Acoustic vs. Digital
An acoustic piano has hammers and steel strings that are enclosed by a wooden exterior. The keys are connected to the hammers. When a key is pressed, the hammer moves and strikes the strings, causing them to vibrate and produce the sound.
A ‘digital‘ or ‘electronic‘ piano has no strings or hammers, but instead utilises electronics in one form or another to produce the sound.
Acoustic Piano in detail
There are two types of acoustic pianos: the grand piano and the upright piano. A grand piano has a frame and strings that are extended horizontally. It has a longer body and thus takes up more space. After playing the keys and releasing your fingers, gravity resets the keys and brings them back to their resting positions.
An upright piano has strings that run vertically. It’s a lot more compact than the grand piano. The upright piano often fit comfortably in houses or apartments and is thus a more convenient choice. When your fingers are released from the keys, they are reset via a spring mechanism, which is subject to wear and tear.
A full size Piano has 88 keys.
Digital Piano in detail
Digital pianos use either a synthesized emulation or samples of an actual piano, which are then amplified through an internal loudspeaker. Digital pianos incorporate weighted keys, which recreate the feel of an acoustic piano.
A digital piano is designed to serve primarily as an alternative to the traditional piano, both in the way it feels to play and in the sound produced. Some digital pianos are also designed to look like an ordinary piano, both the upright or grand piano.
Digital pianos have other advantages over acoustic pianos. Digital pianos cost much less than an acoustic piano and most models are much smaller and lighter in weight than an acoustic piano. As well, digital pianos do not need to be tuned. Like other electronic musical instruments, digital pianos can be connected to a keyboard amplifier or a PA system to produce a sound loud enough for a large venue. Or you can put a headphone for silent playing. Some digital pianos can also emulate other sounds like Electronic Keyboard. Digital pianos are often used in music schools and music studios to replace traditional instruments.
Which is best for Students?
There are few things to have in mind before buying a Piano for a student.
Your budget will play a lead role to choose. If you are able to spend only below ₹ 1,00,000 then Digital Piano is the only choice for you. However, if you have decided that you really want to be a serious pianist/a concert pianist, you will be better off buying a grand or at least a good quality upright piano as you will be playing a lot of serious classical pieces.
Realistically there will only be a couple of options for the average sized house. Where this space is, what type of home you have and your living circumstances will all play a part in your decision. Digital Piano is the best choice for average sized house.
Apart from these 2 major factors Digital Piano has some more advantages over Acoustic Piano.
- Easier to maintain. Do not worry about tuning.
- They can be played silently with headphones.
- They have a volume control so can be played at different levels, something which is obviously not possible on a traditional piano.
- Some of new models have the ability to record what you are playing so you can hear and instantly analyze your playing. Moreover, you can connect them to external devices such as iPads, computers and USB devices.