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Get Graham Howard's free, 75 page buyer's guide
"The Digital Piano Bible"Graham Howard, Piano Advisor



To claim your free copy of the 'Digital Piano Bible' –
a buyer's guide, just enter your name and email
below, then click 'Get the book!'



Dear Graham

I find your site absolutely wonderful. It is full of info about various electrical/electronic pianos all classified under different price headings, practically comparing like with like, and details of each one in great detail.I was very happy to have found your website for reference.May be one day when I am more proficient with may keyboard, I shall graduate to a full size 8 octave piano, hopefully with all or some of the functions of the keyboard.

Thanks, George Leong

Piano information and advice on UK Piano helped me better understand basics of digital pianos, their differences, mechanics of the keyboards. And thanks for the buying tips.


Very pleased with the total service, from reviews to delivery, from UK pianos.

David Higton

I found the Howard score on choosing a digital keyboard piano very helpful indeed. Thanks to the way he has set out the different models available, I got the keyboard that suited my playing and budget the best.


"It is very rare to see somebody who has inside information…"

knowledge and knows pianos really well to share this information with public. If I would like to buy piano in Uk this place will be my first choice. I bought my new digital stage piano somewhere else, because I had extremely good price (still well over £1000) and I understand electronics. Information which I was given from ukpianos was vital for my decision and it fully correlate and extend information which I collected over last 25 years (my first electronic keyboard was Roland alpha juno1)
It is possible that you could buy your instrument cheaper somewhere else – especially if you are lucky and know a lot about instrument which you are buying (it means a lot about design, build quality, reliability and life expectancy of used mechanical and electronic components). If you are not strong in this and if you do not have time to do your own research, you will not make mistake if you let ukpianos to advice you. They know what they are talking about.

Daniel Vanko

I have to say your guide on how to buy a piano is excellent and your web site is very helpful. And to receive a personal reply that quickly is certainly unusual nowadays.

All best!


We bought our daughter a piano from UK Pianos just before Christmas. The service from UK Piano's was fantastic, from choosing the right piano right through to delivery.

John Gould

"Comprehensive Advice"

UKPianos has an extensive list of ratings and recommendations. After reading reviews and responses, I finally decided on a digital piano and am currently very satisfied by it. I would recommend Graham's honest advice on piano selection to anyone interested in purchasing a DP.

Gary Yeo

Dear Graham

Thank you for your terrific publication on the seven things to know before buying a digital piano. Having just started
out on my search, it was so helpful to have a guide to the jargon and the things to consider.


Dear Mr. Graham Howard,

Thank you very much for the list. It was an incredibly useful tool in deciding which piano I should buy. It was very well structured and easily understandable. That in its self was an influencing factor. Seeing how you added price comparison onto the list just made it that much better. All in all I was very impressed with everything. Thank you.

Sincerely, Joe

The book has clarified to me some technical aspects of the digital pianos that I had not yet fully clear.
I found it useful on that, indeed.
Thank you for very much for it.
Best regards



I plan to buy from you as I really appreciate your free guide, unbiased advice and I am confident if I had any problems post sale you would deal with them.





When we decided to invest in a digital piano for our granddaughter, we were fortunate indeed to find Graham Howard's UK Pianos site on the internet. Especially helpful is the information entitled 6 Simple Tests You Can Do In A Piano Store Before Making Your Decision. DON'T BUY If The Piano Doesn't Pass All 6! We put various pianos to the test during our search, and in the end felt confident that we had made the very best choice. We really appreciated having some informed direction and solid criteria as we narrowed down our options.


Geri Porath


Credit to you for maintaining such a detailed and informative site- I've been very impressed with the depth of info.

With kindest regards


Thanks for educating me to avoid costly mistakes and give my daughter the best opportunity to learn to play. I feel armed now with knowledge of what to look for when purchasing. I am not musical and don't play the piano so when looking for a Digital piano for my daughter who is just starting out on her musical journey I was lost, confused and scared of making a costly mistake. So happy that I can get the right one for her. I wish you had a shop in Australia, particularly Perth WA 🙂

Cheers Liz



Hi Graham,

Thanks for your book. Anyone who has put the amount of effort that you have into creating such a resource so as people like me do not make expensive mistakes definitely has my following.

