Best Digital Piano Reviews and Rated – Cheap Electric Pianos For Beginners

You’re a musician and you dream of having that beautiful black grand piano sitting in your living room to play those complex concertos and to write music. That is a beautiful dream, and hopefully one day, you’ll have access to an instrument of that caliber, but until then, you probably have to work, travel, and live in a place where your living room isn’t 1000 square feet on its own.

This is where having a good digital piano comes in. It can be tough to choose the best one, making digital piano reviews essential. You need to find the best digital piano for your situation, and this article will help. Digital piano reviews can help you make your best decision.

Our Top 3 Best Digital Piano Comparison Chart

  • Best Digital Piano For Intermediate Players
  • Casio Privia PX160BK
  • Yamaha Quality and The Best Bang For Your Buck
  • Yamaha P71 Amazon-Exclusive
  • Professional Piano for a Great Price
  • Yamaha P Series P35B

Why Should I Buy a Digital Piano? Isn’t Acoustic Better?

Best Digital Piano

Courtesy of Joshua Schnable

So why would someone buy a digital piano in the first place? What many people think about digital pianos comes from the very first incarnations. Just about everyone remembers pulling out a toy keyboard from under the Christmas tree and turning it on, only to find that only one note at a time played and the keys felt like pudding.

Digital pianos have come a long way since then and offer authentic sounds in space saving designs that you can carry with you conveniently. They also cost way less than that grand!

We’ve compared digital pianos for you to make this decision a little easier. Keep reading for the list and a comparison of digital and acoustic pianos, as well as some other tips and tricks to get you on the path to success.

Digital Piano Reviews

For this list we’ve compared many different digital pianos to give you a comprehensive view of your options. We’ve chosen the best digital pianos in two different big categories, under $500 and under $1000, to make your decision-making, and respecting your wallet, a little bit easier.

In each of these two categories, we will give you the best digital pianos in several different sub-categories, things ranging from beginner pianos to professional home pianos, so that you can find a piano that suits your particular situation as well. Keep reading to see what we’ve decided!

Under $500

Yamaha Quality and The Best Bang For Your Buck

Yamaha P71 Amazon-Exclusive Digital Piano

Yamaha P71 Amazon-Exclusive Digital Piano

The Yamaha P71 is a slim design with a depth of just 12 inches, and it weighs 25 pounds. It features an 88 key weighted keyboard and contains 10 different voices, including a sample from a Yamaha acoustic grand piano.

The weighted keys are Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Design. This simulates the action of a grand piano, which tends to be heavier than an upright. The keys are also weighted more heavily on the lower end to simulate the natural physics of grands. Although this might take a little getting used to, musicians shouldn’t find it inhibiting.

It offers 10 different voices, including strings and harpsichord. Its best feature though is sampling real Yamaha grands in three different tonal qualities. You can choose the regular piano tone, or a brighter version or mellower version of it.

It features the basic effects of an acoustic piano as well. Striking and holding a note on the keyboard produces a slightly different sound than playing and using the sustain. The pedal effect maintains pretty well, but the resonance is only local without regards to any other keys being pressed.

The sound quality on the higher octaves is a little harsh for an authentic piano sound, producing something more tinny than the rest of the keyboard. Although the sound quality is good for its price class, long time acoustic piano players might find it a small bit off-putting. As always, test a model in real life to see if the sound is acceptable for what you need.

Playing with headphones alleviates any issues with the internal speakers, which are perfectly fine, but might be disappointing to someone who’s played on a more expensive keyboard with a more elaborate set of internal speakers. That being said, at normal volume and playing speed, the register of the high and low keys mimic fairly well the natural acoustics of a traditional piano.

Pros

This piano is small and light. If your studio or living space isn’t very big, then this is a great option.

The price is great as well, especially for beginners who can’t shell out for an acoustic piano yet.

Cons

The sound on the high register is a bit tinny and harsh, and the internal speakers are a little too quiet.

Conclusion

Overall, at just under $400, this is a great quality digital piano for those needing to save money and still get a good weighted action keyboard with a small footprint.

Best Digital Piano For Intermediate Players

Casio Privia PX160BK

Best Digital Piano

If you’re an intermediate player and have a little more room in your budget, the Casio Privia PX160BK is a good choice. It offers 18 authentic piano sounds to accommodate your ear and features Casio’s version of the natural feel of an acoustic grand, the Acoustic and intelligent Resonator (AiR.)

