Before You Buy – The Real Differences Between a Keyboard and a Piano

Before You Buy – The Real Differences Between a Keyboard and a Piano

Thinking of buying a piano to learn to play? 

With just a few searches, you might already be stumped at what equipment to buy. Should you purchase an acoustic piano? What about a keyboard? Or a digital piano? What’s the difference? Where should you begin?

As a piano dealer, this is one of the most common questions we receive. 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially when you start looking at prices. You can easily find a keyboard at your local big box store for very little money. And acoustic pianos – they’re giving them away on Craigslist. 

What’s the difference? And what should you choose? 

One of the most obvious differences is size. Acoustic pianos take up space inside your home. Keyboards are small, portable, and can be tucked away when not in use. That can be a big bonus for a family without a lot of space. But that’s also where a lot of people go wrong. 

Keyboards aren’t necessarily equal to pianos. They can be smaller in size, which equates to fewer keys. A full size piano has 88 keys. A beginner might not use them all, but with practice and growth, you’ll quickly stretch and need a fuller range. Keyboards may typically be 61 to 76 keys, and often aren’t weighted like a piano’s keys. That means the skills aren’t transferable. When you learn on a keyboard, it’ll seem like a new instrument when you move to an acoustic piano. Your fingers simply won’t know what to do. 

Pianos also have more voice and depth in the way they play. Imagine wanting to play a familiar tune, yet it sounds tinny, off somehow. People rarely choose to play when they can’t get the sound they’re looking for. That comes from a high quality instrument. 

Keyboards also come with their own way of playing. They may teach you to play chords with the left hand, using the electronics to keep the beat, Use a button to change the tempo, create a beat, and have the keys do the work. 

Also, keep in mind there is a difference between a keyboard and a digital piano. A digital piano offers you everything an acoustic piano does, while a keyboard focuses more on making music at the touch of a button.

To be an accomplished musician, and to truly understand the art of creating music with a piano, it’s important to start with the right tool. 

We can help educate you on understanding today’s pianos, and help you make the right choice for your needs. 

Is A Digital Piano The Same As A Keyboard?

Is A Digital Piano The Same As A Keyboard?

Are you thinking about buying a piano? Already decided to invest in digital rather than acoustic, but not sure what the difference is between digital pianos and keyboards? 

Digital pianos lie somewhere between acoustic and electronic keyboard. Their goal is to mimic an acoustic piano as closely as possible. In general, the higher the quality, the more realistic it becomes. It will be the same length as an acoustic with 88 piano keys. It will allow for a greater variation in sounds due to sound modification. Is A Digital Piano The Same As A Keyboard?

Digital pianos not only have the 88 keys to match an acoustic piano, but they also tend to have weighted keys, which makes them feel more like an acoustic piano while being played. They have built in speakers to further qualify the sound. 

Most digital pianos have a MIDI output which allows you to connect them to a computer via the interface. This allows you to record and edit your playing as well as control other sounds and instruments at the touch of a button. 

Keyboards are typically smaller than a traditional acoustic piano. You’ll often find electronic keyboards with 61 keys – 4 or 5 octaves – as opposed to the traditional piano which has 6 octaves. What makes keyboards unique is their portability. They also provide a wider range of sounds and have the ability to interact easily through MIDI or USB connectors. 

When playing a keyboard, you’ll notice the keys tend to be a bit smaller and easier to press than a traditional piano. This can take getting used to if you are proficient on a traditional piano. While young children might find this process easier, it’s important to keep in mind that transition to an acoustic can be difficult for someone who’s learned on a keyboard. The shift in feel can be difficult to translate. 

Acoustic pianos are larger, bulkier, and difficult to move. In general, you’ll place an acoustic piano in your home and leave it there. 

With keyboards, they are portable by nature. You can pack them up after each session, sliding them into a closet or underneath the bed. They work well in apartment or dorm living because they are flexible with their movement. You can also use the headphone feature which makes the playing silent.

Digital pianos mimic acoustic pianos. They can take on any size. You can select an upright to place up against the wall, a stage piano -portable piano – to use with a live band, or even a grand piano to make a statement in any room. 

Which piano is for you – digital or a keyboard? We can assist you in any way.