The Difference Between Acoustic Pianos, Digital Pianos and Electric Pianos

The Difference Between Acoustic Pianos, Digital Pianos and Electric Pianos

When someone mentions the word piano, where does your mind go? Chances are its to the stage of a concert hall, grand piano center stage, with one of the best pianists in the world sitting at the keys.

In reality, pianos come in many styles, shapes, sizes and formats.The Difference Between Acoustic Pianos, Digital Pianos and Electric Pianos

The concert grand piano falls into the first category, the acoustic piano. The most common type of acoustic piano is called an upright piano, or sometimes a vertical or box piano. In general you will find uprights in homes or commercial locations where space is limited. The second type is the grand piano. Grand pianos are typically on display where performances will be made, or in some cases in larger, upper class homes where more space is available.

All types of acoustic pianos share several characteristics. All have 88 keys, 52 while and 36 black. They are made with a string/hammer technique in which the harder you strike the key, the harder the hammer hits the string, the louder the sound. Most will also have 3 pedals used to control sound in various ways.

Digital pianos are a recent invention designed to replicate the sound of an acoustic piano. They are electronically driven and use computer chips to detect input and replicate the sounds of the piano and other instruments. Their sound comes from a speaker system as opposed to the string/hammer construction used in an acoustic piano.

One of the big benefits of digital pianos is a headphone jack that allows a person to practice without making noise. This is perfect in a location where there are many people doing different things, and practicing may be disturbed because of the commotion. Digital pianos are lightweight and portable, meaning its easy to bring to a performance and set up anywhere.

Electric keyboards resemble digital pianos; yet there are distinct differences. Electric keyboards lack the weighted key feel. Piano keys are usually just plastic molded to fit the shape, without the “feel” that goes along with it – a big problem for people wanting to transfer their skills from one type of piano to the next. For that reason, electric keyboards are often thought of and used more for toys than actually piano playing. They typically have less than the standards 88 keys, and you’ll find them at much lower prices than either the acoustic or digital pianos sell for.

What’s the right choice for you?

  • Are you looking for a piece of furniture; something that will stand out in a room?
  • Are you looking at a practice instrument for someone trying to learn?
  • Do you want a toy for a child, or something for them to learn a lifelong skill?
  • Do you want something you can perform on?
  • Do you need to move it frequently?

Come on in and talk to us about your answers. We can help you make the right selection for your needs.