Continuous progressions have been witnessed in the field of music and the changes appear to be magical. Over years, a number of innovations have been made with evolution of new phases and instruments making music more interesting than ever. As you look in the past, you will find that musical instruments have made their headways towards making music more fun and entertaining with addition of fantastic features and expressions. Quality of sound has improved while reducing purchasing cost. One fine example is evolution of some best digital pianos that have made owning a piano more cost effective while offering more freedom of expression with ease through superb choice of features and voices.
These instruments are lighter alternatives to a grand piano with similar layout, keys and sound action. With a number of brands and models available, you can research and look for varied features that these digital pianos offer in order to get complete understanding and to opt for a suitable choice. Digital pianos are not only suitable for professional pianists but it is also a great option for learners and students of all ages including kids too. The only daunting task is to get a digital piano that fulfills all your requirements and that you can play confidently. Look for a portable, versatile, cost effective and technically updated improved sound version offering connectivity, recording, sound amplifiers and other impressive features. Check our reviews and recommendations in order to consider what others have to say about a particular digital piano model and you will be able to guide yourself confidently towards a fine purchase.
5 Best Digital Piano Recommendations
Reviews of Top 5 Digital PianosWith so many reviews found online, finding the best digital piano becomes tricky and, as a result, confusing. Let us take a look at the top 5 digital pianos available today. These models are selected based on touch sensitivity, sound quality, overall product quality, customer feedback, and price considerations.
1. Yamaha P45
A great choice among those on a moderately tight budget, the P45 comes with a decent number of digital functions. Where the unit really shines is in its ability allow users great music while being on the move regardless of your choice among the 10 inbuilt voices or any other music you wish to play. Speaking of movement, the unit is also compact and easy to figure out even if you’ve never played the piano.
The interface and key layout are extremely simple and combined with the dust resistant coating of the keys, this makes for a no-frills learning experience sans the trouble involved in regular digital piano maintenance. It is true that such simplicity made a few users press multiple buttons in an attempt to discover correct combinations, but this did not prevent them from making extensive use of the USB port to obtain better sound every day. Furthermore, teachers found the unit extremely easy to use as a learning tool for their students. With the keys being every bit as traditional-seeming as in the other Yamaha contender above, the P45 stakes a good claim to being a versatile’ learner’s and standard’s piano.
Offered with an extended 3 years warranty of manufacturer, the Yamaha P115 is an impressive instrument with state of the art technology and sampling giving it enhanced sound quality and features. The authentic Graded Hammer Standard weighted action keys with touch sensitivity feature give the piano a feel like a grand one. This feature makes piano practice for beginners more effective by allowing them to practice with proper fingering technique. Practicing over this keyboard will prepare piano learners to adjust and play with ease over a real one in future. The finish of the keys is such that you wouldn’t find it slippery and your hands/fingers wouldn’t be strained with extended duration of practices.
10 different styles, built-in rhythms and expressive sound quality makes it an absolutely wonderful choice for intermediates to explore varied areas for diversified learning. You just need to play a chord and these styles would give you a complete garnished sound. The sound quality of this Yamaha model is improved and it comes with features that are user-friendly. Moreover it is simpler to setup and has a compact structure. Moreover this piano comes with a free Digital Piano Controller app that enables piano learners to control a number of functions of this piano easily with the aid of their iPhone or iPad. Doing so makes their practices more interesting as they find new ways of enjoying piano functions.
3. Yamaha DGX660
Being an advanced version to the best-seller Yamaha DGX650, the Yamaha DGX660 is a top of the line digital piano designed with advance features and impressive sound and instrument quality. This new version is positive and futuristic approach of Yamaha to offer wireless connectivity so that pianists could work more and more with iPad, iPhones etc. This piano can be truly termed as a good step on with introduction of microphone that enables pianists to enjoy playing and singing together without the need of including anything from outside the package.
This piano features the same high quality in terms of construction, touch and sound as is offered with the best-selling 650 and thus offers a great value for money. Pure CF sound sampling, full size graded hammer standard keyboard, split action and every other thing that was with 650 is included here. Another impressive feature that I personally like is the Room Function that gives you ease of selecting a suitable piano type, room type with adjusted sound setting that gives you the outcome that you desire with the use of some push buttons only. Chord display, recording function and there is much more to it that makes playing, singing, sharing, improving and repeating piano music a whole lot easier.
