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For aspiring musicians, the piano is one of the most popular instruments. This is probably due to the many ways in which the piano can be used as an accompaniment. However, the piano works well as a solo instrument, too. However, in addition to the classical piano, numerous electronic variations are also much more in demand than they were a few years ago. But how exactly do the different types of pianos differ from the upright piano to the electric piano to the keyboard? In this article we provide you with all the answers.
Even in school, the piano is often taught to be an exclusive and unique instrument. While everyone is allowed to try out the xylophone or the triangle, the piano is often only playable by experienced musicians or is only played by the teacher. The piano is as diverse as it is demanding and inspires many musicians from young to old. Accordingly, many children wish to start playing the piano themselves.
However, it is also clear that this is not always so easy considering the piano’s cost and size. A piano, or even a grand piano, are very expensive and take up a lot of space. In these cases, electronic alternatives are often in demand, as evidenced by the existence of the electric piano and the keyboard. For example, the keyboard has the decisive advantage that it can be flexibly moved to the desired position. As long as it can be powered by electricity or battery, the keyboard is easy to start. Which one is the best for beginners? We tell you in this article.
One of the biggest differences between the piano and the electronic alternatives is that the classical piano works acoustically. Thus, striking the keys directly in the instrument moves a hammer, which in turn strikes the strings. In this way, all sounds are produced virtually mechanically. The intensity of the sound produced by the piano is determined by how hard the keys are struck. This makes the playing varied and the sound unique. If you’re looking for piano sheet music to practice online, we’ve got you covered here.
In the case of a keyboard, the technical sound generation does not yet allow for a comparable variety. As a rule, the electronics do not recognize how strongly the respective key of the keyboard should be played with 88 semitone steps. On the other hand, the keyboard brings one thing above all: Simplicity. It is more space-saving, a bit easier to play, and there are many possibilities to try out the various technical gadgets. In addition, the keyboard is a good introduction for young children who still lack the necessary sensitivity. A later switch to the piano and thus to acoustic sound production is still possible. If you are looking for a beginner-friendly keyboard instrument, the keyboard clearly has its advantages:
The digital possibilities around the keyboard have developed well over the years. For example, some instruments already offer the possibility of recording what is played and evaluating it afterwards via an app. This is great for beginners to practice, but also for songwriters who want to record and edit their songs.
In addition to the keyboard, there is another electronic variant among piano types: the electric piano. Simply put, it's right in between a piano and a keyboard. With an electric piano, you can usually expect the full 88 keys of a real piano, while with a keyboard, they tend to skimp on the length.
Also worth mentioning is the quality of the resulting tones. This is usually much higher on the electric piano, because the integrated speakers have a higher quality than on the keyboard. Also, the keystroke of an electric piano is more similar to the piano than it is the case with the keyboard. When it comes to the quick transport from A to B, the significantly larger electric piano has its disadvantages, because it is heavier and bulkier than the keyboard.
In addition to those already mentioned, there are other types of electronic pianos. These are not always clearly distinguished, which can lead to confusion in practice. The following differences will give you an overview:
In order not to lose track of the piano-like instruments, you should distinguish between two central characteristics. For example, there are instruments that focus primarily on simulating a piano. Other instruments, on the other hand, place a lot of emphasis on realistic sounds, which in electronic form also come much closer to the classic piano.
If you are currently thinking about buying a keyboard instrument yourself, then we always recommend the piano as a general rule. Why? Switching to an electronic version is easier than the other way around, since the keystroke and the playing method is something you should learn from the beginning. Often you can also borrow a piano from your music school, or you can practice at home with an electric piano. Of course you can also start with a keyboard, but then you should really have a desire to play the keyboard as a priority and not see it as an alternative to the piano. Then you can learn the technical features from the beginning and become a professional on the keyboard. Especially if you want to play in a band one day, this could be the right way for you. The piano is the best choice if you want to take off as a soloist.
Regardless of the type of instrument you play, the right approach to learning obviously plays a very important role. Even on the keyboard, we can't take it off your hands to internalize your notes through constant repetition and to improve your skills in a targeted manner. This is of course not only the case with the piano, but actually with every playable instrument. The following tips can make practicing a little easier:
If you're still wondering whether it's worth attending a music school, we've got just the blog post to help you decide. In any case, playing the piano requires a lot of practice, just like playing the electric piano or keyboard.
The piano is a fascinating and complex instrument, which has already taken its place in many households. It is all the more beautiful to exchange ideas about playing the piano with other musicians. With our personal ads for musicians, we help you to constantly expand your network. If you are interested in more articles about the piano, then read more about the facets of the piano here.
Originally published on December 26, 2022, updated on December 26, 2022