DIGITAL PIANO BUYING GUIDE

A digital piano refers to a modern electronic musical instrument that’s designed to serve primarily as the alternative to traditional acoustic pianos, both in in the sound that it produce and the way it feels to play. A digital piano is intended to provide an extremely accurate simulation of the acoustic piano. Certain types of digital pianos have also been designed to look just like an acoustic piano, both the grand and upright piano body style. The digital pianos usually use electronic synthesized emulations of the piano sound or the sampled piano sound which is later amplified via an internal loudspeaker. The pianos normally have semi-weighted or weighted keyboards that attempt to recreate the feeling of an acoustic piano.

 

DIGITAL PIANO FEATURES

When shopping for digital piano, buyer should consider the features of different types of digital pianos. Even though a buyer might be attracted to a digital piano with a wide range of features, it’s important to consider the layout of the instrument. A plethora of features won’t compensate for a piano that’s uncomfortable to play. The quality of your piano’s sound coupled with the way the piano plays are very vital considerations. Here are the main piano features that you should look at before buying a digital piano.

 

Basic Quality

When looking for a digital piano, it’s important to take into consideration the basic quality of this instrument. Even though the sound quality of digital pianos can’t better that of top-of-the-line acoustic pianos, digital pianos are still progressing in bounds and leaps. The buyer ought to consider how natural the digital piano sounds and if the sounds produced are realistic across the whole keyboard. It’s also good to check for the sound level of your instrument and whether the piano can be played both softly and loudly.

 

Hammer Weighted Keys

Hammer weighted keyboards are standard features in most digital pianos. With the hammer weighted keys, musicians feel like they playing acoustic pianos. When one key is pushed halfway down, you will feel sudden resistance just like a regular piano.

 

Headphone Jacks

The headphone jack is yet another standard feature in digital pianos. It allows one to play this piano without having to bother other people who might be nearby. Many digital pianos even come with 2 headphone jacks for the people who play a duet or for teachers to listen to their students playing.

 

Sample Rate

The sample rate basically refers to how realistic the piano sounds. Buyers should look out for a digital piano that has stereo sampled sound or multi-level sampled sound because these piano models will sound just like the acoustic piano.

 

Number of Keys

A digital piano normally has key ranging from 76 to 88. A beginner digital piano player will possibly need 76 keys. However, a more advanced player should opt for the 88-key digital pianos. An acoustic piano usually has 88 keys. In case the piano has more keys, then it will also take more room.

 

Sustain Pedal

The sustain pedal refers to the pedal that draws out notes that are being played when it is pressed down. Some pianos come with 3 pedals because advanced piano players use the other 2 pedals while playing.

 

TYPES OF DIGITAL PIANOS

There are few types of digital pianos which buyers can choose from. The digital piano models vary in terms of their features, the quality of music that they produce, the kinds of music that they are best suited for and the quality of the player’s experience. The main types of digital pianos are:

 

Upright Digital Piano

The Upright Digital Piano is an instrument that’s closest in function, appearance and design to the traditional, acoustic piano. The piano has 88 keys and it includes some forms of support and a cabinet. The Upright Digital Piano is the most popular type of digital piano.

 

Digital Piano Console

The Digital Piano Console is quite similar to the upright piano. The major distinguishing characteristic of this type of piano console is the fact that it’s smaller and it might not have that same, classic shape. However, regarding function, the console is equally as able as the upright piano. This makes it a great choice for people who lack the space for full-sized pianos.

 

Stage Piano

The stage pianos can be hooked up to external speakers, amps and a wide range of electronic accessories that are geared towards live performances. If you are putting on a live show and you wish to make it a spectacle, then stage pianos are the best choice.

 

Workstation

A workstation type of piano can be viewed as a computer that has been integrated into the keyboard. This type of digital piano bears everything that a musician could need. Moreover, it is capable of synthesizing, editing and recording music. The workstation type of pianos comes in 88-, 61- and 73-key varieties. Even though workstations could be relatively expensive thanks to the features that they offer, the investment is still worth it for a musician who intends to compose their own music.

 

Digital Grand Piano

There’s no other digital piano that is more beautiful than grand piano. Owning a grand piano is a dream of nearly every serious pianist because the piano offers a wide range of features that other digital pianos don’t.

 

ADVANTAGES OF DIGITAL PIANOS

If you are not sold decided on buying a digital piano or the traditional acoustic piano, then here are some advantages of digital pianos to consider:

 

Portability

One of the major advantages of having digital pianos is their portability. Most kinds of digital pianos usually weigh less than 200 pounds. In addition, they are also relatively easy to take apart for transportation. This makes a digital piano to be a more logical choice for any touring band that will have to move their equipment from one location to another.

 

Low Maintenance

Digital pianos require low maintenance as compared to the acoustic pianos. Acoustic pianos need to be tuned at once or twice a year. However, since digital pianos are electronic devices without any moving parts, they are never out of tune.

 

Convenience

Digital pianos have a wide range of convenient features that aren’t offered by the acoustic pianos. For example, with digital pianos, the player will have the option of using sets of headphones. This feature usually allows the player to block out the other sound distractions so as to concentrate on the music that they are playing.

