Since the introduction of the world’s first acoustic piano, it has been revelled for its superior sound qualities as well as its big number of black and white keys, which can total up to eight octaves. A digital piano uses speakers and sound chips to reproduce acoustic piano sounds but have limited octaves and number of keys. This article aims to help you decide better on the type of piano you should get.

Assess your own needs

Are you enthusiastic in playing the piano? Have you just started learning? If so, you might not be able to read music (also known as sight-reading). With a digital piano, you can learn your favourite songs by following lit keys. Basically, it is like playing Simon Says. If you are more experienced and would be more concerned with touch and tone matters digital instruments lack the aforementioned when compared to their acoustic counterparts. With an acoustic piano, there is more feel and you can convey your emotions and feelings through it.

You may need to decide whether you are going to learn or play the piano for long. Some teachers do not teach students on anything else other than an acoustic piano. If you plan to work on your technique or to give a dynamic performance in the future, you may need to purchase an acoustic piano instead.

Know the difference between acoustic and digital pianos

The main differences between the two types of pianos are:

• An acoustic piano utilizes traditional strings and hammers to produce its given sound.

• A digital has none of the above, thus they are unable to reproduce the exact sounds that you desire.

As mentioned, digital pianos utilizes electronics to replicate the sounds of an acoustic piano as closely as possible – meaning that there no soundboards or strings alike. Instead, they are built with speakers and here are some cool features that make them a viable alternative to their acoustic cousins:

• Able to emulate an abundance of piano sounds, such as a violin, strings and many more.

• More instrument sounds like flute, chimes, and even a full drum set.

• An accompanying metronome to help beginners keep time.

• Can record what you are playing or interact with other sounds in MIDI format.

• Does not need to undergo complicated tuning processes.

• Ports to plug in headphones for a silent practice session.

• Digital pianos can be portable and are great for gigs.

What’s more, you can give your digital pianos an upgrade by downloading new sound samples to replace any unconvincing piano sounds.

Think of the piano's value

Most of time, acoustic pianos hold a higher value than digital units and it can last you a lifetime if it is maintained properly. Older types of digital pianos may last up to 5 years, after that the current model may become obsolete and you may have to purchase an upgraded version just to keep up. However, digital pianos of today are equipped with better configurations such as weighted keys, acoustic-like key action and they might even sound better than an upright acoustic set.

If you are thinking of buying a piano to pass down to future generations as a family heirloom, an acoustic one suits you. If you are buying one for professional reasons such as to work as a performing artiste, digital pianos provide the versatility you will require.