Having the skill to play the piano is a wonderful thing. Granted, pretty much every musical instrument in existence has the ability to impress, soothe and thrill listeners. Yet there is something magical, enchanting and unique about the piano, that has many people keen to learn.
Whether you are already a budding pianist, or are a complete beginner, you may be facing the task of finding the best affordable digital piano. What price category should you consider? Is there any difference in the number of keys? What features make a digital piano superior to its competitors? Let’s get started!
What Price Category Should You Consider When Looking For The Best Affordable Digital Piano?
Choosing your price bracket depends on a number of things, as outlined below:
Whether you are in a financial situation that allows you some wriggle room with piano budget.
Whether you are truly committed to your musical journey.
Whether you are looking for a beginner instrument to get you started, or a one-time purchase to see you through many years of learning.
So how do the above points affect your decision? Let’s take a closer look:
If you have money to burn, then by all means go out and buy a digital baby grand, or another set of keys that gets your heart racing.
However, if you need to keep an eye on what you spend, then decide on a realistic budget first, before you visit music stores. Otherwise you could be tempted to buy well beyond your means.
For this point, you really need to be honest with yourself. Are you fully committed to a musical journey with the piano? If so, then don’t be afraid to use all of your set budget in buying the best affordable digital piano that you can financially manage.
If on the other hand, you’re not sure whether learning piano is a whim, that may pass after a few months of learning, then blowing all of your budget may not be the wisest move. In fact you may even be better investing in a decent keyboard to see you through the first six months. If you are still on track after that, then by all means head to the music store to look at digital pianos.
The truth is that there are many beginner digital pianos on the market today, that could easily see a beginner not only start their musical journey, but travel for a number of years without any issues or hold-backs.
That being said, if you have bought within the beginner digital piano range, and you stick with your music journey, you will ultimately outgrow your instrument.
So if you are fully dedicated to becoming a musician, and have a budget that allows you to spend a little more, then a one-time purchase of a fully-kitted-out, yet still affordable, digital piano, may be the best long-term solution.
Is There Any Difference In The Number Of Keys?
In a word; Yes! Digital pianos tend to come in the following number of keys:
– 61 Keys
– 76 Keys
– 88 Keys.
A digital piano which has 88 keys is staying true to a traditional piano. A 76 digital piano is missing one octave and a 61 key is smaller still.
Of course choosing a 88 key digital piano has many advantages. It has the appearance of a ‘real’ piano, and the number of keys never needs to hold you back in your playing. So even if you progress on to Beethoven, Mozart and Bach, your 88 key digital piano will never hold you back.
So is an 88 key digital piano always the best choice? Not necessarily. If you plan to have your piano in a room that is short of space, those extra few inches can be all the difference between the piano fitting comfortably into the room, or not fitting in at all!
Most of us pianists, even at an advanced level, would be quite happy to play on a 76 key digital piano and would rarely miss the extra octave. So if space is a big concern, don’t be afraid to consider an affordable piano from the 76 key range.
So what about the 61 key digital pianos? My advice is simple; avoid them if you can! Unless your intention is to buy a beginner instrument which you will later upgrade, a 61 key digital piano will hold you back as you progress on your musical journey.
What Features Make An Affordable Digital Piano Great?
Not all digital pianos are the same, both in appearance and in touch. Of course you may want to indulge your sense of personal taste as far as the appearance of the piano goes. These days it’s possible to buy modern white digital pianos (just like the one I have!), gleaming black choices, or a variety of wooden finishes.
A word of warning though; don’t be so focused on how the piano looks, that you forget to check the far more important issues – how it sounds and feels!
If you are a beginner musician, then your sense of sound and touch won’t be tuned in just yet to be able to decipher whether one instrument is superior to another. That’s why you need to let the list of features help you out. Below are a few features you should look out for when searching for the best affordable digital piano:
– Weighted or semi-weighted keys
– Ivory feel keys
– Damper action (pedal)
– A high polyphony figure.
Indeed learning to play the piano is one of life’s great joys. To make sure that the journey from beginner to advanced goes as smoothly and enjoyably as possible, you need to have an instrument that you really bond with.
A great digital piano doesn’t need to cost the earth, but it will cost you something! Just make sure that you know your own budget, your personal needs and your level of commitment. Then all that’s left to do is enjoy every step of your musical story.