How Many Keys On A Piano Do You Need?

How Many Keys On A Piano Do You Need?

“I’ve recently started looking at digital pianos. I’m new to piano, but love making music. I’ve noticed as I search through different sites that keyboards come with 61 keys, 76 keys, and 88 keys. Why? Is there a difference? Will I be disappointed if I buy a 61 key? Will it limit my playability?”

Great question, and one we hear a lot when people first come in to our retail location, looking at digital pianos.How Many Keys On A Piano Do You Need?

Like every market, there is room for a variety of things. If you go back in time, to the 18th century, you’ll find the harpsichord was created with five octaves, or 61 keys, while pianos were manufactured with 88 keys.

Today, digital pianos are created in a variety of ways, for a variety of needs. That is why you’ll find you’ll find the variance in number of keys. A keyboard designed with 61 keys will have less features, and offer a less than full range of playability for a musician. It also makes the piano more portable. And because many of today’s songs rarely go beyond the five octave range, a smaller keyboard may be just fine.

However, longevity should also be taken into consideration. Is this a starter piano for a budding musician wanting to learn how to play? Or is it a more sophisticated choice, with plans for continued use in the future?

To ensure you have a top quality piano both in sound and playability, focus instead on these:

  • Make sure the keyboard provides full sized keys. In many lesser quality pianos you will find miniature keys that don’t have the same feel as a traditional piano. To ensure you create piano playing skills that can be easily transferred from piano to piano, learn on a full sized keyboard.
  • A full 88 keys is idea for long term playability. 76 is good, 61 is bare minimum. Anything less won’t offer you the keys necessary to learn to play music effectively.
  • The keyboard should provide touch sensitive keys that are weighted to mimic a traditional acoustic piano. Without it, a student will never learn to control the sound they are producing.

The more a keyboard looks and acts like a real keyboard, the easier time you’ll have learning to play and creating quality music.

To feel the difference, stop by our retail location any time. We can show you the differences between today’s leading manufacturers, and help you choose the right keyboard for you.