Piano Keyboard Guide

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A piano is widely used as a stress buster and enhancing the motor skills of a person. Whether it a conventional piano or piano keyboard, it gives you peace and joy. It is also known for regulating the body organs and cheering up the mood. If you are in the lookout for a keyboard to start off your musical journey or want to change your existing set with a good one, we are here to help you.

To aid you in the process of buying a suitable piano for you, here is a proper buying guide for all piano lovers and interested people out there.

1. Electronic Piano vs. Digital Piano – Which is the Best

  • Digital Piano:-

Digital Piano is the Digital Replica of Acoustic Pianos. They are designed and furnished in such a way that it gives the player a feel of the piano.

Digital piano may have furniture upright model, cabinet or maybe just a piano but it will have 88 keys that are fully weighted.

  • Electronic Piano:-

These are also referred to as Keyboards and are designed and framed in such with a focus to offer the player portability. They are very light-weighted and often come with 61 or 76 keys. There are even mini keyboards available that have only 32 or 49 keys. These are ultra-portable and come with USB and Bluetooth connectivity options.

Along with this, electronic piano or Keyboards are played by using keyboard style, where it gives the musician an option of playing it with rhythms style and accompaniments.

You can even play a Drum’s sound from the keyboard keys. This means that the musician can play both notes and melody from a single instrument. It gives great ease and comfort to a musician. Keyboards come with hundreds of tones that contains ample of technical options. These options allow in customising the sounds with great ease.

Bottom Line: For beginners especially, a keyboard piano is a great option. It is budget-friendly and offers varied options. By keyboard, we usually mean, Electronic Piano. These pianos are portable, have multiple sound notes and offer great pleasure and fun in playing.

2. Do Check the Sound Quality

A piano with great and melodious sound quality is always preferred and opted. Also, the sound quality is a subjective matter, as it differs from person to person. It is always preferred to play the piano once, before buying it. This will help the buyer know about the sound quality of the instrument.

Many prefer a much brighter tone than a mellower one. It all depends on the choice! In general terms, the good piano is one which sounds full and round. It is always a great option to take the opinion of a professional before buying a piano. A professional can be a registered teacher as well.

Also, the consistency of the sound plays a major role. The more the consistent the voice is, the more ideal it is. Along with that the notes also plays a major role. The piano should be capable of playing all the notes with similar strength. There should not be any deviation in the loudness. This will affect the sound or melody of the instrument.

Bottom Line: A piano with a consistent note and sound should always be preferred. The new keyboards in the market are all made by famous brands and they are quite good. As the sound quality is digital, you can expect a consistent output across similar keyboards on offer.

3. Inspect smoothness and feel of the keys

Keys play a major role in determining the type of piano. Keys are the primary components in the piano. A smooth surface which is crack free is always preferred. Also, there must be adequate resistance that enables to play the piano properly and comfortably. If the player has to put a lot of pressure in pressing the keys then it implies that it does not have enough resistance.

Cushioning of the keys also plays an important role in selecting a suitable piano keyboard. This enables the proper playing of the instrument and also saves the finger from the sudden shock on the joints.

Bottom Line: While selecting a keyboard always pay attention to the keys of the Piano. Well-cushioned, resistant and smooth keys enable the musician to comfortably play the piano.

4. Consider the Number of Keys

The number of keys in a keyboard ranges from as low as 25 and goes to as high as 88. Obviously, if you want versatility, it would be better to go for a higher number of keys. As keyboards are kind of a one-time investment, it is advisable to go for something that will be future proof.

This is because in case you are a beginner and you buy a 32 key keyboard and later after learning you might crave for a 61 key or 88 key. Mainly due to the fact that a higher number of keys will bring more playing options and notes for that matter.

Bottom Line: Our suggestion is, if you are a beginner, ideally you should go for something with 61 keys. It will help you to learn it better. On the flip side, for experienced musicians going for 88 keys will be the best bet. As for a child, a smaller sized keyboard with 25-32 keys will be more comfortable.

5. Look for Voices and Rhythms

If you want to create music and explore your creativity, there is nothing more suitable than in-built voice and sound keyboard. These keyboards are all-in-one! You will feel like you are the band as it will have all types of sounds, tones and voices.

There will be separate rhythms that can help you play different music styles like Indian, Ethnic etc. Basically, the keyboard is capable of playing the sound of the other instruments as well. These sounds are added in the piano in the form of keynotes.

Bottom Line: The diversity in these types are huge and thus while you purchase you should look for a higher number of tones, voices and rhythms etc.  So, before buying, voice and rhythm capabilities of the piano should be checked. Also, they should be in the form of a built-in metronome to hone your skills.