Elizabeth G



The digital piano rating system and information provided by Graham Howard at UK pianos has been second to none. An enormous amount of time and effort has gone into testing all these pianos to make it so much easier to making the right selection so much easier. I thoroughly recommend this site if you are looking to purchase one.
Simon Higgins



Hi Graham,
Thanks so much for your book and your e-mail. I have not had a chance to finish your book, but I already found it in great detail and very helpful. That is very kind of you to spend a lot of time to combine all your knowledge together to give the reader this guide.  I believe that it is priceless.
Thanks again and best regards,



Hi Graham

Your book was very very useful and is so straightforward and easy to read. Thank you thank you thank you! As a result, I have just bought the Yamaha YDP162 from you after speaking to a very helpful lady on the phone who said you can upgrade the stool to a height adjustable one so that my 6 year old can also learn.

I look forward to receiving our piano and will be back to you for more purchases in the future I am sure.

Many thanks for your generous sharing of so much piano information.



Graham Howard has produced a great resource with his “Digital Piano Bible” (a terrific 77-page “everything you wanted to know about choosing a digital piano but were afraid to ask” type of document) made selecting the most suitable piano at the right price relatively easy.





I received your digital piano bible, which I looks invaluable (although I have not yet had time to fully read it). I greatly appreciate your contribution to my knowledge base.
Best regards,



Hi Graham,

Your book was a godsend!!!   I sat and read it cover to cover and learned so much in those pages. Thank you for putting up such a comprehensive, thorough, and invaluable book up for all to use – it's appreciated!!!!




I would like to thank you for making your insights and vast experience available to everyone for FREE through your book. I think this is a tremendous service that is very rare to come across these days and needs to be recognized. It very much shows how enthusiastic you are and makes it very valuable and genuine advice to me, a complete layman, so THANK YOU!




Dear Sir,

Thank you so much for your kind advice. It makes life so much simpler for someone like me who has NO knowledge about Piano's.

I remain grateful.Thanks again.

Warm regards,
Kunal Mashru


Hi Graham
I just downladed your book regarding Piano Purchase and I must say I amazed. I have never seen someone take a product and go over it so in detail to make the consumer know what he is looking for.
I would like to buy a digital piano. I started searching online, but did not even know what to search and you opened my eyes.
I have no words to thank you.



I found your book extremely helpful.  I really had no idea which electronic piano to choose –  I just knew I wanted one.  I had visited other shops but was no wiser. 
Now I know what I want and hopefully will be making a purchase soon.

Kind regards




Hi graham,


I finally finished reading the Digital Piano Bible!

I found the information very useful in helping me to narrow the choice of digital pianos which I think might suit my requirements.





The bible was fascinating, I read it in one go.

I downloaded it because I've always wanted an upright piano, but our house is a bit too small and it's a terrace and we have small children, so the electric piano seemed the best option. Reading your bible points the way very clearly towards a Clavinova as I'm most bothered about getting weighted keys that feel right.





Hi Graham
I have found all the information you have sent me in the past very helpful to understand the 'world of piano'!
Thank you



Hi, Graham

Thank you for your mail . I have read every word of your piano bible. I found the bible very informative and useful. Besides, it is well written.

I am here in Canada. I wish that I were in UK to visit your shop.

Han Yi from Canada

Hello Graham,

I have read your excellent buyers'  guide and have visited my local store and experienced the different weightings on Casios, Yamahas, Rolands and Korgs – the Yamaha P105 had the most impressive action and sound.

I enjoyed reading your guide to digital pianos and found it to be the most useful article I had found after being totally confused by hundreds of other opinions.
Thank you

Dear Graham

I recently downloaded your very comprehensive guide to buying a digital piano which I found fascinating reading. I was particularly impressed by your impartial approach and the fact that you had clearly put the guide together in an honest effort to assist people in the difficult exercise of choosing a suitable digital piano and not as a sales pitch.


Dear Graham.
I have found the digital piano guide to be really informative and a complete revelation. As someone who hasn't got a clue about digital pianos I hadn't appreciated how much you need to consider before making a purchase.


Hi Graham,

Thanks for all the information.  Your web site is certainly the best and most informative source for piano information that I have found.  I would love to buy a piano from you at UK Pianos, but, although we come to the UK often, we live in Oregon, USA, so it's not really feasible.

I read you entire Digital Piano Bible and found it extremely valuable.  I started out knowing essentially nothing about digital pianos and know feel that I can at least understand the specs and carry on a decent conversation with piano salespeople.

