down by hitting the octave button. This makes the keyboard more dynamic giving the ability to use more sounds live per song.

This keytar gives the ability to the player to assign his trigger pads to samples, sounds, and even tracks. It is always advisable to test and experiment on every feature before playing live. If not, there is always the risk of the instrument not functioning according to the requirements of the player due to the lack of knowledge about the instrument.


An available USB 1.1 port on the laptop or PC is the main requirement for any keytar. The dongle should be placed here. It is also recommended to use an I5 or I7 processor for speed in MAC computers. It is also advisable to keep the computer free from space and avoid putting unwanted files, especially in a live performance.

Let’s take a look at some of the specs below:

  • 37 velocity-sensitive keys with aftertouch,
  • Eight RGB back-lit velocity-sensitive trigger pads enable the player to create beats/ trigger clips,
  • Eight back-lit faders for controlling volumes or other instrument parameters,
  • Embedded MIDI-assignable tilt sensor performance control with on/off button,
  • Thumb-controlled volume slider and reversible pitch-bend wheel on neck,
  • MIDI-assignable touch-strip, zone, sustain, and octave-control buttons on the neck,
  • Included USB dongle creates a wireless connection to any Mac or PC,
  • USB and MIDI jacks for use with any synth, sound module, or other MIDI hardware or software,
  • Battery-powered for use with MIDI modules and hardware synths (4 AA batteries included),
  • Guitar strap pegs.


Overall, this is the most affordable option that still allows the player everything you would want to do.

Roland Ax-Edge

Roland Ax-Edge - best keytar for studio recording

This keytar is the latest from Roland and the best keytar which was produced by this brand.

This instrument rocked the live music world with its Bluetooth MIDI feature which lasts up to 4 hours on rechargeable batteries and its quality internal sounds though most of the other manufacturers do not pay good attention to the internal sounds.

This keytar can also be used for external sound plugins as well.


Most music professionals would, arguably, claim that this is the best keytar available along with the Vortex 2.

However, the important fact to note down is the Roland Ax-Edge is more expensive than the Vortex 2.

Sometimes the pricing makes all the difference!

Yamaha SHS 500 Sonogenic

Yamaha SHS 500 Sonogenic - cheap keytar wireless guitar

This keytar doesn’t fall under the normal keytar category. Here’s why;

This instrument is specifically produced towards beginners who are learning how to play the keytar. Therefore, the keytar is produced in a way that any musician can plug the keytar to the laptop and let the laptop play any music the musician desires. In a nutshell, the player doesn’t need to know how to play as the keytar plays any song for a player, just like a toy.

Therefore, this keytar would be ideal for beginners who are just entering the live performance world. The ‘jam mode’ helps them to practice any song from the keytar as mentioned above. For professionals, it is highly recommended to stay out of this keytar.

Alesis Vortex Wireless Controller

Alesis Vortex Wireless midi controller keytar usb

This keytar is well known for its MIDI controlling. All the pads on the Vortex can be assigned to different tones using the MIDI controller. The key bed is also very durable and the MIDI controller with the full-sized keys makes playing a lot easier.

All of the keys are velocity-sensitive which gives the player the ability to use some good dynamics out of a part. It is also a good keytar for anyone who is a fan of synths. The instrument also comes with an adjustable guitar strap. However, the strap is not the best in the world, and its recommended to use a better guitar strap that is convenient with the player to simply avoid the instrument crashing during live performances.

The keytar also comes with octave buttons on its neck that allows the musician to put multiple synths on it. This also comes in very handy for experimental artists and bands that don’t have a bass player. The keytar offers the ability to sample the bass guitar from the keytar itself and find some cool bass synths and also just play the bass through the instrument.

Let’s Take A Look Below At Some Of The Specs:

  • 37 velocity-sensitive keys
  • Eight velocity-sensitive drum pads/sample triggers enable you to create beats or trigger clips,
  • An accelerometer that is MIDI-assignable(this is for if you want to do a solo and want to do a bend that sounds like a guitar bend),
  • Battery-powered for use with MIDI modules and hardware synths (batteries included),
  • USB and traditional MIDI jacks for use with virtually any synth, sound module, or other MIDI hardware or software,
  • Sustain and octave control buttons on the neck.


Even though the original Vortex had been discontinued due to the similar price of the Vortex 2, this keytar can provide all the lost features of its predecessor.

Behringer MS-101 Monophonic Keytar

Behringer MS-101 Monophonic Keytar - best portable light keytar

This is the clone remake of the iconic Roland SH-101 and it is creating some major waves in the community.

