Perhaps you've always longed to be able to play the piano but don't know where to start when looking for a digital piano or keyboard. Keep reading to discover how to buy the best digital piano to suit your individual needs.
Digital pianos are not the same as traditional acoustic pianos; in essence a digital piano is a replica or copy of an acoustic equivalent. Acoustic pianos contain strings and hammers in order to play the notes from the keys pressed, whereas digital pianos replicate this sound by using digitally sampled sounds run through amplifiers and speakers. These days digital pianos are often more popular than their acoustic ancestors due to their excellent portability, the ability to easily adjust their volume and the lack of maintenance required.
When you're considering buying a digital piano it is important to consider how closely the product resembles an acoustic piano, both in terms of its general feel and how it sounds. It's worth looking out for damaged spring action on the keys of digital pianos as this can be a common fault and can greatly change the tone of the instrument. Take a good set of headphones with you whenever you head out on the hunt to buy digital pianos as they're incredibly useful for hearing incredibly faint defects that the speakers might not pick up. Don't feel self conscious about trying as many different brands as you can as it's important to choose the one that sounds best to you. Price and brand effectively mean nothing when making your final selection; what really matters is if you feel that the sound that your chosen piano makes is right for you.
Make sure that you investigate with turning the volume up and down when you're testing a digital piano, you don't have to worry about doing this if you've got your headphones with you as you won't be disturbing anyone else in the shop. Occasionally the tone can change at different volumes so it is important to listen out for it. Another thing to note is how the sound of a particular key is as it ends; if it fades particularly easily or lingers excessively long there could be a problem. If you're unsure as to how long a note should last for try comparing it with an acoustic piano if there's one nearby. The time-lapse of a diminishing note should be the same on an acoustic and a digital piano.
Another check to make is regarding where the sound is actually coming from when you're playing a chord or a scale. You should be able to hear the deeper, bass sounds from the speaker on the left hand side, while the higher, treble notes should be sounding from the right.
Poor quality digital pianos are liable to cut off some notes prematurely when holding down the sustain pedal so this is something to check. Play both of the low C notes on the instrument; you should be able to distinguish both notes being played simultaneously.
The best electric piano should be very user-friendly. This won't be difficult to assess; have a play with it and see if you can understand its lay-out and what the buttons do. In the process you'll be able to tell if any of the buttons are non-functional as well. Digital pianos and keyboards usually come complete with special effects options such as whistles, echoes and non-guitar voices, it's a good idea to be sure these are positioned reasonably far away from where your fingers will be; you don't want to catch one accidentally!
Look in the manual of the digital piano that you're looking at to see if there are any other fine-tuning facilities. You may find that some of these instruments are very useful when you play in a group because they offer some special effects such as variable harmonics and alternate tunings.
Finally you must consider whether any additional accessories that you wish to utilize with your instrument of choice are compatible. Your new digital piano might sound fantastic until you plug it into an incompatible amplifier. Looking up digital piano reviews for the model in question may help you with this.
If you don't feel confident in spending so much money without knowing what you're doing it's worth asking a piano-playing friend to shop with you or even a professional that would help you realize how to buy pianos that suit your need. However keep in mind that they can advise you but when it comes down to it is important to remember that the best digital piano for you is the one that you will be most comfortable playing.