Buying a piano is very exciting. However, before you do so, there are certain factors that you have to consider. Since purchasing a piano is a crucial investment, you should ensure that you get value for your money.
You must seek a keyboard that suits your criteria, and the best way to do this is to conduct thorough research. There is a lot of work involved in doing your research and going through the many digital pianos sold on the market, trying to find out the most suitable one.
But, the good news is that we have simplified the work for you in our buying a digital piano guide. In this post, we’ll discuss what to look for when buying a digital piano to help you purchase the right instrument.
There are different kinds of pianos that come with all sorts of features. Piano designs also tend to differ depending on the brand.
Whether you play piano as a hobby or it’s your profession, you have to know what to check when buying a used digital piano or even a new one.
Check out some of the tips for buying a digital piano below.
1. Who Is the Piano For?
Are you planning to own digital piano? What aim do you have for it? In what way is the piano going to benefit you?
These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself. Buying a digital piano for beginners can be quite a daunting task and even confusing. However, you have to consider the purpose of our piano before making the purchase.
Recording musicians often use digital pianos in studios. Pianos provide you with excellent sound performance and clarity. With digital pianos in the studio, you have the opportunity to be as creative as you want.
You also don’t have to worry about audio conversion and storage capabilities. Digital pianos come full of exceptional features.
If you are an on-stage performer, then digital pianos might be the right option for you. The reason being, they are quite portable and easy to setup. Therefore, they are suitable for events and performances.
2. Tone and Sound quality
You also need to evaluate the tone and sound quality. Tone variation and audio quality tend to differ with the kind of piano you are using.
High-end digital pianos feature a more vibrant voice output compared to lowly-priced pianos. Most cheap pianos offer low-quality sound with minimal voices to choose from.
If you’re a beginner player, the sound may not be that much of big issue in comparison to their budget. But, it is good to note that the best way to improve your playing skills is by using an instrument with the best sound and tone output.
Unlike acoustic pianos, digital piano sounds are based on the samples used in their creation. The technology used in digital pianos captures and reproduces the sampled sounds.
When deciding on sound quality, you have to consider the sustain pedal and decay of the notes, as well as the general sound realism. The number of tones featured within a digital piano can be used to enhance its sound while bringing in the fun factor.
Finally, the output quality of the keyboard should be good. These are the built-in amplifiers and speakers. Their sound generation should be very qualitative.
3. Price – Are You Getting Value for Your Money?
You have to know your budget. Weigh in as many options as you can to make your decision. What determines the price for a digital piano is the size and quality of the instrument.
Higher quality pianos are quite costly. But, this is because they are built from durable materials which give them a longer lifespan than the cheaper pianos. In case you have a small budget, all hope is not lost because you can still cheap pianos that also work fine.
You can also purchase used pianos at very affordable prices. However, you have to thoroughly check the instrument for any signs of defects with the help of a piano technician.
4. Consider Standard Key Pianos
A standard piano key should approximately be 23mm wide. The width keys vary depending on the type of piano. The best part about a digital piano is playing it.
If the keys are of standard size, then you have the confidence of playing any keyboard or piano. Therefore, you should ensure that your new digital piano contains keys that meet the standard size.
Cheap keyboards have narrower keys than the costly ones. The drawdown to this is that your key mastering skills will be limited due to the “toy-like” keyboards. If the piano keys are at least 23mm wide, then you should consider purchasing it.
5. Consider a Piano with “Weighted” Key Action
To fully imitate acoustic pianos, digital piano manufacturers use variations such as weighted action. The weighted action makes the piano keys have the same feel as those of a traditional one.
The disadvantage of this is that if a digital piano is missing the weighted key action, it will feel off and you won’t enjoy playing the instrument. There are three different types of weighted action. They include:
- Hammer action
- Graded weighting
All the three types have different feel and resistance but their mechanism replicates the feel of a real acoustic piano.
Weighted keys go a long way in helping you develop proper finger strength and ability. Keys of this nature make for a more productive practice session.
When you purchase such a piano that has weighted keys, you also get to enjoy the portability without any need you to tune it at all. Pianos with weighted action cost more than those without the feature.
There are many benefits that come from owning a keyboard that has weighted keys, which makes this type of piano an excellent option for any kind of player.
6. Piano Pedals
Acoustic pianos are built with three pedals to fulfill different purposes. The common one used is the Sustain pedal. Since digital pianos seek to imitate acoustic pianos, it is highly recommended to use pedals.
Using foot pedals is very necessary for pianists. The good news is that most digital pianos come with built-in pedals. The ones that come without pedals provide you with the option to connect external foot pedals.
If you are planning to play a modern style keyboard, then you have to use pedals. You should at least you have the Sustain pedal. If you’ve ever played a digital piano before, then you obviously know how vital the Sustain pedal is.
Pedals help to enhance your music. Therefore, always check on the sound quality as pedals contribute mainly on the same sound. Ensure that there are built-in pedals before purchasing.
7. Accessories – Benches, Covers, Stands
When you purchase a digital piano, you need to have accessories. They make the piano versatile, attractive, and more useful. While some digital pianos come with accessories, others do not.
These are essential when it comes to ownership, especially if you gig a lot. Also, be sure to check on the quality of accessories that come with your digital piano.
Good examples of accessories are piano benches. Benches help to create a favorable sitting position for any piano user. The right positioning invites concentration, and this helps you conduct your practice sessions or performance comfortably. The design should be flexible and sturdy.
If you need a piano bench for the road or home purposes, you can find an option with different price ranges. There are those have fixed or adjustable heights with different finishes.
For traveling musicians, covers and bags are among top priorities. Piano covers are essential because they ensure your instrument stays safe from dust and moisture. Also, if the piano is at home most of the time, a dust cover helps to prevent dust from contacting it.
But, before you purchase any dust cover, make sure you know the dimensions of your digital piano. Knowing the size of your piano will help you purchase a dust cover that will be able to fit its size appropriately.
Another thing to consider is the piano stand. Piano stands come in different designs, but all have the same purpose. Some are fixed while others you need to assemble yourself.
If you gig a lot, then go for a flexible stand and one that will be able to fully support your keyboard. Also, know the size and weight of your keyboard, since there are different types of keyboard stands for distinct functions.
8. Consider an 88-Key Digital Piano
Most digital pianos have 52 white keys and 32 black keys which is a total of 88 keys. An 88-key digital piano is built to provide you with a variety of high and low sounds. The availability of many tones helps to give you a better tune when you play the piano.
What you get from an 88-key digital piano is the full expression of its sound. You can tune the sound adequately with this type of keyboard. The other advantage that comes with an 88-key piano is the bass.
The only piano that is capable of providing you with the best and loudest bass is the one with 88 keys. You can play any type of music with this piano.
Another benefit is that most 88-key digital pianos possess the weighted action feature. Therefore, buy digital piano 88 keys if you want the best playing experience.
The Bottom Line
So, is it worth buying a digital piano? The answer to this question is yes! However, the market is flooded with a lot of piano brands and sometimes it can get confusing when you are on the search for a good piano to buy. The best thing to do is to consider the above factors and what your needs are, to help you make the right choice.
Avoid buying a digital piano quickly since it is a huge investment. Ensure that you purchase an affordable piano and one that offers you the best features.