My Top Picks for Beginners
|1||Yamaha P71||Check Price||88||64|
|2||Casio Privia PX-160||Check Price||88||128|
|3||Yamaha P-125||Check Price||88||192|
|4||Yamaha DGX-660||Check Price||88||192|
|5||Yamaha YDP143||Check Price||88||192|
My Top Picks for Advanced Pianists
|1||Yamaha P-515||Check Price||88||256|
|3||Casio PX870||Check Price||88||256|
|4||Nord Stage 3||Check Price||88||120|
|5||Yamaha YDP184 Arius||Check Price||88||256|
As a beginner in anything, we all want to start with the cheapest choices. Same goes here. but despite purchasing a relatively cheap instrument, we're also looking for maximum quality. So, to create this list, I've examined and tested many models, I'm pretty sure that you'll find this list very reasonable. so without further ado, here are the best digital pianos for a beginner in 2019.
The Yamaha P71 is an excellent digital piano, with 10 built-in voices, including ones that have been digitally sampled from Yamaha’s acoustic grand pianos.
The 88 fully weighted keys imitate the feel of a traditional acoustic piano, providing you with quality playing experience. Dual mode allows you to play two voices simultaneously for a new and inspiring effect.
The stylish and slim design makes it a beautiful addition to any room in your home. It is easy to move, weighing just 25 pounds.
Whether you are a beginner, an advanced player, or a casual player, the importance of playing on weighted keys can’t be denied. Weighted keys train your fingers, making them stronger as you play.
This digital piano also comes with a power adapter and a sustain pedal, making it quick and simple for you to get started.
The piano is available in white and black and is elegant and simple in design.
Yamaha pianos are designed to be compact and this is evident in this piano.
Although the look is simple, it has plenty of features included. Plus, the most impressive thing about the P71 is that you get all of this quality for such a reasonable price.
The digital sampling of this piano is impressive. With this feature, you can switch between a variety of voices and you can simulate 10 different piano voices.
This means you can experience different sounds all in one keyboard.
- The sounds, voices, and playability of this piano are impressive and ideal for a novice or casual player
- The weighted keys empower players to learn the correct playing method and improve their skills
- Very simple layout makes it easy to select voices, change controls, and adjust the volume
- The smooth, compact design and light weight of this piano makes it easy to set up, move, and position
- The double-mode feature draws out players creativity, allowing them to explore their musical interests
- The grand piano voices are high-quality and very authentic
- The features and voices are great for a beginner but may limit an advanced player or someone who advances quickly
- The P71 doesn’t have an LED display screen which restricts your ability to customize the voices or features being used
Casio Privia PX-160
The PX-160 is Casio’s top-selling digital piano and it is the updated version of the PX-150.
This piano has an elegant, sleek look with a redesigned speaker system that produces crisp, clean sound.
There are two headphone outputs as well as electric piano and string ensemble tones.
The piano comes with a stand, 3 pedals, a piano bench, and instructional DVD and book, and a polishing cloth.
The PX-160 boasts a full 88-key keyboard that is sturdy and well-crafted from top to bottom. The plastic body has very few separate pieces, which adds to the solid construction. The entire keyboard is well laid out in a simple and intuitive manner that is ideal for beginners just learning to play.
- High-quality sounds
- Brilliant attention to detail
- Great value for money
- Very basic features
- Could use a few more effects and sounds
- Keys move a bit when playing
Read Our Casio Privia PX-160 Review...
Digital pianos have long been a popular instrument, and with their build becoming ever more portable and compact while still enveloping pure, high-quality sound, it is hardly a surprise.
For over a century, Yamaha has been a leader in the digital piano technology industry, developing state-of-the-art technology and classic pianos that can be enjoyed in every home.
The P-125 took over from its predecessor, the P-115; however, now Yamaha has introduced a brand new update to their excellent P-125 which makes it ideal for home and concert use.
Not only does this piano have 88 weighted keys, it has an acoustic piano feel, allowing you to enjoy playing a compact instrument that is comparable with a real acoustic piano.
This Yamaha P-125 review will take a look at what it has to offer, starting with the newly updated features.
- 88 weighted keys
- A compact and portable unit
- Built-in speakers plus headphone inputs
- USB to host connectivity
- Fine tuning, metronome, and transpose
- Dual mode and split mode
- 192-key polyphony
- Lightweight at just 26 pounds
- No LCD screen
- Only 24 preset voices
- Does not come with a piano cover
What could be better than a low-cost, incredible piano? What about an equally low-cost, incredible digital piano that boasts features that you didn’t even know you needed.
Yamaha already set themselves apart with their popular DGX-650 piano which is still one of the best selling portable pianos on the market.
But the DGX-660 includes so many new features that have helped take this already incredible piano up to the next level.
The pure CF sampling gives the Yamaha DGX-660 a world-class grand piano sound in a digital piano’s body.