The keyboard also takes into account the natural physics of an acoustic grand piano, offering different weights for different parts of the keyboard. Heavier hammers in the lower end feel differently than the higher end. This is due to Casio’s tri-sensor that takes into account the way different size hammers feel at different points in the register.

Casio also redesigned the chassis to accommodate their newer speaker system, which is aimed towards the front rather than downward. It features dual headset inputs which would allow for a student and a teacher to listen without disturbing anyone else in the area, and the outputs are located both front and back.

It features 18 different tones, including various piano sounds, harpsichord and strings. It can be formatted for dual play for different tones, or split into an equal register so that both a student and a teacher can play together. You can also layer the sounds as well, even in a split mode.

It has a two track recorder that can record and play back sessions, so that students can evaluate their own performance, or to give you a neat party trick. Everything can be backed up to the computer via the USB, and the owners manual details how to do this. It also lists many functions that are not directly listed on the keyboard controls themselves.

Although the keyboard has an excellent and realistic feel, some of the keys produce a noise on the bounce back which can make recording difficult. For some, this is an easily overlooked issue. The sound quality of the front inputs isn’t as clear as the back, though again, playing through headphones or an external speaker can alleviate this.

Pros

It offers variety of sounds, recording options, and keyboard set-ups.

It features dual outputs for front and back sound production

Cons

The keyboard has the potential to make ambient sound from the bounce back of certain keys.

Conclusion

Overall, intermediate students or casual musicians will be very happy with the new speaker system and the quality of this digital piano that offers a realistic feel for a price just under $500.

Professional Piano for a Great Price

Yamaha P Series P35B 88-Key Digital Piano

Yamaha P Series P35B 88-Key Digital Piano

This is the first digital piano in Yamaha’s P-series. It offers Yamaha’s Graded Hammer design, which gives the keys a natural weighted feel similar to that of a grand piano. The keys on the lower end are heavier while those on the higher end are more responsive, similar to the way different weights of hammers feel on an acoustic keyboard.

The P35 offers 10 different voices, but what is unique is the natural grand piano sound. Yamaha uses something called Advanced Wave Memory sampling to record an acoustic piano using two different microphones in order to create the rich and spacious sound of a traditional piano.

It’s slim and compact, making it a great fit for smaller practice and living spaces. At just over 25 pounds, it’s a little bit larger than the first Yamaha on this list, but this shouldn’t interfere with the portability. It’s an excellent gig instrument if that’s what you need.

The design itself is simple, and the digital features are pared down to what most people would really need. In terms of playability and sound, for the price – just under $500 – this is a great option for someone looking for a quality feel and sound of an acoustic without the hefty price of some of the fancier digital models with all the included effects and other functions.

Changing the sounds and setting functionality is set by pressing on the keys themselves, which make take some getting used to for anyone switching to this from a busier digital model. It doesn’t have the ability to customize controls on the console.

It doesn’t accept the full three pedals, only the one sustain pedal, but this shouldn’t be an issue for the price range as the action of the keyboard and the authentic piano sound should more than make up for the lack.

Pros

It has an ultra slim footprint and responsive weighted keys

Cons

It is only compatible with one pedal and doesn’t offer a wide range of effects

Conclusion

Overall, this piano is a good investment for the price point especially if you don’t need all the fancy effects and pedals. In terms of a practice instrument, this one fits the bill without breaking your wallet. Even though it doesn’t accept all three pedals, investing in one good sustain pedal will be more than enough to make this piano work for you.

Best Digital Piano For Starters and Children

Casio CTK2400 61- Key Portable Keyboard

Casio CTK2400 61- Key Portable Keyboard

This Casio is a slim 61 note semi-weighted keyboard with a built in microphone and a power supply included. It has a wide range of tones and voices, and it’s easy to master the controls. It’s the cheapest weighted keyboard on this list.

The best thing about this keyboard is the price. At less than $100 it offers children and true beginners the chance to get their feet wet in the world of piano playing without throwing down a ton of cash.

For parents who want to give their children a good chance at success, but cringe at the thought of spending a lot of money on yet another thing their children will forget about later, this digital is a good choice.

One particularly good aspect is that the keys are somewhat touch sensitive meaning that someone can change the volume by the amount of pressure on the key. This is an essential starting point for someone beginning to learn and will make transitioning to an acoustic or higher end digital much easier in the future.

Another good feature is that the keyboard is a short scale, making it easier to store and set up. Smaller hands and arms will have an easier time with the keyboard, though this will turn into a disadvantage later if the student becomes much more proficient and needs the full range of notes.

