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What Is a Digital Piano – A Comprehensive Study of 3 Pianos

What Is a Digital Piano – A Comprehensive Study of 3 Pianos
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Do you see the keyboard or synthesizer as a trivial alternative to acoustic pianos?

Do you think the acoustic piano is less fun for learners

Do you desire to have the keyboard features on the acoustic piano?

Let’s discuss this possibility, let’s talk about the digital piano.

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The Piano has evolved over time. The conventional acoustic piano has not always been around. Its invention was meant to correct the flaws that the harpsichord brought about.

Over the course of time, spanning centuries, the acoustic piano has gained ground among music lovers. Not even the subsequent invention of the keyboard or synthesizer has been able to take its place.

This is given how many pianists think the keyboard is not a serious alternative to acoustic pianos.

Surprisingly, when the word piano is used, many people picture the acoustic piano (alone). However, the word piano does not only refer to the acoustic piano. Rather, it is a vague word that encompasses a variety of instruments.

These instruments include the acoustic grand piano, acoustic upright piano, digital piano, and sometimes the keyboard or synthesizer.

Particularly, we will answer the question “what is a digital piano?” in this article. This is because some people cannot tell the clear-cut differences between the digital piano and the acoustic piano.

Which Instrument was Played Before the Piano was Invented?

Before the piano was invented, there was a like-mannered instrument that was played by musicians and composers. This instrument was called the Harpsichord. The earliest pianos looked very much like the harpsichord. The major difference between these instruments was the sound production mechanism.

“What Instrument was Played Before the Piano was Invented”

Every piano inclined invention was meant to address the problems of the previous instrument. For instance, the harpsichord had a monotonous sound production structure.

As a result, players could not play pieces loud or soft. They could only maintain one sound quality. The invention of the piano by Bartolomeo Cristofori was a resolution to that problem.

Rather than the rigid sound production mechanism, the acoustic piano use hammer actions that could be moderated easily.

Over time, the invention of electricity also triggered the invention of the electric piano, music keyboard or synthesizers. The point remains that every invention is to address the inadequacies of the past invention.

Are Digital Pianos Electric Pianos?

Digital pianos are not electric piano. This classification is wrong. The major difference lays in the construction of these instruments. On one end, the electric piano is produced using electric and mechanical parts. These categories of the piano were very rampant among musical bands in the late 1900s.

“Are Digital Pianos Electric Pianos”

On the other hand, these instruments are synthesized instruments just like the keyboard. However, it uses weighted keys as with the acoustic piano. Keyboards use light keys against the acoustic piano.

However, considering the affordable price of digital pianos, it is fast becoming an option for pianists and music lovers

What Is a Digital Piano?

The digital piano is a perfect blend between the acoustic piano and the musical keyboard. It has weighted keys as the acoustic piano, but the great features of the synthesizer. The digital piano also has 88 keys as the conventional acoustic piano.

“What Is a Digital Piano”

Understanding the digital piano can best be done when compared with the acoustic piano. With the acoustic piano, the sound is produced when the strings of the instrument are struck with hammers.

The degree of tension between the hammer and strings causes a vibration that determines the volume and peculiarity of piano sounds eventually produced.

This mechanism allows it to be classified as a chordophone by some music personnel. A chordophone is a musical instrument that produces sounds through its strings.

Tension is applied to the strings, causing a vibration that eventually produces musical sound. Other examples of the chordophone include the guitar, harp, violin, and other kinds of string instruments.

On the other hand, a digital piano does not operate using hammers and strings. It does not use this mechanism to produce sound. As a result, it cannot be classified as a chordophone. This is because it does not have strings or hammers that cause the production of sounds.

As with the electronic keyboard, the sounds of the acoustic piano are sampled, recorded with a high-quality recording device, and used on the digital piano.

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When you strike the keys of a digital piano, the amplifiers and speakers are set in motion. They replay the sound of the sampled and recorded acoustic piano. Digital pianos have the feel and look of the acoustic piano.

