Piano Purchase and Maintenance

Simple Guide to Buying Your Piano Keyboard

I wrote about buying your first acoustic piano before. For those who are looking into buying a digital piano keyboard, I have some tips for you here.

First, you need to know that a digital keyboard has a very different touch and action from an acoustic piano, but if that’s what you are looking for – to play pop music, in a band, not necessarily classical piano music- then go for it.

Now, there are many sizes of digital piano keyboards. Even if you are buying one for your young kid, if this is not a toy, but s/he is going to use it for practice for his/her piano lessons, or s/he is playing it for real, then buy at least a 61-key digital piano. Anything under that size/less than that number of keys would be useless very quickly, and you don’t want to waste money and time on that.

If you are going to use this keyboard for at least a few years, you think you /your kid is going to take piano lessons quite seriously, then I say go for a full size 88-key keyboard with weighted keys. Now what is the difference between a keyboard with weighted keys and non-weighted keys? Weighted keys somewhat resemble those at an acoustic piano, so that gives you a better control and more variety on touch and tone (it’s never going to be the same like an acoustic piano no matter how they advertise it, trust me, I have a few of both).

So how do you know if it’s weighted keys or not? Well, the easiest way to find out is, other than read the specifications, look at the keys on the digital piano. The weighted keys are much thicker, and look just like those at an acoustic piano. The non-weighted keys are very thin otherwise. And the price of a digital keyboard with non-weighted keys is much lower as well.

What brands of digital piano keyboard would I recommend? Personally, I like and have owned Yamaha and Roland, and highly recommend them. Other big popular brands like Kawai and Casio can be good too. There are obviously so many brands to choose from. Other than buying a brand new one, you can also look for slightly used ones, those that are sold by the parents whose kid give up piano lessons after a year or so. Those are hardly played on! You probably can get a very decent price with them.

Buying anything online is definitely cheaper these days, and that goes with digital pianos too. So here are some options you can look into:

Enjoy your keyboard search!