A quick answer to the question is a keyboard piano, alternatively called an electronic keyboard or a piano keyboard. It is the best option for beginners to learn to play the piano.
Learning piano is easy - we are told so numerous times by pianists professional and amateur. However, a simple question can keep people outside the door: what piano should a beginner buy?
This question has been searched over 38,000,000 times on Google. Apparently, most questioners cannot get a definite answer to this question. The reason? There is not a definite answer. I will explain why.
Learning piano on a keyboard
How many kinds of pianos are there?
To choose the right kind of piano, the beginner needs to know about the many kinds of pianos first. Depending on how they produce voice, pianos can be divided into acoustic pianos and digital pianos.
Grand piano, a typical kind of acoustic pianos. Photo/ Unsplash
An acoustic piano is an old-school piano that we often see in concerts as well as in musical institutions. Its sounding is mechanic: when the player presses a key, it triggers a hammer that is connected to it, and the hammer strikes the strings inside the body to produce sound through vibration.
Electric keyboard, a more versatile kind of digital pianos
A digital piano, on the contrary, is an electronic instrument that provides the digital replication of the sounds of an acoustic piano. Digital pianos often look like acoustic pianos - but much slimmer, especially when compared to the grand piano, which seems gigantic because of its large wooden enclosed body.
Should a beginner buy an acoustic piano or a digital piano?
This is where the argument cuts in. Because the learner needs to consider a lot of things when choosing a piano, and the answer is highly personal. Generally, there are a few differences between acoustic pianos and digital pianos to think about.
An upright digital piano takes up very little space
First, the space. acoustic pianos are larger in space, while a digital piano usually measures only as small as the keyboard. While the compactness of a vertical acoustic piano can sometimes compare to a digital piano, it is still advisable to choose a digital piano over an acoustic piano if the learner is a dormitory student or has little space at home for musical instruments.
On the other hand, if the learner has a big house to deploy a piano, an acoustic piano can be a better fit, as it is not only an instrument to play music, but also a beautiful and classy piece of furniture for interior decoration of the house.
Sometimes a keyboard is also very decorative
Second, the sound quality. Since a digital piano sounds by emulating the sound of an acoustic piano, its sound quality largely depends on how clearly the sound is sampled, and how well it is programmed. Since digital pianos can connect to exterior speakers, their playback quality won't be a big problem. Last but not least, the sound quality of the acoustic piano it emulates is also of paramount importance.
Meanwhile, the sound quality of an acoustic piano depends on more factors: the materials, the building skills, the maintenance, and more. Generally, a digital piano has a better chance of providing better sound quality than an acoustic piano at the same price.
In this part, a digital piano is recommended for beginners.
Third, maintenance. While an acoustic piano is expensive to buy, it costs more to maintain. Apart from the regular protection against insects and humidity, an acoustic piano also needs to be tuned over time, so that it could sound perfectly.
On the other hand, a digital piano comes much easier to maintain. It only needs general cleaning against dust and daily debris. Additional checks on connections might be required, but it's no more complicated than checking your TV or computer, as shared by stampsound.com author Paul.
Alright, the conclusion seems clear now: a digital piano is more suitable for most beginners. With the first question answered, now we have a second one: what kind of digital pianos is the best?
How many kinds of digital pianos are there?
The question is not hard to answer. According to our classification on donnermusic.com.au, we have digital pianos and keyboard pianos. Confused?
A Donner digital piano
Here digital pianos refer to digital pianos that ONLY simulate the sound and interface of acoustic pianos. They come in many forms, with or without detachable legs, vertical or portal, etc.
A Donner electric keyboard
While keyboard pianos also simulate the key settings of an acoustic piano. they add many more buttons to generate sounds beyond a piano, such as a guitar, bass, and even wind instruments. As it is very intuitive to trigger a pre-collected sound with the button panel, a keyboard piano provides more possibilities to create music alone.
Which type of digital piano should a beginner buy?
It really depends on what kinds of a piano the buyer needs and the budget. In general, piano learners are suggested to stay focused on the piano solely, so the digital piano might stand out. Is this the end of the story?
When the beginner starts buying pianos, he or she will surprisedly find that the more versatile keyboard pianos are generally less expensive than vertical digital pianos and even some portable digital pianos.
The logic? When a digital piano decides to imitate an acoustic piano, it looks beyond the sound - but also the finish, the build, and the materials. That's why solid hardwood is often introduced, increasing not only its fanciness but also its cost.
So, if the beginner has a limited budget, he or she is advised to choose a keyboard instead of a digital piano. In addition to its handsome performance-cost ratio, a keyboard piano also allows for more ways to develop music talents.
So far, we have reached a comparatively clear conclusion, that is, an electronic keyboard or piano keyboard is the best option for piano beginners. Is it the end?
Far from it. Choosing a suitable keyboard piano itself is complicated enough. There are many varieties to know: weighted vs unweighted, 49 keys vs 88 keys, MIDI vs others, and so on. Always inquire a Donner Music expert before you determine your first keyboard piano.