As a rider, some digital pianos have exact features found in regular upright and grand pianos. For instance, you can find the three pedals of the acoustic piano in some of these instruments.

Considering that these features can simply be digitally incorporated, this is just to make pianists have the desired acoustic feel.

The digital piano falls in between that blend between acoustic pianos and the synthesizer. The digital piano gives the great feel of the acoustic piano, without leaving out the great features of the keyboard.

These qualities make the digital piano worth every cent on the dollar. In addition, other amazing features of the traditional piano are listed and explained below

What are the Benefits of the Digital Piano?

There are lots of benefits for players that use the digital piano. Some of these benefits include the following.

1. It Is not as Heavy as the Acoustic Piano

2. Ability to Adjust the Volume of the Instrument

3. Allows You to Use Headphones

4. Twin Headphone Socket Port

5. It has Great Maintenance Prospect

6. Less Sensitive to Atmospheric Conditions

7. You Can Use it for Studio Works

8. The Use of Various Sounds

9. The Transposition Option

10. The Use of Metronome

11. Dual Piano Option

12. The Digital Piano Has a Recording Edge

13. Offers More Value than the Cost

“What are the Benefits of the Digital Piano”

The digital piano was invented to address some inadequacies. These minor flaws were evident in electric keyboards and traditional piano and the digital piano set out to solve them. First, we will address the edge this musical instrument has over the acoustic piano.

Video: What is a digital piano?

Below is a video explaining a digital piano, as well as the benefits of learning with one.

It Removes the Acoustic Piano’s Weight

When you observe the acoustic piano, one of the things that come to mind is the weight. The acoustic piano is very heavy. This can be further complicated if it is a grand piano.

The digital piano has done a great job dealing with the excessive weight of the acoustic piano. Some acoustic pianos can weigh as much as 230 kilograms. That is the size of 3 average adult humans put together, which is very big.

Unlike its predecessor (the acoustic piano), these instruments are way lighter. As a result, it can be easily moved and readjusted to align with interior design.

Furthermore, it is not as delicate as the acoustic piano. Because of the hammer and string mechanism, the acoustic piano should be handled with care. On the other hand, the digital piano can be easily moved without possible complications.

As a rider, the height of the digital piano makes adjusting easier. Some of these instruments are a little more than half the height of the acoustic piano. Given this, it can be fitted into many parts of the room.

Ability to Adjust the Volume of the Instrument

Acoustic pianos can be very loud. Many of these upright and grand pianos are wired for public performances. In dealing with this challenge, some brands of acoustic pianos incorporate a practice pedal.

These pedals are used to reduce the volume of the instrument, especially for amateurs and players practicing.

However, these kinds of pianos are a step ahead in this regard. It takes the comfort of players into consideration. Many of these categories of piano allow you to digitally adjust the volume.

As a result, you can play musical pieces with volumes ranging from very loud to very soft. The next point is a step ahead in dealing with noise

Allows You to Use Headphones

Many studio inclined personnel understand the importance of headphones. These delicate devices help you pay attention to very trivial details in sound production. The advantage of the headphone and earpiece is also beneficial to the pianist. 

In this regard, most of these piano instruments come with ports for headphones. For one, this allows you to hear every single bit of what you are playing.

As an added advantage, it is a noise prevention technique. This is because using the earpiece only allows the player to hear what s/he performs on the digital piano.

So, if your acoustic piano constitutes a disturbance, you might want to buy a digital piano for this reason

Twin Headphone Socket

With the digital piano, it just keeps getting better. This is considering how the advantage of allowing headphones is extended in some digital pianos. In plain terms, some of these instruments have a twin headphone socket.

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As a result of this rare feature, someone other than the player can also listen to piano performance. This is a very good option for music teachers. The availability of this option allows tutors to properly evaluate the performance of music students.

This way, they can be more critical about adherence to musical dynamics such as the forte, mezzo-piano, among others.

