Electric Piano vs keyboard – Should you buy an electric digital piano,an acoustic piano or a keyboard?If you are just starting out in your musical career or hobby,if you want to buy a piano for yourself or your child,all these things make a difference.
As of this moment when i’m writing this article,i am stuck with two dysfunctional electric pianos(story below) but in the past – I have owned all 3 at the same time – Acoustic,Digital Electric and Keyboards,and i can share my experience about all three of them – the advantages,disadvantages and what would suit you best.
|Weight||200 kg+||>100 kg||5-10 kgs|
|Life||75+ years||6-8 years||6-8 years|
I kept this as the first point because many parents buy these pianos for their kids with the hopes that they will appear for Trinity college Practical Exams.For a classical music pianoforte exam,the acoustic piano is always a first choice.Nothing beats it,but for lower grade levels – Grade 5 and lower, even an electric piano will do.But after 5th grade, an acoustic is recommended.
The keyboard of course, is not an option for pianoforte exams,unless you are appearing for the keyboard exams that have just been introduced few years ago.
1.Scales and Arpeggios cannot be played on the keyboard
2.The touch and feel of the keys is totally different
3.Your technique gets compromised and is not good if you plan on learning piano later on,and just want to start off with the keyboard.
Electric Piano vs keyboard – COST
This is the limiting factor for most people starting out whether its for an adult or a child,the acoustic piano is at least 2.5 lacs starting price for a new piece.However you can also go in for a used acoustic upright piano – this is because used pianos sound better than new pianos – yes you heard that right.you will get a used piano for even Rs.60,000 onwards.One thing to note is the difference between an “under damper piano and an over damper piano.”
I wont get into the details of it here,but only tell you should look out only for an underdamped piano not overdamper.These overdampers are the older variants and sound horrible,although you may get it much cheaper,be careful while buying that used piano.
Electric pianos of 8 octaves start from about Rs.55,000 onwards and you should go in for a new one itself because the life of it is not muhc and if you buy a used electric digital piano,it might conk off anytime.
Keyboards which are 5 octaves and above can be bought for a minimum of even Rs.12000 and above.These are similar to an electric piano and have PCBs – printed circuit boards,hence they have a limited life span.Many of these PCBs cannot be repaired once they go bust.
DID YOU KNOW – An acoustic pianos sounds better with age?
Electric Piano vs keyboard – Maintenance
In the case of acoustic pianos,they need to be manually tuned at least once a year in order to get all the notes upto pitch.This will cost you around Rs.2500+ for a tune up.Even if you shift the piano from one location to another,it might need to be tuned.
Electric pianos and keyboards do not require any sort of maintenance as such and unless some function stops working,then you need to ge that part or function changed.In some cases it is not even repairable and you will need to dispose off that electric piano.
Repairable and Life of the instrument
The acoustic will never go completely go out of order,and even if strings,hammers,keys etc break,they can be replaced easily BUT in the case of digital electric pianos or keyboards,if the circuit boards get fried and if the service center cannot get the same circuit board again,then that is the end of the instrument.
In fact i have two electric pianos right now that are irreparable and after searching for the parts since a month,the only option i have is to junk it! Its a worthless piece of furniture in the house now.One is a Yamaha and the other is a Casio brand.One has a power board problem and the other has a motherboard issue.The service centers cannot get the boards as these are older models.
If you have the budget and are serious about a musical career or you want your kid to learn classical music and give exams,then in a for an acoustic piano.Even a used one will do,there is nothing better.These new age chinese electric pianos cost 1/4 the price but are not worthy in the long run.