This piano boasts an easy to read lyrics and score display screen and an authentic touch with 88 fully weighted keys that make playing a pleasure.
The USB sound recording and playback offer a new dimension to your practicing, and the damper resonance gives you a truer sound that is beautiful to listen to.
- Cost efficient price
- Real feel keys – great for beginners and experienced players
- Digital screen and connectivity so you can play any music you like
- Great recording elements for you to create your own songs
- You can add different layers to your music for an authentic sound
- Can be used as a seated or standing piano
- You can customize all of your settings for a more personal experience
- Doesn’t come with the iPad application connector, which you must buy separately
- When using headphones, there is only one master volume, so you can’t customize your outputs
- You can only record 6 songs to the piano, which can be limiting for creators
- The variety of features can be confusing for beginners
- The softer volume of the built-in speakers make it unsuitable as a performance piano
- The keys may not be quite as responsive as you may expect at first
Yamaha YDP-143 Arius
The Yamaha YDP-143 is pre-loaded with a great variety of piano songs that you can listen to and learn.
This piano is ideal for aspiring pianists as it helps you develop the correct finger technique.
The sampling technology used for this piano has been developed over many years.
You have easy and quick access to your favorite functions and features using an app.
The half-damper pedal allows you to control the subtlety and nuance of the notes you play.
This piano contains everything a basic piano should; however, at its current price, it does not live up to expectations.
For a bit more, one could buy other pianos with hundreds of voices, more reliable recording, and more storage space. The piano does have a pleasant sound and easy-to-play, realistic keys, so if the price is not an issue and you are looking for a basic practice piano, this piano would suffice.
- This instrument is decently priced for an at-home practice piano. It is simple to operate, play, and record.
- The speakers deliver a full sound, excellent for a teaching studio or on-your-own practice.
- It is a modest upgrade from a standard, plastic keyboard instrument, making it great for a young and aspiring musician or someone who previously played but is looking to get back into it.
- Some have reported sticky keys and a loud buzzing when playing in the bottom octaves.
- The piano lacks a digital LCD screen. This creates a hindrance for those interested in the many features of the piano, rather than the keyboard itself. Most features are accessed through a combination of buttons and piano keys.
- When using Cubase to record, users have often reported glitches and overloads occurring
The Yamaha P45 is a feature-rich digital piano that comes with 64-note polyphony that makes it’s sound more authentic.
It includes a USB port that certainly makes recording and downloading symphonies a breeze. This is a slim and chic piano that you can carry along for your outdoor gigs or family music sessions.
With the help of weighted GHS that have lighter action in high end and heavier action in the low end, you feel like playing an acoustic piano. The ivory feel of the white keys and the non-slippery black keys add to your experience without a doubt. Not to mention, this makes it an authentic bargain.
It does not have an in-built recorder, but it comes with a unique feature of transforming your music into the digital piano. In this regards, mention has to be made about the iOS connectivity that can transpose the keys and help you enjoy the same benefits on your smartphone
- Well-built digital piano from the house of Yamaha
- It comes with full-sized keyboard with all the 88 keys that you may need
- Has a graded keyboard that is of Hammer Standard
- You get 10 voices to mix with, that are in-built in this digital piano
- The controls are way simpler for a first timer
- Light in weight makes it a highly portable instrument
- Has a strong bass and highs are very clear
- USB connectivity means you can pair it with your computer or smartphone and enjoy your music
- Most importantly, the has Yamaha P45 a melodious symphony that you cannot escape
- Unquestionably, it is an expensive option for a beginner
- The sound seems to be insufficient, especially if you have big rooms
- The foot pedal is kind of flimsy
Read Our Yamaha P45 Review...
Yamaha P-115 digital piano is one exceptional piano.
This model is perfect for beginners but will come real handy for more experienced players. The fully weighted keys ensure the full experience of playing a real grand concert piano.
This high-quality, low-weight and highly-portable digital piano is a great solution for anyone who wishes to have great quality and portable piano but also keeps their wallets heavy and enjoys the wonderful sound this innovative digital piano can produce.
The great key balance of the Yamaha P-115 digital piano has made possible by the Graded Hammer technology, which is based on a mechanism of a fully weighted key action that gradually descending from low to upper register. Also, Yamaha P-115 model is enhanced with 4 level of key adjustment: soft, medium, hard and turned off altogether.
- Even though construction is mainly plastics and it provides great stability and firm stand.
- Keys are amazing, the touch is smooth and the piano response is terrific with full weighted keys that provides realistic piano sound
- 14 available built-in drum patterns.
- 10 Pianist styles.
- Intelligent Acoustic Control EQ that automatically hard to our volume settings to give us the best tone when playing on any level.
- Assignable Split Voice that allows us to choose 2 sounds and assign them to our right or left hand.
- 192-note polyphony
- Stereo speaker system with onboard 14-watt. 2-way speakers that allow us to play without external speakers or headphones.
