I've just purchased a 61-key keyboard, the Yamaha PSR-E253. I know it's not the best to start with, as it lacks touch sensitivity, especially so for those serious in their learning. I will purchase a high-end digital piano in due time. I've picked this one up to learn how to play.

What I'd like know is whether I can play most popular music songs on a 61-key keyboard. Specifically, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and 60s work. Certainly other music too, but I'd like to start with the music I like before progressing to the classical music I enjoy.

Thank you.


The only music you can't play on a 61-note keyboard is piano music that specifically uses notes outside that range. Pop songs aren't piano pieces. The songbook arrangements you can buy, laid out for piano, aren't sacrosanct. If you run out of notes, modify them!

To play a Beatles song authentically, you need 3 guitars, a drum kit, vocalists... To give an impression of it on keyboard is quite another thing.

  • Interesting! It's good to know that I can play them and work with them, if necessary. That'll be more motivation. – Abhi_Krish Apr 27 '18 at 18:17
  • This reminds me of all the pieces I've played on a glockenspiel with two mallets. Melody octave voicings obviously got modified. – Dekkadeci Apr 27 '18 at 19:12

Yes you certainly can play pop songs on your 61 note keyboard, but "playing" has more than one definition. If you want to sing along with say a Beatles song having only a few chords in it, "Misery", "Love me Do", for example, songs which are structurally simpler than some nursury rhymes, you need only to play simple chords to accompany yourself, good fun too. You may want to accompany the melody line (the words that is) played with your right hand, with chords played with the left. You can do this on your 61 key keyboard. As the playing becomes more complex, it follows that your learning will eventually urge you to get a keyboard with more notes on it. But just Beatles and Stones? Of course you can.

Have fun

  • Thanks a lot! I'd like to play the melody line as well. I've just received my keyboard and I can't wait to start! – Abhi_Krish Apr 29 '18 at 5:19

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