If you’re considering purchasing a digital keyboard, you’ve probably heard of the Yamaha YPG-235.
It’s portable, touch responsive, and a great option for the music student in your life. Here’s our review of the Yamaha YPG-235.
Yamaha YPG-235 Review
The Yamaha YPG-235 is a 76-key keyboard – right in that sweet spot between 61-keys being too small and 88-keys being too much to carry around. Portability is a huge plus for this keyboard.
The keys are also not weighted, which means the entire keyboard weighs only 18lbs, 5oz – light enough to take to a friend’s house, a lesson, or even a performance.
Although they keys are not weighted, they are touch responsive. What does this mean for the player?
Touch responsive keyboards are keyboards that will respond to how soft or hard the player presses the keys.
Just like a real acoustic piano, the keys will be quieter when played softer, and sound louder when played harder.
The Yamaha YPG-235 utilizes touch-responsive technology to give the player a greater dynamic range while keeping the weight of the keyboard down, allowing for more portability.
The YPG-235 also features a clean, modern look. The small digital screen on the front can actually help new musicians learn how to play piano with the Yamaha Education Suite.
Learning how to play music is so important to Yamaha they included a variety of features on the YPG-235 to help.
Here are just some of the learning features on the YPG-235: Waiting Mode will pause accompaniment until you press the next correct key, Your Tempo Mode will slow the accompaniment down to your speed, and Repeat and Learn Mode will rewind the playback to allow you to practice a section until you get it right.
Another fun feature is the Performance Assistant Mode. This allows the player to play any key on the keyboard and the accompaniment will ensure whatever note is played is the “right” note.
Performance Assistant Mode is especially fun for kids new to the piano, allowing them to “perform” right away.
Each of these modes are clearly marked on the face of the keyboard with easy-to-find keys.
The YPG-235 includes a USB cable to connect with your computer to allow you to download more songs from Yamaha to your library. You can play along with these new songs as well.
Unfortunately, there’s no MIDI cable included, which may be important for those looking to play with MIDI software.
The YPG-235 allows for 32-note polyphony. Why would you need 32-note polyphony when you only have 10 fingers to play with?
32-note polyphony ensures all notes are heard, regardless of how fast or busy the phrase of music may be.
When your fingers are flying on the keyboard, you want to hear every note – whether that means 3 notes or 32.
Our entire YPG-235 review could focus on the digital features alone. Yamaha really packed a lot of technology into a portable package!
A few additional features that stand out include over 116 voices to choose from (which helps young students especially find a fun sound), over 160 accompaniment choices which allow you to play “with a band” right out of the box, and a master EQ system which allows the player to choose exactly how the sound is balanced.
There’s a pitch bender (for when you’re playing that clarinet intro on Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and you need to slide smoothly into the note!), reverb and chorus to help make it sound like you’re playing in a concert hall, and the keyboard can record your own compositions on its built-in memory with the record function.
Easy Song Arranger allows you to play a song in a different “style” – even if that means turning a Christmas ballad into a bossa nova.
- Portability – the Yamaha YPG-235 weighs less than 20lbs and can easily be carried to a lesson or performance
- Yamaha Education Suite technology – this technology helps new musicians learn to play and enjoy music right away
- Touch responsive keys – your dynamics will sound as expressive with the YPG-235 as they would on an acoustic piano
- Price point – for a relatively inexpensive portable keyboard, the YPG-235 includes many features other keyboards in its price range don’t offer
- 76 keys – this won’t be a huge con for all players – especially new players who are using notes concentrated in the center of the keyboard – but could be a con for more advanced musicians looking for a larger range of notes
- Unweighted keys – again, this may be more of an issue for an advancing player looking for the feeling of an acoustic piano under their fingers
- Headphone jack – the YPG-235 uses a standard ¼” headphone jack which would require an adaptor for many audio headphones
- Built-in speakers – some players feel the speakers don’t get quite loud enough
- Overall feel of the keyboard – without weighted keys, the keyboard may feel more like a toy than a serious instrument to some advancing musicians
For our Yamaha YPG-235 review, this is a great choice for a new musician, a young student, or someone in need of a budget-friendly instrument that’s easy to carry.
The included educational features, variety of voices, and touch responsive keys ensure an engaging, fun musical experience.
Who may want to pass on the YPG-235?
An advancing musician with a larger budget may want to look for a different option with weighted or semi-weighted keys.
The feeling of the keys can make a large difference for professionals or advanced students.
Weighted keys can also play a part in student development: if a student goes from playing unweighted keys to an acoustic piano, they may not have the finger strength and agility to get the precise dynamics they’re looking for.
Accordingly, if a player wants that precision and feel, the YPG-235 won’t be the best keyboard choice.
Overall, the Yamaha YPG-235 is another solid keyboard from Yamaha with the ability to take it with you anywhere and software to help you learn music as you go.