Choosing your first instrument can be challenging. This is especially true if you have no experience with purchasing a piano. Read our experts tips for buying a digital piano or keyboard. Learn what sizes and features to look for, and discover what you must know before buying!
A digital piano, or keyboard, is a good economical option if you do not want to invest in an acoustic piano, want something portable, and want to manipulate sound volume. A digital piano is an electronic device that emulates the sounds of an acoustic piano. It uses digitally sampled sounds, instead of strings and hammers, and the sound is amplified through speakers or headphones. Digital pianos usually provide a variety of sounds including standard piano, organ, strings, flute, etc. A digital piano will also usually feature built in recording software and a metronome.
Features to consider:
Weighted keys: One of the most important features to consider when purchasing digital piano is weighted keys. Simply put, this means that the keys have a weight to them that is similar to the acoustic piano, and does not feel like they’re made of light plastic.
Touch sensitive keyboards: This means that when you play softly, the sound comes out softly, when you play loud, the sound comes out loud. Some inexpensive keyboards do not have this feature, and thus everything sounds dynamically the same.
Keyboard size: you will want to choose a keyboard that has at least 61 keys on it. However, it is worth an investment to purchase a piano with full 88 keys.
Sustain Pedal: Higher end keyboards will feature a sustain pedal to make sure that the notes sustain properly. Some cheaper models have this feature, but don’t provide a sustained sound.
Even if you’re considering buying privately, visit a piano store and try their range of pianos. Talk to the salesperson and ask which piano offers the above mentioned features without a lot of bells and whistles. Try as many brands as you like to compare the different brands. This will give you a better idea of what is good and what is not. Lastly, it you have a friend who plays piano, ask him or her to accompany you to the store. They may be able to provide you with a sound advice.