A Definitive Guide to Buying a Digital Piano

If you’re shopping for a digital piano, it’s good to know what exactly you’re looking for. There is a big difference between an electronic keyboard imitation and an excellent digital piano. What features do you want and what’s your purpose for buying one? There are times when a real piano may not work. For instance, if you’re someone who is conscious of cost and you don’t want to spend a lot of money to buy your kid a Steinway. You may also be attending college, but you can’t carry that 800 pounds Baldwin grand piano and finding space for it in your room.


The good news is, there are numerous digital piano keyboard options on the market, according to Music Authority. Unlike some years back, digital pianos are much more affordable, lightweight and are an excellent solution that will never go out of tune. But when it comes to making a purchase, you must be keen, since there is a big difference between a good digital piano and an electronic imitated keyboard that you can get at dirt cheap prices.

Here is a definitive guide to buying a digital piano:

Number of Keys

It’s wise to stick to 88 keys, which is the standard number on every piano, unless you are a DJ or work on a keyboard workstation as a digital artist. While everyone has their own style of play and key preferences, it’s advisable to always go for a full-sized keyboard, otherwise you’ll likely end up dishing your keyword with lesser keys at some point, in favor of a larger one. Despite the increase in prices, the extra notes are well worth it.

Consider Simple Features

The best keyboard piano is one with simple-to-use and convenient features for your style of play or purpose. For instance, if you want a home digital piano for personal use, you need to look at the speaker set-up. Are there external-facing piano speakers? What are the inputs and outputs available? Are you assured of compatibility between either your computer or amp and the ports? If you’re not an artist and simply want a personal piano, it would be a deal breaker if you realize the digital piano you want to purchase has no external speakers.

Number of Tones or Sound

Despite the availability of so many digital pianos in the market, it’s still pretty hard to find a perfect digital piano with an excellent collection of sounds and tones. Sure, you’ll find advertisements of pianos with over 600 instruments and even hundreds or thousands of unique sounds, but there is much more to that than just claims. While having access to as many sounds as you can sounds great, the truth is, you’ll never use all of them.

Instead of focusing on the number of sounds or tones provided, look at the quality of the tones and sounds that you’re likely be using regularly. What you want is a rich, full sound. How about the keyboard settings? They should be soft and smooth instead of brittle and whiny. While there are challenges of making a digital piano sound real, great advancements are being made to change that, according to a BBC news article.

Maximum Polyphony

Polyphony is a term that is simple. The term refers to the number of individual notes produced by the digital piano at a particular time. To easily comprehend this, you can walk to your local music instruments store and buy one of those eight key pianos at a dirt cheap cost. Go ahead and play the three chord notes, and you’ll likely get only one with sound. That means that the keyboard only has a maximum polyphony of one.

While you will need standard polyphonies for digital pianos, you may not get the perfect one. But you should avoid anything under 32 notes maximum polyphony. If you come across 64, that is quite acceptable, but the best would be 128 maximum polyphony. One may wonder why you would need over 88 yet a full piano has 88 keys. The thing is, today’s music is advancing quickly and that is why a player is required to run notes up and down the piano.

Understanding about maximum polyphonies can be quite confusing for beginners. Take some time familiarizing yourself with how polyphonies impact the overall digital piano sounds and notes when playing. There are numerous resources that you can refer to online.   

Response to Touch

In most cases, those who are non-musical or first timers in playing a digital piano are likely to focus on lights, dials or even LED screens and forget to check the overall touch response of the piano keys which is also crucial. As a player, when you press down on the keys of a real piano, the keys experience some resistance until an internal hammer strikes the strings of the piano. It is a design that comes with several benefits, such as allowing the fingers of the pianist who is skilled in flying across without any effort.

If this hammer effect is not there, you will be forced to rely on a technique that is lousy. You will play keys up and down and this will produce a sound that is flat. There are three basic categories when it comes to response to touch and they include the following:

No Touch Response

It is most common to the digital pianos that have less than seventy-six keys. Find out of the feel of a piano is mentioned before you make a purchase. Other pianos have a volume that can only be changed with the use of the particular switch and you should avoid them as well. In such a case, you’ll know that the keys don’t have special touch response at all. The good news is that there are better digital pianos that would let you turn up and down with precise dial control.


While digital pianos with this option come with a slight improvement in touch response, it’s a term that many manufacturers, unfortunately use to crack up prices. You will find the manufacturer mentioning that hitting the keys harder produces louder sound. The truth is, these products will affect your playing technique.


Fully weighted digital piano keys are what you need to go for. The best digital pianos have done a lot to ensure they have fully imitated real piano hammers. All you want is to sport the word weighted and you will know that you are gaining firm ground to music. Another option would be partially weighted but while the option is cheaper, it is not that desirable. All in all, whatever option you choose, enrolling for piano lessons can help you improve your skills.


Before you can make that decision to purchase a digital piano, you need to consider these options so you can get what you want. If you do not have enough space for a real piano or if you need something that is portable and consistent when it comes to performance, you can consider purchasing a digital piano. It’s the perfect start for anyone with even basic keyboard skills.