This is also a great option for parents of piano learners. This is considering how they can listen to the performance of their wards

Great Maintenance Prospect

One of the issues with acoustic piano is that it periodically requires tuning. Furthermore, only trained personnel can carry out the turning procedure. This demands that you live in areas where you are in proximity to those who tune. The cost of tuning is also an additional issue.

In dealing with this problem, the digital piano does not require tuning. Unlike acoustic pianos producing sounds from strings and hammers, these instruments are different. On the digital piano, sounds are synthetically produced from acoustic piano recordings.

As a result of this, you never have to worry about tuning your digital piano.

Below is a brief video explaining the benefits of the digital piano.

Video: What Is a Digital Piano [An Upgrade to the Acoustic Piano]

Less Sensitive to Atmospheric Conditions

As against the sensitivity of acoustic pianos to various weather conditions, digital pianos fare better. There are places the acoustic piano should not be situated. If positioned in these places, the strings will be more susceptible to rust, among other complications.

However, let’s just get to the point. The digital piano can fare well in almost any part of the house. It can be placed in the garage, close to the window, in the basement, and the list is endless. By a margin, the ease of maintaining and using the digital piano surpasses the acoustic piano

You Can Use it for Studio Works

The use of digital pianos in recording studios is fast becoming the order of the day. Many recording studios use this instrument as an alternative to traditional pianos. This is given the acoustic feel, coupled with the computerized additions.

This is more pronounced if the performer is a piano player. This is very popular with RnB, Jazz, Blues, Soul singers, among others

It Incorporates the Amazing Keyboard Features

Arguably, the keyboard is not considered a great alternative to acoustic pianos. However, the keyboard comes with some remarkable features.

The production of the digital piano takes cognizance of many of these features. Some of these keyboard inclined qualities include:

The Use of Various Sounds

As with a lot of keyboards, you can switch to various sounds on the digital piano. For instance, you can choose to play the sounds of the lead guitar, saxophone, organ, among others. This variety makes practice and performance very interesting, especially for children.

For experienced and mature players, this is not an irrelevant option. For instance, classical musicians can make the most of this feature.

An example is found with Ludwig van Beethoven’s pieces. The compositions of this virtuoso pianist were written in a wide range of instruments. He wrote music pieces for the flute, timpani, harpsichord, mandolin, organ, also for other instruments. 

Particularly, his early piano inclined pieces were written for the harpsichord. This is probably because the piano as against the harpsichord had not gained that much popularity among artists.

If you are to play a Beethoven’s harpsichord piece, the digital piano gives you that originality as selected by you. On the other hand, you can play on contrasting musical instruments such as the oboe, among others.

In this regard, you can align your digital piano to suit the original instrument used in performing the piece. 

The Transposition Option

The unavailability of transposition alternatives is a major nightmare for many newbies and inexperienced players. Particularly, the acoustic piano does not have this option.

As against this acoustic piano trend, some digital pianos have transposition options. This implies that you can play every music key, on any chosen key.

As in music, the piano keys are 12 in total. Considering this, not every pianist is able to play all 12 keys. As a matter of fact, some players only know their way around just one key.

As a result, keyboard and digital piano manufacturers incorporate transposition buttons. With this option, Players can play every key on any key they are conversant with.

For instance, if you are only conversant with key C major, you can play Key G and every other 12 keys on key C major.

Also, this option is helpful for experienced pianists who are convenient with playing on certain keys than others. They can simply transpose to their favorite or convenient key, playing as good as they can ever imagine

The Use of Metronome

This is a great feature in lots of digital pianos. The metronome is very important for players who have difficulties with timing. The digitally inclined accuracy in timing, helps them interpret the beats as easy as possible.

As an added advantage, the pace of the metronome can be adjusted to the player’s need. You do not have to worry about coping with the fast pace of a musical piece. For practice, you can set the pace of the metronome to align with your abilities as regards timing.

Eventually, you will observe that you can play pieces and perform without clicking the metronome button. However, it can be very important that you start with the aid of this feature.