4. Yamaha YDP143
Yamaha has recently announced its YDP143 that is an updated form its ever so popular Yamaha YDP142.This digital piano has been designed with pure CF sound engine simulating the CFIIIS grand piano sound. A suitable choice for all those aspiring pianists who are looking for excellent tonal quality, feel and touch. Yamaha has added new features with this model and that too with reduced power consumption than its preceding model. YDP143 has increased to 192 polyphony that gives you much enhanced sound. Other small changes have been made in order to make this piano sound much better.
YDP143 includes dual speakers, 10 voices and in addition it features 4 different types of reverbs, stereophonic optimizer for improved headphones sound for practicing. Same GHS action 88-keys keyboard is there but it features the ability to change touch sensitivity. USB MIDI function is also there but with the use of a wireless adaptor, you can now connect it via Bluetooth too. Along with all these features, Yamaha YDP143 comes with a matching bend that makes it a complete sophisticated package for its users. This piano can be bought in dark rosewood, black walnut and satin white colors.
5. Casio PX860
Building on the fame of the PX860 manages to bring back the feeling of playing on a traditional wooden piano by offering an excellent wood-centric design. Beneath the wood though, there are a large number of voices and intuitive settings that can be learned even by an amateur. More advanced users, on the other hand, admired the fact that the inclusion of a hood added to the depth and beauty of the music quality when the unit was kept in small rooms or when there were a lot of people around the unit. Indeed, when we consider that the inbuilt speakers are meant to handle a range of volumes in keeping with the range of circumstances (including hood-conducive environments), it becomes clear that the use of the hood is a vital part of the overall design.
Such users would also admire the hammer-weighted action of the keys that allowed the user vital practice in playing the keys of a real grand piano. With a sound engine that has been substantially improved during the transition from the PX850, and USB connectivity providing for better synchronization and recording features, these make the PX860 one of the few affordable yet truly professional pianos that come close to providing the authentic wooden piano experience.
Advantages of playing piano:
No doubt that a piano installed in your living room gives you sophisticated feel and magnifies beauty of your living area. But there is much more to just a beautiful look that piano gives. There are a number of impressive musical instruments that one can learn but playing piano gives you many more benefits over other instruments. In this section we will be highlighting some of the major benefits that one can gain from learning to play piano.
- Piano is Polyphonic: Generally most of the other instruments such as violin, flute and many others are monophonic instruments meaning that you can play one note at a time. Unlike them, piano gives you the opportunity of playing many notes at one time. This quality of piano of being polyphonic makes it a versatile solo instrument. Other instruments and organs may be difficult to deal when it comes to playing complex passages alone. But piano can give impressive solo performances with rich harmonies and it is also a promising accompanying instrument. With piano you can play a complete composition without needing other instruments for completion.
- Even an amateur can play piano: Why do we say that? Because piano offers complete visualization of the keyboard. On a piano keyboard, you can see and hear what you are playing with complete certainty. Just by looking at the musical sheet, if you know where a certain key is; just by pressing it you will get the sound. You get visual feedback while playing on the piano. You just need to know how to read and placement of keys in order to get the sound out of your piano and that also decent sound out of an instrument you don’t really know.
- Playing piano among family and friends gives you memories forever: This is one instrument that you will see almost everywhere may it be a home, church, schools or elsewhere. Essentially Christmas carols and some other sing-alongs with family and friends involve playing over this beautiful instrument. Piano gives you opportunity of singing along with a group of family and friends and it helps you in gathering memories of a lifetime.
- Learning piano gives you improved intellectual skills: Studies and various researches have shown that people or children who learn to play piano perform much better in their academics in comparison to other students. Piano learners not only improve their musical skills but they also improve on their logical skills. Learning to play piano improves functionality of your brain. Children who learn piano are realized to have enhanced concentration, manual dexterity and improved overall performance in schools.
- Learning piano gives you basics of musical theory: Piano is an impressive tool that gives you basic understanding of musical theory. Whereas, with other instruments you may be able to play chords beautifully but may not be aware of what is the theory behind playing these chords. Piano gives you a comprehensive knowledge of sound production and structure. Thus a pianist is more aware of what he/she is playing in comparison to other instrument players.
- Learning piano gives you improved posture and body parts co-ordination: Pianists with learning and practice gain improved body posture and co-ordination between hands, eyes and ears. Learning the technique of fingering, positioning your hands and a good body posture gives you valuable training that proves beneficial for your health and prevents back pains and injuries.
