AN IN-DEPTH REVIEW OF THE YAMAHA P45 STAGE PIANO

The Yamaha P45 has something for everybody.

Whether you are a complete beginner, someone looking to progress or even an experienced pianist, this stage piano should not be easily overlooked.

Below are some of the key features:

  • 88 Keys (full size key-bed)
  • Graded Hammer-Action Keyboard
  • 10 Voices (sounds)
  • 4 Levels of Touch Response
  • 4 Levels of Reverb
  • Metronome
  • Transpose function
  • Layer function
  • Built-in Speakers
  • USB to host connection (Home recording)
  • Sustain Pedal included
  • Headphone Jack

If you are new to playing, perhaps you’re a student, you will hear the phrases “88 Keys” and “Weighted Keys” thrown around a lot as to what is necessary for you to have access to at home when practicing. The P45 has both.

Most teachers will suggest to you from the very beginning to buy an acoustic upright piano but this isn’t always a feasible option for people; As I’m sure you’re aware, they aren’t exactly two-for-a-fiver down at the local market!

With this piano sitting comfortably around the €400 mark, you get an awful of bang for what you put into it.

It’s worth noting that if you are doing grades, you will need access to a pedal unit. (The three pedals that you usually see at the bottom of a regular piano.)

The P45 comes with a sustain pedal only but you can upgrade your setup with an 

L85 solid wooden stand and a three-pedal unit for an additional estimated €200. This essentially transforms the P45 from a portable stage piano to a stationary digital piano. 

With that in mind, an estimated €600 in total for a ‘digital piano’ is a very competitive price point.

As you move up in your grades, you will have to upgrade your setup at some point to a digital piano with heavier keys to reach your full playing potential but you won’t need to discard the P45 as you upgrade. It still has its key features that you can avail of that you don’t necessarily get with a stationary piano. These pianos are built to last for years.

If you get to a point where you are confident in your playing and perhaps you’ve started writing your own music and/or would like to perform for a crowd, this is where the P45 shines.

It is incredibly portable. The piano weighs 11.5kg which makes it easy enough to carry around with you. It has an output at the back that can plug into a PA system or speaker to amplify the sound and with the built-in high quality Yamaha piano sounds, this can really carry through a big system.

A recent example of this I have personally seen is with the Irish comedy group ‘Foil Arms and Hog.’ They use a P45 in their set. Plugged into the PA system on the huge stage at Vicar Street, the piano unbelievably packs enough punch to sound wonderful in such a big setting.

They are also common with buskers. If you stroll through Henry Street or Grafton Street in Dublin’s City Centre, you are almost guaranteed to come across a Yamaha P45, most likely plugged into a Roland Cube Street EX amplifier or a Yamaha Stagepas and the sound is likely to stop you in your tracks (busker’s talent permitting!)

One of the greatest features of this piano is that it has what’s called “USB to host connection” which is a fancy way of saying that if you pick yourself up a MIDI cable, you can plug this directly into your computer and the piano is then used as a controller for recording purposes.

In your recording software, on Mac or PC, there will be an option to change the sound of the P45 piano. The options are limitless here. For example, you can listen to John Legend amx think that his piano sounds incredible, find out what make/model he’s playing with an interest search and then essentially download a file that will make your piano sound similar to his on your computer. Then you can record yourself playing your P45 and the end result is a completely different sounding piano.

(I can’t stress this enough, with a bit of practice and knowledge of studio equipment, you can make the P45 sound like literally anything you want.’

I’ll leave you with a quick pros and cons list to consider:

Pros:

  • An excellent starting point for a beginner
  • 88 Fully Weighted Keys
  • Ability to upgrade by adding three pedals and a wooden stand
  • Generally well priced for what you can do with it
  • Portable
  • Natural Grand Piano Sound
  • Can be used for external recording 
  • Can plug headphones into it
  • Sleek, minimalist design

Cons:

  • It won’t carry you the whole way through your grades
  • Some functions are almost too well hidden (A read-through on the manual is heavily advised)
  • It could do with extra built-in voices/sounds (although plugging into a computer opens up those possibilities)
  • Speakers are not very loud
  • Headphone jack is at the back so that can make it awkward to access
  • No built-in recording function

Whether you’re looking to progress at playing the piano, play in public, get into some home recording or even just tinker away at something when you have some downtime, the Yamaha P45 honestly is a strong contender for your new best friend.

Pop into our Walton’s Music Blanchardstown branch, check it out online at waltons.ie or send us an email on info@waltonsmusic.ie and have a member of staff talk you through all you need to know.

Graham Lawlor
Graham Lawlor

Graham is a content creator who works closely with Waltons Music. A musician by day and a writer by night, he’ll try to get a note from just about anything he can get his hands on

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