Learn Piano with MIDI Keyboard – Demystified

In one of our previous articles, we discussed if you can learn piano with a MIDI keyboard. We mentioned that you can still learn piano with a MIDI keyboard. Here, we will share more details about how to learn piano with a MIDI keyboard.

Before we begin, we recommend you read the article “Can You Learn Piano on a MIDI Keyboard?” to get some basic ideas, including configuring your MIDI keyboard or MIDI control.


First, let’s clarify some terminologies. MIDI Keyboard and MIDI Controller are actually two different types of devices, even though both have piano-like keyboards.

Broadly speaking, a MIDI keyboard is an electric instrument with onboard speakers, such as an electric keyboard or a digital piano with MIDI connectors. On the other hand, a MIDI Controller is normally a controller without a sound module and speaker. It relies on external MIDI devices to make a sound.

However, in reality, the two terms MIDI Keyboard and MIDI Controller are used interchangeably to refer to MIDI Controller. Recently, some manufacturers have produced MIDI controllers with built-in audio. Hence, the line got further blurry. In this article, we’ll follow the same convention and use the terms MIDI Keyboard and MIDI Controller interchangeably.

Why Use a MIDI Controller Instead of a Piano?

midi controller connections

Truthfully, it is better to learn piano using a digital piano or an acoustic piano. Here are several crucial reasons:

  • Weighted keys are essential for developing your piano-playing techniques. Usually, MIDI Keyboards or MIDI Controllers have spring-loaded keys.
  • Pianos come with sounds; therefore, you do not need external devices for sounds.
  • Standard pianos have 88 keys, while most MIDI controllers have fewer keys. If you are serious about learning to play piano, you’ll need at least 61 keys on your keyboard.

That being said, if your objective in learning piano is to learn the basics and focus more on creating music, starting with a MIDI Keyboard is optimal, especially since you may already have a MIDI Keyboard.

Additionally, there are several reasons people use MIDI controllers to learn piano:

  1. Cost-effective: MIDI controllers are often less expensive than traditional pianos or digital pianos.
  2. Space-saving: MIDI controllers are generally smaller and more compact than traditional pianos.
  3. Versatility: MIDI controllers can be used with a wide range of digital audio workstations (DAWs), virtual instruments, and music software, giving users access to a vast array of sounds and styles.
  4. Portability: MIDI controllers are lightweight and portable, making them easy to transport to gigs, rehearsals, or lessons.

Overall, MIDI Controllers offer a cost-effective, versatile, and portable way for people to learn piano and explore their musical creativity.

Learn Piano with MIDI Keyboard

Let’s take a look at the ways to learn piano with a MIDI Keyboard. You can leverage a lot of resources and combine them with many MIDI-compatible devices, making learning a rewarding and fun experience.

Get Piano Learning Software

learning piano with software

There are many software programs available that use MIDI keyboards to teach piano. These programs typically offer a range of lessons, exercises, and games that help beginners learn to read sheet music, play chords, and develop their technique.

Follow Tutorials Online

Many online tutorials and video lessons are available that teach piano using MIDI keyboards. These can be a great way to learn at your own pace; many are free. Check out some on YouTube channels.

Practice with MIDI Files

You can find MIDI files of popular songs online and use them to practice playing along with the music. This can help you develop your timing and accuracy and be a fun way to learn new songs.

Experiment with Different Sounds

Paired with a digital audio workstation (DAW), the MIDI Controller lets you experiment with a wide range of sounds and virtual instruments, so don’t be afraid to try different settings and effects. This can help you develop your creativity and explore new musical styles.


Depending on your learning goals, learning piano with a MIDI keyboard could be a viable way. If you already have a MIDI Controller or a MIDI keyboard, by all means, go ahead and get started. It will give you a taste of playing piano.

Learning to play piano will be a great experience. Once you get into more advanced learning, it would be a good time to think about choosing a digital piano. We have reviews about the best digital pianos; some are console-style for home use, and others are more portable.

Enjoy your piano learning journey!!!

Related Articles:

2 thoughts on “Learn Piano with MIDI Keyboard – Demystified”

Leave a Comment