Mike, Oregon, USA

Dear Graham,
For many years i have always had a conventional piano,and now with the intended refurbishments of my lounge i realised that with modern day technology i could now have a baby grand piano of smaller size with EXTRA,S.
I read all your reviews and it has been very helpful in making my decision(especially your score chart on there goods and bads)
I thankyou for all your prompt and helpful assistance.

Hi Graham

I found it most interesting and useful.  I think you might have saved me a lot of money when I eventually take the plunge into buying a piano.


Thank you ever so much for this, it is so true it is exactly what it is a 'Bible,

Thank you ever so much for this it's brilliant and so much detail on what to expect from a Piano. You've given me the light for me to go tomorrow and buy my piano. Thank you!!
Regard Luke

Dear Graham,

I down loaded this guide today. Thank you for such a wonderful guide for me. I did not know anything about Piano, and was just wondering around in order to buy a Piano for my Granddaughters. Now I know what you meant by "will be better than a sales parson"! It is indeed a wonderful document for people like me who knows nothing at all. I am still reading and following your suggestions. I am sure I will be able to grasp many things I either did not know before or could not know.

Thank you once again.


Hi Graham,

Your piano guide was most helpful. I used Excel to list and compare the various makes of piano.

I would recommend your piano guide to anyone – particularly those with little or no knowledge of the instrument.

Thanks again for your help.



Hi Graham,
I received both your Score and your Book and I found them both very useful, particularly all the explanations and the info on the different aspects of a DP to be aware of. Thanks a lot!!


Dear Graham Howard,

Due to financial constraints, I've gotten myself a second hand piano – Yamaha U1H…I got it tuned by a qualified technician.
I found ur website and book especially, the most helpful guide in choosing my piano. Thank u soo very much. I appreciated every
page of your book. Every time I had question running in my mind, your book gave me the answer immediately. Thanks again.

Farah Arabi

I needed a good point of reference for bringing my knowledge up to date and your book was absolutely fantastic at providing comprehensive independent advice on everything related to digital pianos


Dear Graham !

Thanks for your help.

Other hand let I take the opportunity to mention few words about your guide as well.

To be honest for me your guide was a totally new set of aspects, knowledge, which clarifies a lot of things. Now it looks for me much
easier to decide, consider what could be the best digital piano for me. The main sections and the detailed points also represents a
great collected information for advanced and basic users.

So thank you very much for your support this way.

BR Peter.

Your Digital Piano Buyer's Guide was just what I needed. It focused on the only things I wanted to know about: touch and sound and I now have a Korg SP170 which I think is a perfect first digital piano. The list of the top pianos in each price range was brilliant together with the breakdown of how they scored in the all important touch and sound categories. I also bought the piano from Umbrella music's online store which again was recommended in the guide and had no problems with them. I will definitely consult the guide again when I'm ready to upgrade my piano in a couple of years. Thanks again Graham.


"A practical guide I would definitely recommend to all who are looking to buy a digial piano"

Hi Graham
I found your guide extremely useful.  It was very comprehensive yet easy to understand.  A practical guide I would definitely recommend to all who are looking to buy a digial piano.  I would give it a score of 9.5 out of 10.

Great Help In Planning A Purchase

I enjoy music as an avocation, having spent 40 years as a teacher of English and department chairman in MA and NH public high schools.  
We now split time between MA and FL, where I continue to play piano occasionally with small groups.  

In MA, I have a 1913 Knabe grand piano, but needed something here in FL for use in our home, and to take out on gigs.  
While I can tune, regulate and repair acoustic pianos, I knew nothing about digital pianos until I came across Graham Howard and  

There I found Digital Piano Buyer's Guide, a lengthy report detailing 7 things you need to know before making a purchase.  

I downloaded the report, and learned all kinds of important details: tests to perform in a store; difference between a stage and digital piano;
weighted keys; where to place a digital piano in a home; and even a rating list of options, covering touch, sound, design, build quality, resale value,
popularity, and value for money. I ultimately made a purchase in the US utilizing my new-found fund of information.  

Still grateful I ran into this site at
David Nims, Florida, United States (14/11/2012)

Hi Graham:
I ended up getting my Yamaha CLP 611 (16 years old) repaired.  All that was wrong was the damper pedal.  So I did not buy a new digital piano after all.  
That being said, your guide was excellent and I planned all my store visits and manufacturers research around the products you recommended.  

