Electric Pianos & Keyboards Buying Guide
Purchasing a Piano or Keyboard
Consider the following when shopping for a piano, digital piano or keyboard:
- For gigs, a smaller keyboard is easier to transport than the 88-key alternative. If you're playing in an apartment, a small digital piano is ideal, while a digital grand piano, space and budget permitting, will offer you the best playing experience.
- Pay attention to connectivity when shopping for digital pianos and keyboards. USB ports, MIDI ports, headphones, audio inputs & outputs will enable you to connect with other devices.
- If you are just starting out, look out for a keyboard with a built in learning function or one that can be paired with a training app on compatible mobile devices so you can make great strides and monitor your progress.
- Most digital pianos and keyboards feature touch sensitivity and action of varying degrees. If you would like to recreate the feeling of playing on an acoustic piano, shop for a keyboard or electric piano with weighted or semi-weighted keys.
Pianos & Keyboards
Keyboards & Portable Keyboards
Keyboards and portable keyboards represent a more compact and, for the most part, more affordable alternative to a piano. However, they also feature various on-board controls that work to make them hugely versatile instruments.
- Portable keyboards are available with a varying number of keys. Beginner piano players should start with a 49 or 61 key piano. If you wish to have the range of a full-size piano, shop for a keyboard with as close to 88 keys as you can afford.
- If you are recording music, choose a keyboard with USB MIDI or MIDI in/out ports. Keyboards with a General MIDI sound set (generally 128 sounds) will enhance recording and playback via a computer in a music/home studio environment.
- Keyboard polyphonics and multitimbrality (ability to play more than one sound and different sounds at once, respectively) dictate the depth and complexity of the music you can create. A higher value in each will offer you greater expression.
Keyboard and piano accessories can make your playing experience more comfortable and more rewarding. The following are some accessories to look out for:
- Keyboard stands are essential if you perform in front of an audience. If your equipment includes more than one keyboard or synth, consider a multi-tiered stand so you can incorporate more into your shows.
- A piano stool or keyboard bench should be considered an essential. The main advantage of a stool or bench over a chair is that most can be height adjusted to suit the specifics of a player’s frame, or height of an accompanying keyboard stand.
- There are a variety of accessories that can help you get closer to the experience of playing on a piano even if you are using a keyboard. An electronic sustain pedal, for example, allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds.
- Other great-to-have keyboard accessories include tablet and computer mounts, microphone stands and clips to keep things in place, while recording interfaces and music software will broaden the possibilities of creating music with keyboards.
Headphones allow you to play your digital piano or keyboard without fear of disturbing anyone. Shop a wide range of in-ear and on-ear headphones to find the ones that suit your need and budget.
Music stands help you read sheet music with ease. Lightweight and collapsible to a compact form, music stands are essential equipment if your piano or keyboard doesn’t include one already.
Learn to play your favourite piano and keyboard songs with sheet music and choose from a wide range of artists and genres. Follow the notes and listen as the tracks you love come together.