The MS-101 is pretty much the same width as the original, along with full-size keys, although it has an elegant design, with slightly rounded corners. The pitch illuminates, just in case you can’t see it in the dark, but the biggest difference is that it is slightly shallower in-depth compared to the original. This is not something that seems to hinder use and wasn’t apparent or noticeable until placed side by side with the original.

The sounds are top-notch and it is analog, which makes this instrument a one-of-a-kind instrument today.


The synth in this instrument is of very high quality and it is expected to become a serious impact in the electronic music world. The player also can create some vintage tones with this keytar as well.

Yamaha Vocaloid Keyboard VKB-100

Yamaha Vocaloid Keyboard VKB-100 - yamaha keyboard guitar keytar

The Yamaha Vocaloid Keyboard had got the whole music world talking about it. It was released in late 2017 only to Japan and every musician hopes that this keytar would be sold worldwide due to the interesting features. However, this keytar is shipped through Amazon which makes it widely accessible.

This keyboard is unique because it is the first of its kind being a Vocaloid keytar. Yamaha pioneered this technology and they are starting to develop it more and more.

This is the only instrument of its kind and the tones the keytar produces couldn’t be replicated anywhere else. So, if a player needs to get the sweet tones of the Yamaha Vocaloid, he needs to buy it which makes this keytar interesting.

What Is a Vocaloid?

A Vocaloid is a synthesis where the musician programs the melody and the lyrics into the instrument. Then the player can edit the way it sounds. It can add vibrato as well as change the dynamics of a voice. Hence, if the player is into electronic music, this instrument gives something that most musicians don’t currently have.

This is also a keytar that a musician can sing into as well as play it manually.

Korg RK-100S

Korg RK-100S - best piano and guitar controller keytar

Being a very reputed brand in the music industry there is no debate that any instrument will be on a low standard with Korg, and this keytar won’t show any difference either. The keytar comes with 200 different synth sounds where the player can experiment and use the sounds differently. However, it is now certain that any player would fall in love with all 200 synths.

The only downside to this instrument is that it is outdated. The production has been discontinued by Korg which makes the keytar expensive than the rest. It also means that repairs of this instrument might cost a lot more than normal keytars.

This model has MIDI, it just isn’t up to date with today’s MIDI controllers and there’s no way to upgrade the MIDI on this instrument. So there also lies an option to use the keytar just as a MIDI controller. However, when analyzed further it seems certain that a player can use the Vortex for the same purpose and as a wireless controller as well. Therefore, in hindsight, it would be the best option to opt-out of this unless the musician is in love with the brand and loves all the different synths the product offers.

Let’s Take A Look At Some Of The Specs Below:

  • Two ribbon controllers, one short and one running the length of the key-bed,
  • A 37-note slim keyboard that’s lightweight and easy to play,
  • Two hundred analog-modeled programs are built-in,
  • MIDI output jack lets you perform using an external sound module,
  • Body with a beautifully lustrous finish in your choice of three colors.

Roland AX-Synth

Roland AX-Synth - the best beginner keytar for kids

Roland had always been experimenting with different keytars for the past 40 years. However, this keytar is discontinued which means that the player has to spend a lot of money to purchase this instrument. It also means that repairs cost more.

The AX is going to be quite a bit heavier than the Alesis Vortex and when it comes to playing a lot of shows, a lighter instrument would be the route to go.

It has the classic Roland D-beam built-in that allows the musician to hold their hand over the D beam to get crazy sounds. The display for the AX is located on the side which makes the player see exactly the synth and the octave they are on.

Below Are Some Of The Specs:

  • Built-in sound engine with voices from Roland’s latest synthesizers,
  • Ribbon controller, D Beam, modulation bar, knobs, and easy-to-see display for stage,
  • USB MIDI for easy connection to PC,
  • Dedicated V-LINK button for video/visual control,
  • Innovative bender mode for expressive solos.

Roland Lucina AX-09 – Vintage Keytar

Roland Lucina AX-09 - Vintage Keytar - most expensive old-school keytar

This is an interesting instrument for all vintage players with their old tones.

However, this also is outdated and costs a lot.

So if the player is not hyped into vintage music, its best to stay out of this.

Tips To Get Better at Playing Keytar

Tips To Get Better at Playing Keytar - how to play keytar

Here are a few tips that will help you stay motivated and actually succeed:

Learn to Play Standing Up

It sounds quite usual and seems like a no brainer, but in reality, lots of keytar players find it very hard to play standing up. The usual inclination is to practice while sitting which takes off the weight of the instrument and the playing style along with it.

