“It’s never too late to start playing piano”. OK, if you start “late” you probably won’t become Ivo Pogorelich, or Martha Argerich, but you will enjoy it anyway…on the other hand, your kid might just start on time! To learn to play the piano you need one. For start, what is the ideal piano for beginners? What’s the difference between Piano, Digital Piano, and Electric Keyboard Piano? Does the price difference really equal the quality? Let’s find out…
What does it take to learn to play a musical instrument?
Learning to play musical instruments on a professional level means everyday learning and practice for couple of hours. And this “It’s never too late to start playing piano” is not a real quote…it sounded motivating, sounded like something that might be a real quote from someone who never was a professional piano player. But, one thing is true, if you want to play musical instrument as a hobby, there is no age restriction on when you can start!
Selecting the instrument you want to learn to play, or you want your kids to learn to play is something that you should spend time on. If you are selecting for your kids, then it’s mostly a matter on what they seem to prefer. Kids brain is in learning mode and there is nothing “too heavy” for them when it comes to acquiring new knowledge and skills. But in this article we will focus on adult person hobby instrument learning/playing. So, from start you might want to focus on some “easier” instruments such as guitar, bass, piano, percussions (drums, bongos…). Another factor is the music you want to play, and if you prefer classical music then piano should be your option number one. Now you only need to select the piano…
(Acoustic) Piano, Digital Piano, Electric Keyboard Piano
Hmmm…which one to choose? It would be anything but honest if we wouldn’t put the sound quality and feel in the top of the “difference story”. Assuming that we are discussing only new products, and that sound quality and feel is our only measurement, we can easily put piano on the top of this list. Most musicians even the worst acoustic piano will always have better sound than the electronic sound on digital piano or electric keyboard piano. Most, but not all. Today’s music industry has developed so much that some many everyday listeners won’t really notice a difference between acoustic and digital piano when blind-tested.
Sound quality and feel aside, first thing that should be mentioned is price difference. And you are probably thinking “well, of course that piano is by far most expensive”, and that is not necessarily true!
Acoustic piano comes in various sizes, material quality, brand names, and this influence the price heavily. So you can buy Upright piano (pianissimo) starting from $3000 for a new one; while new Concert Grand piano from Steinway can easily cost over $200.000.
On the other hand, high quality Digital piano can also cost pretty much. Big brand names such as Yamaha, Korg, or Roland, can cost up to $20.000! The main difference from acoustic piano is that price range starts much lower, so you can get satisfactory quality new digital piano starting from $500.
And finally we come to Electric Keyboard Piano… This is definitely the most budget-friendly option! Still, same as for digital pianos, if you are looking for top quality, big brand names (same brands as for digital piano Yamaha, Roland, Korg, and we can add Casio, Kawai…), you will have to extend your budget a bit and possibly pay even over $10.000! However, again the key point is that the starting price range is much lower. You can find very good quality, beginner level Electric Keyboard Piano full set just over $100! Electric keyboard piano will give you all you need if you are on starter level, and a little bit more if you opt in for some good model.
Keep in mind that prices drop significantly for used instruments. Acoustic piano probably the least of the three, but they too lose on market value in time.
It’s important to decide and start!
To sum up the analysis, it comes down to what your intentions are and how big your budget is. Trying a totally new thing, that you want to turn into your hobby, might not always and up as you dreamed it would. Investing too much money in it, might not be the best idea. It’s important to decide and start, and if you leave it not to regret the investment! So, maybe it’s best to try with a solid quality, beginner level electric keyboard, and if you like it and stay persistent in learning to play the piano you can always upgrade to a higher level piano. Same goes if you want your children to start learning piano…don’t invest too much and then put too much pressure on them because it cost a lot of money, let them try and decide if they like it. Enjoy the piano playing experience!