What To Look For When Buying A Digital Piano Or Keyboard

Published: 20th August 2009
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When you don't know anything about them, finding a digital piano seems like a daunting task. All you need is a little education. Consider this your digital piano guide.

Finding The Best Digital Piano For Your Needs

A digital piano is different from an acoustic piano in several ways. While a digital, or electric piano is designed to mimic the sounds of an acoustic piano, it does not use the same method to do so. A digital piano uses digitally sampled sounds, amplifiers, and speakers, instead of strings and hammers. Older models often sounded very synthetic, but newer digital pianos have come a long way in producing a more pure piano sound. Now, many people prefer digital pianos because of their portability, sporadic need of maintenance, volume adjustment, and varying range of voices.

When looking for the best electric piano, digital piano reviews are great, but nothing beats hands-on experience. The first thing you should look for is the relativity it has to an acoustic piano. Higher quality digital pianos will sound and feel very similar to the acoustic variety, if not identical. When you press the keys, it should feel like you are playing an acoustic piano. The keys should not feel like buttons that spring back as soon as you release them. many high quality brands will also produce louder or softer tones depending on how you strike the keys, much like an acoustic piano does.

When you are shopping for a digital piano, you should consider bring a pair of headphones. This is one of the advantages of digital versus acoustic pianos. You can play as loud as you want without disturbing others, and you can listen for slight defects that you may miss with the background noise in the store. You should try as many different styles and brands as you can. The best digital piano cannot be determined by brand name or price. That determination can only be made by the player's preferences. If you feel good about the sound and feel of a digital piano, don't worry about the brand or price.

With each digital piano that you try, make sure that you pay attention to the range of tone. Does the tone change when the volume is increased or decreased? The tone should remain constant, regardless of the volume. Also, listen to the sound as it ends. Make sure that it doesn't linger too long, or stop abruptly. If there is an acoustic piano nearby, you should compare the sound by playing the same chords or notes on both the digital and acoustic pianos.
Another thing to consider is the polyphony, or harmony of the notes. Try holding down the sustain pedal and playing the two low C's. If you can hear both notes, you are on the right track. An average quality digital piano will cut the first note short when the second is played, while a poor quality digital piano will drop them both prematurely.

When you find a digital piano with good sound, feel, and polyphony, make sure that it is user friendly. You should look for a piano with setting controls that are far enough from the keys to avoid hitting them while you are playing. You could change the settings of the piano, and spend a great deal of time trying to fix them.

Also, check the manual for the capabilities of the model that you are considering. Many digital pianos include different voices, such as whistles, guitar, and other non-piano voices, and some even come with alternate tunings, variable harmonics, and adjustable decay, or fading lengths. These can be useful when playing with others, because you will not have to spend a great deal of time changing the settings of your piano to harmonize with the group.

If you are planning on using additional accessories, such as amplifiers and speakers, make sure that they will be compatible with the digital piano that you choose. Some models have a great sound, but if used with incompatible devices, the sound can become distorted.

With all of these tips, if you still doubt your capability to choose the best electric piano, ask for help. If you have a friend that plays piano, that is a great advantage to you. If you don't, music stores are full of music experts that can guide you in the right direction. The important thing is to use this advice as guidance, not law. What is good for them is not necessarily good for you.

Lauren Paltrow of LearnPiano-Reviews.com, specializes in helping aspiring pianists get the info that they need to make the right choices. Lauren leads her team of piano experts in constantly reviewing new courses and products in the market to make sure you get the best value products that work for you. Check out actual user reviews of the best piano courses and products at LearnPiano-Reviews.com.

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