- USB port to connect MIDI with our computer or iOS device.
- Digital Piano Controller app
- Only single pedal unit
- Not supported MIDI feature
- Lack of LCD displays
Read Our Yamaha P115 Review...
The Alesis Recital has 12 premium built-in voices and you can layer or split 2 voices at the same time.
You can enjoy the quality sound from the 20-watt speakers, while the 128 note maximum polyphony gives you realistic playability and sound.
The 88 full-sized, premium hammer-action keys have adjustable touch response, allowing you to customize your experience.
The record mode enables you to record and listen to your performance, adding another dimension to your learning.
Check Current Pricing, Reviews and Pictures
ONE Smart Piano
The ONE Smart Piano
This One Smar Piano is true to its name, with over 4000 songs’ sheet music, 100 videos, a LED light that guides you from start to play in just minutes.
The MIDI recording and output allows you to customize your experience on this instrument.
This high-quality piano has 88 fully weighted keys, 3 piano pedals, a quality, professional stereo sound, and a beautiful classic wooden body.
This piano is ideal for beginners but will be a wonderful addition to any home.
Check Current Pricing, Reviews and Pictures
Best Digital Pianos for Advanced Pianists
Yamaha CP40 Stage Piano
This stage piano has weighted action that is heavier on the low end and lighter on the high end, giving you brilliant key stability.
The piano comes with a sustain pedal and power supply, so you can play it as soon as you get it set up.
The Yamaha CP40 comes with the CFX Grand Piano voice which gives you a bright, full sound that boasts authoritative and resonant bass.
The 3-band equalizer lets you adjust the sound and the virtual circuit modeling gives you the behavior and sound of vintage signal processors and effects.
Yamaha CP4 Stage Piano
The Yamaha CP4 has natural wood keys and synthetic ivory tops that boast grand piano stability, touch, and key-repetition.
This piano comes with a sustain pedal and power supply, so it is ready to play straight away.
The balanced XLR outputs give a high output signal that has noise reduction without needing a DI box.
The virtual circuit modeling feature recreates the behavior and sound of vintage signal processors and effects. The CFX Grand Piano voice offers you the same tone and power of Yamaha’s CFX concert grand piano.
The Yamaha Piano Corporation is a well-known standard in the music industry for producing great instruments, with great sound, for a low price. The P255, at just under $1300, is no exception.
This digital piano is available in two color styles, satin white, or satin black, and is the top of the line “P Series” piano.
The P255 is a very portable, robust instrument, weighing in at 38 pounds.
It has powerful built-in speakers features a nice selection of sounds other than piano such as organs, strings, harpsichords, electric pianos, etc.
These instrument sounds are very useful in mixing and mastering projects and collaborating with musicians who play other instruments.
The Yamaha P255 is completely set apart from other digital pianos of its kind because of the
built-in features, design elements, and sound for its low price. The speaker system has 4 30 watt speakers which provides almost as much audio power as a baby grand!.
So for people who want a bigger sound, the Yamaha P255 is a great option.
Yamaha Arius YDP181
The Yamaha Arius YDP181 boasts 88 graded hammer fully weighted keys that give you a real feel when playing.
The dynamic stereo sampling boasts 128 note maximum polyphony, as well as two track and three song recorder. The LED display allows you to easily select sounds and voices. The USB to smart device port makes importing sheet music or voices simple.Check Current Pricing, Reviews and Pictures
Nord Stage 3 Digital Stage Piano
The two OLED displays offer a clear view when performing, boasting seamless transitions when you select sounds or programs, split functionality, crossfading, and song list mode.
The piano section is greatly enhanced by the 2GB double memory and the 120 voice polyphony.
The synthesizer section features the Nord Lead A1 Synth Engine which is combined with Sample Playback as well as an effects section which has a new filter effect, changeable parameters, a delay effect, and a separate compressor and reverb.
The Nord Stage 3 is a premium stage piano with the professional musician in mind.
This keyboard feels great to play and sounds astonishingly good. You have to try it to believe it! If you can afford the $4500 price tag, I would recommend it in a heartbeat.
However, if you are looking for a digital piano with fewer features or perhaps one more suited to a home environment, there are many cheaper alternatives out there.
- Ultra-realistic piano samples featuring string resonance and pedal noise simulation
- Great organ sounds and powerful synth section
- Exhaustive selection of reverbs and effects
- Hammer action keyboard
- Lightweight and portable
- Only a single pedal unit
- Not supported MIDI feature
- Lack of LCD displays
The 88 natural fully weighted hammer action keys give this digital piano smooth playability.
There are eight accurate digitally sampled sounds with a maximum polyphony of 120 voices.
The 2 built-in 9-watt stereo speakers give crisp sound and the three pedals – damper, soft, and sostenuto – imitate those found on a real acoustic piano.
The Korg B1SP piano comes with a piano stand, a piano bench, a sheet stand, and the AC power adaptor – everything you need to get started.
