Upgrade your learning experience with the right gear.

Aside from a pair of headphones, there are a handful of important tools to consider as you embark on your singing journey. Since we get asked every day what we recommend around here, I went ahead and put together a list of the most common bigger ticket items folks are looking for. All of these links should take you straight to Amazon. Whenever possible I looked for Prime deals for ease and cost effectiveness. Full disclosure, wherever possible we monetize links so we can pick up a little commission to help keep spittin’ this content out! So without any more gilding of the lily….


A piano is the most useful tool when you are learning all things music related. There’s a reason piano is a REQUIREMENT for all college degrees in music. If you are a carpenter, you need to own a hammer. If you’re a singer, you need to own a piano. Make it happen. No excuses. There really are solutions for every budget when you start out. This list is intended for folks who don’t know what to buy as a beginner, but there are thousands of keyboards out there and over time, you will likely buy and sell a few as you continue down your musical path!


The CasioTone portable keyboard is a great, “I dont want to think about it too hard” decision. Minimal investment but has all of the bells and whistles you want for a while. This product just spells E.A.S.Y for $140.
The Carry On Piano is what I take traveling! Its a brilliant product. It feels more like a computer keyboard when you play the keys, so it isn’t ideal for classical piano. But for a travel teaching rig, for folks with limited space, or kids that need to practice at the dining room table, this is a FANTASTIC product! It has 88 keys AND a transpose function. Its rechargeable and can literally be played on any flat surface, no power source needed. At $80 for 88 keys, its hard to go wrong for less than a dollar per key.
Admittedly, I do not yet own the Carry On mini piano, but I will eventually. Just about half the size, I can see this as a wonderful solution for short trips and tight spaces. And if you are on a tight budget, it can be a valuable solution until you are ready to invest in something with real piano action. $60.



Ideally, we start with weighted keys. That is always a little heavier and a little more expensive. Sometimes it means way heavier and more expensive. But this Casio Digital Piano with 88 weighted keys is incredibly economical, relatively light and FEELS much more like an acoustic piano. I own more pianos than most folks would consider sane, but nevertheless, I have one of these set up in my living room in my home in Santa Fe as a second piano. $500.

Sound cards/ Audio interfaces

Audio interfaces allow us to interface audio equipment like microphones with our computer. Most singer songwriters own a two channel interface that can accommodate a guitar or piano and a mic simultaneously. I have owned soooo many interfaces over the past decade and a half. These days I like things simple. So here are a couple of simple choices, that are affordable and workhorses that I own and use in my personal rig.



The Presonus USB96 used to be known as the FireStudio. Over the past decade, I’ve had hundreds of these in front of me. Many students use them, I have owned several and they are among the most common interfaces used. The price point is perfect at under a hundred bucks. It has all of the basic bits one needs for everyday recording and is a very solid/sturdy product. I hove one that lives in my production backpack for travel. It does not require a power source so you can use it with your computer on the train! $99.



This PreSonus Relevator io24 USB-C is what is set up in my teaching studio at the moment. At $150, it is a step up AND is USB-C. So if you have a new Apple computer, this will keep you from having to always have an adaptor on hand. I enjoy the angled up design, and digital display for ease of use.




Every singer needs a mic, if only as a prop to practice mic technique. Gigging musicians need a handheld dynamic mic, for health and reliability and recording artist need a studio mic of some sort. I own stacks of mics and thru the years, you may too. But this list is great to get you started!

This Karaoke Mic is a surprisingly useful tool for a beginner. Not, by any means, a solution for a professional setting, this mic is perfect for beginners that don’t want to invest in a big rig yet. With a built in speaker and reverb, this is $30 solution that really steps up our understanding of microphone singing! I have been known to show up with these in small workshop scenarios.
The Blue Yeti microphone has become commonplace since Covid forced us all online, but it was around long before then in the home studios of musicians. Because it’s a usb mic, it do NOT require an audio interface, which makes it an economical and simple solution for upgrading your online lesson and meeting experience, for folks beginning to record at home and for travelers. There are several models of Blue Yetis now. This model is designed for singers. $120.
The Audix OM5 is my workhorse live mic. I’ve had mine for 15 years with zero problems. It sounds great in all settings. Runs about $150.

Baritone Uke

I’m a strong believer that folks begin singing and playing baritone uke first and then upgrade to guitar. Bari uke has four strings that are identical to the first four strings on an guitar, so EVERYTHING transfers. Ukes are wonderfully portable, easy on the hands and incredibly inviting for the beginner. Baritone uke is not the same as the toy you were given as a child or the ukuleles you see hula dancers with. Baritone ukes, are comparatively large. I feels like a small guitar and sits in a better range for singers than the traditional soprano uke. $139.

I have probably owned a dozen of these Baritone Ukes. I use one to teach and travel but they are so affordable, I like to leave them behind with hosts and friends as gifts. $140 for a lovely instrument and all of the accessories! And, it has a pick up to plug into an interface or amp!





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.