If you are learning to play piano, it is recommended to begin with a digital piano or keyboard rather than an acoustic piano since they are quite expensive and take up quite a lot of room.
While many people use the term digital pianos and keyboards interchangeably, the two differ. Let’s look at the differences between the two instruments and how they can impact the music.
Digital piano vs keyboard; the main differences
If you want to learn to play piano but do not want to pay a high price for it and do not have much room to keep it either, a digital or electronic piano is the right choice. As the name implies, digital piano aims to replicate an acoustic or grand piano to produce the authentic piano sound.
Its weighted keys are intended to provide a playing experience similar to conventional acoustic pianos. While some have hammered key assembly, most digital pianos have an electronic sound generator to produce an authentic acoustic piano sound.
Digital pianos are less expensive easy to move and maintain. Due to their convenience, even any experienced musician or touring musicians may use them for recording at home etc.
On the other hand, a keyboard piano is designed to produce sound in a wider range than conventional pianos. Because of their wider range is preferred by intermediate and experienced musicians, who want to create music and their own sounds.
Keyboards have hundreds of sounds and enable you to tailor your sounds, but they mostly do not have weighted keys.
Different types of digital pianos
There are two main categories of digital pianos.
Upright digital pianos
They are fixed on a wooden cabinet like the acoustic piano. Upright pianos have built-in speakers and provide multiple sound effects.
Portable digital pianos
Also called stage pianos or workstation pianos, the portable digital pianos are easy to transport and preferred by touring musicians. However, they do not have built-in speakers and require an amplifier.
Different types of keyboards
From the toy store to the high-end musical instruments store, you will find different kinds of keyboards. The ones found at the music store with multiple advanced features are intended to cater to the needs of experienced musicians and music producers.
These keyboards are designed to produce multiple tones, voices and piano sounds and allow more control to the user. This category of keyboard pianos includes synthesizers and MIDI controllers.
Another point of difference is the number of keys. Some keyboard pianos have less than 88 keys, usually found in digital pianos. While this does not impact the sound quality or the music, it certainly makes them more compact. Since most keyboards do not have weighted keys, the keys do not move like real pianos.
Digital piano vs keyboard piano; which one to choose
When deciding whether you want a digital piano or a keyboard piano, you need to consider various factors. For instance, you can find an electronic keyboard that is reasonably priced.
Similarly, if you are keen on having a portable instrument, a keyboard is a better option. However, the most important consideration for you as a musician may be the purpose. If you want to replicate the sound quality of an acoustic piano, an electronic keyboard is a better option. But, if you are looking to create music in different sounds and ranges, a keyboard may be more useful.