Check Current Pricing, Reviews and Pictures
This Korg B1 piano has a modern design that looks beautiful in any room in your house.
The 88 keys give you plenty of room to learn any piece of music that you want, and the eight highly-details and expressive instrument sounds allow you to explore different tones.
The improved music rest ensures that your sheet music is kept in place firmly and the innovative technology delivers a full range of sound as well as enhanced bottom-end response.Check Current Pricing, Reviews and Pictures
The ivory feel keys on this digital piano will make you feel like you are playing a real acoustic piano. The SuperNATURAL sound engine gives you a range of piano sounds to enjoy, while the intuitive user interface features one-touch functions and a graphic LCD.
The Roland FP-30 has rich, responsive tones and an 88 key keyboard that boasts authentic piano feel.
The powerful stereo speakers and amplifier deliver clear sound and the headphones output allow you to practice any time of day without disturbing those around you.
This piano is lightweight and compact, allowing for easy mobility. It also has built-in Bluetooth to transfer sheet music and sounds.Check Current Pricing, Reviews and Pictures
The PX-560 piano feature’s Casio’s well-known Tri-Sensor Hammer Action keyboard which reproduces the response and touch of a grand piano accurately.
Going above and beyond what traditional stage pianos include, the PX-560 has 550 tones that cover a wide range of musical genres and instruments.
The multi-dimensional air sound source recreates piano sounds like you have never heard before.Check Current Pricing, Reviews and Pictures
Casio Privia PX-770
The Casio Privia gives you a grand piano experience right in your own home.
The stereo speakers are built into the modern, stylish wooden cabinet.
The 88 weighted and scaled hammer action keys simulate an ebony and ivory texture.
The versatile practice, recording, and performing tools will take your piano playing to the next level. The PX-770 has a wonderful new piano sound that has detailed resonance as well as 18 other tones.Check Current Pricing, Reviews and Pictures
The 5.3-inch color touch interface is easy to read and makes it simple for you to choose from the 550 instrument effects and tones.
There is a dedicated grand piano sound button and the real feel ebony and ivory keys ensure a pleasurable playing experience.
This Casio CGP-700 piano has 40-watt speakers and comes with a stand, music rest, sustain pedal, and power supply.
Casio Privia PX-870
Welcome to our review of the new flagship of the Privia Model, the Casio PX-870.
This model is an improvement of the previous model PX860 which comes with exciting features like the four-layer piano sounds, a well-designed sound system and many others that we’ll discuss later.
The piano is quite affordable and will perfectly fit your needs if you are looking for a piano to perform or practice with.
The PX-870 comes with furniture-style cabinet design and 3-foot pedals.
The cabinet is made of pressed wood (fiberboard) giving it a nice texture that you will love to feel. Its design is stylish where it blends seamlessly with any environment.
The PX-870 has 54.8” x 11.7” x 31.5” dimensions making it compact enough to fit in a tight space.
Even with that, the piano is around 75.lbs when fully assembled making it easy to move compared to the acoustic piano.
When purchased, the Piano comes in one large box that has all the pieces in it.
It is easy to assemble where it will take you less than 45 min with the help of an instruction guide that is easy to read and understand.
You can assemble it alone where you only need a screwdriver, but it will be easier if you have someone else to assist you considering it is over 75 lbs. in the box.
The cabinet design is smaller in size and has fewer seams compared to the previous model the PX-860 and comes in two colors white and black wood finish which you can choose from.
- Stylish design
- Concert play feature
- 3-foot pedal
- 256 polyphony
- Weighted hammer key action
- Improved piano tone
- Not portable
- Few built-in sound and effects
- The key action is a bit noisier
Read Our Casio PX-870 Review...
The ES110 digital piano features harmonic imaging technology and 88 key piano sampling.
The 88 keys have responsive hammer action and are fully weighted.
This piano has 8 brilliant piano sounds as well as 11 other sounds. The piano has a 192 note maximum polyphony as well as a half-damper pedal.
The built-in stereo speakers produce a rich sound. The split and dual keyboard modes allow you to expand your playing.
Check Current Pricing, Reviews and Pictures
It is no surprise that with a piano like this, Kawai is a leader in the marketplace.
The sound, feel, and features of this piano make it effortless to play.
This Kawai ES8 piano is powerful and versatile despite being in a compact, highly portable, and elegant body.
The Kawai ES8 boasts 100 accompaniment styles and a 256 note maximum polyphony.
The built-in speaker delivers crisp sound as you play on the 88 weighted keys.
What is a Digital Piano?
A digital piano in its most basic form is an electric piano. There is a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and varieties of digital pianos available, but there are two main types: stage pianos and console pianos. Stage pianos are used to perform on stage, often as an ensemble or with a band. They do not typically have built-in speakers or a cabinet. Console pianos are the keyboards that are mostly used at home. They normally have built-in speakers, a cabinet, and a learning suite to guide you as you learn.
