When considering purchasing your first instrument, it is important to know the difference between a keyboard and a piano. A keyboard usually has less keys than a piano, therefore, I do not recommend that a piano student buys a keyboard because when you take piano lessons from a good teacher, you will progress quickly and will outgrow a keyboard. You would then have additional outlay to purchase a ‘real’ piano.
Pianos come in two flavours; acoustic and digital. The choice between them is usually driven by two considerations; budget and space. A digital piano is generally cheaper to buy and takes up less space, where as an acoustic piano tends to be more expensive and require more room.
Most of my students who are beginners chose a digital piano. When choosing a digital, it is important to make sure the instrument has the following features
- Full size
- This will help you with correct fingering and posture
- 88 Keys
- A piano has 88 keys, do not buy one with less
- Weighted hammer action
- Sometimes referred to as graded hammer action, the feel of the keys gradually change so that they feels heavier when playing bass notes and lighter when playing treble notes similar to an acoustic piano
One big advantage a digital piano has over an acoustic is that they never need tuning. The notes are produced by playing a sampled sound, usually recorded from an acoustic grand piano, so it is important to chose a good quality instrument from a reputable manufacturer.
I have owned a variety of digital pianos over the years and my students an even greater variety. Manufacturers are constantly improving their digital pianos so I have to keep myself up to date with the latest models.