Should You Learn to Play on a Digital Piano or a Keyboard?

Blog

Although they utilise similar technologies, digital pianos and keyboards are very different types of instruments. If you are starting out as a beginner, then a big decision will need to be made as to whether or not you buy a digital piano or a more conventional electric keyboard. Before you make a decision, it is best to know a few of the important differences between these two similar instruments. What are they? 

Pricing Considerations

One of the most important factors to take into consideration when buying any sort of musical instrument is the cost. It is fair to say that with by far the majority of musical instruments that the more you spend, the higher quality you get. That said, it is important to remember that digitised pianos are a separate class of instrument than normal keyboards. Therefore, a top-end electric keyboard may be approaching the same sort of quality that you get with a digital piano, even if there is a significant price variation between the two. As a rule of thumb, you should think of a digital piano as a more expensive instrument than a humble keyboard but one that is usually less expensive than, say, a real grand piano.

Weighted Keys

Most digital pianos have weighted keys these days. Although not every single model on offer does, this feature marks them out from nearly every electric keyboard that is on the market. For beginners, this is a crucial factor to take into consideration. Novices will not build up the necessary finger strength to play a real piano if they only ever practice their performance pieces on a mechanically sprung keyboard. You should notice that the superior quality of how a weighted key feels as soon as you press it. They allow for greater expression when playing, something that will become obvious once you reach an intermediate level of playing.

Versatility

Finally, it is worth noting that many digitised pianos are able to pay more than one type of sound. Some will double up as a church organ or even allow you to make harpsichord-like sounds, for example. However, they are usually nowhere near as versatile as a keyboard which, when hooked up to a MIDI system, should allow you to play virtually any type of sound you like, from drumbeats to special effects. Electric keyboards also tend to be a bit lighter and easier to carry around, an important factor to take into consideration if you need to take your instrument with you to music lessons.

Share

16 May 2019

Finding a new sound

I've been a professional piano player for years, but every now and then I feel like I need a new sound. Recently I started to write some new keyboard music and tried out some different styles and personas for a new project. I am not sure what my exact next step is (it always varies when I try to expand musically), but I want to be sure that I stay true to myself and the music that I love no matter what direction I find myself going in. This blog is my place to record my advice and ideas for trying out new things in music. I hope you enjoy it!