Differences Between an Acoustic Piano and a Digital Piano

Differences Between an Acoustic Piano and a Digital Piano

Thinking of buying a piano? You’ve probably come across one of the very first questions a piano dealer will ask you – would you like an acoustic piano or a digital piano? And if you’re new to the piano world, that very first question may leave you confused. What’s the difference?

Differences Between an Acoustic Piano and a Digital Piano

  • Acoustic pianos work by felt-covered mallets hitting strings within their insides. Digital pianos work through a sound chip and speakers, so when their keys are struck, they replicate what a piano sounds like. Some digital piano models have features that will allow you to change the instrument sounds like (for instance, an organ or drums instead of a piano). Because the technology used to make digital pianos can be made smaller without sacrificing the sound of the instrument like an acoustic piano, digital pianos are smaller and lighter.

  • Digital pianos may be able to better serve the needs of a select number of people. For one, their size may be a better match for those who enjoy playing but are either short on space or move around a lot. Also, digital pianos are useful if you want to record music on the computer or plug in headphones to play privately.

  • Acoustic pianos have significantly more range of tone than digital pianos, as you are interacting with actual strings rather than something emulating the sound of strings. Therefore, you will be able to put in a lot more emotion and depth into your music on an acoustic piano. Because of this, more advanced piano players may find digital pianos limiting after a while.

  • Digital pianos don’t function exactly like an acoustic piano, and making a transition later on from digital to acoustic may be difficult, especially for beginning players. For one, some less expensive digital pianos don’t have the same weighted key feel as an acoustic piano would, instead feeling light and plastic. For another, some digital pianos lack the full eight octaves that acoustic pianos have, which can limit the range of music that you can play.

  • Acoustic pianos have a longer-lasting value. Anything electronic, whether it’s a computer, phone, or piano, has a time limit on it; it will one day become outdated and overshadowed by better technology. This will also make it difficult to sell if you want to get a new piano later on. Acoustic pianos that are well-maintained keep their value and won’t become obsolete.

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