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8 things to consider when buying a digital piano



It’s never easy to choose a digital piano. It can be overwhelming with all different pianos that do this and that.


To make it a little bit easier, we thought that writing an article about 8 important things that a digital piano should include can make it easier for you to decide which one you like.


SOUND


The sound quality of the piano is, for many people, a crucial aspect if they’re going to buy it or not. I can totally agree.


If you’re not satisfied with the sound quality, it may result in you never playing that piano again.

In that case, it was unnecessary to buy a piano from the beginning.


So be careful when you listen to the speakers from the piano. Because they will either make you satisfied or not.


So I recommend you test the piano you’re interested in. You can still buy it online, but if you have the opportunity to test the piano, then do it.


It can also be a good idea to have the opportunity to play with headphones.

Then you can avoid the neighbors complaining, and also get a more isolated sound which can be satisfying.


But, external speakers are a must and headphones aren't.


Another thing to look out for is the sound library. What I mean is how many sounds you’re gonna be able to play in, not how many built in songs.


Some people require hundreds of sounds to play in. While others think it's enough with just a piano and electric piano sound. It depends on who you are.


But something worth mentioning, entry level pianos/keyboards tends to have much more built in sounds than what a normal digital piano has.


KEY ACTION


This was the reason why I decided to buy a new digital piano a couple months ago. And I'm pretty sure many others have been in the same situation.


Everyone that’s passionate about playing piano should strive for playing a piano with weighted keys. Weighted keys will allow you to build proper technique with a good hand strength.


Unweighted or semi-weighted won’t provide that. But it’s up to you, semi weighted keys can be a good start on your piano journey, but it will probably limit you.


If you’re playing to buy a digital piano, then you’ll probably get fully-weighted keys. Most digital pianos have fully weighted keys.


Opposite to entry level pianos and 61 key keyboards, they usually have unweighted or semi weighted keys, which won’t replicate an acoustic piano as similar as a digital piano.


The only time I’ll ‘’recommend’’ you to buy a piano with unweighted keys is if a small child is going to play it, or if you’re traveling around the world and you can’t be without a piano. Then I’ll recommend you buying an unweighted key piano because they are often smaller and can fit your bag better than a 88 key digital piano.


POLYPHONY


This might not be the most important aspect in the list, but enough important to be covered.


Polyphony is the number of notes you can play simultaneously without the notes being cut off early. With that said, you don’t want the piano to cut off the notes you play too early.


To achieve that, you’ll need a good polyphony rate.


I usually go for a higher polyphony rate than 64. Anything beneath that will probably not satisfy you. however, it may be sufficient for a beginner but that’s it.


A digital piano will in most cases have more than 64 polyphony. That’s probably something you wont need to worry about. 128 and 256 polyphony is common in digital pianos.


64 or less usually is found in entry level pianos or beginner keyboards.


BRAND


Depending on which brand you choose, you will get different qualities on your piano. However, in the end, a digital piano will always be a digital piano.


But the brands will always have their own qualities. For instance, each brand in some way uses their own sampling technology to replicate the most natural acoustic piano sound.


Big brands like Yamaha and Casio could be very different there. I recommend that you’ll read this GUIDE to get a better sense of the top 5 digital piano brands.


It can also be good to choose a piano from a reliable brand. Like Yamaha and Casio. If you buy from them you can be sure that you wont get a shitty piano or get scammed. These brands have a big reputation in the business and are trustworthy.


PORTABILITY


Depending on your purpose with your piano, It can be good to have a lightweight piano. If you intend to gig, you might not want a piano with a weight of 50 pounds. More likely 25 pounds.


Be sure when you decide to buy. Then you do not have to change the piano later.


It could be a good option to look for a 61 key keyboard instead of 88 key keyboard if you know that you’ll bring it with you. The 61 key keyboard will probably be alot easier to handle than the 88 key.


MIDI


As the world evolves, similar with digital pianos, it is a must for many people to have a midi connection. In older pianos there wasn’t likely to have MIDI connection, but in new pianos/keyboards basically every digital piano has a midi connection today.


The MIDI connection has opened up a new door for making music. These days, for a music producer, MIDI connectivity is a must. At Least on your music making keyboard.


If you’re not making music, the MIDI can still be useful. It allows you to record your performance right into your digital audio workstation (DAW) and save it on the computer instead on the piano itself.


Let’s say your piano doesn't have so many sounds. If that’s the case, then connect your DAW to the piano and use the plugins provided in the program. With the MIDI of course.


In short, look for a piano that has a MIDI connection, it opens up a new world you probably want to be a part of.


FEATURES


When deciding which piano you're gonna buy, you probably want to be aware of what it will include. Different pianos have different features. And you want to be sure your piano comes with the features that’ll suit you.


Let’s say you’re a beginner, then you might want a piano that includes features that will suit a beginner. For instance, the lesson mode could be something a beginner can enjoy playing with in their first piano.


And let’s say you’re a gig musician, then you might want to switch between different sounds as fast as possible.


Just look for a piano with features that simply suit you.


Other features you want to look for can be metronome, playback and recording feature, layer & split mode, transposing and connections for a piano learning app.


ACCESSORIES


Depending on what piano you buy, you will get different accessories. If buying a cabinet piano you probably get the most important accessories included, like sustain pedal, soft and sostenuto.


But if you’re going to buy a keyboard, then keep your eyes open because all keyboards don't include the necessary pedals or a piano stand.



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