There are also hybrid pianos that combine digital technology with acoustic elements to get a low-maintenance, compact piano with excellent response and touch features. However, in this guide, we will be focusing mainly on stage pianos and console pianos.
Parts of the Keyboard
There are a few parts of the keyboard that are common to every digital piano. You should familiarize yourself with these features before purchasing a digital piano as they may impact your experience playing on it.
Number of Keys
Digital pianos can have a different number of keys, depending on which model you buy. The smallest number of keys is about 20, and the largest, which is a full keyboard, has 88 keys – 52 white keys and 36 black keys. The most commonly purchased beginner keyboard normally has between 61 and 76 keys.
We recently added a new post with our recommendation for the best beginner Keyboards
When you just begin learning, you will not need all of the keys, even on smaller keyboards, but as you advance and learn more complex compositions, you will need a full keyboard. While smaller keyboards are more portable and easier to play when starting out, which makes them great if you plan to use your digital piano in different places, you may find yourself frustrated by the limitations.
The number of keys on the digital piano that you choose should be based on the type and difficulty of the music you want to play. You should also consider where you plan to place the digital piano. If you have limited space or want to travel with the instrument, you may need a smaller keyboard.
The term ‘action’ described the response of the digital piano’s keyboard. Semi-weighted and weighted keys have a similar action response to an acoustic piano. Digital pianos with weighted keys imitate the feel of a traditional piano even more as it emulates the hammers found inside an acoustic piano.
You can also buy a keyboard or digital piano that has ‘organ action’ or ‘synth-action’, which means the instrument’s keys have no resistance at all. This allows players to play complex pieces, such as pop song riffs, very easily and quickly.
While having no resistance may sound attractive, you need to remember that the lack of resistance makes it harder to transition to a weighted keyboard or acoustic piano. It also means you may struggle to learn the correct technique needed to continue improving your training.
Keyboards with organ or synth action are normally only found on instruments where this action type is beneficial or in cheap keyboards.
Your digital piano’s ability to sense the subtle changes in velocity to control the volume and articulation for each key’s depression is referred to as velocity sensitivity. The higher the velocity sensitivity on your keyboard, the more responsive the digital piano is to the touch. This also makes the transition to a traditional acoustic piano easier.
User Interface Software
This refers to the computer program that lets you interact with your digital piano’s controls. Features like effects, tones, and transposition can be controlled with the user interface software. Some of the more popular features include the following:
Unlike traditional acoustic pianos, digital pianos are able to produce a variety of tones with the push of a button. The most popular digital piano tones include string sounds and different piano sounds, such as electric, grand, honkytonk, and synthesizer.
Normally, a digital piano will have hundreds of sounds. However, keep in mind that the number is not indicative of the quality of the digital piano. The true craftsmanship of a great digital piano is in the build of the piano, the quality of build materials, the software, the weighted keys, and the number of high quality tones.
There are many digital piano companies that advertise their instruments as having hundreds of tones. Rather focus on having fewer high-quality sounds than more low-quality sounds. Consider the tones you will use most and ensure that they are up to standard for your needs.
Effects are modifications of the selected tone, such as a performance hall effect which gives your selected tone a more authentic, grander sound. The most popular effects used include sustain, echo, chorus, and reverberation.
Using a transposition feature means that you can change the key of the music you are playing without having to change the keys or fingering. This feature is very handy if you plan to sing or have a vocalist that you are accompanying, or if you find it hard to play certain keys.
Digital pianos with a transposition have a big advantage over traditional acoustic pianos as you can easily transpose without having to spend years doing training, theory lessons, and practicing.
Arpeggiators turn a single note into an arpeggio pattern, which allows you to create a full, warm sound with very little effort. This feature is commonly found in digital pianos and synthesizers with accompaniment options.
Speaker and Amplifier
As the name suggests, a speaker and amplifier amplifies the sounds you create on your digital piano so that you can hear what you are playing. It is important to note that most stage pianos don’t have built-in speakers, so if you need amplification, you will need to buy a separate amplifier.
Do I Need a Digital Piano?
Before you go out and spend money on a digital piano, you need to know what you want and need in the instrument you choose – and sometimes this can be harder than finding the digital piano. The first thing you need to determine is whether you need a digital piano or a keyboard. Many people use the terms ‘digital piano’ and ‘keyboard’ interchangeably and they are not wrong, but it can lead to some confusion. But, there are a couple of significant differences between the two.
First, keyboards are normally much lighter than digital pianos, making them very portable. Keyboards are also typically smaller than digital pianos, with fewer keys. Keyboards often have between 49 and 61 keys. This makes them great for studio use and gigs, but they are mostly aimed at beginners wanting to try out the instrument to see if they are interested or to just have fun.
Keyboards are a great place to start if you are just starting out in the world of piano. They are cheaper, lighter, and normally have decent features. They have a low barrier to entry, but they also have their own downsides and limitations.
