Digital Pianos and electronic keyboards are popular devices for people who wish to learn how to play a piano. Many people think that these two instruments are same contrary to the fact they are different from each other. Ideally, lot of piano teachers still prefer to teach students with classical acoustic piano, as it sounds better and have properly weighted keys. But it cannot be afforded by all due to its hefty price. Acoustic piano requires regular tuning as well. Due to these factors people are now moving more towards the modern counterpart i.e. the digital piano. But the question remains: which is better for a beginner, a digital piano or a keyboard?
Level of skill
Students opting for keyboard usually have ease while learning as it has basic features that are best for learning and practicing intrinsic piano playing skills. Digital Piano, as is built in a complex manner, does not provide that ease and people have difficulty while learning. Its feature and functions are ideal for those who have expertise and are prone to create digital music. The learning curve of a student on a keyboard is better than those who start with a digital piano.
Kids tend to develop curiosities and fleeting interests on many things. So as a parent it would be prudent enough to judge the situation and then buy an instrument for children. It hardly makes sense to spend an inordinate amount of money n something which might not be used by your child in the future. You will get number of guides which suggest that electronic keyboards are way cheaper than digital piano.
A newbie can become a proud owner of a keyboard with only $100. It is not only a cheaper alternative but also is portable and hence can be brought home easily. Keyboard is an ideal choice if you do not want to break your savings. Reselling of the item is also easier as many other entry level pianists would like to buy it.
Course fees of piano lessons vary immensely. Small establishments will charge lesser than well established schools run by famous instructors. Furthermore classroom rates will vary from those who wish to be taught at home. Piano players generally want to play their own instrument to get a better fell and familiarity to it. Though schools will provide you with lots of instruments, but carrying your own is an advantage. For this purpose, keyboard is a preferred one than a digital piano as keyboards are light weight and can weigh only 20 lbs. If the kids cannot, their parents will be able to carry it to the school if required.
Functions & Features
The disadvantages of a portable keyboard are its light, thin and plastic feeling keys. Older versions had this problem, but newer ones are manufactured to give one the feeling of playing as real acoustic piano. Keys are now full sized and full weighted. This is true for both digital piano and keyboard. If your budget is low but aim is to play an acoustic piano in future then make sure to buy a high weighted keyed keyboard. Switching from lightweight keys to acoustic piano would be difficult as you won’t have enough muscular strength that offers resistance.
Though standard piano has a key count of 88 yet many models can be availed which have a lesser count of keys like 61 or even 76. But one thing has to be kept in mind that many notes cannot be played on pianos which has less than 76 keys. There are a number of classical pianos which can be played on a 61 note piano as the octave range during early days are much lower than what is common today. Beginners who aim to record and mix their own music with the help of editing programs can go for a smaller sized keyboard.
Decision of buying a digital piano or a keyboard for a newbie depends on various personal factors. Your extent of interest and skill as well as desire to play in certain places determines if you should buy keyboard or the digital piano. Though budget is a factor yet your goal and purpose of learning will majorly influence on which instrument to buy.