If you are desirous of learning how to play piano, you would undoubtedly need a piano to practice with, for surely practice would surely enable you to hone your skill. Once you decide, however, to buy one, you’ll be surprised by the vast number of small piano models and brands on the market today. Hence, before you zero in on a particular brand or model of piano, you should first be cognizant of the different factors you should consider when buying a small piano.
Of course, before looking at these factors, you should at least ask yourself several questions. Here are the frequently asked questions (FAQs) of those who are intending to buy a small piano for the first time:
Table of Contents
- Should I Choose Acoustic Piano or Digital Keyboard Piano?
- Is the Quality of Digital Piano Same As that of the Classical Piano?
- Would Digital Piano Suitable for Beginners?
- Factors to Consider When Choosing a Digital Piano For Apartments
- Popular Digital Piano Models on the Market Today
Should I Choose Acoustic Piano or Digital Keyboard Piano?
Your answer to this question depends on your situation. If you live, for example, in one of those closely-knit, cramped apartments, buying a grand piano would be preposterous. First, you would surely overcrowd your home with the size of the grand piano for grand piano leaves a very large footprint. On the other hand, buying a small digital keyboard piano is a wise choice, although it may not be the right choice or option for everyone. It is your best choice, however, if you live in a cramped apartment unit, for it is the most neighbor-friendly piano you can purchase. First, its volume can easily be modulated.
Moreover, you can use headphones that you can directly plug into this type of piano unit. You will also surely save much if you buy an electronic keyboard than that of the wooden ones. Furthermore, electronic keyboards are very portable and are easier to stack away if they are not in use.
Lastly, if you are just tyro in piano playing, you need not to splurge yourself into buying an expensive model. Just test the water! You can instead opt for the less expensive but reliable electronic one.
Is the Quality of Digital Piano Same As that of the Classical Piano?
Of course, the sound of acoustic pianos is different from that of the digital piano, and if you are an expert in piano playing, you can readily distinguish the quality of sound produced by the acoustic pianos over the electronic ones. Acoustic pianos come in two types—the upright piano and the grand piano. The frame and strings of the grand piano are horizontally extended, while the upright piano has its strings vertically extended. Digital pianos, on the other hand, have three different types, namely: grand piano, upright piano, and the portable piano.
Of course, the digital grand piano produces better sound quality and allows for better key movements. However, it is more expensive than the upright and portable digital pianos. Sounds-wise, the acoustic pianos produce better sound and their sound is more authentic and acoustically sounding with warmer and more resonant tone. Moreover, acoustic pianos allow you a better musical note expression and articulation.
Would Digital Piano Suitable for Beginners?
Digital pianos are electronic keyboards, and they are surely different from stringed acoustic pianos. However, it doesn’t mean that the digital pianos will never suffice for learning piano lessons. The advantage of digital pianos, however, is that they have prerecorded sounds and programs that could help you practice your piano skills. Take note, however, that not all electronic pianos are digital pianos, and some electronic pianos do not have the standard 88 keys.
If you intend to learn piano, you should opt for the 88-keys digital pianos for most piano lessons were written for the 88-keys pianos. Moreover, if you are going to play on a regular basis, you will surely find the 49 or the 61-keys digital pianos very limiting in scope.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Digital Piano For Apartments
If budget is not an issue for you, you should opt for a high-end digital piano which may cost you around $20K. But if you are on a budget, you should instead settle for the lower-end models that for as low as $200. However, you should remember that the quality and features of digital piano that you can buy would be dependent on the amount that you are willing to shell out for your piano purchase. Yet, even if you opt for digital pianos within the lower-end of the price range, you should still go for low-end digital pianos that have the following factors:
1) 88-keys for Complete Piano-Playing Experience
As mentioned above, you should opt for a digital piano that features 88 weighted keys. This is a must because, as said earlier, most piano lessons were designed for 88-keys pianos. Moreover, this feature should be the absolute bare minimum feature that you should look for in a digital piano. The 88-keys digital piano would surely give you the real feel of how it is to play all the notes of the musical pieces you are playing. Unless you are one of those traveling musicians—who are always on the go—you should opt for an 88-keys digital piano.
2) Weighted and Touch-Sensitive Keys
Touch-sensitive and weighted keys are imperative for those who really want to master and get the real feel of how to play the piano. Of course, some digital pianos can’t really mimic the grand piano’s acoustic sound, and this is forgivable. When it comes to the feel, your choice of the digital piano should work at least in some way equal that of the feel of the real grand piano. You should at least feel the hammer action of the acoustic piano despite using a digital piano. This good approximation of the feel of the grand piano will surely help you develop a good playing skill and polish your piano strokes more naturally. Touch sensitivity and weighted keys are therefore crucial the development of your piano skills.
3) Digital Pianos with Provision for Headphone Jack
Headphone jacks also feature necessary if you live in a cramped and not-so-spacious home. If you are an assiduous learner of piano lessons, you would surely practice more often. Your neighbors, however, may not like hearing the sound of piano every day, and such hearing such sound daily may get into their nerves. Hence, it’s crucial that you be able to plug your headphones into your digital piano so that you can avoid piquing the ire of your neighbors.
