If your child is starting out with piano lessons, you may be feeling rather confused about the right piano to buy. There are many conflicting points of view about what makes the best beginner piano. By far the most common decision parents face is making the choice between an acoustic or digital piano. This guide will present the pros and cons of each model, so that you can make an informed choice about the right piano for your family.
The Acoustic Piano
Purists are adamant that there is nothing like the original acoustic piano. It is true that nothing sounds exactly like it. After all, it is the "real thing".
Advantages of an Acoustic Piano
- For the player, the experience of interacting with an acoustic piano provides a complex and unique feeling, involving touch, harmonics, vibrations and a connection with tradition.
- The distinctive tone and touch of the traditional piano derived from operating strings and hammers is not easily replicated by electronic means, and therefore cannot be absolutely matched.
- A quality acoustic piano can last for generations and may also function as a beautiful piece of furniture.
- It will continue to hold its value well into the future.
However, the acoustic piano does have a number of drawbacks, particularly when considering a beginner piano.
Downsides to the Acoustic Piano
- They are usually more expensive than digital models.
- They are larger and heavier.
- They need regular maintenance and tuning, which adds to their overall cost.
Besides the higher initial cost, these disadvantages make the acoustic piano difficult to install in a small apartment where space is at a premium. Neither are they a practical choice for a family that makes frequent moves for employment purposes. For these reasons many people opt for a digital piano.
The Digital Piano
Today's digital pianos are truly modern musical instruments and have an excellent tone and touch which comes very close to the acoustic counterpart. They have no strings, hammers or soundboards, but produce sounds that are created from samples stored in electronic memory. In fact, it is generally acknowledged that until a child is destined to become a concert pianist or professional player, a digital piano can often be the better choice.
Advantages of a Digital Piano
One of their most beneficial features lies in their educational qualities:
- Enhanced learning software can be attached to make the experience more fun and entertaining.
- Sounds that imitate other instruments, such as strings, woodwind and percussion, can be used to create variety and stimulate creative musical compositions.
- Practice sessions can be recorded to gauge improvement and correct mistakes.
- Headphones can be connected, which means that practice time need not disturb the rest of the household—a marvelous bonus as learner's struggle with their scales and discordant first efforts!
In contrast to the acoustic model, digital pianos are less costly, lighter and more portable, and will take up less room.
Downsides to the Digital Piano
On the negative side, electronics and computer technology are fields that are continually changing and upgrades with newer and better features are frequent. The piano can become outdated quite rapidly. However, by far the greatest limitation is the undeniable fact that digital pianos are, in the end, a substitute for the original piano. They cannot exactly reproduce the same touch sensitivity and harmonics. The pedals do not link to the machinations that shift the apparatus inside the acoustic piano.
Ultimately, it is a personal choice about what option is best for your family in your current circumstances. For more information, contact a piano dealer like Snadens.