A big disadvantage is that it doesn’t come with a pedal, but again for beginning students this shouldn’t be much of a problem.

While Casio produces quality instruments, you are definitely getting what you pay for with this. The volume can be unreliable and somewhat low, which isn’t so much of a problem if you play with headphones.

This keyboard also comes with a stand, but there isn’t a way to secure the piano to the stand. It works fine, but you may think about playing this on a table or a more sturdy surface. It’s light and extremely portable so carrying it shouldn’t be much of a problem, nor should storing it when not in use.

Pros

The short scale is perfect for children and beginners
This is a cheap piano for beginners.

Cons

It’s somewhat cheaply made and may disappoint a more seasoned musician

Conclusion

Overall it is a good buy for the money, especially for parents looking to give children a chance without losing too much money if music turns out not to be what the children want.

Great Intermediate Digital Piano

Alesis Coda Pro

Alesis Coda Pro

The Alesis Coda Pro is a weighted action 88 key keyboard with 20 built in sounds and extra features such as record and playback, layering, and splitting the keyboard. It has a 64 voice polyphony, which will give you the chance to play more complex pieces, and it comes with a sustain pedal.

It has an excellent real piano sound, mimicking some of the natural dampening of low notes. It also mimics the slight imperfections of octave notes just as an acoustic piano. If you are looking for the prefect crispness of a digital piano, then this one may not be the right one for you.

One of the drawbacks is that the sustain pedal isn’t very strong. It will sustain notes to a certain point, but it won’t sustain smoothly the way an acoustic sustain will.

If you need a digital piano with a variety of voices, then this may not be for you either. It carries the basics, but overall this piano is for someone who isn’t looking for a lot of the digital bells and whistles.

The headphone jacks are located on the front rather than on the side, and the keyboard comes with a pitch bend wheel, which is sometimes hard to find. The built in speakers are pretty good too, though as with most digital pianos, the volume isn’t as loud as many people would like.

Although the sounds are limited, what is available is of good quality. In addition to the natural piano sounds, it also features other traditional voices such as harpsichord and clavichord. Both of these respond really well to touch sensitivity and offer a clean pleasant sound.

After 30 minutes the keyboard shuts off with inactivity. When this happens, the settings go back to default so if you are prone to long periods of thinking before you come back to playing, this might get annoying for you.

Although the keys are weighted and feel similar to a real piano, there is no difference in responsiveness between the low register and the high register. This may not be a problem for you at all, and many people may not notice.

Pros

It offers a good amount of basic features for an intermediate musician
It has good built in speakers, so you can play right out of the box

Cons

There aren’t a lot of effects and the sustain pedal has difficulty sustaining notes for full lengths of time.

Conclusion

Overall, for the price point this is a quality basic digital piano for someone more familiar with the instrument. It sounds good right out of the box and is simple to learn so you can get to playing without spending much time with your manual.

Under 1000$

Great Digital Piano for Home

Casio PX-860 Privia Digital Home Piano

Casio PX-860 Privia Digital Home Piano

The Casio PX-860 is a lovely digital piano that mimics an upright. It features an 88 key weighted keyboard with natural hammer action.

It makes use of Casio’s AiR sound system to capture the feeling of a 9 foot grand piano. The tones are deep and authentic. The sound was captured in stereo, and there are different settings that allow you to simulate the sound of a grand in a variety of locations. It also mimics the damper resonance for when the sustain pedal is used versus holding the open strings.

The key action itself is scaled to match the weight and resistance of the acoustic piano and the different weights of hammers across both the low and the high scale. This lends a further element of realistic acoustic sound and experience.

It also features a really impressive 256 note polyphony. It has both split and layer capacity so that you can customize the keyboard for a variety of functions. Although the sounds offered are numerous, it does feature 18 classic types of sounds including organ and strings.

It has USB and two headphone jacks so you can record to a computer, and listen to the music privately. There is also a volume control and a few other controls on the console to make playing in your apartment a little easier on your neighbors.

The downside is that it’s heavy. It isn’t meant to be very portable. Also, the sustain pedal doesn’t quite match the sound quality of an acoustic when running through note runs, though that’s difficult to do digitally.

The stand is nice, resembling a piece of furniture rather than the cheap X style stand, but it is particle board so time will tell how well it will hold up under serious playing. Most likely this will fit all your needs on a slightly higher end keyboard without being too complicated, or offering unneeded bells and whistles.

