differences digital piano keyboard

What Is the Difference Between A Digital Piano and A Keyboard?

Do you know if there is any difference between a digital piano and a keyboard? If so, what is this? The look and functionality may seem similar from the outside, but when you look at it from a musician’s point of view, you will find plenty of differences.

So, when you try to select a particular instrument, a lot of queries will come across your mind which will ultimately create confusion. So, through this article, we will discuss various disparities in a different sections, and we are quite confident that by the end you will be able to figure out which instrument will suit you.

Core Differences Between A Digital Piano and A Keyboard

differences digital piano keyboard

Difference In the Main function

You might think that the primary role of both keyboard and digital piano is to produce beautiful music, but technically there is a significant difference in their purpose. Both of them are destined for a different meaning where a digital piano’s job is to imitate the sound and tone of a grand or a concert-level acoustic piano. With the help of a sound engine, they digitally produce the music which was sampled from an acoustic piano. Basically, they create a sound with the help of hammered action initiated by a keypress.

On the other keyboard stands on the opposite end when it comes to comparison with digital in the primary function. Primarily keyboard is built to produce various tones and voices, and they don’t carry sound sampling to replicate the mood of any grand piano. They are designed for piano players especially for newbies and enthusiasts who are eager to explore their talent in music. They are mostly intended for sound production and create pitching depending upon a song. They are not bounded by any boundary instead it allows a pianist to explore and fuse a different kind of sound freely.

Difference In Touch Sensitivity and Keys

Both digital piano and keyboard are dissimilar when it comes to keys and touch sensitivity. Keyboards keys are quite light, and they are mainly made up of ordinary plastic material. In general, keyboards come with sixty-one keys which are the maximum count, and they are partially weighted.

In addition, they also come with a five-octave, and it is the standard count in every keyboard. However, you won’t touch sensitivity and polyphony in most of the keyboards as the keyboard doesn’t carry a core and hammer capability. Nowadays, some keyboard often comes with polyphony, but the number is limited.

Whereas digital is built using premium quality keys, and the keys carry a wooden core so that it can replicate the feel of an acoustic piano. To provide the actual feeling, it comes with a graded hammer action that offers heavy touch sensitivity in the bass octave and feather touch in the upper octave. Another exciting feature of a digital piano is that it provides the option to tune the touch sensor according to your playing style.

A full upright digital piano comes with 88 keys where keys are mostly full weighted. Unlike the keyboard, it comes with six octaves which are quite adequate for any beginner or stage plays. When it comes to polyphony digital piano blows the keyboard out of the water as they house thirty-two to sixty-four notes on an average.

Difference In Voices and Songs

The number of voices and songs also varies by a good margin between a digital piano and a keyboard. Keyboards are pampered with a massive amount of songs and voices, and apart from these it also offers various type of rhythms.

On the basic level, it includes voices of percussion, pianos, bells, woodwinds, and organs, although high-end models also offer various other types. In addition, it also provides an array of sound effects which comes in handy while creating music. After proper market research, we have arrived to know that the voices and songs of cheap models are utterly useless and fake.

Digital piano only gets the option of a small number of songs and voices, and it has been seen that some of the digital pianos don’t even carry any kind of song. However what sets digital piano stand apart in this section is its original voices as they are sampled directly from grand concert pianos, pipe organs, jazz organs, strings, harpsichord, etc. Some premium models often include songs, but they are limited. But you won’t be getting any sort of rhythm support in any digital piano.

Difference In Speaker

There isn’t much difference in speaker system between digital piano and keyboard although digital pianos get the bigger and powerful ones. Many digital pianos come with four speakers and two tweeters. However, keyboards on average carry only two speakers as they commonly serve a portable purpose.

The difference in Weight and Size

Digital piano and keyboard don’t have much difference in weight and size although keyboards are generally compact and light in weight. Keyboards mostly weigh around 20 pounds as they have fewer keys and speakers attached to the body. Moreover, they are small in size but offer adequate room for pressing the keys. They comfortably fit into any bag, and you won’t have to buy an extra stand for playing as it comfortably sits on a table or your lap.

Digital pianos, on the other hand, are slightly more substantial than a keyboard and the average weight of most digital pianos is around 30 to 40 pounds. In addition, they are quite more significant in size, and it is not easy to fit them on your lap or standard tabletop. You need to have a proper table or cross stand to install them.

Comparison In Price

Generally, keyboards are much cheaper in contrast to a digital piano, and the price is entirely justified as digital pianos carry more features than them. The cost of a keyboard mostly stays between the range of $100 and $500, and it entirely depends upon the size, characteristics, and brand.

However, the base price range of an excellent digital piano starts from $300 and goes all the way around $2000. Although there are some premium hybrid digital pianos whose price tag goes above the $10,000 mark.

So digital pianos and keyboards are different from each in other in many ways, but one aspect that remains the same in them is creating beautiful music. Keyboards are mostly used as practice instruments by musicians and beginners for learning. But digital pianos are used by musicians, stage performers, studios, passionate amateurs, etc. So depending upon your requirement and skill, you should make your decision.

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