Digital pianos are great instruments that make piano playing an option for a broad range of people. As you likely know, there are tons of benefits to digital pianos. However, to begin with, do you actually know what a digital piano is, including the various sizes that are available? Do you understand the differences between digital piano sizes sizes, as well as how to make a decision on which is right for you?
First off, it is important to note that often times people think that keyboards and digital pianos are the same thing, but that is absolutely not true! Digital pianos are a distinct type of instrument that come in various sized models. To help end any confusion, we have created our beginner’s guide to digital piano sizes so that you can be completely informed and decide which will be right for you. We’ll discuss what the various sizes are, what the differences are between them, how each is played, and how to make the right decision based on your own level of experience and playing needs. Let’s get started!
What is a digital piano?
To begin with, let’s first quickly explain what a digital piano is in case you aren’t completely sure. A digital piano is a completely electronic instrument that is designed to mimic the sounds of a traditional acoustic piano. A good digital piano will not only produce a sound similar to an acoustic piano, but will also feel very similar to an acoustic piano when it is being played. This is accomplished, in part, by having weighted or semi-weighted keys that feel very similar to traditional piano keys.
As for their appearance, there is plenty of variation, but you can find models that are also designed to mimic the look of a traditional acoustic or grand piano. Other models will look more similar in appearance to a keyboard, although it is important to note that they are not the same thing.
Digital pianos tend to be easier to use, as they do not need to be tuned like an acoustic piano does. Additionally, you can easily adjust the volume of a digital piano, as it is an electronic instrument. This is a great option for people who either need a loud sound (say if you are performing in a large venue) or a very quiet sound (say if you are practicing in an apartment and don’t want to disturb your neighbors). It is also easy to hook up a digital piano to a keyboard amplifier or other device to produce even louder sound. There is typically also a headphone jack on digital pianos as well, allowing you to practice without any fear of someone overhearing you or complaining of you being too loud.
As with any instrument, there are a range of models, and based on your skill level and your needs, you will be able to select one that is right for you. Overall, digital pianos will be cheaper, lighter, more portable, and easier to maintain than traditional acoustic pianos. In particular, there are various sized digital pianos. Each different size model has different attributes that will help you decide which will be right for you.
Digital piano sizes
The smallest of the digital pianos will have 61 keys. Because it has the least amount of keys it will also be the smallest piano when thinking about the actual dimensions of the instrument. For this reason, if you have a small space you are trying to fit a piano into, you may realize that you can only fit a 61 key instrument. If that is the case, keep in mind you will still be able to play a large amount of music. There are some advanced pieces of music you will not be able to play, but you will still have a large variety of music available to you. This type of digital piano will also be the least expensive, which may also help factor into your decision.
The next size up is the 76 key digital piano. This instrument has 15 more keys, therefore giving you a bit more range in terms of what music you can play. This instrument will be a bit longer in length to accommodate the extra keys. These models will be more expensive than the 61 key models, but less so than the 88 key models. 76 key pianos are harder to find than other models, as most people either want a truly reduced size model, or they know they want a traditional, full sized model that most closely resembles a traditional piano. However, this is a great in-between model that may just be the perfect fit for you if you want to play a large range of music and have the space to accommodate it.
Finally, 88 key models will be your closest match to a traditional acoustic piano. These models will be longest in length, and also most expensive. However, if you want to come as close to the sound of a traditional piano, and also if you are an advanced player and don’t want to be limited as to the music you can play, this is the best option for you. In addition to the size of these models, these will also be the heaviest. If portability is your number one concern, an 88 key model will likely not be best for you.
Which model is best for you?
Based on your individual needs and skill level, you can more easily make a decision as to which digital piano to purchase. You should take into consideration cost, digital piano sizes, weight, portability, skill level, and use when making a decision. 61 key models are cheapest, have a more restricted range of music that can be played, and are also the smallest and most portable. If you are in a small space or are a beginner player, this will be a great option for you. For parents purchasing a digital piano for your child, this may also be the best decision for you if you are unsure if your child will stick with playing the instrument.
If you want to save some money and still need a fairly portable option, a 76 key model will serve you well. Keep in mind that all digital pianos will still be far more portable than traditional pianos, so unless you have extremely tight size restrictions, you should be able to easily make any of these models work. The 76 key model is the perfect in-between instrument that will give you a wide range of music you can play while still being easier to play than the full 88 key models.
Finally, if you are an advanced player, and especially if you will be performing using your instrument, you will likely want to invest in an 88 key model. These give you no restrictions in terms of music you can play. Some musicians purchase a smaller model and find themselves growing out of them and are looking for more difficult music to play but are not able to. If you have this fear, invest in the 88 key model so that you know you will be able to play any piece of music you want to. While these models will be the largest and most expensive, they will still be far less expensive and weigh less than traditional pianos.
Digital pianos are great instruments that allow musicians to play a piano that sounds very authentic without having to spend a large amount of money. No digital piano will sound quite as good as a true acoustic piano, but you can get a sound that is very close with all of the added benefits of cost, ease of use, and portability. To save additional money and space you can invest in smaller 61 or 76 key models that will still offer you a solid instrument that you can play a large amount of music on. For professional players, or even advanced players who play for fun, an 88 key model will be best for you.
Now that you understand the various sizes of digital pianos available, as well as their benefits, you can go out and make an informed decision. Any instrument is an investment, and this is no different. Hopefully this beginner’s guide will help you to make the decision that is right for you.