When deciding on the purchase of an acoustic piano or a digital piano, there are many factors to consider. While your preferences are important, your particular musical needs are even more predominant to consider. Learning about the different features as well as the pros and cons of both acoustic and digital pianos should make the decision of your purchase a little easier.
Acoustic Piano Facts
Modern pianos have been around for over 300 years. The first piano was invented in Italy, and it used a hammer mechanism to create sound from the vibration of the strings. Pushing down on the keys causes a hammer to hit and bounce off of the piano’s strings. The strings vibrate and that creates different sounds according to the pianist’s speed and force of the keys.
Digital Piano Facts
Contrary to its acoustic counterpart, the digital piano is an electronic instrument that reproduced sounds that have been stored in the pianos’ computer chips. Sounds are produced when you push a key, and it tells the computer what sound to make. The sounds of the digital keyboard can be heard through built-in speakers, or headphones or an external sound system. Most quality digital pianos have a weighted key action feature that mimics the feel of an acoustic piano.
Pros & Cons of Acoustic Pianos
Pianos that are acoustic are classic instruments that also act as furniture and display pieces in some homes. They create an elegance that can complement the decor of beautiful rooms. Most pianos last for decades and become more valuable with age. Acoustic style pianos have the capabilities and range necessary to play all types of music. Some skills are exclusively learned on an acoustic piano.
On the other hand, even though they appreciate in value, most acoustic pianos can cost a pretty penny. They are extremely heavy and can weigh up to 1,000 pounds. Acoustic pianos also require maintenance in order to extend their lives. The keys must be tuned at least once a year and the wood must be treated. The organic qualities of an acoustic piano (wood, leather, etc.) will eventually begin to break down without the proper maintenance.
Pros & Cons of Digital Pianos
Compared to acoustic pianos, digital pianos cost much less and are considerably smaller in size. They also do not require hardly any maintenance. Since they don’t have strings, there is no need for tuning or a humidifier. Digital pianos also do not have a sound board susceptible to cracking.
Generally, digital pianos are designed to simulate acoustic pianos. However, even the most untrained ear can hear the difference in sound an acoustic piano and a digital piano when they are compared. While today’s digital pianos are sounding more and more realistic, they still do not compare to the sound of an acoustic piano.
The Verdict: Which Type of Piano Should You Buy?
When deciding what type of piano to buy, obviously you should initially decide on the price range that you want to spend. Once you have decided your budget, try playing both acoustic and digital pianos different price ranges. Consider your musical ability and interest. Do you want to purchase a piano as an addition to your home or do you want to learn classical piano?
Most importantly, be sure to listen closely to what sounds best and feels best to you. Whichever type of piano you choose, you want to make sure it is the right instrument for your particular needs.