The world of music gives you varied choices in the form of various musical instruments. Each one of them have different features, styles, options, budget and many other factors that enables you to make a choice between them. When we talk specifically about pianos, apart from other choices there is a huge market that gives you option of either opting for an acoustic piano or a digital piano. When we talk about acoustic piano, we mean that it describes a piano that is based on pure natural acoustic sounds that are resulted from pressing keys that enables covered hammers to hit wire strings made up of high-tensile steel. When the term digital piano appears, this instrument haven’t got any hammers or strings physically but they are utilized electronically to give you similar sound effect. A comprehensive comparison between these two types of pianos would enable you to decide which one is a suitable choice for you?
A look at differences between Digital and Acoustic Piano:
In order to better compare these two types of pianos, it is best to start by having a look at their differences. Here we have highlighted some important differentiating factors between two types:
|Digital Piano||Acoustic Piano|
|1. Budget||500 – 5,000 USD||5,000 – 100,000 USD|
|2. Space||Less Space Required||Larger, Occupies |
|3. Portability||Yes with Less Weight||No, Heavy Weight|
|4. Quality of Sound||Depends upon Model||Real Sound|
|5. Sound Versatility||Different Organs &|
|Only Traditional |
|6. Touch Sensitivity||Depends upon Model||Included|
|7. Tuning||Not Required||On Regular Basis|
|8. Technology||Advance Options For |
Learning & Recording
Understanding Differences between Digital and Acoustic Pianos:
Traditional acoustic pianos are pretty expensive instruments and they may range anywhere between 5,000 to 100,000 USD. Many of you may be interested in learning to play piano but may not have this kind of budget for getting an instrument of your own. In such cases, digital pianos appear to be the best choice that can be purchased under different price brackets. The market for digital pianos is really wide when it comes to price. Different manufacturers have made and are making digital pianos for as low as USD 500. Whereas if you have a higher budget, you may get an impressively advanced level of digital piano ranging between 1,000 to 5,000 USD.
Piano Placement, Storage& Portability:
This is an important consideration when you are thinking to buy a piano for your home. You may afford to get an acoustic piano but there may be little space in your house not enough for its placement or storage. Apart from space, you also need to think well about temperature within the room where you are planning to place your acoustic piano. Frequent fluctuations in temperature within the room would affect tuning of your piano. If you have little space and temperature fluctuations in the room, a digital piano should be preferred choice. You will be able to accommodate a digital piano anywhere. Not only that but relocating/transporting a digital piano within the house or outside would be no hassle at all. Whereas on the other hand an acoustic piano is heavy in weight and bulky in size so it would not be easy to move it easily.
Sound Quality & Versatility:
Affordability and ease of use surely make digital pianos a better choice but when it comes to quality of sound, there may be differences with different models. A cheap digital piano may not give you quality of sound that you can find with an acoustic piano. Even a high-end digital piano would closely replicate the nuances of acoustic piano but it may not be exactly similar to that sound. This is the reason why some professional purists would always prefer an acoustic piano. Acoustic piano works with felt covered hammers hitting wire strings of steel whereas a digital piano doesn’t. A good digital piano would have high quality recordings from some best traditional pianos.
When it comes to experimenting, composition and learning; digital piano is preferred. A digital piano offers a wide choice of sounds with varied strings, harpsichord, organs and instruments’ sounds and built-in rhythms that makes way for versatility.
Pianists hold touch sensitivity quite important for playing. It would be really irritating if you have stiff keys that are not sensitive to touch. Now modern digital pianos are offered with weighted keys that gives you touch sensitivity and feel similar to playing a real acoustic piano. This option however may not be available with some cheap priced low quality digital keyboards. Digital pianos even offer you option of adjusting sensitivity of their keys. You may select a low touch or high touch sensitivity depending upon your personal preference. On low level of sensitivity, you would need to press keys harder and they will sound loud whereas on high level of sensitivity, you need not be press them hard to get louder sound.
Maintenance & Tuning:
Maintenance and tuning on a regular basis is compulsory with an acoustic piano. On the other hand a digital piano doesn’t need tuning but you need to take care of these instruments too. Simple maintenance tips should be followed for digital pianos and with proper use, you will be able to enjoy good performance of this instrument for years.
A digital piano definitely is technologically advanced offering you impressive features which is not possible with a traditional acoustic piano. These features would enable you to experiment, practice for learning and record your compositions. Some of these features are:
- Headphone Connection – Digital pianos offer you the benefit of practicing at any time during day or night without worrying about disturbing your family or neighbors. The headphone connection on pianos enable you to practice privately and gives you more confidence while keeping others at peace too. Some of the high-end models include two sockets for headphones too so you can experiment compositions with your partner or can work on learning lessons with your teacher.
- USB/MIDI Connectivity – Digital pianos includes USB port or MIDI connectivity with the aid of which you can easily connect your digital piano with iPad/iPhone, computer system or any other electronic instrument or devices. This offers you more flexibility to add versatility to your performance. You can practice with a range of different apps with your digital piano connected to your iPad. You can improve your performance by trying your hands over various notes games and fingering action apps. You can make a composition, record it and transport it from and to your piano with the help of this technology.
- Keyboard Split Action – Some modern digital pianos include keyboard split feature with which you can split the keyboard. A teacher and student would be able to play simultaneously making way for improved learning and performance.
- Built-in Metronome – Another impressive gift of a digital piano is built-in metronome that works wonders when dealing with a new piece of music. You would be able to improve your timings and rhythmic skills.
- Record Function – With digital piano, you can record your practice/performance and listen back to it for improvements or can use it during a performance at a later time.
It may be a difficult choice when it comes to choosing to buy a digital piano or an acoustic piano. An informed decision would always be beneficial for learning and improving on playing piano. It is imperative to realize your needs and give priority to the type of piano that best satisfies your important needs. If you don’t have the budget to buy a good traditional piano; rather than opting for an old and un-tuned acoustic piano, prefer an advanced quality digital piano. Take in to account all the factors that we have discussed to make your choice between a digital piano and an acoustic piano. Advancements and innovations are progressing with time that has made pianos reach another level. The need is to make a good choice in order to progress and improve yourself as a pianist.