Digital pianos are made to replicate a traditional acoustic piano. Some are made with fewer keys, such as 61 and 76 keys, but most come with 88 keys as a standard. Digital pianos also tend to be much heavier than keyboards, so they have to be mounted on a stand or the cabinet that the piano comes with. The sounds that digital pianos have are typically very true to their real life equivalent, particularly the pipe organ, harpsichord, grand pianos, and strings.
Advantages of a Digital Piano
When comparing a digital piano to a traditional acoustic piano, the former has many advantages over the latter. Higher quality digital pianos allow you to have reverb effects, weighted keys, and realistic sounds that will rival the acoustic piano. Plus, with a higher quality digital piano, you get to benefit from the advantages without any sacrifices.
Below is a list of some of the many advantages of a digital piano, and why you should consider it over a traditional acoustic piano. Bear in mind that no matter how convenient or realistic a digital piano may be, it will never sound exactly like a real acoustic piano.
Digital pianos have a much lower price tag than traditional acoustic pianos. They also do not come with the high maintenance cost that acoustic pianos have, for example - you never have to tune your digital piano. Keep in mind, though, that if your digital piano breaks, you may find that it costs quite a bit to fix it.
Digital pianos are normally smaller and more compact than traditional upright pianos, and they are definitely smaller than grand pianos. If you do not have a lot of space in your home for a piano or you want to be able to move the piano between different locations, this is a great feature.
A digital piano is smaller and lighter than a traditional acoustic piano, which is made from heavy metal and wood. Digital pianos are mainly made from plastic, so they are much lighter. Plus, if you are playing a gig at a venue that does not have a piano, you can take your instrument with you.
This feature is especially useful if you live in a house with other people or an apartment with thinner walls. Digital pianos allow you to plug in headphones so no one else can hear what you are playing, so you can practice in peace.
Many digital pianos have learning tools installed in their software that guide you through different lessons and techniques. The LED display will often show musical notes for a song on the relevant staff lines, or it may show the notes to play in a chord. Most digital keyboards will also have a built-in metronome. Some of the learning tools also include a play-along feature which guides you as you learn to play various songs.
Connectivity and Recording Capability
There are some digital pianos that have sequencing capabilities and built-in recording functions. This allows you to truly authenticate your experience while playing your piano. Most digital pianos are also able to use MIDI, while others use a USB connection to store and transfer information such as sounds, tones, and musical compositions.
Top Digital Piano Companies
There are dozens of companies that produce digital pianos, but the five most popular brands are Roland, Korg, Yamaha, Kawai, and Casio. While this guide does include other manufacturers, this section will give you a brief profile of the top five. Always check whether the digital piano you are considering has been recalled, discontinued, or upgraded.
A Japanese company founded in 1972, the Roland Corporation is a top electronic instrument manufacturer. They became a household name after creating the first touch-sensitive electric piano in the world in 1974. Roland boasts sounds and tones that are very true to the authentic instrument, making it an appealing choice for beginners and experts alike.
Established in Tokyo, Japan in 1963, Korg has become a leader in electronic instrument production. While they mainly specialize in workstations and synthesizers, they have also produced various high-quality digital pianos that are ideal for home use which they have been building since the 1980s.
Since making reed organs in 1887 in Japan, Yamaha has grown to become one of the foremost piano manufacturers, creating many innovative and diverse products. Today, they are the largest musical instrument manufacturer in the world. Thanks to their long history of reliable products, you can trust Yamaha to give you a dependable, high-quality digital piano.
Started in 1927 in Hamamatsu, Japan, Kawai produced both digital and acoustic pianos. Kawai is known for building pianos that are high quality with authentic sound and touch features.
Casio was founded in Tokyo, Japan in 1946 and is one of the most sought-after digital piano brands in the world. Casio has been producing electronics for over 70 years, but only released its first digital piano 45 years after starting. Casio’s affordable, stylish, and feature-full digital keyboards are comparable to those produced by Roland, Yamaha, and Kawai.
What Accessories and Features to Look Out For
Many people believe that every digital piano has the same features and accessories. However, this is not the case, and digital pianos can vary quite significantly. It is important that you read the descriptions, specs, and talk to someone who knows about the digital piano before you purchase it. You want to make sure that you have everything you need so you can get started straight away.
Here are some of the key accessories and features you should keep an eye out for when looking for a digital piano:
As mentioned earlier, if you live in a home with other people or in a small apartment with thinner walls, you may want to practice using headphones. In order to do so, you need to check that the digital piano you are considering has at least one headphone jack.
Although rare, sometimes a digital piano will not be sold with its power supply, so be sure that you check this before you purchase your piano.
You can buy one of these separately, but it is so much handier to have one built into your digital piano. Metronomes help you keep your timing right when you are playing a musical piece.
If the digital piano you choose doesn’t have speakers built into it, like most stage pianos, or if you need a bit more volume for your performances, an electronic amplifier will allow you to have more punch in your piano.
