Many people have asked me what about the differences between keyboards and a digital pianos. Both styles offer convenience and portability that can’t be achieved with a traditional acoustic piano and cost considerably less. However, there are several unique qualities that separate the two.
Keyboards are the least expensive option. Their sound is made as the lightweight keys strike metal strings. The vibrations are detected and amplified through a synthesizer. For this reason, keyboards are often referred to simply as “synthesizers.” Some keyboards have fewer keys than an acoustic piano, only bearing 61, but full-size 88-note keyboards are becoming increasingly popular. Many keyboards allow musicians to record and play back their compositions.
Because they do not have strings, digital pianos are lightweight. The key sounds are sampled from an acoustic piano, stored on a sound chip, and amplified through a speaker. They have weighted keys, designed to mimic the feel of acoustic piano playing. Using the same 88 keys of a traditional piano, most have a sound bank of alternate instruments to play. Digital pianos can be connected to a computer to record and play compositions back. They are more expensive than keyboards, but are designed to look more like a baby grand piano, or classic upright acoustics.
If you are unsure that you or your child will enjoy piano lessons, I recommend starting with a keyboard to save costs. The sound is more authentic in a digital piano, and the feel is much closer to an upright piano; however, it is unnecessary to invest large amounts of money on what may be passing hobby. If you are purchasing an instrument for use by the family, I suggest a digital piano, which will look, feel and sound more true to an acoustic.
At Cooper Piano, I am proud to offer a selection of keyboards and pianos that are great for both beginners and experienced composers. Visit our Atlanta location and find the perfect instrument to meet your unique needs and preferences. My family has been in the music business for over 100 years and I am personally dedicated to continuing the legacy of success started by Cooper Music in 1905. My staff is comprised of people who know and love pianos of all types. Come find out why Cooper is one of America’s most respected music retailers today!