This post is sponsored by Inovus.
I often coach piano students and their families on what to look for when purchasing a piano to practice on. I’m always on the lookout for new reliable options, especially for beginners.
I recently learned about the brand new Inovus i88 and I’m excited to have another great option to recommend.
This piano seems to be in line with some of my other favorite recommendations such as the Yamaha P125 and Casio Privia. But, it also includes a number other unique features that are perfect for beginning pianists, and surprisingly, at a lower price point.
Here are 5 neat features that make the Inovus i88 a great starter digital piano for new piano students.
The Inovus i88 has 88 full-size weighted keys, which is non-negotiable for beginning pianists. The keys are touch sensitive, which means they feel very authentic compared to playing an acoustic piano.
I can’t emphasize the importance of this feature enough. I always tell my new students that learning to play the piano with unweighted keys is like learning to play soccer with a balloon. It just doesn’t work and it’d be really frustrating.
A really cool feature is that you can adjust the touch sensitivity of the keys to suit your own preferences. So, if you prefer to play on a piano with lighter or heavier action you can adjust the touch to accommodate that. My students always complain that the keys on the piano in my studio feel really heavy to them. How cool that a student could prepare for their lesson by practicing on heavier keys at home, but adjust them back to their own preferred weight at other times.
I do wish that the keys were also graded to feel even more authentic (where the lower keys feel heavier than the higher keys). But, at a low price point and for a beginning pianist, it’s not crucial.
One of the best features that stands out to me is all of the connectivity options – USB-A, USB-B, MIDI, audio in and out, bluetooth (!) and 2 headphone jacks. Having all of these options available on an entry level piano is unheard of.
My students and I connect our digital pianos to other devices on a regular basis. On my Clavinovas, we usually have all of these options available, but if we’re using a more basic digital piano in the studio, or if my student has a more basic model at home, there are almost always limitations to how we can connect to the piano.
My students love to play along with audio recordings of their music. We either play the recordings from MIDI files straight from my Clavinova, or from an iPad or phone. But, if we’re using a more basic piano, it can be really difficult to play the audio files at a volume that balances well with the piano.
Having access to a USB port, an audio jack and bluetooth is a game changer! These are all super easy ways to connect a phone, tablet or computer to the piano and make it so much easier for students to hear recordings and to play along.
Designed With Learning In Mind
As a teacher, I love that the Inovus i88 has so many great learning tools built in to it. It has most of the usual standard features such as a metronome, voicing options and percussion tracks. However, Inovus has gone above and beyond with most of these features.
The metronome can be used with customized key signatures, which is really helpful when, for example, playing in 3/4 time or subdividing a 6/8 time signature.
Instead of a handful of voices like many basic digital pianos, the Inovus i88 has 200 voices. My students absolutely love having access to multiple voices. We often use them to enhance the style of the music they are playing, to encourage repetition (by trying out songs in many different voices) and to learn about other instruments.
This is a feature that I really love using on my Clavinova, so it’s exciting that a student could easily have access to this feature at home. Learning to make accompaniments with this feature is simple and it’s a really fun way to be creative at the piano while putting basic music theory skills to work.
I create my play-along audio files that are included in my ebooks with a feature very similar to this one. If you’re interested in creating robust backing tracks for your own music or for your students to play along with, this piano would be a great entry point to learning this skill.
Free Access To Piano Academy App
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of using apps to learn and practice piano if you don’t have access to a teacher. Every Inovus i88 includes a free 2 month unlimited subscription to Piano Academy App, which is a great way to get started with piano.
Piano Academy is an innovative mobile app designed to teach anyone how to play the piano. It’s available for Apple and Android devices and makes learning fun and accessible to all, with lessons, hundreds of popular songs you can play along with, and even fun games to play that teach note reading and timing.
Users simply place their phone or tablet on a piano keyboard and follow the lessons. The app listens to your playing through the mic on your tablet or phone, but the Inovus i88 can also connect directly through MIDI using Bluetooth. Check out this video to see a demo of how the app works.
The Inovus i88 is now available on Amazon.