Most digital pianos don’t come with a piano bench, so you will need to purchase one separately. Look for benches that have padding, storage capabilities, and height adjustability.
Like piano benches, most digital pianos don’t come with a piano stand. Consult with your local music retailer to find a stand that suits the weight and size of your digital piano.
If you plan to practice using headphones, it is a good plan to invest in a comfortable, high-quality pair of headphones. Typically, most pianists who use headphones when they practice prefer headphones that cover their ears instead of in-ear earphones. Headphones provide higher quality sound and comfort, especially if you are practicing for longer periods of time.
If you buy a digital piano that does not have any pedals, it is vital that you purchase at least a sustain pedal. If you are committed and serious about your piano playing, a variable-resistance sustain pedal is important as it imitates an acoustic piano’s sustain pedal.
You do not need to worry too much about the other pedals that are seen on acoustic pianos: the una corda (soft) and sostenuto pedals. These pedals are only important for advanced players, and you will find that their features are specifically suited to an acoustic piano.
We recommend the M-Audio SP-2 Pedals
Bags, Cases, and Covers
If you are going to be moving your digital piano around for performances and gigs, you need to look at buying a bag, case, or cover. Depending on what means of transport you are using, how far you need to travel, and how many knocks you think your instrument will be subject to, the choice between the three will be affected. Bags have some padding, cases are hard-bodied, and covers are exactly what they sound like – a thin protective cover with no padding.We recommend Gator Cases
Tips for Buying a Digital Piano
A traditional acoustic piano is almost always better than a digital piano, which is why you only ever see pianists performing on acoustic pianos in concert settings. However, not everyone can purchase an acoustic piano due to price, space, or volume. If you decide you want to pursue this instrument, here are a few tips for buying a digital piano.
Number of Sounds
Do not be fooled by how many sound a digital piano is able to produce. Many piano manufacturers add additional sounds into the digital piano. This is more for advertising purposes to get more sales. If you really want to learn the piano, the only sound that matters is the piano sound. You will more than likely never use the other sounds for anything other than messing around. Just because the digital piano has more sounds onboard doesn’t mean it has higher quality. In fact, it is normally the opposite. Be sure to check the quality of the sounds on the digital piano, especially the ones you will use.
A digital piano’s maximum polyphony is the number of individual notes the piano can produce simultaneously. If you are holding the sustain pedal, some notes will eventually be cut off, meaning that you cannot accurately play more advanced pieces of music that require many notes to be played at once.
Anything less than 64 notes in a maximum polyphony will limit your advancement in learning. Having more than 256 note maximum polyphony on your digital piano is excessive. Aim to buy a piano with a 128, or ideally, a 256 note maximum polyphony.
This is the resistance that you feel when you play a key on the piano’s keyboard and the resulting volume that the instrument responds with. There are three types of touch response in digital pianos: no touch response, fully weighted, and touch sensitive.
No touch response – there is no difference in the volume no matter how hard or soft you depress the keys. This is a typical trait of synthesizers that benefit from this type of response, but most commonly it is found in cheap keyboards.
Touch sensitive – this is more responsive based on what you play, but the keys are not normally weighted. This touch response is normally found in cheaper pianos.
Fully-weighted – this imitates the feeling of the hammers in an acoustic piano, with high touch responsiveness. Although quality varies quite a bit from piano to piano, this is a trait you want when looking for a digital piano.
Research, Research, Research
This basically goes without saying now that you are at the end of this guide, but you must make sure that you do proper research on the digital piano you plan on buying. Make sure to check what the return policy is for the retailer you are purchasing from before you buy, just in case there are any problems.
It is also important that you know what the manufacturer’s warranty is on the piano that you buy as well as any modifications that may have been made to the original specifications. Internet reviews can be helpful, but take them with a pinch of salt – you never know why the person has written and posted the review.
If you are purchasing a used piano, be wary with online sellers, especially if the piano’s price looks too good to be true – you will often find that it is. Never buy the piano unless you have seen and played it – even if it is new.
Digital Piano Vs. Acoustic Piano
After looking at the pricing and features of all these pianos, you might start thinking about whether you should buy an acoustic piano or digital piano. So, our experts have written this amazing comparison. I'm pretty much sure that this comparison will clear your doubts.
Since the first prototypes for commercial use around the eighties, electronic keyboards and digital pianos have raised the skeptical eyebrows of musicians and public, in general, all over the word regarding its musical value when compared to acoustic pianos. The complaints, addressed from a somewhat small group, claim that these digital instruments are far way inferior compared to their acoustics counterparts in sound quality, touch response and musical excellence in general. Don't you feel this is as an overreaction?