The metronome feature is so important, given how most digital pianos have explored it well enough.

Dual Piano Option

This quality is very helpful for piano teachers and students. This is considering how teaching and learning the piano is a practical process.

The piano is filled with octaves of various pitch ranges. The further you play, the higher the pitch encountered. This can be a stumbling block for teachers. Sometimes, you want to play and need your students to play along at the same time.

This should not a problem, except that the student will be playing on a higher or lower pitch range. Trust me, this can be very confusing. However, some digital pianos as with some electronic keyboards, have readdressed this inadequacy.

This problem is resolved using the dual-mode feature incorporated in some digital pianos. With this feature, you can replicate the same pitch and tonal range on higher or lower octaves.

So, while the teacher shows examples on an octave, the student can replicate the exact lesson on another octave.

Also, this feature can save you the cost of getting another piano. If you have two students or children learning the piano, they can perform the same piece using this feature.

However, this is only possible if the piece does not incorporate lots of octaves. This will simply make players stretch to alternating ends of the piano, obstructing each other in the process.

From experience, this is a great option when teaching children and newbies at large.

The Digital Piano Has That Recording Edge

Undoubtedly, great music can be made on various kinds of piano available to us. However, with the digital piano, you can store them up for posterity.

Some of these piano instruments come with recording features. The quality of these recordings is likely dependent on the grade and brand of products used. Be that as it may, you are able to play, record, and listen to your performance.

With this, you can even do a cross-examination of all your previous performances. This helps you pay attention to the points you have improved. Also, you are faced with your flaws and will be able to take the appropriate steps to become better.

In essence, this addition helps you become a better player. This is given how you can progressively evaluate your performances, allowing you to work towards getting better by the day.

Furthermore, you can make out sheet music from your performances on the digital piano. You can transfer a recorded performance into a computer, make modifications, and get it printed in sheet music format.

With this option, you can make out your original music piece and get others to perform it.

Get More, Pay Less

Considering the extra useful features on the digital piano, you would think it cost a whole lot. Surprisingly, the price of the digital piano doesn’t come close to the price of the acoustic piano. This is certainly the high point for us.

This instrument has so many features that make playing easier and better. Nonetheless, its price range is reasonable compared to the acoustic piano.

What are the Kinds of Digital Pianos

The kinds of digital pianos available include:

1. Upright Digital Piano

2. Standard Digital Piano

3. Stage Digital Piano

“What are the Kinds of Digital Pianos”

There are several kinds of digital pianos that can be purchased. The choice of a digital piano should be influenced by your budget, purpose, preference, among others.

Upright Digital Piano

As with the acoustic variance, the Upright version of the digital piano comes with a large cabinet. The original idea of this kind of instrument is to replicate the acoustic piano feel.

The sounds are dynamic and tailored to sound like the upright piano. This instrument’s cabinet houses the core technological machinery for sound production.

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Standard Digital Piano

This kind of digital instrument is best suited for use at home. These kinds of digital pianos can be easily moved and adjusted within your home.

They do not offer the extraordinary features other digital pianos have. However, they are a great blend between the acoustic feel and technological edge of the keyboard. The keys are weighty, giving it the usual acoustic feel.

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Stage Digital Piano

As the name suggests, these stage pianos are wired for public performances. As a result, the features of these instruments conform to this standard.

For one, the sound produced is loud and of top quality. Also, they cost more than the upright and standard digital pianos.

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What Factors Should You Consider Before Choosing a Digital Piano?

Before purchasing a digital piano, you should consider the following factors.

1. Your Budget

2. What Size Do You Want?

3. How Many Piano Pedals Do You Want?

4. What Type of Sound System do You Want?

“What Factors Should You Consider Before Choosing a Digital Piano”

Consider Your Budget

These musical products come with various specifications and prices. So, you should figure out how much you are willing to spend. This decision is important in getting your instrument.