Afterward, when a player performs live standing up, he finds great difficulty in adjusting to the weight of the instrument and performing accordingly. So it is important to practice every song while standing up. This will give players extra confidence while playing on stage.

After a player is confident performing while standing up, the next step would be to move with the instrument while on stage. After all, the keytar is specifically designed for this purpose.

Playing the right notes and chords while moving up and down the stage with the pumping adrenaline might be tricky at first, but with some long practice sessions, it would eventually be a walk in the park. Practise makes it perfect.

Watch Other Musicians To Get Inspired

It is always advisable for new and old players to watch professional musicians who use keytars in their performances which include some popular musicians such as lady gaga and Matt Bellamy of Muse.

The way Bellamy incorporates his playing with the band is paralleled to none and a joy to watch.

Always watching and observing professional musicians in different aspects as in how they move, how they use different splits and how they manage the weight of the instrument enable budding musicians to uncover some hidden tips and tricks which is only gained through experience.

Find The Right Sounds

There are different variations with the keytar and it is vital to take advantage of every option the instrument curtails.

A MIDI controller keytar has more options and features making the musical life of the player really interesting in terms of experimentation and trying out new tones.

A player can get any sound he wants using the MIDI controllers.

In live performances, playing the bass parts gets the audience going since the keytar itself resembles a guitar.

Covering root notes and playing chords to back up the vocalist in solos also gets the audience rolling.

Use It To Write New Ideas

The keytar itself is a comparatively modern instrument and the complete potential of this instrument hasn’t been discovered yet. So there is always room for improvement.

Therefore, it is highly recommended and also a necessity to use the keytars to come up with new songs, playing concepts, different MIDI ideas and some jubilant expressions of electronic music.

The ability to play riffs are also very much overlooked by keytar players.

The instrument can be used to write and create riffs which can also be played in normal keyboards and guitars.

It’s always fun and inspiring to think out of the box and come up with some cool riffs which can be played in different instruments.

Put In The Time

Practise makes perfect they say. Putting in time and effort is vital to master the keytar.

In modern times it’s a common practice to give attention to the piano or the keyboard and overlook the keytar.

However, if a musician aspires to be a keytar player, it is important to start practicing on the keytar itself to know what and what not can be played using this instrument.

Pro tip: Playing the keytar as a guitar player creates a big impact.

A player can learn super impressive solos and shred the riffs in the same way a musician plays the guitar.

Don’t Forget About Cleaning

Rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol in very small amounts might just do the trick.

This kills the odor of sweat in the instrument and it also cleans the keys nicely.

The advantage of using isopropyl alcohol is it dries quickly, so it won’t the keytar wet.

The hack to use this effectively is put a small amount on a napkin and then slowly rub the desired area to clean.

Get Good Straps

There is no need for very expensive high-end straps for new keytars given that its lighter than the older models. But it is recommended to get a good strap if the model is older and heavier than the new ones.

*For Guitar Players Looking To Transition

The keytar would be a nice and typically easy transition for guitar players.

Especially with the added advantage of the finger dexterity of guitarists are better than the average musicians.

There aren’t any particular brands that can be recommended for transitioning musicians.

It mostly is about finding the best instrument which fits the groove.

Commonly Asked Questions About Keytars

Commonly Asked Questions About Keytars

Of course, it’s impossible to predict all the questions you may have in mind, but here are the most common ones for you:

How Do Wireless Keytars Transmit MIDI Data?

Most of the keytars transmit MIDI data through a USB wireless receiver which plugs into the computer or laptop which enables the keyboard to transmit the MIDI data to the dongle.

Its also recommended purchasing a few dongles given that the prices are cheap and there is a high probability of losing them, especially during live shows.

So it wouldn’t hurt to buy and keep some extra dongles to be on the safer side.

Are They Hard To Program?

No, it’s quite the opposite when it comes to the recommended keytars (i.e. Vortex 2, Roland Ax-Edge).

However, programming can be tricky for the older versions.

Are Keytars Hard To Play?

Keytars aren’t difficult to play, especially if the player is an organist or a guitarist.

Keytars also offer the concept to play on, so there is nothing new to learn except for the new features and the new angles.

A Homemade Keytar?

Well, why not? It a player is on the crafty side and is eager to cut down on the dollars, an attempt can be made to produce a homemade keytar.

Conceptually it’s possible. All that needs to be done is taking a MIDI controller and putting it to a piece of wood.

The aesthetics, sound quality, and the looks are, of course, another concern.

What Kind of Case Should You Use?

Getting a case on the cheaper side is usually recommended if the player isn’t a professional traveling to gigs every week.

