Also called “Electric Keyboard” or “Electronic Keyboard”, Digital Keyboard can be very useful and convenient. You can plug it to any device (computer, mobile phone, tablet,…) and use it for musical production with softwares, piano learning with apps, …
It’s also portable and the cheapest option. Depending on models, the features of Digital Keyboards can be very large: manage the sound volume, play with a range of instrument sounds such as organs, violins, drums, …
However, Digital Keyboards could give you a bad first musical experience because of two factors: the number of keys and the touch.
The number of keys
All acoustic pianos have 88 keys. That’s the standard number of keys. So, if you have the space to put that type of keyboard at home, go for it! If you aren’t, you should choose the maximum keys that you could. Indeed, you can quickly be restricted in your piano learning if you choose a Digital Keyboard with 25, 41 or 49 keys. You will not access the higher or lower keys if you want to work on your chords, scales or play your favorite songs on piano.
So, we recommend to choose a Digital Keyboard with at least 76 keys (6 octaves). With fewer keys, you will soon be embarrassed.
The touch of a Digital Keyboard is also very important for a good musical experience and practice. A lot of keyboards have difficulty reproducing the touch of an acoustic piano. If you will not find this type of touch with a cheap keyboard, try to choose some with good touch. What is a good touch on piano? It’s a heavy touch that produces a quality sound, without sizzling.
Acoustic pianos are the most quality pianos on the market. When you are playing on an acoustic piano, the powerful sound that it makes resonates through your fingers and the space around you. This acoustic sound is created by hammers hitting the strings.
The downside of an acoustic piano is the price. Indeed, it’s much more expensive that Digital Keyboards or pianos. The cheapest are around 1200$.
But the playing experience is wonderful.
You can find two types of acoustic piano:
– Grand Piano: most impressive pianos, long, curved. That’s the most iconic pianos, used in concerts, festival or Youtube videos with the greatest pianists.
– Upright Piano: most common pianos. They are smaller than grand pianos and can easily be placed in a house. The sound is less powerful than the one of grand pianos, but it is still of an impressive quality.
What type of digital pianos or keyboards should I choose?
Now, you know all the most important differences between Digital Keyboards, Digital Pianos and acoustic pianos. But which one should I choose?
You must first ask yourself the following questions and answer them according to your needs:
– Q: What are my expectations on the quality of the sound, the touch and the dynamism of the keys?
A: If I don’t have any particular expectations, I will choose a digital keyboard. If I have minimum expectations, I will choose a digital piano. If I have high expectations, I will choose an acoustic piano.
– Q: What is my budget for the purchase of a piano?
A: If I have a budget between 80$ and 300$, I will choose a digital keyboard. If I have a budget between $400 and $800, I will choose a digital piano. If my budget is more than 1000$, I will choose an acoustic piano.
– Q: How much space do I have at home to put my piano?
A: If I have very little space, I will choose a digital keyboard. If I have the space to put a small piece of furniture, I will choose a digital piano. If I have a lot of space (in my living room for example), I will choose an acoustic piano.
– Q: Do I want to be able to move my piano outside of my home?
A: If I want to be able to transport my piano easily enough, I will choose a digital keyboard.
– Q: Would I want to connect my keyboard to my device to learn piano on app or make music production?
A: If I want to be able to plug my piano to my computer, mobile phone or tablet, I will choose a digital keyboard or a digital piano.
– Q: Am I in an apartment and will I disturb my neighbors when I will play on piano?
A: If I risk disturbing my neighbors when I play, I will choose a digital keyboard or a digital piano so that I can plug my headphones into it.
Now, you know enough to make your choice of piano according to your needs. Congratulations!