An excellent guide that was thoroughly researched and very well organized.
Brian Glasspoole

Hi Graham
I hope that you are well the information that you supplied to me on my request was very help full to me
and your knowledge and inspiration and commitment for your craft has to be admired all though I play
a Roland JD 800 synthesizer more than piano I was very pleased with any information and tips I received from you
thank you once again take care all the best to you
Donnie Martin

I was planning to buy a piano for my daughter but with no idea where to start. Mr. Graham Howard kindly sent me a copy of electronic guidance
with full details of expert's opinions. Even though I know little about piano, I can see his advice is professional and with top level expertise.
My daughter and I are both delighted with the purchase and once again taking this oppotunity to show our appreciation.

All the best


Dear Graham,
I have had recourse to your detailed and authoritative reviews of digital pianos which were useful in three situations :
1.When I feared I needed to replace my Technics P60 (though in the event it was revived by a local firm, Starland). I was looking for something which weighed no more than the P60 (I'm 76) and which, importantly, had a good enough sound for public performance.
2.When my student grand-daughter (grade 5 piano) was thinking of a piano which would be easy to store safely, could be played without disturbing flat-mates, and which would be easy to transport when she moved accommodation.
3.When a competent pianist friend with a good acoustic piano needed an instrument on which she could practice without waking her new baby- the action and price were both significant for her.
Your clearly-expressed analysis of makes and models was directly helpful in each of those circumstances – both in narrowing down to a choice based on positives, and in ruling out some instruments which, in different ways, seemed less likely to suit us. The latter is something which magazine reviews seem to deal with "between the lines".
Now the bad news : I didn't need to buy another digital piano, our grand-daughter is stalling at the moment (maybe it is pressure of work – she is a medic – or maybe it is cash-flow),
and our friend bought a second-hand Korg which an aquaintance was too ill to play and which she was able to try-out at length.
That last point is really important, I think. Hands-on experience of a piano is necessary when someone is about to spend a significant sum, but for those of us who live miles from anywhere your advice is a major help.
John Devon

Dear Graham

"When our daughter started lessons we shopped around for a piano. With little knowledge or expertise we were very soon overwhelmed by the range of options available –
including acoustic and digital pianos. I requested and received a copy of the guide: "7 things you need to know before buying a digital piano" and found this to be
an invaluable source of information. We eventually purchased a mid range Kawai digital piano from a shortlist of models based on the very helpful advice that
Graham Howard provided. If you are thinking of buying a digital piano do yourself a favour and read this first".

Mark Morrin

Hi Graham,

Thank you for your newsletter "7 Things To Know Before You Buy A Digital Piano" which I found very helpful and informative.

It enabled me to sort through the requirements of the digital pianos on my wish list.

As I (try to) play an eclectic list of music I want to retain the facilities of my existing instrument that has many voices but also produces a good piano sound.

I also found your newsletter on Get Your Piano Valued… most interesting, as it was a very useful tool to establish piano prices and what
is available on the used piano market.

Your “free” service has been much appreciated, so thank you for your help.

Best wishes,

"I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that anyone considering purchasing a digital piano read this report before making any choice"

I recently obtained a copy of Graham’s  "7 Things You MUST Know Before You Buy a Digital Piano" and found it to be extremely useful.  I was in the market for a digital piano as space and budget constraints prevent me from considering an acoustic grand piano but I did want to have the touch and feel of an acoustic grand as well as the sound.  I had not researched digital pianos for many years and was interested to research the advancements that had been made since I first considered them over 10 years ago.  As suggested in Graham’s article “Digital Pianos – Which Brand Should You Buy?” there is a great deal of conflicting information out there and I felt I needed some advice from someone with expert knowledge.  Graham’s Digital Piano guide was an invaluable resource in helping me understand the aspects of digital pianos that are important and those that are more optional or personal choice.  He enlightened me to a number of features that I had not considered and his scoring system helped me immensely in narrowing my research to manufacturers with instruments that seemed to meet my areas of interest.  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that anyone considering purchasing a digital piano read this report before making any choice.

Tom Mitchell from Canada

Hi Graham,

Thank so much for the concise and very helpful resource you've so graciously made available free of charge!


Hey Graham,

Thanks for Piano Buyer's guide, after a couple days of searching finally I feel relieved 🙂 I really didn't know anything about digital pianos
but now I feel safe going to a store and choose mine.


Hi Graham

The digital piano bible was very useful.
From my inital scan of the document I learnt some significant points:
Kawai brings greater revenue for music stores but not regarded as the best.
Yamaha is the best followed by Rolland and Kawai.
The disadvantage of buying second-hand is lack of warranty cover.