 

Electronic Interface

With digital pianos, the user will also have the option of hooking this instrument up to the computer. A digital piano has a MIDI interface that means the player can connect the piano to his computer or other MIDI devices and then take advantage of numerous music programs that allow the musician to compose the digital music.

 

DIGITAL PIANO BUYING GUIDE

Digital pianos have been making huge advances in past years making their relatively low cost and high quality sound a great alternative to the acoustic pianos for most players. Due to the wide range of features and functions that they offer, finding the ideal digital piano for all your purposes can seem to be a little daunting.

Finding the perfect digital piano that suits your budget and needs can be a challenge since there are numerous options that are available, more so for the beginners. However, this should not worry you any more because we have created a simple and step-by-step guide that will help you in determining the piano type that you need to buy.

 

Step 1: Determine What You Want to do With the Piano

There are many types of digital pianos that are available. Each type of the digital pianos has been designed for a particular purpose.

If you want to get into the production of music then piano or synthesizer that’s full of varying sounds, USB and MIDI connectivity, and a bunch of mixing and editing features will probably your ideal choice. Things like key action and speaker quality won’t be of great importance to you. You will not even need a piano with a full 88 keys.

If you want to play on the stage, then you might have to look into a digital piano classifying itself as a stage piano. Even if it does not have the exact description, ensure that you get a piano that is able to connect to a high quality amp.

Regardless of your reason for playing a digital piano, the first and probably the most important step is to decide which instrument will suit you in the best way.

 

Step 2: Self Assess Your Skill Level

Here comes the time to be completely honest with yourself so as to determine the features that you’ll actually be capable of using and the features that you can do without. If you’re just beginning to learn how to play the piano, the too many features will get into your way.

Likewise, if you are an experienced pianist, you will then have to purchase a piano that can do all things that you want. Determine where you fall between these 2 points and then look for a digital piano that will match that level.

 

Step 3: Determine Your Size Requirements and Check the Portability of The Piano

Few things can be more frustrating as compared to buying a digital piano that does not fit into the space that you need it to. Before starting your search, you should measure the area that you want to place the piano.

That way you will be able to check the dimensions of each piano that you consider against your measurement. It is a small thing to do yet it could save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

If you plan to move the piano around too much then you’ll want a piano that is more portable. You should check the weight of the piano and also try determining how easily it dissembles.

If you want the piano to be portable, then you might have to look into the semi-weighted keys as opposed to the fully weighted keys. This will take away some of the key actions of the piano but it helps in keeping the weight down.

 

Step 4: Set Your Budget

This part might seem pretty obvious to an extent that it may go without saying. However, figuring out the amount that you’re able or willing to spend is a very important step to determine which type of piano to buy.

Once you start looking at the pianos, you might find a great piano for even less price than you anticipated spending. All in all, having an idea of how much you are going to spend on the piano is a great place to start your search.

 

Step 5: Read Online Reviews

Once you have gotten the foundation set of the type of piano that you need and the amount you are willing to spend on the piano, it is time to start looking at the specific pianos that will fit these qualifications. Online reviews are a very great place to look at these pianos.

Customer reviews found on Amazon are also offer a great place for you to learn more about a certain instrument since you’re often capable of reading a wide range of opinions and thoughts from beginners as well as experienced pianists who have already bought the piano that you’re looking at.

 

Step 6: Consider the Details

Once you have gotten a few digital pianos that have been well-reviewed and fits your needs, then it is time to consider the piano details. By now, any digital piano that’s left on your list will most likely suit you perfectly. However, if you want to buy the best possible piano then it’s time to consider certain important details:

The first detail is polyphony. In case of the polyphony, the higher the better since the more notes of polyphony a digital piano is able to produce the more complex pieces you’ll be capable of playing without being noticeable that certain notes were cut off early. Determine the digital piano with the highest polyphony and then give it a plus.

Second, you’ll want to compare key actions of every instrument. The graded key actions are often great. You should consult the reviews and see what was said about the key action of a given piano. The more realistic it’s to that of the acoustic piano then the better.

Something else you will want to be realistic to the acoustic piano is sound. Again, the best way of determining the sound quality of piano is checking its reviews

The response of pedals used in sustaining the notes is yet another factor to look out for in a piano. Check the online reviews so as to see their durability and how responsive they are.

Something that’s often overlooked which you’ll definitely have to consider is the warranty of the instrument. The longer the warranty period the better.

Lastly, you’ll have to look at other details of the digital piano and weight them based on their significance to you and whatever you want to do with the piano. USB connectivity, headphone connectivity, attractiveness and instrument selection are just a few features that you will have to consider.

 

CONCLUSION

The quality of the digital pianos has greatly improved over the past few years. The sounds produced by most digital pianos are indistinguishable from the sounds produced by the acoustic pianos. Buyers will have to choose from different kinds of digital pianos including the workstation, stage piano or arranger based on their preferences. When purchasing a piano, the buyer has to think about the number of extra features and the essential quality. Some features that should be considered include the sample rate, number of keys and whether keys are hammer-weighted. Regardless of the features that you want in a digital piano, you can always get a piano for players of every skill level.