Recommended Pianos: 2:23
Quality of Piano Tone: 4:19
Worry Less About Features: 5:49
Choose a Solid Cabinet: 7:25
More Recommended Pianos: 8:45
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#HowToChooseADigitalPiano #PianoBuyersGuide #DigitalPiano
Welcome to another piano education video from Merriam Pianos. In this video we’re exploring the question of how to choose a digital piano for beginners. Stu Harrison has compiled four tips that he gives to every family that’s beginning their research, and delivered it in video form for a wider audience. We hope you enjoy!
Tip 1: Prioritize the Piano Key Action
A piano’s mechanical action is one of the few things on the instrument that cannot be adjusted, accommodated for by software, or easily repaired or replaced. It is a foundational aspect to the piano, and the one that will also be the most important to most teachers. The action is how we directly interface with the instrument, and the accuracy of its response, weight, speed, and texture has a lot to do with how easily you will learn to control your fingers and develop a good spectrum of touches and pressures.
A piano with poor action, or an action that you don’t find engaging will lead to overall an extremely disappointing ownership experience, and in the case of a young student, will slow their development beyond the most basic levels. Since the majority of digital pianos are well over $1000 in cost, this is a purchase you’d prefer to have last through the first several years of instruction. If you yourself don’t have experience with piano, I would advise having a teacher or friend accompany you during your shopping trips to help give an assessment of how pleasing a digital piano’s action is. All four of the largest manufacturers of digital pianos now produce durable actions, but all have slightly different nuances to them: Kawai, Roland, Yamaha, and Casio.
Tip 2: Choose a Piano Sound You Love
The sound that you’ll be using the most is piano (likely), and so don’t compromise on a piano sound that you really enjoy. I’ve heard of people buying digitals because they found the e-piano sounds or strings really great, but they were never thrilled by the piano tone, and they ultimately wind up trading it back in or selling it privately because the tone they’re using most often is one that they simply don’t enjoy listening to. This is a highly personal preference, but even beginners with little experience will have a preference, if given the chance to have side-by-side comparisons.
Tip 3: Select as Solid a Stand as Possible
Larger cabinets and more permanent stands accomplish several things: they typically afford heavier speakers and amps, increasing the quality of the sound, they generally permit a firmer foundation underneath the keybed for better action response, and finally to perception: an instrument that looks like a toy will often be regarded as one by those using it. While far from a ‘rule’, I’ve seen students treat piano more seriously when they feel like their parents have invested in a substantial and ‘real’ piano. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending more – there are plenty of larger cabinets as low as $1000.
If you need portability, then of course that trumps the above concerns…but if portable isn’t something that you need, I’d advise getting something that feels substantial in both looks and physical feel.
Tip 4: Worry less about onboard edutainment features
Many digital pianos have easy connectivity options that allow them to interface with apps and software on your computer or mobile device. This opens up hundreds of possibilities on how to extend the functionality and entertainment options that your digital piano gives you. It also gives the flexibility to constantly change and experiment with those options, guaranteeing that aspects of your digital piano will never become obsolete.
That’s why I generally advise against selecting instruments based on onboard features as the top priority, because it’s so easy to replicate or replace those features externally. I would, for example, never select a piano with poorer action or poorer built-in piano sound in consideration of a better suite of rhythms, quantity of sounds, or an interactive interface.
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