What Size Do You Want

Be certain about the size of the digital piano you want. Will you be on the move very frequently? If yes, you might require something that will accommodate your frequent transition.

Do You Need All Three Pedals

The traditional acoustic piano comes with three pedals. If you are conservative about the manual pedals, you might want to buy a digital piano that has all three pedals.

On the other hand, you might just go for a digital piano that has one pedal. This is because the other pedals are computerized using specific buttons.

Decide on the Sound System

Some digital pianos do not have in-built speakers. This trend is very common with stage pianos as they rely on amplifiers and speakers.

Considering this, would you use an amplifier or any other external sound production mechanism? Or would you rather buy a digital piano that has the inbuilt speaker feature?

If you are unable to get an external sound system, you might need a digital piano that has inbuilt speakers.

In conclusion, this instrument is a massive upgrade on the acoustic piano and the keyboard. It synergizes the positives of both instruments into one instrument. While you have the evergreen feel of the acoustic piano, you get the amazing features of the keyboard.

However, the keyboard is also a great piano option. Some players still prefer to use the keyboard given the technological edge and convenience it offers. Also, some are thrilled with the light-weight of the keyboard keys. The keyboard can be purchased via the following link below.

Check out these other in-depth articles/reviews…

What Is a Digital Piano – Related Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Digital Piano Better than the Keyboard?

Except for the cost, the digital piano is better than the keyboard. Even at that, every cent of the digital piano’s price yields value. It is more durable and professional to use. Furthermore, the keyboard is not a great alternative for the traditional acoustic piano. On the other hand, the digital piano feels and sounds more like the acoustic piano. It also has the usual 88 keys found on the acoustic piano.

The digital piano is a perfect blend of tradition and technology. It embraces the ideals of the traditional acoustic piano while making use of technology as well.

Why Is the Digital Piano Better than the Acoustic Piano?

The maintenance and ease of the digital piano make it better than the acoustic piano. With the digital piano, learning can be fun for amateurs, newbies, and inexperienced hands. They have the privilege of recording their lessons and seeking for ways to improve. Also, with the digital piano, there is little need for periodic maintenance and tuning. It is also lighter and can be situated in any part of a building. This is not a luxury the acoustic piano can offer.

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Does the Digital Piano Use Hammers and Strings? 

The digital piano does not make use of hammers and strings unlike the acoustic piano. Instead, the sounds are pre-recorded and electronically stored. So, anytime you strike a digital piano key, you are hearing a pre-recorded acoustic piano sound.

This is the same way the keyboard or synthesizer operates. To produce the various sounds, they are pre-recorded and stored up for the use of the player. Because of this sound production mechanism, you do not have to worry about tuning the digital piano or keyboard.

Are Digital Pianos Cheaper than Acoustic Pianos?

Digital pianos are cheaper than acoustic pianos. This is mainly because of the capital-intensive cost of producing the traditional acoustic piano. It is also lighter and allows you many conveniences. For instance, digital pianos can be stationed in any part of the house. Unlike the acoustic piano that reacts to atmospheric conditions, this is not a worry with the digital piano. It can perform appropriately in a cold, as well as humid environment. Despite all of these, the digital piano is way cheaper than the acoustic piano.

How long will a digital piano last?

A digital piano can last between twenty to fifty years. It is built to last for a very long time. The wood, pedals, electrical components, and other physical features of the digital piano is designed to stay strong for an exceedingly long time.

This is one of the advantages of purchasing and using a digital piano. All of the amazing features and conveniences can be enjoyed for a very long time. Other than this, it offers close to the same feel and sound as the acoustic piano.

How Do You Choose a Digital Piano?

To choose the right digital piano, you should consider the following factors: 

  • the sound amplification system
  • quality of the sound
  • physical properties and response of the keys
  • learning aids

You should be more particular about the sound and its amplification. This is because the digital piano should try as much as possible to sound and feel like the acoustic piano. That is the original intent.

If you are not concerned about having the acoustic piano feel and sound, you can make do with a keyboard or synthesizer.

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