Pros

It has good sound and an impressive 256 note polyphony

Cons

It’s really heavy

Conclusion

It’s one of the best electronic pianos to fit into a smaller space at home or into a smaller practice area. Overall the weight of the keys is realistic and will give add to the home music environment. It’s worth the extra money if you are looking for something a little sturdier to integrate into your home permanently.

Best Digital Keyboard for Professionals

Roland A-88

Roland A-88

Roland is a legendary brand and this particular keyboard features all their expertise. It’s an 88 key weighted keyboard. It has a midi keyboard controller and assignable knobs and switches. It also has the ability to layer sounds on the keyboard, and to split the keyboard into two different sounds or two equal registers.

One of the best things about this particular keyboard is the realistic action and sound. It’s one of the best digital keyboards around. Roland has done an excellent job of reproducing the sound of a grand, and playing this keyboard should satisfy most musicians. It has heavy weighted keys and will require more dexterity to play complex pieces.

It can be customized easily by assigning different functions to different controls. If you do a lot of recording, this extra feature might be worth it so you can create your own shortcuts. It also has three slots for pedals for more control closer to an acoustic piano. It comes with a single pedal for dampening, but you have options.

Another upside to this piano is that it’s simply a beautiful instrument. Looks may not matter to you, but if you are concerned about how it will look in your living room, Roland pianos rarely disappoint.

It doesn’t feature external speakers, so you’ll have to have your own set up. If you play exclusively through headphones this shouldn’t be a problem, or if you have all the sound equipment already. If you aren’t heavy into the music and recording scene, this may add an extra unexpected cost to your purchase.

It does require that you spend some time customizing it for your particular use, so it isn’t the type of instrument that you can just take out of the box and play. A professional shouldn’t have any problem with this, although a newer student might find this intimidating, or at the very least irritating.

Pros

It is easily customizable and features a lot of recording options.

Cons

There’re no external speakers, so you will need to purchase or already have the appropriate equipment.

Conclusion

If you already have access to the needed equipment for customization and sound, then this would be an excellent choice for a keyboard that mimics an acoustic. It’s a great machine for someone who already has all the necessary equipment and is a little more familiar with digital piano functionality.

Classic Home Digital Piano

Casio PX760 BK Privia Digital Home Piano

Casio PX760 BK Privia Digital Home Piano

The Casio Privia is an 88 key piano that offers concert grand weighted keys and touch sensitivity. It is meant to mimic the sound and feel of playing a concert grade piano so if you are looking for the best piano keyboard, this is a good start.

The action is a tri-scaled hammer action that replicates the feel of heavier keys on the low register, and the more sensitive keys on the high register. It also replicates the way a sound will fade naturally when a key is played and released on an acoustic piano.

It also offers a polyphony count of 128. Although this isn’t as high as some on the market, it is still an impressive range that will allow you to play more advanced classical pieces with accuracy and clarity.

It’s a really lovely instrument. It’s a console model, so it isn’t meant to be carted around to multiple gigs. Instead, it integrates with your existing furniture looking more like a traditional upright.

The stand is integrated and is compatible for three different pedals, giving you a few sound options that mimic a concert grand. It also comes with 10 orchestral pieces so that piano parts can be practiced easily. You can also adjust the tempo of these pieces.

One drawback is the weighted keys can be tough for someone who isn’t used to playing on a concert grand piano. If you are used to playing this type of instrument, then the action will be fine, but many people may need to get used to the force needed to sound any of the notes.

The keys also bounce a bit on impact, which can also affect your playing style if you are used to the natural feedback of an acoustic hammer.

Pros

High polyphony count and touch sensitive weighted keys

Cons

The weight of the keys may be a little heavy for some newer players, or those not used to playing on a concert grand piano. Heavier keys make scales and runs a little more difficult, and if your fingers aren’t attuned yet, you’ll need some practice striking the key with the correct pressure.

Conclusion

Overall, this piano is a good choice for someone who is looking for a console style digital without a lot of extra features. And playing with the extra weighted keys can help increase finger dexterity though you may not need such a heavily weighted instrument for that.

Best Home Digital Piano: The Way Real Piano Feels and Sounds

The Way Real Piano Feels and Sounds

Kawai KDP90 Digital Piano

Kawai KDP90 Digital Piano

The sound quality could be better to match the feel of the keyboard.
This is an 88 key weighted action keyboard with realistic hammer action. It features realistic recorded sounds of different kinds of acoustic pianos, and has an integrated console.

The feel of the keys is very natural and this will be so important for the quality of your practice. There is minimal clacking on the bounce back; you’d probably have to have the volume turned way down to notice. People who are used to playing digital pianos may not even notice this small sound.