I do. So, today we are going to look further these claims and, with some luck, to reveal the true nature of an instrument that in the last decades has become a one on its own, a unique and popular instrument between musicians and listeners all over the world and in all kind of musical genres. For me is important to set clear one thing: a digital piano is NOT the electronic complement of the acoustic piano. In fact, it is an instrument with its own special and exclusive features which offers a wide variety of possibilities that acoustic pianos just cannot provide. So let's get to the point, shall we?
In Terms Of Sound
When comparing between both instruments is almost impossible to avoid this subject. Acoustic pianos' advocates state that the resonance, warmth and space distribution of sound cannot be emulated by any digital device. This is to some extent a true statement because the acoustic piano has virtually a boundless number of sound combinations and possibilities due to many variables in the piano final sound as environment's humidity, local weather, player's technique, the direct intervention of the strings and so on.
These fluctuations, however, leads often to unwanted sound effects that players try to avoid. On the other hand, digital pianos may have not as many possibilities to alter the original piano's sound but come quite close, especially high-quality digital pianos, in replicating the nuances and timbre qualities of the real thing. Besides, and this is one of its special features, digital pianos are able to reproduce more than just the piano sound. You have a huge number of options to choose from like bowed and plucked strings, horns and woods, all kind of wind instruments, percussions, special effects and more. With a digital piano, you have an entire orchestra at your disposal.
Touch Response and Sound
In acoustic pianos, you control the sound intensity by the amount of force applied to each key. Digital pianos replicate this effect quite effectively, is worth the mention that not all have this function, and depending on the brand or model, the degree of touch response may vary. It is wise to prove as many digital pianos as possible to find the perfect instrument that suits your necessities, often high-quality digital pianos offer more degrees of variation to this respect.
There is a unique feeling when playing the keys of an acoustic piano. When you hit a piano key, it triggers a felt hammer which hits the string in an upward movement, this mechanical procedure has a weight felt by your fingertips, giving it a signature feel. But don't worry, many of the top manufacturers have improved digital pianos weight key so you don't feel like playing a whole alien instrument. This is true for almost all high-quality instruments around there. For low-quality one's you may find them with light, thin, plastic keys that brings out a whole different playing experience.
Key features to consider when purchasing a digital piano
Digital Piano vs Keyboard
Before you get started, however, it is important to note the difference between a "digital piano" and a "keyboard". A digital piano has 88 full-size keys and samplings of piano sounds that sound more realistic than many keyboards. An important feature that most digital pianos have are the weighted keys, which simulate a traditional piano’s keys and allow for a more realistic playing experience. Look for the term “hammer action” for the best results.
Keyboards often have keys that smaller in size than traditional pianos and may come in as few as 49 keys, instead of the standard 88. Some keyboards have “touch sensitive” keys, but these do not offer the realistic feel of a traditional piano.
Beginning pianists would have a more positive experience learning on a digital piano. Students playing on inferior instruments can cause them to have a negative experience and discourage their development. When shopping for digital pianos, ensure there are 88 weighted keys, the same as a traditional piano. This will allow for a more realistic feel when playing the instrument. Next, check the quality of the sound. Ensure the speakers have the desired sound quality, in all registers (high, middle, and low) of the instrument. Does the instrument sound like a piano?
Look for the term polyphony this refers to how many tones the instrument can play at one time. This is one of the biggest differences between digital pianos and keyboards.
Digital pianos will have polyphony levels of 32 to over 200, look for at least 64. This may be confusing to some since there are only 88 keys on a piano. Digital pianos will have polyphony levels of 32 to over 200, look for at least 64. This may be confusing to some since there are only 88 keys on a piano. However, when using the sustain pedal, higher levels of polyphony will allow for the notes to “ring” as a traditional piano does.
Speaking of the sustain pedal, it is important that the beginning pianist have a realistic sustain pedal. This pedal allows for the piano to continuously sound tones after they have been played.
Portable or Not?
This is crucial for the development of the beginning piano player. Some digital pianos come with a "portable" plastic pedal; look for models that mimic a traditional piano pedal.
Considering portability can be an important factor when choosing a digital piano. How will this instrument be used? Will you need to transport it often? If so, choose a model with a sturdy
folding stand. If you intend to keep the digital piano mostly in one place, then purchasing a digital piano with a solid stand would better fit the bill.
Although keyboards can be less expensive, a digital piano will offer the beginning pianist a superior experience that will more readily transfer to a traditional piano. Seek out a model with
88 hammer action weighted keys, polyphony to 64 or more tones, a realistic pedal, and a sturdy stand that fits your portability needs. Purchasing a digital piano of better quality will help to
ensure the beginning pianist can achieve success.
The digital piano is a great instrument that can bring much joy and happiness into your home. A seasoned pianist can use it to perform or record, while those who are just learning their way around can enjoy all of the exciting and educational functions that these pianos come with.
Getting a digital piano can be wonderful, but you want to ensure that you are purchasing the correct piano for your needs – both short and long term. By using the above buyer's guide, you should be able to find the ideal digital piano that will fit your budget and your needs.