RockJam might not be a name you are particularly familiar with in the world of digital pianos. They were established over 20 years ago in Manchester in the UK. They make a range of digital pianos that meet the company’s aims of providing a well-equipped digital piano at a cost-effective price.
So, I decided to take a look at one of their pianos, the RockJam 61-key Keyboard. This is a digital piano with a little bit extra. Furthermore, you could say it is an all-inclusive product for the beginner. Let’s find out more in my in-depth RockJam 61 Key Keyboard review.
RockJam 61 Key Keyboard – Overview
Cost is one of the issues that will be at the forefront of your thinking if you decide to start learning a musical instrument. You don’t want to spend a fortune in case you don’t get on with it. But, if you go too cheap, what you buy resembles a toy rather than an instrument.
That is where companies like RockJam come in. They design and manufacture affordable digital keyboards. But they also play and sound like pianos that cost much more.
And, to add some icing on the cake, you get some extras that you wouldn’t get with pianos at a much higher price point. Stay with me, and you will see what I mean.
This is an all-in-one digital piano package, meaning that everything you need to get started is included. It’s aimed at the beginner, and the package includes, as we shall see, some teaching aides.
While it is a piano with accessories aimed at beginners, there is no reason an experienced player cannot benefit from using it. There is enough built-in to this keyboard for players up to intermediate level and higher to be interested.
One of the main design features is portability. This digital keyboard can be stored away without too much fuss at the end of a practice session. Likewise, it’s easy to carry around if you intend to play at different locations.
Similar to most digital keyboards at every cost level, this is made of hard-wearing plastic. And, whilst it won’t take too kindly to being dropped on the floor, it will easily withstand the small knocks associated with daily use.
It is a compact digital keyboard measuring 35.4 by 9.8 by 5.9 inches and weighing in at just under 20 pounds. Transportation will therefore be easy, and it won’t take up too much room at home.
It can operate on either a mains supply via the supplied power adapter or on batteries. But please note that batteries are not supplied with the package.
The keyboard has 61 keys, as against a full-size digital or acoustic piano which has a standard 88. For a beginner, that will usually be more than adequate. Although, there is some discussion about the size of the keys and whether they are full-size or not.
I would say that they are about 95% full size when compared to a fully acoustic piano. The difference is minimal and hardly noticeable. So, when playing, you still get the ‘real’ piano experience. One day, you might progress to a full-sized, 88-key instrument. When you do, the transition will be easy, and you won’t notice the difference in key size, which is an important factor.
Perhaps I should point out that the keys are not touch-sensitive. That feature tends to come as standard on keyboards costing much more. But, as I have already said, this is a keyboard aimed at the beginner. The real value of having touch-sensitive keys for most people just starting comes a bit later.
All the controls are situated conveniently on the top of the keyboard and arranged for ease of use. At the center is the LCD, which keeps you informed of the playing status of the keyboard. Every function is clearly labeled, and there is a keypad to allow you to make selections for the sounds and or rhythms you prefer.
The display also serves as an extra function in tutorials, telling you which chords or keys to press when playing with the demos. Additionally, there is a record/playback function, so you can build layers to the sound. It also helps you to listen back to yourself so you can hear improvements or faults that need to be addressed.
Sockets to plug in the headphones and the adapter for mains use are located on the rear. But keep in mind that this is a basic digital keyboard designed for the beginner. Therefore, it doesn’t have Bluetooth or MIDI capability.
How Does It Play?
It has a fairly standard action for a budget digital keyboard. If you are used to playing with touch-sensitive keys, you will notice that there is a difference.
One good inclusion is the built-in demo songs so that you can learn and practice along with them. The LCD screen serves as a teaching function in this mode. The action is relatively smooth, and the keys have a comfortable feel to them.
One important element of a beginner keyboard is the sound. There are over 50 tones that you can select from, including a variety of pianos. All of them sound quite realistic and offer the new player the opportunity to experiment.