- Learning piano is vital for choral or orchestral conductor: If you wish to become a choral or orchestral conductor, it is important for you to learn to play the piano in order to get better at hearing and understanding line of harmonies played over various instruments in pieces. This understanding will help you in guiding all the instruments in your orchestra.
- Piano gives you enhanced musical experimentation: A piano player usually has more control over his fingers and you can thus experiment different patterns with individual control over each finger. Experimentation might sound difficult in comparison to playing memorized patterns but with practice, you will be able to experiment and create your own complete compositions with piano.
- A skilled pianist can learn other instruments quickly: In comparison to a person who has no knowledge of piano, a skilled pianist is more likely to pick up learning to play other instrument quickly.
- Piano as a profession: While many people learn to play an instrument for their passion towards music and to enjoy freedom of expression. Some may be casual learners but many would want to become professional pianists. When we talk about playing piano as a profession, there are plenty of opportunities for jobs and careers in the field of piano. You can become part of an orchestra/band, you can play in weddings or other occasions, you can even become a personal or a college/university level instructor, you can accompany vocalists and there is much more to it that you can explore.
Steps to find the best digital piano:
It is typically much difficult to make a choice of buying one of the ideal instruments especially if you are buying piano for the first time. Apart from that when you search for the best, the first one that you come across may be offering you great volume and sound but it may not be a right choice for you. Buying a piano is not something that you will be doing frequently so it is best to educate yourself on how you can find the best choice according to your requirements and needs rather than regretting a wrong purchase. Here we are sharing some important steps that would simplify decision of buying an appropriate model:
Step 1: Why do you want a Digital Piano and how you will be using it? This is the first and the most crucial step in deciding which piano you should purchase? You need to determine why do you want this musical instrument and for what purpose it will be used? It could be music production, stage performance, learning to play piano, teaching piano or any other purpose. For example if you are looking for a piano for on-stage performance, you will be able to find a number of stage pianos with amplified sounds and versatile options. Looking for the reason of purchase will work as a pioneer in the process of making the right purchase for you.
Step 2: Choose according to your Skill Level: Different pianists have varied skill level when it comes to playing piano. You may be a beginner, an immediate learner or an expert experienced pianist. When it comes to buying a piano, you will get a wide range of choices offering varied features. So determine your skill level and look for features that are most suitable for your skill level. For example if you are a beginner, you may do well with a cheap priced piano offering sufficient tools for learning. As you progress in your piano playing skill level, you can move on and get a more advance version.
Step 3: Keep Cost in Mind: The market of instruments is quite wide and thus there is possibility for finding models according to your budget (although a reasonable amount). Think beforehand about how much you would like to spend for buying a digital piano that satisfies your needs? Set a reasonable budget with a rough idea on how much to spend. After all it would not be viable to buy a cheap model with no options to meet your needs.
Step 4: Think about Size and Storage: You may have thought of installing your digital piano at a proper place, although these models are designed for portability and ease of movement. Think ahead and check size of the piano that you are planning to buy so that you don’t end up buying a model for which you don’t have place for installation or storage. It is best to measure the area where you are planning to place the piano in order to narrow down your search for piano of size that could easily fit in that area. For travelling musicians, it is best to look for a lighter model and one that can be easily split for storage for added convenience.
Step 5: Sound Quality and Versatility: The next most important factor to consider when choosing the most appropriate digital piano is to check for quality and variations of sound offered with it. Modern day pianos have improved sound and tonal quality and they have options of sounds from a number of different instruments. Purchase a digital piano that satisfies your desire for sound quality and versatility.
Step 6: Check Keyboard Action: It is best to try your hands over a piano keyboard before purchasing it. You should make it certain that keys of the keyboard offer you desired key grip and as you begin practicing or performing; your fingers should not slip over keys.
Step 7: Check Polyphony: One important consideration in choosing a particular model is the number of polyphony it has. The greater the number of polyphony, the better. With more polyphony you will be able to play richer and complex passages. So if you have to choose between two options with varied notes of polyphony, opt for a piano that has greater polyphony.
Step 8: Check Pedal Responsiveness: It would not be desirable to have a digital piano that needs you to put a lot of pressure over pedal for getting response of sustaining notes. Check for pedal touch responsiveness and choose a model that suits your desired response action.
Step 9: Identify what additional features you would need? There are other perks that many digital pianos offer in the form of USB connectivity, quality amp connection, headphones jack and other things. These additional features give you improved piano playing experience over a piano.
