Should I purchase a piano or a digital keyboard?

Most students have digital keyboards these days. They are very inexpensive and easy to maintain when compared to a traditional piano. If you have a piano, consider yourself lucky and enjoy learning to play that beautiful instrument! If you have or will be purchasing a digital keyboard, rejoice as you will be saving a lot of money, can move it from room to room easily and will never have to worry about paying a professional piano tuner to come to your house. Also, late at night you can wear headphones!


As a beginner or someone who is shopping for their very first digital piano or keyboard, there are four main categories from which to choose.

$30-80 Keyboard for Kids

Usually less than 61 keys and NOT touch sensitive. Touch sensitivity means that the harder you press the key the louder the sound of that note. Only children under the age of 7 should consider these keyboards as they are an inexpensive way to see if your child is really interested in sticking with piano lessons for more than a couple months. If you feel pretty sure your child will be taking lessons for longer, don’t even consider one of these.

$80-$250 Portable Keyboard

In this price range you will generally find Casio and Yamaha brands are the best quality and value. Most of these have 61 full-sized plastic keys. This is the minimum that you really want.  Make sure to get a “touch-sensitive” model.  Touch sensitivity means that the harder you press the key the louder the sound of that note.  This is the most important thing to look for.  It is how a real piano works.

Many of the keyboards in this range have lots of extra sounds and beats built in.  These can be fun but are not necessary to learn to play.  In fact you might choose to get the simplest keyboard so that you aren’t temped to waist time instead of practicing.  Practice is the only thing that will make you a better player! Make sure you like the “Piano” sound that the keyboard has to offer.  That is the sound that you will spend most of your time listening to.

$350-$800 Digital Piano

For around $450 or so you can get what many teachers believe to be the best value in terms of playability and sound. Again Casio and Yamaha are good choice. We have had excellent luck with the Yamaha and Williams digital pianos,   Here is a link to Guitar Center where you can shop around for them www.guitarcenter.com We have many of these at our school "Magic Fingers Music" and absolutely love them!  They feel great, are very small in total size and sound really nice.  88 full-sized weighted keys give these the feel and range of a real acoustic piano.

$800 and up!  Digital Piano.

There are so many options available in this price range and you can spend thousands on the state of the art models that literally play themselves but what fun is that?  In all seriousness, the extra high end features are not necessary to learn the instrument.  After you have played for a while and decide you want to score a symphony you can always upgrade to one of these beauty’s that have every sound in the orchestra, band, concert hall and more!

Please contact us if you have any other questions about purchasing a keyboard or digital piano for yourself or your child.