Budget is an important factor when deciding between buying a digital keyboard versus buying a piano. Your best compromise, if you want the important features of an acoustic piano, would be a digital piano. In this digital keyboard vs piano debate another important consideration is the use of headphones.
Space should also be taken into account when deciding between electronic keyboard versus piano. So you are about to begin your piano lessons, and are out in the market or on the web looking for a piano, that is best suited for your needs. The world of electric keyboards, on the other hand, is much simpler (and cheaper) as compared to acoustic pianos. In this article, we are going to elaborate on the differences that further separate a digital piano and a portable keyboard, to make things that much more clearer for you. Digital pianos are built with the single purpose of replicating the performance of an acoustic, grand piano, to the highest extent possible. Portable keyboards, meanwhile, are built strictly for piano learners (beginner to intermediate level) looking out to get used to playing with keys.
Digital pianos are much lighter than real, acoustic pianos but somewhat heavier than portable keyboards. Portable keyboards are supposed to be highly portable, and as such, they are extremely lightweight.
Digital pianos can sport a full set of 88 keys (like acoustic pianos), that are (sometimes) incredibly close in feel and touch sensitivity to that of acoustic pianos. Digital pianos are built with a more complex mechanism than portable keyboards, and so are that much more difficult to master.
Portable keyboards are perfect for beginners, due to the presence of all the basic constituents of a real piano (although not of the same level of an acoustic or even a digital piano ). Digital pianos generally come at a price almost double to that of portable keyboards, (and for good reasons). If you want to become a master pianist, and are already on half across the way to become one, the digital piano is what you are looking for. In the end, we hope that this somewhat comprehensive guide about digital piano vs keyboard, would have answered most of your doubts and queries regarding which piano to purchase. Join our growing community for free to get useful guides and exclusive best deal reports on digital pianos delivered right to your inbox. A perfect balance: the classic sound and feel of a concert grand that the musician in you craves, fused with dynamic digital technology to carry your creativity even further. You can often get over a thousand voices on a keyboard including organs, various pianos, flutes, saxophones, guitars, trumpets, organs, accordion, vibraphone and the list goes on and on. It is a gamble to put out so much money for a piano not knowing whether the child will remained interested in the instrument. Pianos and keyboards have the same keyboard layout so there’s no problem transfering what you learn on a piano to a keyboard and vice versa. And you thought taking piano lessons was the only hard part in your quest to become a pianist! Under this category, you will find three kinds of pianos – a digital piano, a portable keyboard and a synthesizer.
Basically, a digital piano differs from a portable keyboard on these counts – purpose, build, features, required skill set and cost. In addition to the same look, a digital piano attempts to provide the same feel, sound quality and capability of traditional pianos. They are NOT built to replicate acoustic pianos, but rather to provide a highly portable musical instrument that can also produce a piano tone. Modern digital pianos are even known to have weighted keys and support a graded hammer action, exactly like acoustic pianos.
Those who are looking to carve out a career as a pianist or a teacher, must have mastered either the acoustic pianos or at least the digital pianos.
They are good for practising intrinsic piano playing skills and tend to have a much less steeper learning curve than digital pianos. A digital piano can be bought for as low as $300, but the best ones are usually found in the price range of $500 – $1,500.
There are also keyboards available in the market that range up to $500, depending on keyboard size, brand and the available features.
In order to help you find the best digital piano (or best electronic keyboard as the case may be) this site will outline the top ten recommended digital pianos, the types of electric pianos and keyboards that are available, buying tips and important things to consider, and reviews of the digital pianos and keyboards that we found to be of particularly high quality for the price.All of these things are what we’ve decided are the most important tools and information that we can give you to help you choose the best digital piano for your needs and budget. They usually have a feature called Graded Hammer Effect or Graded Hammer Standard in which the keyboard emulates that of a real acoustic piano.
If number of keys is important to you, there is a wide range of 88 key keyboards and digital pianos on the market.
In this technological age, it seems like one would be missing out by simply buying an acoustic piano. But as we’ve seen there are many factors to consider in this electric keyboard vs piano debate.

But as you delve deeper into your research, you find out that there are actually four different kinds of pianos out there. Out of these three, digital pianos come the closest to an acoustic piano, in terms of feel and sound they provide while playing. At the same time, they are also rich in modern features such as portability, connectivity and other digital effects. Since the focus is not on producing the most realistic piano tone, a portable keyboard often comes packed with hundreds of other tones such synthesized electronic sounds.
