Which is Best A Digital Piano Vs. An Acoustic Piano?

acoustic pianos vs digital pianos featured imageDigital Piano Vs. An Acoustic Piano

This is a question that you must answer for yourself depending on your specific needs and preferences. Here are some main points in general about the piano:

Similarities Between Digital Pianos and Acoustic Pianos

  • Pianos have been around for over 300 years.
  • The first pianoforte was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Venice, Italy. It used a hammer mechanism to produce a sound from the vibration of the strings.
  • Many musical instruments produce sound in this way, the manner in which you cause vibrations of the strings will differ from one instrument to another. For example, you can pluck or pick the strings of a guitar and use a bow to produce sound from a violin or cello.
  • With an acoustic piano, you push down the keys which cause a hammer to hit and then bounce off of the strings, allowing the strings to vibrate. You use varying force speed and release to give expression and “feeling” to the music you are playing.
  • The acoustic piano generally contains over 10, 000 parts and it comes in two basic styles.
  • A grand piano which measures from 4 to 7 to 9 feet in length is horizontal and its strings are parallel to the ground. It uses gravity to pull down the hammers to their resting points after they hit the strings.
  • There are upright pianos, of which the most common is the console. It is 39 to 42 inches high. The spinet (36 to 39 inches high) and the studio (42 inches high or higher) are other upright pianos.
  • Then there is the digital piano, an electronic instrument that produces sounds that have been sampled and stored on computer chips inside it. It has 61-88 keys. When you press on the keys the computer inside tells the piano what notes to play. Higher end digital pianos sometimes have a weighted action feature that makes the piano try to imitate the sound of an acoustic piano. You can hear it through built-in speakers, an external sound system or headphones.

What To Look For In Acoustic And Digital Pianos

When shopping for a piano and deciding which to buy, be sure to try out as many good quality ones that you can.  Try out both acoustic and digital pianos in varying price ranges.

Listen and hear what sounds best to you. Feel which one is best for you. Decide on price range and style and you will be ready to check out various pianos. Here is a guide on what to check as you are trying out both acoustic and digital pianos:

  • When you play notes from left to right (bass to treble) is the tone even? Is the bass tone rich? How do the high notes sound?
  • As you play loudly and then softly in each range, what differences in sound are there?
  • Pressing down on different keys and playing a chord, do you prefer a light or heavy touch and how hard do you have to push the keys for the sound that you want?
  • Try some rapid trills and tremolos and then some staccato notes and see if the notes stop when you release the keys or if they linger.

Differences Between Acoustic And Digital Pianos

Pedals:

Pedals also make a difference in sound. Some digital pianos don’t have them, but if it does, try them out to see how they affect the sound of the piano. Then play a song that you know and determine if it sounds right and feels right to you. Then learn how to care for your piano.

Maintenance:

On an acoustic piano, which includes tuning, should be performed 1 to 2 times a year. If well maintained, acoustic pianos generally don’t need much repair besides for normal wear and tear. Well-maintained ones have been known to last for decades and may even appreciate in value.

Digital pianos require no tuning.  Their care is similar to that of an electronic instrument or to a computer. If repair is needed, it can be very expensive, often more than replacing the keyboard. They depreciate quickly, just like computers or smartphones, as new models come out.

Cost:

Acoustic pianos of good quality range from approximately $3,500 to $10,000 for uprights and $7,500 to over $85,000 for grand pianos. There are used ones available for much less and also there are acoustic pianos that you can rent.

Digital pianos can be purchased for $1,000 to $3,000. They can be more, depending on how fancy you want it to be.

Appearance:

Acoustic Pianos are available with furniture quality wood and come is a variety of finishes. They are a beautiful piece of furniture, indeed, whereas a digital piano case looks like most electronic equipment, utilitarian and not like fine furniture.

For Lessons:

An acoustic piano is best. It has the range and notes suitable for playing all types of music. There are some skills that can only be learned on an acoustic piano. Some teachers will not teach students beyond a beginner level if they don’t use an acoustic piano for practice.

Size and Portability

An acoustic piano weighs 400 – 800 pounds and will need 2 or more movers, preferably professionals who have the right piano-moving equipment if it has to be moved.

A digital piano usually weighs less than 100 pounds and smaller models can be carried by one person. A digital grand weighs more than 100 pounds and should only be carried by professional movers. You can add electronic players that play a wide variety of sounds and you can record from the piano. It can be connected to a computer or sound system for recording. Digital pianos imitate many instruments and sounds. They need electricity or a battery power source to operate.

Conclusion:

This information should help you make the choice of whether an acoustic piano or a digital piano is right for you. As you try playing both types, applying the information from this article, you will find the right one for your personal needs. It will be a grand and informative adventure!

Duke Taber

Duke Taber has been a Senior Pastor of various churches since 1988. Prior to that, he was involved in the Christian rock scene opening for such notables as Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Rez Band, and once played briefly with Darrel Mansfield. Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center.