It also has four different realistic piano tones, so you can choose the timbre of sound that you like. You can adjust based on which type of concert you’d like to simulate. The pedal offers a natural reverb and vibration, again very similar to what an acoustic piano will produce.

One of the drawbacks is that the sound quality isn’t fantastic. Although the action of the keyboard is very realistic, the sound doesn’t mimic an acoustic as well as the feel of the keyboard does. If you are looking for a sound that mimics exactly the sounds of an acoustic piano, then you might look elsewhere. Using headphones helps things, but you should play it before considering.

Another issue is that it’s just really heavy. Although it does save some space as far as footprint, it will be difficult to carry it up multiple flights if you need to get it past the first floor. It also requires some assembly that will make it difficult to just open and play straight from the box.

It doesn’t come with a lot of features. If you need a lot of choices as far as effects or sound manipulation, you won’t find that here. But if you need a solid instrument to integrate with your existing furniture, this is a sturdy piece.

Pros

The piano’s action is very close to an acoustic piano

Cons

The piano sounds could be more authentic.

Conclusion

Overall, it is a bit expensive for the types of features it has, but it does make up for this by being well made and by providing realistic action so that you can get the feel of an acoustic piano. And it does offer some different effects just to get started playing and experimenting.

The Top 3 Digital Piano Brands

There are a lot of companies out there that make digital pianos, everyone from knock off brands at big box stores, to thousands of dollars for a professional grade digital piano. If you don’t already know a lot about digital pianos, it can be hard to know where to start looking.

There are three brands that are famous for their digital pianos. These brands have been around since the very beginning days of digital and they make an excellent place to start. We even have reviews of pianos from these companies including from Yamaha.

Yamaha

digital piano reviews

Courtesy of Joshua Schnable

Yamaha is a leader in the music industry. Their instruments are tough, well built and last a long time. Yamaha has put a lot of time into building a great digital piano in a variety of price ranges. Although pianos are not the only type of instrument they make, they are definitely out front of the competition when it comes to digital pianos, and most Yamaha digital piano reviews will confirm.

Yamaha uses graded hammer action key sets in order to mimic the natural feel of an acoustic piano. While you don’t have to splurge for weighted keys, if you do Yamaha has some excellent models with this feature.

It also uses proprietary wave sampling technology and a variety of other types of voices, modulators, and tones, as well as other features such as recording and playback.

Owning a Yamaha is a solid investment because Yamaha digital pianos use these latest technological advances so you never feel like you are purchasing a piano from the 80’s. These are high value machines, even when you purchase entry level. Yamaha is a leader in the field, and engineers often use Yamaha designs in their own work.

Casio

best digital pianos

Courtesy of Hamish Foxley

Casio is almost a piece of history. The very beginnings of digital pianos, there were Casios, and today, Casio has come a long way from the toy digital pianos of your childhood. When they started, they had a reputation of cheaply made instruments and they have worked very hard to overcome this reputation.

Now, with digital pianos like the Privia, Casio can offer you some of the best digital pianos on the market in a variety of price ranges and scales. The company offers both short scale keyboards and full keyboards, full console machines, and easily portable gig pianos.

Casio uses graded hammer technology to mimic the natural physics of an acoustic piano. They also use state of the art air wave sound technology and systems, and they feature all these to some extent even in their entry level models.

Most consumers will be pleasantly surprised to play a Casio now. They’ve done a lot to produce quality made instruments, and continue to search for better ways to mimic the natural sounds and feel of acoustic pianos. The best part? Many models are ready to play straight out of the box with only a small learning curve.

Roland

Roland digital piano

Courtesy of Ed Uthman

Roland pianos have a touch of class, and the brand has the reputation of being a leader in digital piano innovation. Each instrument is expertly constructed and will last a long time. They are sturdy, but also beautiful, instruments.

A Roland digital piano will blend into your existing home decor without screaming “digital piano.” Many have the same look and feel as a classic piano.

They offer graded hammer technology which mimics the different weights of the low and high registers as well as the feeling of a hammer striking the note. They also use proprietary wave sampling technology, and have tone modulation and easy sound customization. They are midi compatible, and include other connections in most of their models.

Regardless of your price range or skill level, Roland has a model that is perfect for your needs. They are classic machines while still offering the latest in digital piano technology. They have some of the best products currently on the market, and make excellent investments for beginning students all the way to seasoned musicians.