You do get an option to attach a stand, but portable keyboards are perfect to be played on a tabletop too and are easily stored anywhere at home. A polyphony ranging from 32 to 64 notes is commonly found in digital pianos of any price range.
Touch sensitivity, sound quality and hammer action of the keys is usually found lacking or altogether missing in most of the keyboards. Practising with weighted keys and near authentic piano tones prepares you (and your fingers, especially) well enough for playing an acoustic piano in future.
This fact makes keyboards ideal for those who are not yet sure about taking up piano as a serious hobby or profession, but are willing to give it a try. Though, it might be expensive than portable keyboards, it is the best you can get after acoustic pianos.
This content is provided 'as is' and is subject to change or removal at any time without prior notice. When you bring an Arius into your home, you bring with it Yamaha's dedicated 100-year history of crafting grand pianos. If you have the time, be sure and take a look at all of it, but if you’re in a hurry and just want a good place to narrow down your search, refer to the Top Ten Recommended Digital Pianos.These instruments truly are some of the best electric pianos available today, and are an excellent place to start your consideration of which piano to buy. In addition to other characteristics, the keys are lighter in the higher registers and heavier in the lower registers. A piano can’t be moved around easily whereas you can take your keyboard along with you hassle free. An acoustic piano is that classic, grand looking piano with a wooden cabinet, that you are used to seeing on a stage or in the movies. They sometimes come with a cabinet as well as the complete set of 88 piano keys, but they will always be lighter and more portable (and cheaper) than the acoustic pianos. They usually feature five pretty genuine piano tones – grand piano, harpsichord, strings, jazz and pipe organ. However, portable keyboards do come loaded with hundreds of tones, rhythms, songs and other bells and whistles. Conversely, digital pianos are ideal for those who already have an extensive knowledge of pianos or are inclined towards producing digital music. Whereas a portable keyboard is best-suited for beginners, or those looking to gain light practice with a piano or simply to have fun!
For more in depth research, check out the individual reviews and the buying tips that we have put together.If done right, finding the best digital piano or keyboard can be almost as enjoyable as playing it. Be sure to choose the instrument that meets your needs. Go here to buy a keyboard of your choice.
And then to further complicate your purchase decision process, you find out another “fifth” category of pianos called electric keyboards! But again, these sounds will sound as artificial and phony, making them practically useless for serious musicians. In case, you are going to move the instrument a lot or going to gift it to a child, a portable keyboard is a good choice for you too. The piano sound you hear with the Arius has been taken straight from a world-class Yamaha Full Concert Grand Piano, used in concert halls around the world, through a careful sampling process. Some of the cheaper models leave a lot to be desired when it comes to replicating the piano sound.
If you can’t afford a piano or have no access to one, your best bet is a weighted-key keyboard or digital piano, preferably one that has 88 keys. Acoustic pianos are also much pricier than electric keyboards, and require a lot more experience and skill to master.
It does not have the full 88-key board like an acoustic or digital piano, but is portable enough to be put in your car’s trunk and taken wherever you please. Through AWM technology the Arius digital piano achieves a huge range of expression, from pianissimo to fortissimo, an area in which digital pianos have consistently fallen short.
This is usually done to increase the portability of the instrument.Other differences that may lead to an instrument being classified as a keyboard is the fact that the keys may have no touch response (resistance) or it may not be capable of producing sounds that are similar enough to the sounds of an acoustic piano to let it to bear the name “piano”.
The last one, a synthesizer is actually a music controller, more than a keyboard or a piano.
GH mimics the feel of acoustic pianos in which the lower keys have a heavier touch while the higher keys are more sensitive to lighter playing.
It will have dozens of controls, settings and modes and is much more complex to operate than a portable keyboard (or sometimes, even a piano).
These features are important for beginners and experienced players alike, since they provide a very realistic learning environment, and the capacity to interpret even the most minute emotions and expressions.Yamaha seemed to put a lot of thought into the pedals on this digital piano.

