I have been a piano teacher for over five years now, and I currently have 32 piano students. Over the years I have formed some opinions that I would like to share with the public on the differences between acoustic pianos and (Different types of acoustic pianos) and Digital Keyboards (Different types of digital keyboards).
The most common question I get from someone who wants to start piano is what should I start with? Should I get a real piano, should I get a digital keyboard from Amazon, should I get a more expensive keyboard? etc.....
Below I will list out the pros and cons of most types of pianos, and hopefully this will answer many questions most people have about pianos.
All of these statements are my own opinions that I have. They are not facts.
$50 - $100 Digital Keyboards -
Pros - Can be used as a starting instrument for a young child starting to learn the basics of music/piano. These are cheap and lightweight, and this will not be a huge investment just in case your child no longer wants to learn piano. You will never have to tune these pianos.
Cons - These keyboards do not have weighted keys, which in the long run can affect how the child plays on a real piano. These keyboards are usually easier to brake. They generally do not have as many functions as more expensive keyboards. The sound on these pianos are not even close to the sounds on a real piano.
$100 - $500 Digital Keyboards -
Pros - These keyboards are again light weight and you never have to tune these pianos. These keyboards can be used as a starter keyboard for a couple years. These keyboards have a lot of good functions that can be fun to use, and beneficial.
Cons - These keyboards do not have weighted keys, which in the long run can affect how the child plays on a real piano. The sound on these pianos are not even close to the sounds on a real piano usually.
$500 + Digital Keyboards -
Pros - These keyboards are usually still light weight and you never have to tune these instruments. These keyboards can be for any age ( especially if they are weighted keys). Generally if you are spending this much you should be getting a keyboard with weighted keys, so the action will be very similar to that of a real piano. (Sometimes you can spend this much and even much more and not get weighted keys, because the keyboard my be used for synthesizing and have several functions that professionals may want to use for gigs). Generally with these keyboards you can get relatively close to a piano sound to most peoples ears. These keyboards can sound very nice.
Cons - You still do not get quite the same sound and feel as a real piano. If you are serious about playing the piano, and want to compete, be a professional, pursue a piano degree I would highly recommended you get a real piano to practice on rather than a digital keyboard. Although these will get the job done for most people wanting to learn or start the piano.
$500 + Acoustic Pianos -
Pros - You get the real feel of a piano, and a real sound of a piano. They can look lovely in a home. These pianos in the long run will be the more beneficial than a keyboard in most cases for improving the overall skill for a piano player.
Cons - Very heavy, and you do have to tune these instruments. No functions like a keyboard.
Someone can spend anywhere from $0 to $25,000 to $50,000 on an acoustic piano. For someone who wants to just start out learning on an acoustic piano I would recommend finding one online used, and purchasing it that way. For someone who has been playing for a few years that really enjoys it can then consider upgrading to a baby grand piano. Baby grand pianos have an incredible feel, and a wonderful sound. These are much more expensive, and should only be considered purchasing if someone is serious about the piano, and believes it may be a long hobby for them. These baby grand pianos are also great for schools, churches, and businesses around the country because of their elegant sound.