You can select from over 100 rhythms to suit any genre or style of music to play along with. Some built-in speakers will give you up to 10 watts of volume, more than adequate for home use.
With more cost-effective digital pianos, you tend not to get some important extras. However, they are included in this package.
A Piano Stand
The RockJam 61 has a sturdy Z-shaped stand that holds the keyboard firmly in place. It is made from steel and is easy to put up and take down. It is height adjustable, so it will be suitable for adults and children. And it has rubber feet, so it will not damage any smooth surfaces and helps to ensure stability.
Something you rarely see provided with a budget digital piano is a bench. It has some nice padding for comfort and those long practice sessions. As with the stand, it is easy to collapse and store away if you should need to. It is made from steel and measures 18 inches high by 15 inches in width. Made to easily support both adults and children.
These are supplied so you can have quiet practice time. They are over-ear phones with adequate padding. If you decide to, you could choose to use your own headphones if you have some.
You can plug in a microphone which allows you to sing along when you play your favorite songs.
App and Stickers
You are supplied with stickers to label the notes if you are just starting. A useful option until you automatically learn to recognize them. A good aid for teaching is the ‘Simply Piano’ App. It is a wireless real-time teaching aid that helps you learn to play.
Sheet Music Stand
Another excellent addition to this package is the sheet music stand. This is large enough to hold your music or an iPad. Again, something not always included with a budget range digital piano.
What Is In The Box?
Let’s summarize what is included in this excellent digital piano package.
- Digital Piano with 61 keys with a range of sounds and rhythms.
- Piano Stand.
- Padded Piano Bench.
- Sheet Music Stand.
- Over-Ear headphones.
- Note stickers and the ‘Simply Piano’ app.
RockJam 61 Key Keyboard Review – Pros & Cons
- Solid build, but is also compact and very portable.
- Choice of 50 tones and 100 rhythms.
- Excellent extras.
- Very competitive price point.
- No MIDI or Bluetooth connection.
- Keys are not weighted.
What Do I Think?
If you or a member of your family wants to start to learn the piano, there are plenty of budget instruments around. Unfortunately, not all of them offer good value for money. There are also some things you will need to consider.
- Do you want an instrument that offers a range of sounds? That is always something that motivates a new student in the early days.
- Will you need an adjustable bench?
- Where will it be used, and will you need a stand for the keyboard?
- Are the controls easy to use?
- Is the price cost-effective?
- Is it well-built?
Looking For A Great Digital Piano or Keyboard?
We can help. Check out our informative reviews of the Best Digital Pianos, the Best Portable Keyboard Pianos, the Best Digital Pianos For Beginners, the Best Cheap Keyboard Piano, and the Best 88-Key Keyboards you can buy in 2023.
Also, have a look at our thoughts on the Best Digital Grand Piano, the Best Digital Piano With Weighted Keys, the Best Lighted Keyboard Pianos, the Best MIDI Keyboard for FL Studio, the Best Keyboard Synthesizer, and the Best Digital Pianos for Under $500 currently on the market.
RockJam 61 Key Keyboard Review – Conclusion
All things considered, this keyboard ticks all the boxes. It is basic, but it is an ideal beginner keyboard. And, because it has a cost-effective price point, you can’t go wrong.
I think it is an ideal choice for a beginner, and this digital piano should be one you consider. If you know someone who will be starting to learn the piano, then here are some things they will find useful.
- For Adults or Children – How To Play Keyboard: A Complete Guide for Absolute Beginners.
- For Adults – Piano Book for Adult Beginners: Teach Yourself How to Play Famous Piano Songs, Read Music, Theory & Technique.
- Music theory – Piano Scales, Chords & Arpeggios Lessons with Elements of Basic Music Theory: Fun, Step-By-Step Guide for Beginner to Advanced Levels.
However, after choosing the right keyboard, the most important thing is encouragement. Learning any instrument is never easy, and a little praise and recognition go a long way.
Until next time, good luck, and let the music play.