Are Pianos and Keyboards the Same?

Are Pianos and Keyboards the Same?
Close up hands of caucasian woman playing synthesizer

Last Updated on March 29, 2024 by Nadeem Ahmed

Sometimes we employ language that communicates adequately yet, when examined closely, shows a slew of inaccuracies. The word tea can be taken as an example. It is often used to describe beverages that don’t contain anything from a tea plant; the widely known culprit is peppermint tea.

And this same association of words can be applied to the phrase piano and keyboard. Commonly, a keyboard means a digital piano. Indeed, when people inquire at music stores, “what is the best keyboard?” they aren’t seeking a clavichord or a spinet, even though they are keyboards.

Difference Between Piano and Keyboard:

Keyboards are much more economical in terms of prices when compared to pianos and do not require frequent maintenance. However, Music enthusiasts and professional Pianists still prefer the performance of a piano rather than a keyboard.  To know the clear difference between the keyboard and piano sounds you can visit your Plymouth piano store as well.

A piano, on the other hand, is a device that produces nodes of music physically striking a small hammer against a steel-string when a key is pressed. A damper then lifts the string. When the hammer rebounds after striking the string, the string continues to vibrate. 

The audible sound that is considered a note is produced when the string’s vibrations resonate across a bridge and into the soundboard. The vibrating string comes to rest when the key is released, and the damper comes into contact with the string again, ending the sound.

  1. The keyboard is a digital composer that replicates piano-like sound; it is also capable of mapping other notes than a piano, while a piano produces notes through percussion and string.
  2. Since electronic equipment is tightly packed, they require less maintenance, whereas a piano requires constant maintenance.
  3. Keyboards are more budget-friendly when compared to pianos.
  4. Pianos are preferred by professional pianists as well as music enthusiasts.

Not All Keyboards are the Same:

Keyboards are of many different types. You would also find keyboards in a toy-stores on the lower end, while there are also keyboards that are more fully featured and are intended for musicians and production level cases. Such keyboards are usually packed with different tones, rhythms, and sound effects that give players more control over their sound. Within these types of keyboards, one finds synthesizers and MIDI controllers.

The key difference among keyboards is another comparison. There are keyboards that have less than the traditional 88 keys one finds on a digital piano; this allows such keyboards to be compact in terms of space and usually don’t impact the ability of a player to create music. Some keyboards have weighted keys, meaning that their keys don’t retract and depress like typical keys of a piano.

Which Should You Choose?

Considering what one is trying to play can help in deciding whether to get a piano or a digital keyboard. If you’re a beginner and you’re trying to learn the keys and their associated notes, you should buy a digital piano. If you’re interested in the variety of sounds and have experience with music production or recording macros on a device, a keyboard is a better option for you.

Consult Your Music Teacher:

Generally, parents choose keyboards for their young children to start with the learning process because it can be the least expensive option. Consulting with a Music teacher will help in deciding what is best for your child. Most of the time, they prefer a child to start with a digital piano for reasons like there are less distracting options and more number of required weighted keys. Learning on an Electronic Keyboard might become difficult when it’s time to adjust to a digital or traditional piano.

Final Verdict:

It is common for people not to start playing piano in a grand version. It is better to rather go for a smaller version. This is because you don’t want to invest a large sum of money over something that you are still a beginner at. A good option for beginners is to look for old pianos for sale. Hence, it is always convenient to go for a digital piano. 

However, some people tend to use the terms keyboard and digital piano interchangeably. Even though there is a slight difference, this article targets that clarification of those differences. We aim to provide you with significant knowledge about the pianos. 

Read More: 9 Unexpected Benefits of Playing Piano as A Kid That You Don’t Know