Before you buy a keyboard piano, you need to first narrow down exactly the type of piano you want. If you’re just starting out, you may want something more entry-level. If you’ve progressed a bit and are ready to upgrade, something more mid-tier may be in your wheelhouse.
Or if you’re an accomplished musician and are doing lots of mixing and recording or performing at events, the best piano for you might be something high-end. There are many piano brands out there and numerous models, so it can be tasking to make a choice when you’re looking at keyboards.
In order to help you, I’ve written many keyboard piano reviews, which you can find on the right side of this page. You’ll also have access to comparison charts for the different models to help you filter further. Below I go over some common features that you’ll want to consider when looking for the best piano to suit you.
Benefits of a digital piano
If you’re ready to buy, you can use some price comparisons on review pages to find the best vendors and prices on the web. There are some major undeniable benefits that a digital keyboard will have over a grand piano:
An acoustic piano isn’t anywhere close to affordable for most people as they can cost many thousands of dollars.
Compare that to the average digital keyboard, which will probably cost you under $1000, oftentimes well under that You’ll have to tune a grand piano several times a year which will cost you a couple hundred dollars at least. There’s no such expense with a keyboard piano – no tuning needed! Unless you have lots of room to spare, that acoustic piano will occupy a large area of your living quarters, and will be a permanent fixture. They weigh several hundred pounds at least and can only be moved with professional help.
A keyboard is small by comparison, can be put anywhere or put away, and is very lightweight. It can be carried to places other than your home if you’d like to play or entertain elsewhere.
Weight For It
The keys on an acoustic piano have varying degrees of weight to them, depending on their location. Lower notes feel heavier to the touch, while high-end ones are on the lighter side. This same distribution is emulated on most digital pianos.
Learning to play with the heavy and light keys will accustom you to the feel of a grand piano if you ever get to play one. Another feature that can be had on some of the best piano systems is being able to set how much sound response you’ll get depending on how much you press the keys down. You can set them to either give a full response even if you only push the key partway down, or you set how much response you’ll get.
Obviously, on an acoustic piano there are varying degrees of sound depending on the strength of your press.
Learn to Play On Your Own
When you’re looking to buy piano keyboards, you may want to think about getting one that can actually teach you to play. These types of digital pianos do this by highlighting which keys to press while a song is being played for you.
This shows you the notes you need to perform and gets you used to the song. Over time, you’ll get a feel for the keys before even being prompted. You’re able to adjust the tempo to match your stage of learning so you always feel comfortable. You’ll save a good chunk of change on piano school.
A Full-On Orchestra
Besides just using the digital piano to play the piano, all brands have models that let you play other musical instruments like a sax, guitar, or drums for example. You can play these in-tune with your piano to add aura and expression to your play.
Imagine Playing Anywhere
Even though you might only be playing in a small room, your piano doesn’t have to sound like it.
If you’re looking to buy a piano keyboard, one thing to check is if the piano has some sort of sound treatment, such as echoing. This will cause the piano play to sound as if you’re performing in some other physical setting, such as a concert hall or opera house.
Arrange and Edit Your Own Music
Most pianos will allow you to record your performances and transfer them to a PC for later editing.
You can even accompany your play with layering of other instruments to make it a full-tracked recording. Once you’re happy with the finished product, it’s all saved digitally and you can give it to whomever you like and show off your stuff.
A Tale of Two Jacks
Every keyboard is going to have a headphone jack, which will allow you to safely play at all hours of the night, while keeping other people’s ears free from harm. It can be a major wrench in the works if you’re not able to practice whenever you want.
Also, lots of piano players actually prefer the sound through the headphones as they feel more immersed in the music. Another thing to keep in mind when you trying to decide is an external out socket. If you ever take your setup on the road and are playing in a large area, you’ll need to have one in order to ‘beef up’ the sound with an amplifier or powered speakers.
The Best Brands of Pianos
After doing my research for this website, I’ve found that the top piano brands are Yamaha, Casio, and Korg.
They all make great models which will usually encompass most of the features I’ve told you about here.
Some comment cards I found from owners of these types of digital pianos while I was collecting research for putting together these digital piano reviews:“If you are looking for a great digital keyboard, this is it.”“The sound quality, especially for the price, is quite simply amazing…”“It has the benefit of being relatively light and portable (especially by comparison to a real piano)…”“Unless you’re Alfred Brendel, McCoy Tyner, or Stevie Wonder, this piano keyboard will be fine for all your piano playing.
One thing to be aware of is that a piano keyboard, at the end of the day, is NOT a true grand piano and won’t ever be able to truly replicate the tone and touch. On the other hand though, digital pianos ALMOST get there, and in most cases, are perfectly fine substitutes for most people, who couldn’t tell you which is which.
As mentioned in the last comment above, only very accomplished musicians will have an ear to differentiate between the two. Electric pianos do their best piano impression, and they do it quite well. Add to that all the other benefits of a digital over a grand, and it wins hands down for almost everyone.
Things to consider
I hope you’re more clear on what you need to look for regarding the different piano brands. Thanks again for coming by my keyboard piano site. Some links here are sponsored affiliate links. The owner makes a commission if you buy after clicking these links. The owner is not a bona fide user of this product, but has thoroughly researched it and provided his personal opinion only.
Playing the two low C’s as the same time on the digital piano will help you determine the quality of the sound as well because many lower quality pianos will drop the sound of the notes sooner than they should. The harmony of these two notes is also important and can be easily distinguishable for even the most novice piano player. It is also a good idea to see if the digital piano is user-friendly.
While you will need to go through the owner’s manual when you purchase the piano because you do not want to have to pull it out every time you want to change a sound on the instrument.
Understanding the layout of the model you are purchasing is key. You also should check to make sure that all the buttons and sounds are functional and within easy reach, yet not so close to the keyboard that they may be accidentally hit while playing. Many digital pianos will have numerous tones and voices to give the sound a diversity.
Some of the different voices that may be included on models will be whistles, echoes, guitar, and other non-piano sounds. You might also incur a little of a learning curve if you have been playing an acoustic piano with a pressed petal substantiation, as turning the pedal on and off may become a hindrance.
The range of accessories
There are other accessories that you may want to look into such as speakers and amplifiers to make sure that they are compatible with the brand of digital piano that you are interested in. While the model you have selected may be a great one, making sure that you do not lose the quality of sound when it is attached to bigger sound boxes is imperative.
If your sound differs or becomes diluted, it may not be the model best suited for you. Regardless of the model you select, it is important to make sure that it “fits” you. You could purchase the highest end digital piano on the market, yet, if you are not comfortable playing it, and the sound is not the quality you are looking for, you could be disappointed with your purchase. Digital pianos are meant to be portable, easy to use, and offer variety’s of sound for convenience and creativity.
Remember, the sound is important, so make sure that the quality in the sound and the ease of use will give you the most success in your musical journey.