Step 10: Warranty coverage of the digital piano: A reasonable coverage through warranty should be there for a protected purchase decision. Although the longer the warranty period, the better.
Step 11: Check Reviews: Consider in-depth digital piano reviews for a model that you wish to purchase. Check different thoughts posted by different pianists who have experienced their hands over a particular model that you are considering to buy. It is better to take quick notes so that you can better evaluate pros and cons of the product.
Tips and Tricks for learning a piano
Musicians need passion and concentration but this has become difficult in todays’ intense pressure time where everyone is in a hurry with a list of to-dos in his mind all the time. Same is the case with pianists and this is one of the biggest hindrances for pianists too. Thus we have shared here some of the important tips and tricks that would enable you to effectively learn to play piano. Not only these tips would give you faster learning but you will be able to improve playing with more confidence and will develop good piano playing skills.
1. Learning basic fundamental theory improves your skills:
Learning some basics of music may appear to be boring initially however this fundamental learning is going to benefit you in big way as you progress in learning piano. This knowledge will not only improve your skills but it will enable you to expand your ability to play with increased variations and tones. Basics give you knowledge of differentiating between varied chords, notes, keys etc. This basic knowledge can be gained with private lessons, online resources or with a good music theory book.
2. Set clear objectives and organize practices:
A piano learner should have clear objectives and goals. It is appropriate to create clear goals for each practice session. You should write a planner for daily practice so that you have a clear idea about which areas to give most importance to during a session. Organize yourself efficiently to get desired results out of each session. Achieving daily goals would give you confidence and a feeling of accomplishment. Be motivated towards completion of each goal for daily practice session.
3. Warm-up for your practice session:
We recommend you to always have your hands over piano for warm-up before session. You can warm-up with a simple scales or notes that you can play with ease. Do not worry about few errors that you may make.
4. Don’t go too fast:
Slow and steady wins the race proves good here too. Initially your mind will not be able to absorb if you work over a lot of things with a fast pace. Go slowly in detail and give complete attention to whatever you are learning. Speed can be harmful and would have negative impact on learning mind. Do not over-burden your mind.
5. Concentrate on your practice:
Concentration and focus are key pillars for effective learning. Like all other instruments, piano also demands concentration and dedication from learner. Consistent practices with complete dedication would give you results that you will value. Keep your mind active during a learning session away from all other worries of your world. Remember you should not overwhelm yourself as this could lead to frustration. If you feel stressed, take a break from learning session and refresh your mind with other activities of your interest or simply relax. This practice will re-energize you for next session.
6. It is better to practice one short passage during a session:
Your mind may not be prepared to absorb a huge flow of information as this would be all new for it. We recommend you to learn piano slowly by practicing one short passage each day and practicing it with concentration and carefully. This may seem to be lengthening your learning period but over a long run it would be most beneficial for you.
7. Maintain a schedule of your practice sessions:
Schedule your piano learning sessions according to your own preference and suitability. Many of you may find morning to be the best time for practicing with fresh mind and some of you may want to practice in the evening for relaxation after hard working day. Preference is all yours but make sure that your mind is in a completely relaxed state to make practice a rewarding session. We also recommend you to maintain a note of each of your practice session. You can create a practice journal which should include information like what notes you learned on a specific day in how much time and other similar detail. This would give you an idea of how your planning is moving each day and would give you a stronger base for future planning.
8. It is important to enjoy what you do:
Without motivation and with lack of interest you will reach nowhere in learning piano. You should enjoy as you play and should have passion of music as you learn this instrument. Include some of your favorite music pieces in order to make session more interesting each day.
9. Excel your piano learning skills and knowledge with technology:
There is a great scope for learning with advance technologies being introduced every other day related to learning piano skills. You will be able to find a number of useful resources online with information for beginners and professional expert piano players too. Follow these resources as well as get useful tips with musical pieces from players of advance level. This would enable you to improve in building piano playing skills. More advanced portable digital pianos are available nowadays with which you can explore versatile tones, voices and can self-evaluate yourself for improvements. Advance pianos have interesting features that give you convenience and make learning more fun with intelligent apps and connectivity features.
Following these tips would give you improved piano skills and you will gain versatility and productivity by applying all these tips and tricks.