Choosing a Digital Piano: Factors to Consider

quality digital pianos

Courtesy of Prima Vista

Cost

Of course cost will come up in any conversation about investing in an instrument, but don’t let fear of money keep you from having the conversation in the first place. There are quality digital pianos at just about every budget. Once you decide how much you can spend, you can play a few instruments in person that fit your budget requirements.

Weighted Keys

Many people still remember the first digital pianos, and how difficult it was to transition from an acoustic to a digital and vice versa. Key sensitivity has come a long way since then, with manufacturers pouring a lot of thought and innovation into recreating the natural resistance of acoustic keys.

Having weighted keys means that the key will respond to light or heavy touch, and the keys will feel different based on where they are located in the register. The best keyboards mimic the resistance of the lower end, and the more responsive touch of the higher end.

If you are playing classical pieces or advanced scores, this sensitivity becomes essential. One option that is available is something called a semi weighted keyboard, which offers more response than unweighted keys, but can be lighter and cheaper than fully weighted keys. That being said, it’s important to play many different options in person before deciding what works best for your needs.

Number of Keys

best digital pianos for beginnersAll pianos have the same number of keys, right? Problem solved.

Not quite. A full scale keyboard offers 88 keys, but there are many options for shorter scale keys. Your most common choices are 88 keys, 76, 61, and 44. Beginning students who don’t need the full range of keys will have an easier time with a shorter scale, though depending on how fast you progress as a student, these could limit you.

88 keys makes for a long keyboard that can be more difficult to move, but it won’t limit the pieces that you can play, especially as you begin to practice advanced scores.

Extra Features

Digital keyboards

Courtesy of Frank Boston

Will you be doing a lot of recording? Experimenting with different sounds? Will you need multiple input jacks or built in speakers?

Digital keyboards can come loaded with features that rival a computer, so it’s important to consider what you are hoping to get out of it. If you’re buying one only for the price, or to save space, then upgrading to fancy features that require you to keep the manual easily accessible may not be necessary.

Some features you may consider are multiple input jacks for headphones so that you are able to play with your teacher without disturbing someone else in the next room. Many people are unhappy with the onboard speakers of even higher end digital pianos, so listening to the sound will be crucial to your decision to get external speakers.

You may also need USB ports and midi connections especially if you are doing a lot of recording. Other types of features can be external pedals for sustain or dampening. If you are looking for a natural piano feel, then the pedal action is just as important as the keys. A good pedal can intensify the experience of playing.

You may also think about how many other types of voices you’ll want aside from the traditional ones. Usually digital pianos come with different tones of piano, plus traditional instruments like organ, strings or harpsichord. Others come with a full range of instrumental sounds plus sound effects. Deciding what sort of sound range is important to you can help you narrow the choices.

Polyphony

Polyphony keyboards reviewsBasically, polyphony is the maximum number of sounds that a keyboard is capable of playing at once. Keyboards that are basically children’s toys will only play one note at a time. Real digital keyboards come in a variety of different numbers, but you shouldn’t aim for anything less than 32.

And really, 64 to 128 is a much better option. Even though the standard keyboard only has 88 keys, when playing elaborate pieces with complex runs requiring you to use the sustain, that 32 note cut off will limit your ability to play. If you are a true beginner, this may not be that important, but intermediate to advanced students will need to upgrade in order to practice the full range of scores available to them.

Acoustic Vs Digital: Why Should I Buy a Digital Piano?

The best digital pianos

Courtesy of Sean MacEntee

Digital Pianos have come a long way since the synthesizers of the 80’s. And students of piano have a choice to make when investing in a piano. Acoustic pianos have a lot to offer, rich beautiful sound goes without saying. But don’t discount digital pianos. The best digital pianos may have some compelling reasons for you to commit besides just saving space.

A brutally honest advantage of electronic pianos is that they are cheaper. A lot cheaper. New student or seasoned musician, you need to be able to practice regularly, and for a lot of people a good quality traditional piano is much more than they can afford. You can hope to get really lucky at a yard sale, but the price range of a quality digital piano puts an instrument within reach.

Another advantage is the level of control you have with a digital. Digital requires no tuning or maintenance, and if you live in an apartment or with roommates, you have the ability to control the volume, or remove it altogether with the use of headphones.

Acoustic pianos are loud even when played quietly, which may not go over well with your neighbors.

best electronic piano

Courtesy of Andy McDowall

Even some of the cheapest digital pianos have record and playback features that come in handy if you are a new student. The best electronic piano will even mimic the feel of playing an acoustic.

