When you’re buying your first piano, one of the first choices you’re going to face is whether to buy a digital or acoustic piano.
I’m going to let you know right away that, while we do sell both types, I’m biased. Acoustic pianos have a better sound and playing experience. But I want to give you the benefits and drawbacks of both acoustics and digitals.
Depending on your situation, a digital piano might be a better option for you. Let’s look at the pros and cons.
DIGITAL PIANOS DON’T TAKE UP MUCH SPACE
One of the major concerns for parents is the amount of space that a piano might take up. A console or studio piano don’t take up much room. However, a digital piano requires even less. There isn’t a bulky case because a digital piano doesn’t have all of the mechanical parts of an acoustic one.
When you don’t have a lot of room at home, every inch of space counts. If you’re living in a small home or apartment, a digital piano might be a better fit.
DIGITAL PIANOS ARE EASIER TO MOVE
Along with needing less space, digital pianos are far easier to move than acoustics. It’s really no contest on this one. You can slide a digital piano into your hatchback and take it wherever you need to go. If your family moves often, it’s going to be far more difficult to move a studio than it will be to move a digital piano.
DIGITAL PIANOS REQUIRE LESS MAINTENANCE
Even the best acoustic pianos will go out of tune over time. Humidity swells and shrinks the wooden parts, and you need to get the piano tuned regularly. Digitals don’t have that problem. As a result, you save a little money over time
ACOUSTIC PIANOS LAST LONGER
Acoustic pianos are built for the long haul. You can expect to get 60 years or more out of a typical console piano, especially if it is well maintained. While it’s not always the case, I’ve found that digital pianos tend to last around 10-15 years before requiring repair or replacement.
ACOUSTIC PIANO KEYS ARE EASIER TO CONTROL
Part of becoming a good pianist is learning to play both loudly and softly. Because they are mechanically operated, acoustic pianos are better for learning to play both ends of the spectrum. While good digital pianos have weighted keys, the experience isn’t the same.
NOT ALL DIGITAL PIANOS ARE ACCEPTABLE FOR TEACHERS
If you are going to buy a digital piano, there are a few things you’ll need to look out for so that a piano teacher will be comfortable. First, teachers want pianos with 88 keys. Second, they prefer weighted keys so that you can practice playing fortissimo and pianissimo. Lastly, they’re looking for a piano with at least a sustain pedal. All of the digital pianos that we sell meet these standards.
ULTIMATELY, A DIGITAL PIANO’S SOUND IS ALWAYS AN IMITATION
When you play a note on a digital piano, the sound you hear is a recording of that note being played on an acoustic. Does it sound good? Yes. But it’s never going to be the same sound and playing experience as provided by an acoustic piano.
I usually put it this way – I’ve talked to a lot of people who have played both digital and acoustic pianos. I have yet to meet one who says, “I really wish I could go back to my digital.”