Train yourself to play piano with both hands
You may have trained yourself to play a particular note with your right or left hand but using both hands together for playing piano is certainly more difficult. You may find yourself enjoying playing piano with either of your hands but piano learning needs a good co-ordination of both of your hands used together over its keys. You may even realize that both of your hands can play similar notes together but making different actions of movements with both hands is considerably difficult. This is a fact that your brain tends to get confused with two hands performing two different movements. Hands co-ordination is tricky and thus you need to practice well to deal with this confusing part of learning piano.
Here we have shared some useful tips that would enable you to use both your hands together for playing piano effectively:
- Improve on your reading skills for notes: If you find sight reading easy, it is more likely that you will be able to gain a par over playing with both hands quickly. Improve on your skills of reading by following various difficult notes. It is important that you must be able to differentiate between various notes and knowing this would make this learning even easier.
- Practice with one hand and then practice together with both hands: You should begin practicing by memorizing a phrase and playing it with one hand. Then practice the same passage with another hand. Keep your mind open while reading these notes. Now once you have mastered over this passage with each hand separately, you can begin practicing with both hands. During this process, you may find yourself slowing down for learning but don’t be stressed. Stick to practicing and soon you will master on it.
Some Important Tips to follow:
- Read the notes carefully before you begin playing with both hands.
- You should practice a particular passage couple of times with one hand and then play the same passage with other hand. This will give you confidence over a passage and you will find playing with both hands a bit more comfortable than otherwise.
- Practice with a slow speed and slowly increase the pace as you become more confident about a particular passage.
- Patience and concentration is most important.
- Take suggestions and advices from your listeners positively and improve.
Do not stress yourself as you would not be able to learn playing piano with both hands overnight. It would need you to practice regularly. Practice will make this co-ordination easier. Be focused and keep your mind clear from all other worries and let yourself flow with playing music over piano. If you are not able to get over it with few practice session, do not worry and keep yourself calm. Practice more and soon you will be able to get both your hands over piano for confident playing.
Piano Playing FAQs:
An average piano should have how many keys?
An average piano includes 88 keys out of which 36 are sharp black keys and other is white keys. You may also find some pianos with 85 keys and some even have more than 88 keys. Additional keys are included to offer some extra resonance and larger sound. In general, a piano would include 88 keys.
Should I choose acoustic piano or a digital keyboard?
When you talk about experience of playing piano you will witness some difference between playing on an acoustic piano and a digital keyboard. Choice truly depends upon some practical reasons such as budget, space, maintenance. You can learn well over either of them and thus you should choose one that suits your style and preferences in the best possible manner.
What are piano pedals for?
A piano usually has two pedals, the left pedal is soft pedal and the right one is sustain pedal. Soft pedal gives the entire moving action a shift to one side that enables hammers to strike only two strings out of three. This mechanism makes the sound produced much softer. However the sustain pedal lifts dampers and thus the notes are sustained till the player releases the pedal or till the life of the sound produced. You may find some pianos with addition of a little complicated middle pedal that performs a variety of different functions according to different piano models.
Does my piano need tuning?
An acoustic piano needs tuning at least twice a year. Many of the manufacturers recommend that a new piano should be tuned 4 times a year but thereafter it could be done twice. Keeping piano tuned is important.
How often should I clean my piano keys?
Frequency of cleaning a piano truly depends upon your usage. If your piano is regularly used, you may need to clean your piano keys every week however if it is rarely used you can schedule cleaning in 6 months.
Now that you have read all the details that relate to a best digital piano, we hope that you will be able to make a right purchase decision. Remember that choosing a digital piano is surely a significant step towards learning to play this beautiful instrument but you should consider all the details that we have shared here for learning to play a digital piano. Learning this instrument would need you to have patience as this process would be slow and steady and the more you follow instructions related to learning, more improvement you will witness in your performance.
The sole purpose of this site is to provide pianists a complete guide for purchase, learning and maintenance of their digital pianos irrespective of the brand or model they choose. For those who have a decent budget, you can opt for one of the top 5 pianos. Apart from these there are other pianos as well offering you astounding functions and features that you can contemplate for purchase. Though if you already are using a grand piano, no digital piano will be able to beat its experience but when it comes to convenience in the form of portability and when you are short of space and doesn’t want to spend thousands of dollars for a piano, digital piano should be the best choice for you. Take some time to decide, better read our reviews before making a purchase. May you be an absolute beginner or a pro piano player; you can make a selective purchase of a piano that fits in your requirement well.