Piano or Keyboard – What’s For You?

Piano or Keyboard – What’s For You?

So you want to learn to play the piano. The first step in the process is getting an instrument you can play as you practice. 

While that may sound like an easy task, from the moment you start looking, you’ll find there are many ways to fulfill the task. You can find inexpensive keyboards at your local big box store. Or you can invest in an acoustic piano that can be a part of your home for years to come. What’s the right choice for you? 

Let’s start with keyboards. What makes digital keyboards increasingly popular is their ability to connect with your computer, and share your creations with family and friends on social media. It’s turned many musicians from players into creators, all at the touch of a button. You can serve as your own orchestra or band, using your keyboard to create dozens of different sounds and setups. 

That makes it sound like investing in a keyboard is the right choice for everyone. Not so fast. Keyboards might be perfect for creating a variety of sounds, but it can also create a reliance on mechanics to create the sounds you are looking for. 

When you take the time to learn how to play an acoustic piano, you are getting down to the basics of learning to play. It’s more difficult at first, because you’re learning how to create music with precision. You’re learning the touch of the keys and the timing of the sounds. You’re learning volume, voice, and how to strike the keys. You’re learning what the pedals are, and how to hold your hands to play properly. This is about knowledge of music, more than utilizing technology to create sound. 

Before you invest in a piano or keyboard, ask yourself a few questions first. 

  • Where will you play the piano or keyboard?
  • What is your ultimate goal?
  • Will you be predominantly playing for yourself?
  • Do you hope to play with a group?
  • Do you hope to transfer your skills to other instruments?

The more you choose to make music a part of your life, the more important it is to get down to theory, and have a broad understanding of how the piano works. 

What’s the best choice for you: piano or keyboard? 

We’d love to hear what helped you make your final selection. 

The Differences Between Playing a Piano and a Keyboard

The Differences Between Playing a Piano and a Keyboard

One of the most common thoughts parents have when enrolling their kids in piano lessons is whether to buy a piano or a keyboard. Can you learn to play the piano on a keyboard? 

The short answer is: yes. While there are subtle differences between the two, which we’ll get into in a minute, the two often work interchangeably when learning to play. But that doesn’t mean you can run down to your local discount store and buy an electronic toy. There are certain characteristics a keyboard will need in order to make your skills transferable. 

Do pianos and keyboards sound the same?

There is a big difference between a piano player at your local symphony, and a keyboard player in your favorite rock band. Does that mean one is better than the other, or the two can’t be interchanged? Not at all. A sophisticated keyboard is designed to play like a piano. Because it’s digital, it will also have the possibility of replicating other sounds, like percussion, synthesizers, or horns. It also has the ability to easily save music directly to your computer, or even send it to your YouTube channel. For computer geeks, that can be a big benefit. 

What are the significant differences between the two?

When comparing the two, the biggest thing to watch for is the action. Action is the response a key has when you press down. If you play a key on an acoustic piano, it has some resistance – a weighted feel. In order to learn how to play, it’s important that a keyboard has that same weighted feel. It makes your skills transferable from one to the other. 

You should also pay attention to the range of keys. A traditional piano has 88 keys. Keyboards often go down in key numbers in order to save on space and size. A standard piano has 88 keys. Some keyboards will eliminate an octave or more, going down to 72 or fewer. 

If you play a keyboard, does it discourage you from moving to an acoustic piano?

Not necessarily. But again, it’s important that you pay attention to quality. If the two aren’t interchangeable, the skills you learn on a keyboard won’t transfer to an acoustic piano. It will mean you’ll have to relearn hand and finger placement, as well as how the keys spring into action. 

What’s the right choice for you?

It’s easy to fixate on the price. But it’s equally important to remember that playing the piano is a skill you can carry throughout your life. In order to learn the craft, you have to have the proper tool. If you aren’t sure, stop by and let us help you understand the differences between pianos and keyboards. We can let you feel and hear the differences, and make the right choice for your needs. 

Should You Learn On A Piano or a Keyboard?

Should You Learn On A Piano or a Keyboard?

We hear it time and time again. Parents want to introduce their kids to music, yet aren’t sure if their kids will enjoy it.

“I just want something inexpensive to see if they like it before I move towards a bigger investment.”

So they pick up a random piano through Craigslist, or choose a keyboard on sale at the big box store. This can be a big mistake. Would you start your child out in a basketball camp with a flat ball and sandals on their feet? Of course not. Yet the same applies to the world of music. If they don’t have the proper tool, they won’t be able to enjoy the beginning processes because it will be frustrating at best.Should You Learn On A Piano or a Keyboard?

If you are in the market for a piano to help your kids get started down the path of music, you can do it on a budget. There are many pianos and keyboards available within all price ranges, the key is knowing what’s the best choice for your situation.

Living Arrangements

Start with your current living arrangements. Are you in a small apartment or a large home? Do you want the piano to be available to your child in her room, or a part of the décor in your living space? Will your child be off to college soon, or do you plan on having the piano in your home for decades? Acoustic pianos come in all shapes and sizes, from the smallest of uprights to the largest of grand pianos. Keyboards are meant to be portable and are perfect for those that choose to move them regularly. Only you know which is best for your situation.


If you are starting a small child out on piano for the first time, they may not understand what style is best. The older a child is, the more they can be a part of the process. A digital piano can be a versatile option for those that want to stretch into many types of music, and have access to turn their skills into something more. If they want access to the latest computerized techniques as well as learning to play the piano, digital may be the way to go.


If you are thinking about heading in the direction of a keyboard, keep in mind that there are many sizes and options. An acoustic piano has 88 keys; digital keyboards have several ranges. You can find a keyboard with 88 notes, but 76 or even 61 key models are popular too. You can also choose keyboards that resemble acoustic piano keys – they are weighted for a more realistic experience – or less expensive models will have smaller, thinner keys with a plastic feel. In order to transition between the two and be able to play any piano overall, make sure you choose one with a realistic feel.

The best way to learn about your options and discover the right choice for you is to compare. You can’t do that through a Craigslist ad, but you can by stopping by our store and seeing which is the right choice for you. Stop by today; we’re happy to point you in the right direction.