How to choose the right type of piano?
Updated: Feb 21
In this article we have covered the 3 most common piano types. Acoustic piano, Digital piano or electronic keyboard. We have covered the most accurate info you need to know about when you are searching around for what type of piano to buy.
First of all, you need to know what kind of player you are. How big is the budget etc? If you plan to buy an acoustic piano you probably know that it won't be cheap. And you already have the money to make that investment.
If not, you can choose between digital piano or electronic keyboard. The 2 most common piano types.
An acoustic piano is something that many people strive for, not only piano lovers like me. tho It's very common that people want this giant instrument in their houses because of their beautiful sound and its impact on the interior. And I truly agree that it's a beautiful instrument.
The acoustic piano has a powerful authentic piano sound. You can clearly feel and hear the richness in it.
The mechanisms are made of real wooden keys and will provide the best hammer action touch feeling. It is made with only physical parts, which means that there is no electronics in this instrument. When you press a key, the hammer action motion hits a string that produces the sound you are able to hear.
It comes with three different pedals, soft, sostenuto and sustain. The sustain pedal is the most used one.
Two types of acoustic piano
When talking about acoustic pianos, there are two different types, either we talk about a grand piano or upright piano. The grand piano is more likely to be used in musicals. With that said, it doesn't mean that you can't have one in your house. You actually can, if you can fit it because it's size can be very big and have a big weight.
The upright piano is more common to see in folks houses. You probably also seen it in an old wild west saloon or when someone is playing blues. It's a bit cheaper than a grand, which can fly away in costs easily. So if your on a budget and still going to buy a acoustic piano, then you will probably go for the upright piano.
An upright piano doesn't need as much maintenance as the grand piano. A grand piano is needed to be tuned 1 or 2 times a year to keep the authentic sound going. The upright won't need the maintenance a grand piano needs. You also want to have in mind where to put a grand piano, you don't want to have it in an environment where there is a lot of damp because that will affect its condition.
It is extremely difficult or maybe impossible to recreate the exactly similar acoustic sound, lucky enough today's technology ha done an extraordinary job to make digital pianos as similar as possible to an acoustic piano. Actually sometimes a digital piano nowadays could sound better than an acoustic piano thanks to the tech industry and the audio engineers that record each note on top of real pianos to then put it in a digital piano.
These digital pianos are the most common piano type you will see in peoples houses nowadays. Because of its flexibility like an electronic keyboard and it's similarity to an acoustic piano, people will buy these. They also aren't that expensive. The price range can vary a lot and you can for sure find a good digital piano for 300-400$.
People also like these because they are very easy to use and has a lot of functions. You can easily connect headphones, so you can play anytime around the clock. Connect USB MIDI if you want to connect it to your computer and play on your DAW (Digital Audio workstation).
How its made
As you can hear on the name ''Digital piano'' you understand that it is made digitally. But how? The piano is sending an electronic signal instead of producing the sound on impact. So the sound that you hear when pressing the hammer action keys on a digital piano is either synthetic or sampled. The synthetic sound is more artificial made and the sampled one is recorded from an acoustic piano. Both are made very closely to a real authentic piano sound.
A digital piano is probably the best piano to learn how to play piano. Because of its 88 hammer action keys (not every digital piano has hammer action keys.) it surely will give you an authentic feeling. It will be more expensive than an electronic keyboard but cheaper than an acoustic. And it will never have to be tuned as an acoustic piano, actually it never needs to be tuned.
Electronic keyboards often come with 61 keys (five octaves). It could be a great way to start out when learning to play piano. Tho it will limit your skills when you start to be good at playing piano, so I would recommend that you only see an electronic keyboard like a start out piano to later upgrade to a full-size keyboard or digital piano.
It's very easy to use, lightweight and portable and most of the time comes with an affordable price and is actually kind of funny to deal with. If you buy an electronic keyboard you will probably have access to a lot of different sounds. But unfortunately as a student you won't develop the hand strength required to have when you want to play piano at a difficult level.
The play experience can vary a lot on different keyboards. For most part on old keyboards, but also on new keyboards, old ones aren't that great nowadays so we recommend you to look on a new electronic keyboard that has today's technology built in.
The keys on an electronic keyboard are made with non weighted keys and with a lower quality on the sound. It doesn't have the same physical parts as a real piano. Lucky enough you will not have to do any maintenance on an electronic keyboard, just like the digital piano.