6. Proper Placement of the Piano

If there is not enough space to place a piano then a keyboard is always given preference. Because it requires less space as compared to a traditional piano. This is where keyboards are desirable. You can place it anywhere and play according to your own comfort. But there are big keyboards as well with 61-88 keys, speakers and with a huge surface area. Workstations, arranger keyboards are quite big and are rarely portable.

Bottom Line: Keyboards are space-saving. Before opting for any type of piano always make sure to check the dimensions of both the piano and space, to ensure that the instrument is properly placed.

7. Fix your budget before buying a Piano

A prime factor that determines the selection process is the budget. A predetermine budget should always be made before buying a piano. There are so many good quality options that are well priced. These options are equipped with a lot of features yet priced really competitively.

Bottom Line: The key role in buying a piano is the budget. It acts as a constraint and the major factor for decision making. The trick here is to assess your own requirements and needs and then going for the purchase. Usually, piano keyboards are budget-friendly and worth every penny.

8. Does your Piano come with a Warranty

So, this factor too plays an important and essential role in the decision-making process of the piano. For any digital device, a warranty plays an essential role.

It is so because; the warranty is ultimately linked with the working life of the instrument. Therefore, before buying an instrument, always check the warranty period and the damages included in it. It provides a major return over the amount spent.

Bottom Line: If you are in search of a durable piano then go for an instrument that provides a comprehensive warranty period. There should be at least 1- 2 years of warranty on a keyboard. Well known brands like Casio, Yamaha provides 3 years of warranty!

9. Choose the Brand wisely

The brand too plays an essential role in the decision making of the piano. A brand is always known for producing a reliable and quality piano. The reputation earned and recognition gained by various topmost brands ensures to provide the quality piano in less amount. It provides worth to every penny spent.

Bottom Line: While buying a piano, always prefer brands like Casio, Yamaha, AKAI, etc. If you want a quality product along with a lifetime guarantee then always prefer a brand for buying a piano.

10. Does your Piano have Polyphony notes

Polyphony applies to various kinds and type of sound a piano can produce. It implies that a 32 note polyphony can produce up to 32 note at once.

If you are playing an 88 key piano then ensure that the piano is capable of producing enough of polyphony. It is suggested that an 88 keys piano plays 128 note of polyphony.

Bottom Line: Polyphony enables to play various sounds on the piano while working. Always check polyphony while buying a piano.

11. Other Features

There are many small yet important functions which matters while purchasing a keyboard. One of them is recording and playing. This can actually help in the learning process. A USB port can help in this regard. Also, many keyboards nowadays have a MIDI controller that helps to connect phones for communication.

Secondly, the keyboard needs to work with batteries as well.  As keyboards are portable instruments it should have the option of working without adapters or electric power. Some keyboards only work on USB connectivity and it is a downside for sure.

Thirdly, there should be a proper display over the instrument. Ideally, it should show all the related information for easy understanding and access.

Bottom Line: Always double-check the features list for with/without battery function, clear display and USB/MIDI options.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many keys does an Acoustic piano have?

An acoustic piano has 88 keys and all of these keys are properly cushioned and smooth. They provide an efficient surface for the purpose of playing.

2. How to maintain a piano?

Merely purchasing a piano is not enough. A piano if not maintained properly may not be able to play effectively. Also, the money spent on such a case is a complete waste. Always clean the keyboard from time to time. If you are a heavy user, a timely service can also help matters.

3. Is there any difference between smaller and big-sized pianos?

Yes, it is surely different. There are various major differences between a big and smaller piano. And this is because of the fact that it has many new keys while smaller does not have many keys.

4. What does Touch Sensitivity of the Keys refer to?

Touch sensitivity refers to the responsiveness and the strength of the keys. Also, it enables to know the velocity by which a person can play a particular piano. The touch sensitivity enables the musician to successfully play the piano without any issues. It makes playing easy and convenient!

5. Can I use normal batteries instead of rechargeable ones on my keyboard?

It is highly advised not to use non-rechargeable/normal AAA batteries on your keyboard. This is because it doesn’t have the required power to make the keyboard work. Even if you use and it works, it will be surely turned off in some minutes or so. So don’t waste your batteries and always use rechargeable batteries.

6. Can I record my music on my keyboard?

Yes! Many keyboards give you the option to record and play. These keyboards give you the option to connect your mobile phones or computer as well. So, while buying check for USB port/Bluetooth connectivity.

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