Home Resources Digital Piano Vs. Keyboard | What You Need to Know

Digital Piano Vs. Keyboard | What You Need to Know

by Marlouzel Mabunga
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Updated 12/31/2018

1,688-word post, approx. 4-5 min. read

Greetings friend and Welcome!

New Year, new goals!

If you’ve been putting off that dream to learn how to play a musical instrument like a digital piano or keyboard, then this is your chance. Or if you already know how to play but want to spend more time practicing, then put that on your New Year’s Resolution list. Of course, you don’t need it to be the 1st of January to start learning something new or building a new habit. Start on the last day of 2018 if you want. What really matters is starting and making time for the things you love.

Deciding to Buy a Musical Instrument

Once you have that willingness, passion, and enthusiasm to be a better musician, there’s no stopping you. However, if you don’t have an instrument to use for your daily practice sessions, then that can be a challenge. Getting yourself an instrument can cost a fortune. But you can also buy digital pianos online. It’s a lot easier to shop for one, and you can read a lot of reviews about the product first before deciding to purchase it.

Before you buy one though, it’s first important to learn what kind of instrument you should use. If you want to play the piano, it may not be a practical idea to get a grand piano immediately, right? It may just be far too expensive for something that you’ll use for your practice sessions. But if you can afford it, then again, there’s nothing and no one to stop you. Indulge and play the best pieces of music to your heart’s content.

The Challenge

Here’s one truth about pianos that you need to know upfront: there are so many kinds and models on the market that you’ll surely be overwhelmed. To help you out, I’ve decided to narrow down the options into two: Digital Piano Vs. Keyboard.

I’ve dedicated this post to really going into the details of the differences between the two in order to help you in deciding which will be best suited for your needs as a musician. Pro or beginner, you should have the best possible musical instrument so that you can continue to practice and play excellent music.

Getting a digital piano or keyboard for beginners or pros can be challenging. These two can be confusing when you compare them. But don’t worry, I’ll help you out with it. Each of these types has its own unique features that will suit the needs of various musicians.

So, one thing you should know first is what do you need in a piano? That’s just one of the questions you need to ask yourself. I’ll share with you the rest below so that when I lay down the comparison between them, it will be much easier for you to choose.

Knowing What You Need

Here are some questions that you can ask yourself first so that when you start reading what the best digital pianos or the best keyboard to learn piano are about, it will be much easier to spot the features that you like about them. It’s like having a mental checklist (or you can also write down your answers and do a real checklist) and becomes easier to weigh your decision between the two.

  • Do you need the instrument to be mobile? If so, which of the two instruments is more mobile?
  • What kinds of sounds do you need? Which of the two can provide that particular sound?
  • Which of the two feels better to play with?
  • Depending on the occasions when you play, which is more suited for those events?
  • Which has the features that you need to play the kind of music that you want?
  • And lastly, which is more affordable especially for a beginner?

For beginners who are still learning about their preferences, you may not be able to answer all of these questions yet. And that’s very much okay. The questions are just there to give you an idea of how to choose between the two kinds of pianos. So, you can either take note of your answers or skip this part altogether. Let’s get moving to the difference between digital piano and keyboard!

Digital Piano Vs. Keyboard: Understanding the Key Differences

Let’s get straight to the main difference between these two kinds of pianos. The digital piano is like an acoustic piano, but it’s digital. Does that make sense? Let me elaborate some more. This means it will sound like an acoustic piano and it will have all 88 full-weighted keys. So, not only will it sound like the real thing, but it will also feel like it. But you have to plug it in for it to start making music.

As for the keyboard, one main difference is that it only has 61 keys. Some have 76 keys. It depends on the model. What keyboards aim to offer to musicians is portability. It is very lightweight so you can transport it from one gig to the next. With keyboards, you usually use it to play along with other instruments. So, you’ll be playing it with the rhythm style.

The way you play keyboards is that you let the drums start the beat from the keyboard and then play notes using your left hand and then with your right hand, play melody. It’s basically a one-man-band. Keyboards have so many options when it comes to tones as well as technical options. You can customize the sound and music to your liking.

So, these are the general differences between the two. Let’s go deeper and start scrutinizing some other details such as the price, portability, space, quality of sound, and how it feels when you play it.

How About the Price?

Let’s talk first about the cost. With digital pianos, the price, I can say, is cost-effective. So, that means you’ll get your money’s worth because you’ll be able to learn how to play like a pro and get used to what it’s like to play the real thing. Digital pianos cost a fraction of what you’ve got to pay to buy yourself a grand piano or an upright piano. With digital pianos, it sounds like the real thing. It feels like the real thing. But it costs much less. That’s where you win if this is the type that fits your needs as a musician.

If it’s just the price that you’re looking at, keyboards are going to win in this round because they’re the most affordable type of piano. It’s a great option for those who haven’t played any musical instrument or are just starting to learn. Kids can definitely play this thing. When it comes to price between the two, the keyboard takes the crown.

Portability and Space for the Instrument

Digital pianos are like their acoustic counterparts. They need space. So, you have to devote an area to it. It won’t need a lot of space, but it does need to have a space dedicated to it.

If you’re always on the move or if you want to bring your instrument along from your home studio to another place, then keyboards are great for this. Compact and lightweight as compared to a digital piano, you can start being a traveling musician with your keyboard. It’s known to be tough and durable as well so it can take all that moving around.

Quality of Sound and Feel When Playing

Like what I’ve already mentioned previously, the digital piano is designed to give you a feel of what it’s like to play an acoustic piano. It’s not limited to that though. Digital pianos also have added sounds. You can play different instruments’ sounds with it as well.

A keyboard is a versatile instrument both for learning and for practicing. It has so many features. The only thing it can’t provide you is that feeling of playing a real piano. The keys will be soft, and you will find it a bit weird when you transition from keyboards to digital or acoustic pianos. But just like anything else, it requires practice; you’ll eventually get used to it and make adjustments.

What Do I Recommend?

If you dream of getting an acoustic piano, but it’s just not possible yet, get a digital piano for now. The sound and the feel will make you experience what it’s like to play an acoustic piano. When you have set aside funds for an acoustic piano, then go for it. But while you’re still saving up, get yourself a digital piano so that you don’t have to stop practicing.

If you like playing music and want to learn the piano but don’t want to spend so much money, get the best keyboard piano for beginners. It has tons of features, and it’s affordable. You get to practice daily and experiment with the different sounds that you can make with it. Plus, you can bring it with you if you and your friends want to have a session together. That will be a lot of fun!

Final Thoughts

While they may look the same, the digital piano and the keyboard are very different. As you’ve read in this post, the price, feel, and sound of these two types of pianos vary. When choosing between the two, it’s important to go back to the guide questions I’ve shared above so that you can really think about what you need as a musician.

Make the most of the New Year and get started with your practice sessions. By the end of another year, you’ll be playing like a pro!

Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on Digital Pianos vs. Keyboards, and came away with some valuable insight.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please leave them down below or Contact Us!!

How did I do? Are you better armed to make a decision? Until next time…

All the best and God bless,



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