Some digital pianos come with a separate pedal (not very expressive or versatile at all) that is connected to a jack on the piano unit. The Arius series goes all out, with damper, soft, and sostenuto pedals already installed as part of the cabinet of the instrument. For one, digital pianos can be incredibly more portable and easier to fit into a cramped space.Sure, there’s digital pianos out there as large as any acoustic piano, but there’s also much smaller ones. The fact that digital pianos aren’t forced to house eighty-eight strings and hammers ensures that they can be made much smaller and lighter than is possible with an acoustic piano.The second advantage is the versatility and variety of features that a digital piano offers. The length that your notes are sustained depends on how far down you press the sustain pedal. Deciding which of these subclasses would best fit your needs is a great place to start in deciding which instrument would work best for you.Upright Digital Piano This instrument is the one that is closest in design, function, and appearance to a traditional, acoustic piano. One more thing about the pedal system is the included Damper Resonance, which is another sampling technology that uses comprehensive gradations to reproduce complex grand piano tones. Some of my favorite classical music pieces require expressive pedaling that just can't quite be captured away from a complete pedal system like the one featured by the Arius. Its appearance is what most likely comes to mind when you think of a piano, and it is the most popular digital piano design.Digital Piano Console Very similar to the upright digital piano, the primary distinguishing characteristic of the digital piano console is that it is smaller and may not have the same, classic shape.
With the Yamaha Arius' 128-note polyphony you never have to worry about lost notes in flowing arpeggio and legato passages. Regarding function, however, a console is equally as capable as an upright piano, making it a great choice for someone who is lacking the space for a full-sized piano.Stage PianoThis one is pretty self-explanatory. There are few things more frustrating than nailing a dense portion of music, but hearing your digital piano drop your earlier, sustained notes, creating an unnatural sound cut-off.
Stage pianos are capable of being hooked up to amps, and external speakers, and a variety of other electronic accessories that are geared towards a live performance. Yamaha's digital technology allows 128 notes to be held at once.The Yamaha Arius line comes with several other very useful functions.
If you’re putting on a show, and you want to make it a spectacle, a stage piano is the best choice.Digital Grand Piano No other piano is more beautiful than the grand piano. There are 10 voices on this digital piano, so if you get bored of practicing with the Grand Piano sound, you can switch to the jazzy Electric Piano and Vibraphone, play around with the Harpsichord, or blast some Phantom of the Opera through your house with the huge sound of the Church Organ (a favorite activity of mine). Likewise, no other type of piano plays quite the same, and owning a concert grand piano is the dream of almost every serious pianists. Unfortunately, these gorgeous instruments cost a small fortune to purchase, pushing them out of the price range of most pianists.Digital KeyboardThis instrument is the most portable and generally least expensive of the types. The song recorder is also a nice feature, allowing you to record and play back your own music on two tracks. While the fact that most keyboards have less than eighty-eight keys (ranging from sixty-one to the traditional eighty-eight depending on the model) may keep you from playing some songs, the ability to carry the instrument under your arm and pay for it without taking out a loan are certainly attractive features of the digital keyboard.SynthesizerThis instrument falls under the class of a keyboard and is used primarily for music production. Synthesizers are capable of producing a large variety of sounds and are made to connect to a computer. If you’re looking to mix and produce songs rather than playing them, then a synthesizer is a great choice.MIDI Controller KeyboardLike a synthesizer, a controller keyboard is intended for music production.
The keyboard is covered by a sliding key cover, and a music rest and headphone hanger are attached to the cabinet as well.
The primary difference between the two is that a controller keyboard is not capable of producing sound unless it is hooked up to a computer, and it usually has less sound options to choose from.
However, MIDI controller keyboards are also less expensive than synthesizers.Which Digital Piano Should I Buy?Which digital piano you should buy is a question that is best answered by answering a few other, more fundamental questions.How much space do you have? How much are you willing to spend?After you’ve considered these things, be sure to take a look at my digital piano buyer’s guide for more info on the decision, and check out reviews of a few specific models to get a better feel for what they have to offer. The technology that Yamaha has engineered and displayed in the Arius Digital Piano series takes digital pianos where they have never been before.
With a little consideration and research, purchasing a digital piano that will perfectly suit your needs is not nearly as hard as it sounds.What is the Right Piano for Me? If you've ever played or heard an acoustic grand piano before, you know that feeling of joy that the rich, incomparable sound brings. When you do, it should be noted that none of these reviews are done as a paid endorsement for any particular piano.This site is a labor of love and a way to give back to the musical community. I don't think a digital piano will ever be able to mimic it's acoustic counterpart to perfection. But for many people, buying and storing an expensive, full-sized piano is just not an option. If that is you, but you still need a quality piano to practice and play on, I would recommend the Yamaha Arius YDP-161 for its affordability, functionality, and elegance.

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