Best Digital Piano
Finding The Best Digital Piano For You - Buying Basics
The choices are overwhelming to say the least. Finding the best digital piano is not easy!
Yamaha Electronic Piano? Yamaha Clavinova Digital Piano? Or Kawai Digital Piano?
It can be very difficult trying to decide which piano to buy, whether you are a beginner or more experienced player.
Not only are there different types of pianos and manufacturers to choose from, but everyone has a different opinion about them. Some people will only buy Yamahas; others swear that Roland pianos are best.
It is easy to be swept away by the 'sales talk' and technical jargon, without really knowing what you are getting for your money.
Buying a piano can be a serious investment, so you need to know the facts before going ahead with your purchase.
Here is the essential information you need to make an informed choice for yourself and family.
I do hope that it helps you, and that you are thrilled with whatever you end up choosing.
Finding The Best Digital Piano or Best Music Keyboard
1. Which Piano/Keyboard Type?
First things first: fully understand all the different types of piano, so you are 100% certain on what you want.
Make sure you do an acoustic vs digital piano comparison so you can see the pros and cons of each.
2. Keyboard Size
The majority of keyboards come in a range of 61, 76 and 88 keys. You might see a few with 32 or 49 keys.
Acoustic and most digital pianos will always have 88 keys as standard. Electronic keyboards will have less.
Unless you want something really portable, I would recommend 88 keys as this is the full range of notes on an acoustic. Anything less will limit your playing in the long term.
3. Touch Sensitivity
All acoustic and digital pianos, and the vast majority of electronic keyboards, have 'touch sensitive' keys, meaning that the keys respond to how hard or soft you press down with your finger by making the sound either loud or soft.
This is an absolute must when buying any kind of keyboard. If you don't have touch sensitive keys you will always play at the same volume - very limiting.
4. Keyboard/Piano Action, Key Weighting, Hammer Action)
Keyboard or piano action, and weighted keys, means that the keys mimic the feel of an acoustic piano. They have a 'heavy' feel to them that responds to the movement of your finger.
If you look closely at the keys of a digital or acoustic piano, and compare them to a cheap electronic keyboard with no key weighting, you will see that they even look different. The weighted keys are 'thicker' and stiffer; keys with no weighting are thin (and feel very 'plastic').
This is one of the most important things to look out for when buying a digital piano - in fact, I think this is essential when searching for the best digital piano. Without a good keyboard action, you will not be able to play with any real expression; and it will make it very hard for you to transition to an acoustic (if you ever want to do this in the future) because the muscles in your hands won't strengthen up properly.
So make sure that whatever you do, the keyboard or digital piano you get has a good piano action.
You might come across slightly different terms (depending on the manufacturer) - piano action, graded piano action, scaled hammer action. It can sound very technical, but all it really means at the end of the day, is that it is reproducing the feel and sound of an acoustic.
This means the ability for multiple sounds to be played at once.
Digital pianos and electronic keyboards tend to have 32, 64, 98 or 128 polyphony.
64 note polyphony is plenty - you don't really need more than that. So stick to something around this number.
If the number is too low (eg in the 30s) steer clear, this isn't enough.
6. Speaker Wattage
Make sure that your digital piano or keyboard has minim 30watts output. Anything less and the sound could be too weak.
7. Pedaling levelsThis is important if you're buying a digital piano. Find out what kind of pedalling it has - does it mimic a real piano (this is preferable)?. Sometimes you can buy the pedals separately. Ideally, try and find one that has three pedals (like the acoustic has).
8. MIDI IN/OUTThis basically means that you can plug into your PC. If you have music notation software (like Finale or Sibelius) you'll be able to play the piano and the computer will record it into notation!! Or transfer songs to and from your computer.
This isn't essential but is great to have.
So, these are the basic things you should look out for when finding the best digital piano or keyboard for your needs.
Anything else is just icing on the piano cake!
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