Understanding the similarities between Digital Piano and Keyboard might be a bit difficult for you to make an informed decision, especially when you’re fairly new to keyboard instruments. Pianos are a sonorous element of music designed to make you express yourself in a beautiful, musical manner. With technological advancements, Pianos are not limited to their age-old chordophone design anymore and have evolved into electronic variants. But, considering the similarities in terms of appearances and functionality, we understand how it might be confusing to choose the right one, to begin with. To help you make that decision easier, we are here to inform you about the core differences between a digital piano and a keyboard, and more importantly, which one you should go for. So without further ado, let’s begin!
Let’s start with the key arrangements. As everyone already knows, the keys on both the pianos are fairly identical, therefore you’ll require the same hand movements on both of the instruments, making learning one variation instantly beneficial for the other one. However, a small difference is in the numbers of the keys, as a digital piano comes with 88 keys, and a keyboard usually has 61 or 78 keys.
Now, in terms of portability, Digital Pianos are usually on the heavier side and come with a bulky built-in stand that can be fairly difficult to move around due to its weight. On the other hand, keyboards are comparatively lighter and take up a lot less space, and can fit just about anywhere. Therefore, if you have a smaller room, a keyboard should be the right choice as it won’t cramp up your living space. BUT, If you have ample space, nothing completes the overall aesthetic of your room like a piano.
The sound quality, however, is one of the main determining factors for your decision. If you’re knee-deep into audio reproduction and searching for an instrument that can mimic the sounds of a 1st-class Yamaha or Steinway Piano, then going for a digital piano is your best choice, since most of them are made from mimicking acoustic pianos. But, if you’re interested in having more customizability in terms of audio and are looking for a wider range of sounds to tinker with, a keyboard should be right up your alley, as most keyboards have around 100 or more customizable sounds for you to play with.
In terms of hands-on feels, a digital piano feels more like an actual piano compared to a keyboard, as digital pianos feature weighted keys that near-perfectly imitate an acoustic piano. Keyboards, however, come with semi-weighted or unweighted keys that are fairly easy to play and are perfect for young learners. One of the major differences between a digital piano and a keyboard is the pedals. Most digital pianos come with three pedals built-in that serve different purposes, whereas a keyboard doesn’t generally come with these pedals, and instead comes with a quarter-inch input jack for a stand-alone sustain pedal, that comes in a diverse range of styles.
And finally, in terms of pricing, both of these variations have a diversified price point. The general rule of thumb to follow for both variations is higher the price, the higher the quality. If you prefer a good touch, sound quality, and overall smooth experience, going a bit above your price range is highly beneficial, as quality doesn’t come cheap.
In short, do you want to learn an acoustic piano that sounds great, feels heavy, and has an impact on your overall room aesthetics? If so, then going for a digital piano would be in your best interest. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something light, portable, highly customizable with a diverse range of tones, and want an instrument you can carry around with you and jam with your friends, you cannot go wrong with getting a good quality keyboard.