The 49 key keyboard usually fits the modern keytars.

But it doesn’t fit in the usual sense to the casings.

In that case, getting a 49 key keyboard case with some extra padding and protection might just do the trick.

However, is the musician is a professional traveling around the world, a hard keytar case is recommended.

The 80’S Keytars?

Usually, these kinds of keytars are still linked to the 80s musical vibe and often overlooked by musicians though the tide is turning.

Looking at the bright side, the keytar can be used to achieve an 80s vibe to concerts as well to entertain the elders.

However, the reason of keytars emerging in present-day music is its mobility and versatility.

As said before, musicians now look to dominate the stage and move around when performing live and keytars are an easy way to do that.

The versatility of these instruments is also interesting seeing the different features, program sounds and midi controls which the 80s didn’t have.

In all fairness, the keytar is on its path to revolutionize modern-day electronic music with its MIDI controllers and improved mobility.

The full potential of this instrument is yet to be discovered.

Advantages And Drawbacks

The main drawback this instrument has is that the internal sounds aren’t typically of high quality.

Most producers overlook this part due to the attention given to MIDI controllers and plugging it live.

However, the internal sounds are better in Vortex 2.

The inclusion of MIDI controllers also has a negative impact of some sort.

The instruments and the musicians are relying more on getting the sounds though MIDI controllers that the original sound of the keytar is neglected more often than not.

The biggest advantage a player can get is to move around freely.

Having mobility for a live show is so important to put on a great show for the fans.

Using A Laptop

Using a laptop along with the keytar is fairly simple. Simply take the dongle that the keytar comes with and plug it to the USB port. A 1.1 USB port is needed for this to work.

The keytar would come up with built-in software and the player only needs to follow the instructions given and install the software to the computer.

When using the laptop with a MIDI keyboard, its always recommended to only use the laptop for this purpose.

Lots of unwanted files and software will do no good for the performance.

If the player has an old laptop full of filed and software that the player doesn’t need anymore, it is better to give the computer a complete format to get the best performance.

Pro Tip: Laptops in which memory (RAM) is maxed out when playing are much more common in having problems and crashing during your set.

If you are using keytar for recording in your studio, the same thing can happen to your PC in the middle of the recording as well, which can get annoying really fast.

How Common Are They In Music?

Keytars aren’t that common when it comes to music as a whole, but they are making ripples in electronic music with the popularity increasing day by day.

The Alesis wireless MIDI keytar is an important juncture in keytar and MIDI history and will surely welcome more musicians to the keytar world.

It will be really interesting to see the popularity in another 5 to 10 years.

Is It A Hard Transition To Play Keytar From Piano?

No, it’s not. It’s a lot easier than what musicians usually suspect.

If a player is comfortable in playing the piano, then the keytar eventually comes naturally although it could be a bit weird to get accustomed to standing and performing like a guitarist.

But with practice, it will eventually become natural.

Octave Buttons?

Having octave buttons in the keyboard is very essential since it enables the player to jump up and down an octave without much confusion.

If the keytar has the split function, the player can assign certain sounds to certain octaves to get more diversity of tones.

Switching patches can be frustrating, so the octave buttons come in handy during live performances.

Is It Possible To Cover Bass Guitar On The Keytar?

Yes, it can be done easily for the parts.

There are also some good bass plugins that give the vibe of an actual bass guitar and the player can control that sound to the liking of the event.

Playing bass can also be fun but will take some time to be comfortable with it.

Sub drops or basically anything on the lower end could be covered with keytars.

How Do I Get Used To Moving Around And Playing The Keytar?

Again, practice makes perfect. Though it’ll be hard to move around with the keytar for the first time, it will be easy with practice.

However, it would feel rather unnatural for a keyboardist to move around due to the simple fact that keyboardists don’t necessarily move around on stage.

But this is what this instrument is supposed to do and it will become natural to hop around the stage with practice.

Vintage VS Modern?

A commonly asked question (rather, the most asked question) is ‘Are the old vintage keytars from the 1980s better than the newer keyboards?

No, they are not.

They are better in the sense of being just vintage, but nothing more than that.

Some musicians love vintage music and instruments rather than the modern developments and if that’s the case, then the answer will be a bold yes.

Modern instruments like the Alesis Vortex 2, can be used as MIDI controllers and access unlimited sounds.

This alone makes today’s products so much better.


With everything that’s happening in the keytar world, the Vortex 2 and the Roland Ax-Edge are the favorites.

They are up to date with the latest trends in MIDI which helps out of the box music which many musicians experiment on these days.

Last update on 2024-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API