Are you a beginner looking for a powerful keyboard to step into the piano world? Today we’re going to review Casio CTK 3500, a 61-key portable keyboard with touch-sensitive keys that is specially designed for beginners and kids.
Casio brand is famous for producing high-quality instrument at a very reasonable price. The Casio CTK-3500 is one of them that comes with an affordable price.
The price is around $100 and the keyboard is equipped with many useful features and functions you would associate with more expensive models, including various sounds, step-up lesson system, and Dance music mode, etc.
Additionally, this keyboard can be regarded as an improved version of Casio CTK-2550 (full review here), a popular keyboard under $100. So, what’s the difference between them and what can you get from Casio CTK-3500? Let’s dive into it!
An Overview of Casio CTK-3500
General Review of Casio CTK-3500
Casio CTK-3500 is an easy-to-operate portable keyboard with 61 touch-sensitive keys. It’s a solid option for beginners and kids to enjoy the fun of the music world and learn piano skills.
With the step-up lesson system, dance music mode and great sound, you can have enjoyable and interesting experiences while playing it.
The keyboard offers powerful educational features to all the beginners thanks to the onboard lesson system and Chordana Play app. These educational features allow you to learn the piano easily and funny without having a tremendous amount of frustration.
Touch sensitivity is one of the shinning features of Casio CTK-3500. You can enjoy a responsive sound and greater expression to your performance.
Apart from these features and functions, the biggest appealing part could be its price.
If you’re looking a keyboard for learning and entertainment, Casio CTK-3500 is well worth considering.
Important Features of Casio CTK-3500
Let’s take a closer look at various useful features of Casio CTK-3500, giving you a whole sight of this beginner keyboard.
1. Touch-sensitive Keys
Touch sensitivity is the main feature that makes Casio CTK-3500 stand out in this price range.
Typically, the price of a keyboard with touch-sensitive keys is at least above $170. But for Casio CTK-3500, you can get the same feature at around $100.
At the same time, it’s the biggest difference between the CTK-3500 with the CTK-2550.
So, let’s talk about touch-sensitive keys in a more detailed way.
A touch-sensitive keyboard means the volume is not controlled. The harder you press the keys, the louder sound you’ll get. It’s a feature that imitates acoustic pianos, giving you the feel of responsive keys and accurate dynamic control.
Put it simply, if you’re using a keyboard without touch-sensitive keys. You won’t be able to feel the melody going up and down. Every piece has weak tones and strong tones, so it’s quite important that you can feel the volume change of the notes you play.
Additionally, you can adjust the touch sensitivity to suit your playing style better.
2. Step-up Lessons
As a keyboard that is designed for beginners, Casio CTK-3500 is loaded with powerful educational guidance, allowing you to learn the piano fun and simple. These educational functions are great for beginners to step into the piano journey and learn music basics.
At the very beginning, you can start from learning the note reading, figure placement, and playing by using hands individually. The onboard lesson system with LCD display of Casio CTK-3500 is able to show these things on the screen. Together with its 60 built-in songs, you can gradually master each part and be able to play several complete songs finally.
A special feature you’ll find it useful is the inbuilt voice simulated fingering guide. When you’re playing a song, your finger movement can be tracked, and the fingering guide would correct you by calling finger numbers. It can be really useful for beginner players to practice and learn.
Another useful function for learning is the use of Chordana Play App, which is created by the Casio brand and you can use it by connecting to your iOS or Android devices. Firstly, the number of built-in songs is 60, but you can have more on the app by downloading the MIDI file to the song library. Secondly, you can use it to practice each of your hands separately. When you’ve chosen a song to learn, the app is able to show which keys to press by displaying the right-hand part only, left-hand part only, or both hand part.
Plus, in the Educational Pack bundle of Casio CTK-3500, there is an eMedia instructional software that provides 50 step-by-step starter lessons as well as several video demonstrations of techniques by a well-qualified teacher.
3. Portable and Compact Design
The Casio CTK-3500 is very compact due to its number of keys. If room space is one of your concerns, you should seriously take this keyboard into your list.
Together with its portable design with only 7.5 weight, you can easily take and place it anywhere you want.
Plus, the keyboard has the ability to use battery power, so you can always play it on the go.
4. Dance Music Mode
Another special feature of Casio CTK-3500 is Dance music mode. The keyboard is loaded with 50 built-in dance rhythms and lots of dance music effects.
You can use them to remix different electronic dance music quickly and easily. All you need to do is clicking the ‘dance music’ button and then choose different styles of dance music, such as synth, drums, and bass, etc.
Wanna know how the keyboard sounded and how the dance music mode works? Check the video below.
5. Chordana Play App
Apart from its educational function which is mentioned before, Chordana Play app also works in other aspects. For example, the app can capture and store your daily practice automatically. So, you can review and compare your performances. It makes your learning more engaging.
Special Tips before You Buy
Casio CTK-3500 comes with many useful features and functions but there is something you may struggle with as well.
As a keyboard at around $100, the CTK-3500 does not come with weighted keys, which means you won’t feel any resistance responding to your fingers. It’s fine for beginners but intermediate and advanced players would find it difficult to accustomed with.
Casio CTK-3500 is a 61-key portable keyboard with touch-sensitive keys. It’s a solid option for beginners and kids to have fun and learn on. It’s loaded with lots of useful features and functions in a compact keyboard. Importantly, the low price is really appealing.
You can use it to learn thanks to the Chordana App and onboard lesson system. Dance Music Mode offers the ultimate interesting experiences of creating music and having fun with friends.
The wide range of songs and rhythms allows you to explore more about the music world.
To conclude, I would recommend this keyboard to beginners and kid players. You will never be regret of this worthy keyboard investment!