Those who are just learning to play the piano usually look for an affordable piano keyboard brand before moving to premier names. Sort of a starter piano, and when they become better at playing, they get themselves a higher-end one.
Others choose an inexpensive keyboard so they won’t regret the purchase later on, should they find piano is not the instrument for them.
Good thing there is a great assortment of good piano keyboards out there at a modest price. But not all budget piano keyboards are created equal. There are those whose quality reflects the price.
But a cheap price does not always mean an inferior product. Alesis Melody 61 MKII is an example that well-made musical keyboards at budget prices exist.
Alesis Melody 61 MKII
A good keyboard is never complete without add-on features that make for a great music experience. Alesis Melody 61 is not an average keyboard —it comes with awesome features that others within the same price range don’t have.
Alesis is made with durable materials that are lightweight, with a user-friendly layout, and a simple black finish. The built-in speakers produce clear and balanced sound, while the liquid crystal display (LCD) helps users interact with the instrument.
It has 61 piano-style keys
Here are the features that make Alesis Melody 61 MKII stand out from all the other keyboards of its kind:
Premium Electric Piano Keyboard Sounds
This keyboard is equipped with 200 sounds, which includes the standard acoustic piano, electric piano, organ, strings, and many more —even sound effects! These can be modified to layer multiple sounds (dual-mode) or split two different sounds across the keyboard (split mode). The variety of voices allows the user creativity and control over their sound.
Alesis Melody 61 also has 10 demo songs for entertainment and to encourage play. The demo songs, which were played using the very same keyboard model, demonstrate the keyboard’s playability and versatility. Through demo songs, the user can have a “feel” of what the keyboard can do.
Alesis Melody 61 is specially created for those who are just learning to play the piano. This is why it is built with useful and easy-to-follow educational tools to help novice players learn in a fun way at their own pace.
The keyboard has 40 demo songs and 300 accompaniment rhythms to stimulate learning and develop musicality. To practice privately without anybody else hearing, there is stereo headphone output that automatically mutes the speakers.
With Alesis Melody 61 MKII keyboard, learning to play the piano is easy and simple. This is because every purchase comes with a 3-month premium Skoove subscription and 2-month live video lessons through TakeLessons.
Skoove offers a fun and relaxed way of learning to play at one’s own time. The comprehensive online piano courses cater to different learning levels and provide feedback to monitor learning progress. New lessons are added to the course each month. It is free for the first 3 months. Skoove also has a team of qualified musicians to answer any questions and give tips and one-on-one support, as well.
Meanwhile, TakeLessons bring live video classes with 2 months of piano lessons for free. This is the good old way of learning to play the piano, albeit in an online class format, with lessons and guidance from real and skilled piano teachers. Learners are free to interact with everyone in the class.
Recording and Playback Function
Not many affordable keyboards include this functionality in their products. But the recording and playback feature can be such a nice learning tool. With this, one can easily capture his performances and play them after at the press of a button. It’s easier to spot problem areas in playing and to monitor progress through the recording and playback function.
Even singers and songwriters will also find this functionality practical. They can play and listen to their works, and see where they can improve. Or maybe, to just listen and admire their wonderful works!
Alesis Melody 61 MKII comes complete with all the essentials for a more comfortable and fun experience. The X-type stand is easy to assemble and supports the keyboard with a good balance so it won’t wobble while playing. The bench has 3 adjustable height settings and is sturdy enough to support an adult weight.
The keyboard also has a power adapter, music rest, and even a microphone for a total music experience. Plug it in the keyboard’s microphone port, press the recording button, play and sing, and then playback the song to listen to the recording! How cool is that?
There is an option to play privately so that only the one playing the keyboard can hear the music. With a headphone, one can play without worrying about distracting others in shared spaces.
For those in need of a little help assembling or using the product, the Alesis Melody 61 comes with an instruction manual. It describes how to set up the stand, bench, and music rest, complete with diagrams. It also gives detailed instructions on how to connect the instrument to different accessories and how to use the function buttons, including the programming options.
What Makes This Product Great (plus the Not-So-Awesome Features)
Alesis Melody 61 keyboard is great simply because it works and delivers more than any other keyboard of the same price point. Aside from the attractive features that make this keyboard great, it has other neat qualities as well.
For one, it is portable and can be carried and set up easily anywhere. The instrument is compact and lightweight at less than nine pounds.
It can be played anywhere even without access to an electric supply. Power up the keyboard with 6 AA batteries, and it will be ready to play music anywhere.
The spring action keys are easier to the fingers, especially for those who are just beginning to learn to play. Unlike weighted keys, the spring action keys do not stress the fingers.
Alesis Melody 61 MKII does not cost that much, yet is durable, sleek, and easy to use.
Now, for the limitations: the compass is 61, or 5 octaves. While this is a perfectly decent range for beginners, it may be small for more advanced players. Many classical pieces, for instance, are played on the full-size, 88-key range.
The keyboard does not support high polyphony numbers. This means that only a few keys —up to 5, at most— can be played simultaneously without the sound going awry. Again, for beginners, this is not usually an issue.
For more experienced players, though, this can be a problem, especially when playing dynamic music pieces. Piano tutors tend to favor the more established brands of keyboards, especially the full-range ones with high polyphony capacity.
Note also that Alesis Melody 61 keyboard has no options for digital connectivity such as Bluetooth.
Alesis Melody 61 MKII: Our Recommendations
The Alesis Melody 61 MKII is a great entry-level instrument.
For those who are already advanced players, this keyboard might not be a satisfactory choice. This means that professional musicians are better off with high-end keyboard brands, obviously.
Overall, for the price point, features, and accessories included in the set, the Alesis Melody 61 keyboard is an excellent purchase. It can beat any other keyboard brand in the same league.
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.