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Choosing A Piano: Acoustic Or Digital?

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piano acoustic or digital
There are a few differences between an acoustic piano and a digital piano although they can share similarities in sound. Technology advances have made it possible for digital pianos to feel the same when the keyboard is played where electrical mechanisms stimulate the feeling of an acoustic. The keys on an acoustic are usually wood or ivory depending on the age of the piano where digital pianos have plastic keys. Digital pianos are made to sound similar to acoustic pianos, but even so, the main difference is the way the sound itself comes out of the piano. When it comes to choosing between the two pianos, there is no right or wrong choice. Either piano will serve its purpose although the price will differ.

How do these pianos produce their sound?

Acoustic pianos are real pianos with up to 88 keys and 220 strings. They are not modified by electrical components. Each part in an acoustic piano works with the rest of the piano to produce its sound which is louder on any scale than a digital piano. Acoustic pianos are sensitive to touch and produce their sound when the hammer strikes the keys, which in turn strikes the strings. Vibrations are produced and it transmits a sound to the soundboard. The reverberations create a loud, rich sound that’s hard to mimic with digital pianos. The entire piano acts as a resonator for the sound because the entire case forms the piano itself and that is why the sound is so loud and full.


Digital pianos on the other hand have no strings at all. The keys are switches that produce a sound through a speaker, which gets amplified through an electronic tone generator. Even though digital pianos have hammers, they are not to strike the strings, as with an acoustic piano. Instead, they are employed to capture the dynamics with which the key is played, yielding a dynamic response to touch that more closely approximates the experience of playing an acoustic piano. Digital pianos have settings where the sound volume can be lowered or you can use a set of headphones if you want to mute the sound for everyone around you. The only way to mute the sound of an acoustic piano is to fill the room with furniture, thick curtains, and lots of cushions on the couches.

Which is the better piano?

To determine which is better, you’ll need to know what kind of piano style you would like to play. Acoustic pianos are more for anyone who wants to play classical music with an authentic sound. Acoustic pianos are better suited to concert pianists or performers. Digital pianos would fare better with piano players that do not mind a different sound and who often change the genre of the music they play. The piano is much less costly, especially when looking for second hand pianos for sale that are easier to maintain compared to an Acoustic piano.

As much as we would like to justify the convenience of digital pianos, acoustic pianos produce a sound that cannot easily be copied and although it may sound similar, it will never be the same. Digital pianos have the convenience of being able to move around with their pre-programmed sounds and they work great with traveling performers, but it is still an acquired taste for the pianist themselves.

To conclude

There are no right or wrong piano choices. It could be down to the individual and the kind of music they want to play. The cost and maintenance is also a factor that cannot be ignored because it would make no sense to get an instrument that you cannot afford when purchasing and then struggle to have it repaired once it breaks down. If you take getting a few lessons into consideration before purchasing an instrument, you will be able to determine which type of piano is better suited for you. Use the piano at your local church or school and get a feel of the keys and the sound it makes. Digital is budget-friendly, but acoustic can last a lifetime. Both have their perks, all you have to do is decide which of those perks suit you best.

Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style.

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