4) Recording Capability
The digital piano you must buy should let you do the recording of your practices. In recently rolled-out digital piano models, there is a port at the side of most units that allows you to connect the digital pianos directly to any computer. With this feature, you can easily connect your computer to the digital piano and record your practice lessons to see if you are improving your skill. Other features like the volume control and additional instrument sounds are usually take-home advantages that come along with digital pianos.
Popular Digital Piano Models on the Market Today
To make it easy for you to find the right digital piano for your needs, we have listed below some of the most popular brands of digital pianos on the market today. You can check out our list for your own convenience:
1) Yamaha YDP143R Arius Series Console Digital Piano
This digital piano features the Pure CF Sound Engine that faithfully reproduces the highly acclaimed Yamaha 9′ CFIIIS concert grand piano. Thus, you will surely get the impressive feeling of playing of the abovementioned grand piano. This digital piano provides GHS-weighted action that is heavier in the lower keys and lighter in the high keys. Hence, it greatly mimics that of the acoustic grand piano. It also features 50 classic piano songs that are preprogrammed in its built-in memory. Additionally, it also features a music book of “50 Greats for Piano.”
Yamaha YDP143R also has a Controller App for iOS devices. This feature adds a vibrant graphical user interface to this digital piano. It also comes with a 2-track song recorder that lets you play and practice with one hand and record your next hit single. Lastly, it also has a half-damper pedal control that allows for greater and more detailed subtlety and nuances when playing it.
2) Yamaha DGX-660 Digital Piano
The Yamaha is a remarkably fantastic digital piano that creates world-class concert grand piano sound via its Pure CF Sampling Engine. It also offers an authentic piano feel and touch with its 88-keys weighted GHS keyboard. Moreover, it is equipped with a USB Audio Recording/Playback feature, allowing you to record every practice session to figure out if you are progressing in your piano-playing skill. This digital piano is also capable of producing more accurate sound with damper resonance.
The Yamaha DGX660 piano includes a great bundle of interactive features that make playing and learning piano lessons excitingly easy and meaningful for everyone. It also comes with different acoustic and piano settings that allow you to create your own unique piano environment. Moreover, you can also connect a mic to this piano to let you sing while playing a piece. You can also easily record your practice session or performances using its recording feature. Lastly, you will surely feel as if you are playing with an antique grand piano when keying your notes using this digital piano. Hence, buying this digital piano is surely the right decision.
3) Korg B1SP 88 Weighted-Key Digital Piano
The Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Keys Digital Piano features 88 natural weighted hammer action keys that would surely let you feel how it is to play with a real acoustic grand piano. It also comes with 98 accurate digitally-sampled sounds with a maximum polyphony of 120 voices. Moreover, it has a built-in stereo sound system (9W x 2) that features MFB Servo Technology. It also comes with three pedals that are attached to its piano damper. Plus, it comes with a furniture stand, a 3-pedal board with AC adapter sheet stand and a durable piano bench.
How can you not love the sound of this digital piano? It surely mimics the sound of the concert grand piano with its dedicated Piano Play button. It also offers uniquely rich deep tones of the acoustic piano, considering its very compact body. All the above-mentioned features definitely contribute to the creation of rich, resonant tones as if the tones are emanating from a very large grand piano body. The speaker system likewise comes with a servo that readily controls the speaker tone and allows for the faithful reproduction of low frequencies with less distortion. Lastly, it is less expensive than the previously-discussed digital piano brands and models.
4) Yamaha P-125 Digital Piano
Yamaha P-125 Digital Piano is another digital piano offering from Yamaha which is worth considering. First, its GHS weighted action is lighter in the high keys and heavier in the low keys similar to those of the acoustic piano. It also comes in special matte black keytops designed for absorbing moisture and for keeping its tactile quality even after extended use. It is also equipped with Pure CF Sound Engine that could faithfully reproduce tones of the Yamaha 9′ CFIIIS concert grand piano. Hence, you will surely get an incredible dynamism and expressiveness from this digital piano.
Moreover, it has a split-mode feature that allows you to play different voices with each hand. It is also USB-ready with MIDI and audio transfer features that would enable you to connect to your music-making software readily. This digital piano model should be among your top choices when searching for the best digital piano for your piano-playing needs.
5) Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano
This is an affordable entry-level full-sized 88-key digital piano that packed with basic and some of the very useful advanced features that you can only find in the high-end models. It features with the adjustable touch response semi-weighted keys, 5 types of built-in piano voices (Acoustic Piano, Electric Piano, Synth, Organ, and Bass) that you can choose from base on your playing style, and you can also combine the voices in the “Layer Mode” for more dynamic voices or in the “Split Mode” for separated voices on right/left-hand side keys.
This model is very suitable for the beginner pianists who need an affordable full-featured digital piano that they can practice regularly in the apartment or small room. Furthermore, it is versatile and portable enough that you can easily assemble with a fordable piano stand.
Last update on 2019-08-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API