A disadvantage of a digital piano is still the sound and feel. Even with the advancements in technology that mimic the natural physics of an acoustic piano, they still don’t reproduce the exact sensations as a real piano.

The sounds of a digital piano are recordings, and while most reputable brands use high quality recordings of acoustic grand pianos, there will always be something missing from the sound of digital.

Another disadvantage, if we are still being brutally honest, is the aesthetic value. Acoustic pianos, especially grands, are beautiful, and digital pianos rarely measure up in sheer beauty.

That being said, the advantages of a digital piano make it a worthwhile investment. It’s possible to love your digital as much as any acoustic piano if you choose the right one for you and make sure that you know exactly what you need. Take the time to play as many as you can before deciding and that will get you much closer to your perfect digital piano.

Accessories for your Digital Piano

integrated console

Courtesy of Joshua Schnable

Alright, you’ve decided on your piano, and now all that’s left to do is to go home and put it together and start playing, right?

Not exactly. Even if you are a beginner without much knowledge of music and instruments, there are some things that you’ll want to consider to make playing your new digital piano a little easier.

First, a bench would be good, especially if you plan to get a piano with an integrated console. The bench should be comfortable enough to allow you to play, but sturdy enough to maintain your posture.

Second, some kind of pedal will increase the similarity to an acoustic piano. Pedals can sustain sound or dampen sound, among other things.

You might also need some other smaller equipment based on your own needs such as a music stand or headphones.

Choose The Best Piano Bench

On Stage KT7800 Plus Padded Keyboard Bench

On Stage KT7800 Plus Padded Keyboard BenchThis bench features a seat with three inch padding and a spring loaded locking system so that you never worry about the bench collapsing.

This bench is sturdy enough that it can function as your main bench if you have a console, or as a good gig bench if you need to carry your digital piano with you.

It can support up to 330 pounds, and the back and forth sturdiness is solid. It also allows for four different height positions.

The legs can be removed completely or collapsed to allow for travel, though the locking pins require some fiddling before they snap into place.

Best Sustain Pedal For Your Piano

M-Audio SP-2 Universal Sustain Pedal

M-Audio SP-2 Universal Sustain PedalDo you know what polarity is for digital pianos? If you do or if you don’t, it doesn’t matter because this particular pedal comes with a switch so you never have to worry. It features a realistic sustain and push action.

It’s a solid pedal. It doesn’t rock back and forth the way some do and feels sturdy. Although it has the tendency to slip, keeping the floor and the foot of the pedal free of dirt and debris seems to take care of this issue.

Heavy Duty Piano Keyboard Stand

Knox Z Style Adjustable Piano Stand

Knox Z Style Adjustable Piano StandIf your keyboard doesn’t come with a integrated console, then you’ll probably want to invest in a good stand, rather than simply playing it on the table or the floor. A stand helps keep your posture correct and protect your investment.

This stand is sturdy and features an adjustable height and length. Its open design can be played with pedals and plenty of cables, and the top has foam pads to prevent keyboard slippage. The joints lock into place for security.

It’s an a well designed, yet portable, stand that should last the life of your digital piano.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor HeadphonesPart of the appeal of a digital piano is the ability to play without bothering your roommate or your neighbors. One essential item for this is a pair of headphones.

The Audio Technica headphones are a sturdy, foldable set of headphones in the below $100 range. They are comfortable for a wide range of head sizes and feature 40mm drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad wire.

They are collapsible for easy portability, and are designed for tasks such as tracking, recording, and have an excellent midrange quality.

Why Should I Learn To Play the Piano?

Playing an instrument isn’t just about the party tricks. You should learn to play the piano because playing an instrument increases your likelihood of staving off the effects of aging on the brain. It builds discipline and helps to instill a sense of follow through.

Learning music translates to other skills as well. The continual practice and accomplishment exercises your brain, and gives you a way to entertain yourself when you are bored. There is no age limit; anyone can pick up the piano at any age.

At the very least, diving into learning the piano gives you a leg up on all those classic New Year’s resolutions. Remember those? Get healthy, stop smoking, and… drumroll… learn the piano. It’s a sure win that won’t be nearly as painful as the other two.

Tips for Learning to Play

learning the piano

Courtesy of Shahzada Hatim

One big tip for learning the piano is to have fun with it. Trust me, no one is good when they first start.

It’s important to practice both playing by ear and learning to read some style of music notation. One will increase your ability to play fluidly, and the other will give you a reliable way to practice and recreate songs that you hear.

