Tickle the Ivories with a Keyboard or Digital Piano
Channel your inner Beethoven with a digital piano or keyboard piano. These pianos are smaller and lighter than their grand piano cousins, but they can still produce the same beautiful sounds found in everything from classical to jazz music. Whether you’re learning to read sheet music or on your way to becoming a piano prodigy, you’ll find the keyboard piano for your skill level and needs at Best Buy.
What Kind of Keyboard Should I Get?
Looking for a keyboard piano and not sure what kind to get? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
A digital piano is a modern alternative to the traditional piano. It sounds and feels just like a real piano, but is considerably lighter and has no strings. If you’re just starting to learn, but don’t have the budget or space for a baby grand, a digital piano could be a great choice for you.
An electronic keyboard can do a lot more than your average piano. Built-in software allows you to do things like select tones, effects, and even what instrument sound you want the keys to produce when you play them.
A synthesizer can imitate and produce a number of different sounds. These keyboard pianos have built-in sound programs that can be used for creating rhythmic or bass effects, playing the main melody of a song, simulating bass sounds, and so much more.
A MIDI keyboard controller is a type of keyboard that sends MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) signals to MIDI-enabled devices. It may look like a keyboard, but it doesn’t produce sound on its own. Rather, it sends MIDI commands to a connected computer, MIDI synthesizer, or keyboard, which emits digital sounds based on these commands.
What Features Should I Consider in a Keyboard Piano?
All keyboards share some common features. Knowing them will help you make the right decision when you’re ready to buy.
Number of Keys
A full keyboard has 88 keys, although many keyboard pianos have 61 keys, and some have as little as 25 keys. If you’re serious about learning, go with 88 keys so you get the full range of a piano. Keyboards with 25 or 33 keys are great if portability is important to you.
Key Weight and Action
Action refers to the feel and touch of the keys. Weighted and semi-weighted keys offer a similar feel to that of a traditional piano, while hammer (or graded) action uses a hammer mechanism to recreate the feel of a grand piano. Unweighted keys have a synthesizer feel, and synth action uses springs to balance the keys and make them more playable.
If you’re looking for a keyboard with an LCD screen, make sure it’s large enough and easy to read, clearly spelling out the functions and sounds you’ll be using. Smaller screens tend to use a lot of abbreviations and acronyms, which take time to learn.
Most digital pianos come with a built-in amplifier and speakers. You’ll want to choose an instrument that’s loud enough for your environment. But be aware that a louder sound usually requires a larger speaker, which in turn translates into a heavier instrument. If you have a PA system or an external amp, consider getting a digital piano equipped with a smaller speaker instead.
Choose a model with a USB port and you’ll be able to save sessions, and transfer sounds to and from your computer.
What Accessories Do I Need for My Keyboard?
A digital piano setup isn’t complete without a few accessories. Here’s what you might need.
A keyboard stand offers a convenient and practical way to hold up the instrument. Some stands are adjustable in height and fold for easy portability and storage. Other stands are less portable and ideal for at-home use.
A comfortable seat is key for anyone tickling the ivories, and a piano or keyboard bench can offer just that. Many benches have a padded seat for cushioned comfort, while others have built-in storage for stowing away sheet music, accessories, and more.
To emulate an authentic acoustic piano experience, add a keyboard pedal to the mix. A pedal board with three pedals can provide a full grand piano experience, while a single sustain pedal can add expression to music with resonance and vibration.
Want More Info? Check Out These Resources:
Digital Pianos – What to Look For
Choose the right digital piano for the beginner, intermediate or advanced student in your family!
Casio Musical Instruments Overview