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Choosing between the acoustic and digital piano

Choosing between the acoustic and digital piano

07/06/2021 09:04

Table of Contents

Acoustic pianoDigital pianoWhy are the majority of beginners buying digital pianos? Conclusion

Deciding on what type of piano you should purchase is not as easy as you might think. There are a lot of factors you need to consider before spending some of your hard earned money on a new instrument. Most pianists find themselves torn between an acoustic and a digital piano, so if you have found yourself in this position, we have combined this article to make it a little bit easier. 

In the past, the majority of people purchased acoustic pianos, but as time went by and technology improved, so did the digital piano. There is a wide range of state-of-the-art digital pianos readily available on the market, which is the reason why so many people have found themselves not knowing what instrument to buy. 

Acoustic piano

The instrument has steel strings and hammers inside a wooden exterior. There are lots of keys that are all attached to the hammers. When the pianist presses down on one of the keys, the hammer that it is connected to hits the string which is what produces the sound. The most common types of acoustic pianos are:

  • Upright piano: These tend to be a lot smaller and cheaper than grand pianos. If you are stuck for space in your home, an upright piano might prove to be a solid investment. Because these pianos are vertical, the different parts including the hammers and the strings stand up vertically. If you are looking to purchase an upright piano, you can expect to pay an average of around $3,000. If you want to invest in a top of the range upright piano, you can expect to pay approximately $8,000. If you don’t have a lot of money, you can pick up a second hand upright piano for around $500. If you are planning on buying a used piano, it might be worth getting an experienced pianist to examine the instrument first. 
  • Grand piano: Grand pianos look great in most homes, however, they can cost a lot of money. If you have the space and the budget, then a grand piano might be your best option. They require more maintenance than most upright pianos. These pianos tend to be a lot easier to play than most upright pianos. The mechanism in a grand piano is totally different, which allows pianists to play a lot faster. However, these instruments don’t come cheap, and you could be looking to pay well over $50,000 for a new one. Buying a second hand grand piano is another option, but you might have to spend a mini fortune tuning and repairing it. 

Buying a brand new acoustic piano is a long-term investment. Before splashing the cash on a brand new instrument, make sure you research the make and model beforehand. It might be worth your while speaking to a person who has owned or played the same model in the past. 

Digital piano

Digital pianos have been growing in popularity in recent years. Unlike acoustic pianos, they don’t rely on hammers and strings to produce music. Instead, a digital piano with weighted keys is designed to simulate the sound of an acoustic piano. 

However, a digital piano allows you to change the sound of the device. Some have a large variety of different sounds to keep the pianist interested. For seasoned pianists or beginners, having the chance to alter the sounds on the piano is a game changer. 

Unlike an acoustic piano, digital pianos require very little maintenance. You don’t need to hire a professional tuner to make sure all the keys are in tune. 

Why are the majority of beginners buying digital pianos? 

During the pandemic, a lot of folks have found themselves with plenty of free time on their hands. With experts advising us to stay indoors to help reduce the spread of Covid-19, many people feel it is a perfect opportunity to learn how to play the piano. There has been a huge increase in the number of digital pianos being sold during these unprecedented times. Here are some of the reasons why people have been buying digital pianos instead of acoustic pianos:

  • You can use headphones: One of the main issues with acoustic pianos is that it is hard to reduce the sound levels. Although you can press the keys lightly, the sound will travel which can disturb others living in the same household or the people living next door. On digital pianos, there is an input that allows pianists to connect their headphones. This allows them to play without disturbing anyone else. Some headphones have a noise cancellation feature that blocks noises from the outside. So, if kids are running around the house while you are playing, you won’t be able to hear anything. This allows beginners to focus on their piano skills. 
  • Timing: One of the hardest things to get used to when playing the piano is timing. Not everyone is born with rhythm, but if you want to become a good pianist, you have to make sure your timing is spot on. Trying to learn the correct chords and notes is difficult enough. A digital piano will allow pianists to use metronomes, which are great for those looking to develop a rhythm. You can alter the metronomes depending on the speed of the piece of music you are playing. 
  • Record yourself: Although you can record yourself playing an acoustic piano with a smart device or a dictaphone, the quality of the recording might not sound great. You can connect your digital piano directly to your computer or smart device and listen to it back as many times as you would like. This allows pianists to analyze their music, post it to social media or streaming sites, and share it with others. 
  • Apps: There are lots of apps available to download that work really well with digital pianos. Some are designed to help pianists improve their skills, others help people identify different notes, and some are designed to enhance the pianist's recordings. Not only are they fun to use, but a lot of these apps will help beginners get to the next level.

Some pianists that are used to playing on traditional pianos struggle to get used to digital pianos, and vice versa. If you find yourself in this position, remain patient as it will become easier over time. 


At the end of the day, deciding on whether you should buy a digital piano or an acoustic piano is a matter of personal preference. However, if you have your heart set on an acoustic piano but they are out of your budget, don’t feel too downhearted if you are forced to buy a digital piano instead. Modern-day digital pianos are offering a lot more than digital pianos originally did a few decades ago. Some of the best pianists around the globe like to travel with their trusty digital pianos. Some of the best-selling digital pianos available look, sound, and feel like the real deal. You do not have to search high and low for a person to tune it either! There are lots of online and traditional music stores selling a wide range of digital and acoustic pianos.

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