Practice isn’t fun, but try to choose things that you want to learn to play. This will help you practice without it being too much of a drudgery. Eventually, you will be comfortable enough that you’ll be able to play for enjoyment and get into the flow. However at first, you’ll have to find interesting ways to motivate yourself.

If you need more inspiration, we have another page with easy songs for beginners here to help you get started.

Will My Posture Help Me Play Better?

Posture and piano

Courtesy of Susan Smith

It’s important also to maintain good posture while at the piano. The way to do this is by first adjusting the bench. The height of the bench should allow your forearms to be parallel to the floor, and the arms to fall freely from the shoulder. You shouldn’t be reaching for the piano, or crunched up. Instead, the hands should rest naturally on the piano keys.

The distance from the bench to the piano should bring your elbows forward ever so slightly. Again, you shouldn’t have to reach for the keys, and the elbows shouldn’t be far in front of you.

You should also be able to move your torso easily from the hips to reach keys at the extreme ends of the keyboard. Don’t perch on the edge of the bench, but don’t sit too far back either. Sit in a position that supports your lower back and allows you to rotate your body easily.

How Do I Take Care of My Digital Piano?

maintain pianoOnce you find your perfect keyboard, it’s important to maintain it so that it lasts as long as possible.

Choose the right location. Keep it away from extreme temperature changes, any drafts or direct heating vents, heavy foot traffic, and direct sunlight.

Only clean your keyboard with a dry cloth, never with water or cleaning products. Make sure that your hands are clean before you begin to play.

Keep an eye on all cords and plugs. Make sure that connections are secure and that there is no damage.

Treat your piano as an instrument and not as a piece of furniture. Shelves are for books and plants. Pianos are not. Don’t let children climb on the instrument.

Protect it by covering the keyboard when it isn’t in use, and by keeping pets away. Supervise children when they are playing. Don’t put food or drink near your piano.

Can’t I Just Buy a Used Piano?

buy a digital piano

Courtesy of hto2008

So you want a better piano than what you can afford right now, or you may not know where to buy a digital piano. We’ve been trained to look for bargains, but the truth is that shopping for a digital piano can be risky if you are looking for a used model.

There’s no pricing standard for used digital pianos. Sure the one you found on eBay may retail for a lot more but there’s no way to tell if it’s been treated well, or if it’s likely to last you a long time. Used pianos are out of warranty and unpredictable.

Another issue is that sometimes newer models of pianos will retail at the same price your used digital piano is selling for used. Even if the used piano once retailed for a lot more, chances are you’ll find an equivalent piano new in the same price range.

Just because a piano was once expensive doesn’t mean it’s worth the used price now.

Going back to its treatment before you found it, unseen damages can make even the best deal a disappointment in the long run. Again, there’s no way to tell how a piano was treated or stored before it was put up for sale.

Even if it looks good and plays good, there are things that could be wrong inside that are ticking time bombs.

Price depreciation also means that newer models are consistently better quality than older models. Buying a new piano ensures that you get the latest technology when you make your investment, not last year’s tech. Starting with used puts you behind right at the very start, and makes it less likely that the piano will suit your needs for as long as you need it.

Overall, it’s a much safer bet to invest in a new piano. There are just too many unknown factors in play to make a used piano a safe purchase. If you have a really tight budget, there are some good cheap electric pianos out there.

If you need more help, head over to our beginners guide to buying a digital piano. It has tips and information, including the best cheap digital piano advice, to make the whole process a little easier.

The Final Lessons

best digital pianoIf you are serious about wanting to learn the piano, don’t let the fear of investing in a good instrument prevent you from fulfilling your goal. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get a good quality instrument.

Practice is essential and while today you may think it’s possible to go to a practice room, or to borrow someone else’s instrument, you’re going to realize in the long run that having the instrument easily accessible to you will make or break your practice habit.

You might also be thinking that you’ll just wait to purchase a digital piano when you are better at playing. However, you’ll be taking away your best chance of getting better if you wait.

If you are worried about money, there are lower priced instruments that offer quality and similar experience to an acoustic piano. You can even test out a few models in person before you buy, and definitely read some piano reviews, but it’s still essential to go ahead and get the piano.

Don’t wait until you are a better player or you have thousands of dollars. Go ahead and give yourself the best chance you can of accomplishing your goal of learning to play. There’s no better time than right now to do so.

If you have any more questions about buying your new digital piano, be sure to let us know. Take a minute and share this info or comment below with some of your own experiences!