Can Digital Piano Replace Acoustic Piano? | A Simple Comparison

If you are struggling to decide on buying a piano or taking piano classes but you are quite not sure where to seek the answers that have been bothering you, you should continue reading this article.

What is the difference between an acoustic piano and a digital piano?

The main difference is the mechanism that is responsible for the production of sound.

In an acoustic piano, the main mechanism that follows is the hammering into the strings on pressing the keys with your fingers. When the strings are touched, the vibration that is produced is transmitted to the soundboard and then is diffused richly to amplify the sound. These vibrations then combine with the resonance of the strings to produce a unique sound. This is how a typical acoustic piano works.

On the other hand, a digital piano has no strings, only switches in form of keys, on pressing which produces a specific sound. This sound is then amplified using a speaker.

Choosing the right piano is not easy. However, it’s mostly about your personal preferences while choosing a piano.

If you want to buy a good digital piano, then you have to spend at least 150 to 200 dollars or more. You can also read my other article that shares some of the great digital pianos that costs less than 300 dollars.

Types of Acoustic Piano

can digital piano replace acoustic piano

The Grand Piano and Upright Piano.

We have seen a grand piano often being shown in movies. The big frame and strings that are extended horizontally make a grand piano, grand piano. In a grand piano, when the keys are played and left, the keys are restored by gravity and brought back to their original position.

In an upright piano, the strings run vertically. In an upright piano, a spring resets the keys after being played, unlike in a grand piano where gravity resets. An upright piano is a lot more compact and easy to place in a house for its size and thus is more convenient to own. You can also read this article published by Yamaha that talks about the grand and upright piano.

Types of Digital Pianos

Digital Piano types

The grand piano, Upright piano, and the portable piano.

The grand piano is costlier and only manufactured by a few manufacturers. The sound is of high quality and smooth and better key movements make a grand piano worth playing.

The digital upright piano is very similar to its acoustic counterpart except for the weight. It weighs way less than the acoustic upright piano. The upright piano is played at homes.

The lightest of three is the portable piano. It has no ‘legs’ and comes with a stand. The keys and exterior are made of plastic.

Which piano should you better buy: Digital or acoustic?

While buying an instrument, the first thing that you should consider is the sound of the instrument. Same goes for a piano. It’s a no shocker that acoustic piano produces better sound and has a more authentic, warmer sound and a resonant tone.

Whereas, a digital piano can only mimic the sound of an actual acoustic piano. To achieve acoustic nuances is a bit difficult in a digital piano as the sound there is a saved digital file. Nevertheless, a high-quality digital piano at times can work better than an ordinary typical acoustic piano. When it comes to recording a digital piano, you have a lot of options which may not be available in the acoustic piano. Along with that, cleaning your digital piano is also easier than the acoustic one.

Therefore, it definitely depends on how much are you willing to pay and how much space does your house have to see if actually a Grand, upright or a digital piano can be accommodated.

Benefits of an acoustic piano

While we cannot dismiss the various advantages of a digital piano in the world of keyboard touch, we can also not entirely forget the benefits of learning on an acoustic piano over a digital piano.

Firstly, it’s no new news that a digital piano only imitates the sound of an actual original piano. While learning or playing an instrument, the first thing we need to keep in mind is that sound plays the most important role. It’s true that tuning is easier in a digital piano, however, a well maintained and tuned traditional piano can produce a sound that has an unbeatable timbre to it and a resonance that is very difficult to replicate.

Secondly, touch response is another major factor in determining the perks of a piano. The intensity of loudness of the instrument solely depends on the touch response. Touch response varies in different models of pianos. Therefore, while playing the same piece, it won’t be surprising if it sounds different in different models.

A traditional piano’s vibrations can be felt through the fingers while playing the keys but this tactile feedback is impossible in a digital piano.

Thirdly, last but not least is the feel of playing an authentic instrument is beyond any other benefits. For the ‘original piano experience’, to play an acoustic piano is a must.

Can digital piano replace acoustic piano?

The most important of all, if you play an instrument to experience the soulfulness of the instrument, then digital piano cannot give you that feeling. There is a certain kind of unpredictability to how an acoustic piano reacts to touches and this is what makes it magical.

So, no, if you are looking for the feel of it, it cannot be replaced by a digital piano. However, more or less, everything else can be pretty much replicated well enough by high-end digital pianos.

Final Words

Overtones! If you are a fan of overtones, which I am sure you pretty much are like anyone else, you definitely will enjoy playing as well as listening to a traditional acoustic piano. A Digital piano cannot do justice to the subtleties and slight nuances that make a huge difference and a pleasurable experience to listen to an acoustic piano do.

So, what is the piano you would like to vote as the best?

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Hi, I'm Vijay. I love music, so I keep learning new musical instruments that help me to generate music that makes me feel good. Here, I provide everything you'll need to become a better musician than you were before.

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