You’re keen to learn the piano. Fantastic. But now you’re faced with a big decision: should you buy a digital piano or keyboard? Perhaps you’re not even sure what the difference is. While both offer many benefits for beginners, it’s important to take the time to weigh up the pros and cons before heading to the checkout.
In this article, we’ll discuss the key differences between digital pianos and keyboards. But before we jump into the nitty-gritty, answer a few questions about yourself and your musical aspirations.
Questions to ask yourself
Digital piano vs keyboard – there’s no clear winner. Instead, which is best comes down to you and what you want out of your instrument.
The following questions will help you discern the better choice:
- Do you value mobility?
- Are you willing to pay more for better sound quality?
- How much do you value touch quality?
- Why are you learning the piano? To kick-start a career in music? To try something new? Because you never had the chance to as a child?
- What is your budget?
Now that you’ve answered the above, you’re ready to dive into the digital piano vs keyboard breakdown. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll know which instrument is right for you.
What is a digital piano?
Digital pianos are instruments designed to replicate acoustic pianos in their entirety. They come in many shapes and sizes: upright, cabinet, or a piano on a stand with a complete set of 88 weighted keys. Digital pianos give you a close approximation of the touch and feel of an acoustic piano.
What is a keyboard?
Keyboards, on the other hand, intend to offer portability and affordability. They are lightweight and generally come with 61 or 76 keys. Keyboards also offer features like a drum machine and hundreds of tones. Some even allow you to totally customise the sound.
Digital piano vs keyboard
Digital pianos are, without a doubt, more expensive than keyboards. That being said, they are the most cost-effective option if you want to experience the authentic feel and sound of an acoustic piano.
From a price standpoint, keyboards are an excellent choice for beginners that aren’t 100 percent committed – maybe you’re just curious, or perhaps you’re purchasing an instrument for your child.
If portability is a significant factor for you, there’s no better option than a durable keyboard. If you have the space for a furniture-sized instrument, a digital piano can add warmth and elegance to your home.
Sound quality and feel
As we mentioned above, digital pianos are designed to replicate the sound quality and feel of acoustic pianos. Interestingly, digital pianos source their tone from recording and layering several acoustic piano sound samples. For that reason, digital pianos produce a more authentic sound and a feel that’s closer to the real deal than keyboards.
Do keep in mind that sound quality and feel will vary among models. The higher-end the digital piano, the better.
Keyboards may not be able to mirror the sound of an acoustic piano quite as well, but they do offer a whole host of tones and effects that can be a real joy to play around with.
Digital piano vs keyboard: Which is best for you?
For beginners or players on a budget looking for an authentic playing experience, you cannot beat the sound and feel of a digital piano. For children or casual players that value portability or don’t have the space for a full-size piano, keyboards are an excellent place to start.
Either way, you can’t go wrong with selecting the piano as your instrument of choice.
Need top-quality piano lessons?
The lessons you attend can make or break your piano experience. Here at the Liverpool Academy of Music, our passionate team of piano teachers have the skills and expertise needed to get you playing real music fast. Find out more about learning piano or get in touch on 02 9602 9774 to schedule a lesson.