Hi Graham,

You have a great site with a wealth of info for someone like me who has never played and knows nothing about them, thank you for all the time and effort you have put in as I would have been flying blind if not for you!


Hi Graham,

While I am on the other side of the pond, I want to thank you for the information.



Hi Graham

Thank you very much for the score, that is brilliant!! It helps me a lot!

Thank you again, your guide and forum are the best i could find in the website as well as in the shop 🙂
Kind regards


Hi Graham, thank you for all your help! I found the information that you so generously put your time into was very helpful in that it cleared up a lot of confusion that I ran into with my research on buying a digital piano.
I think what was most helpful was that you included in your explanations which features were the most important to pay attention to and which ones really didn't matter.  

Thanks, again. I appreciate your help in making my decision. Ann

Hi Graham

Your e-book was very useful and assisted in a very informed decision for a purchase. I have a musical background anyway but my technical knowledge is in guitars. My past knowledge and my new knowledge (from you) ended up with a very good outcome at the register. After my initial line of questioning (based on the information from your book) the salesperson was very aware that I was not a standard sales target. Many thanks for your free information. If I was based in the UK I would come and thank you personally.

Dom from Australia

"The Piano Bible brings out points that shop assistants and managers do not want to reveal"

Dear Graham,
Since I am not a Facebook fan, following you email below I woud like to confirm, that  your digital piano buying guide is very helpful. I played piano as a child and I have considered buying digital one for some time. Always wondering what is to be considered, and how the piano quality and adequacy to my need should be assessed. Your book definitely brings very useful hints and methods in order not to be disappointed after the purchase.
The Digital Piano Bible brings the points that many of the specialised shop assistants and managers do not know or do not want to reveal.
Thank you for this really great, and free, piece of information.
 Sincere regards,

7things feedback

Five stars
Very helpful
The guide to the digital piano really helped me in my choice through the jungle of
web informations and forum, being myself completely ignorant about digital pianos.
I found the score system brilliant especially when updated with the piano prices.
Well done!
If I lived in the UK I would have definitely bought my piano at UK piano shop.

Thanks for the advice through your website on piano's it was very informative especially for someone with limited/ no knowledge of this subject

Thank You Graham.  Your are as cool re-freshing water in a desert.  You have been a great help in guiding me.


"My searches and doubts about which digital piano I should buy have come to an end, all thanks to you."

Dear Graham
Thank very much for sending another link, I have managed to access the book.
I am very greatful and look forward to reading it.
My searches and doubts about which digital piano I should buy have come to an end,
all thanks to you.
Kind regards

Dear Graham,

Just to say I found your piano guide extremely useful.  I tried out a Yamaha 650X in a local shop, and it was well, OK-ish, but after reading your guide I decided upon a Roland FP50, which I've now owned for about six months. – superb. couldn't have done better, and I'm so glad that before I bought it I had a better idea of what I wanted. Much of that was due to my reading your very useful guide.



Hi Graham
I'm in Australia which makes purchasing from you a little impractical! Following your advice I bought a Yamaha YDP162 on the weekend for my little girl who is about to start piano lessons at school.
I really appreciate your generosity with your (obviously considerable) expertise. If it were not for your guide I would have purchased an 8 year old clavinova from ebay for way above what I spent on the YDP162.  
Kind regards
Mary Simpson

Hi Graham,

Your website and all your emails are very helpful. You helped me to make decision on which piano to buy, also introduced good online materials for leaning piano. I definitely will continue to read ukpiano.
Many thanks,

I would like to say thank you for your very valuable information, it has saved me a lot of time comparing models at different shops.

many thanks

Your Bible is fantastic – full of fact and, most useful of all, opinion. When you're thinking about a digital for the first time, impartial advice from an expert is what you need.
Many many thanks

Hi Graham,

The digital piano bible was brilliant, so much so that I realised the digital piano we have is better than I thought, I am a non musician with children  who are learning to play and now realise they can get a lot more out of our Yamaha piano than they have been doing so far, it will last them for another few grades yet!

Many thanks,

Dear Mr. Graham Howard,

Your guide to buying a Piano is indeed a splendid document and an easy to read and understand guide even for non-music knowledgeable persons like me. Well, we are based in India, as such, we could not avail the services of your store.

I downloaded your guide and read through each of 70 odd pages to understand what is good, as I wanted to buy a piano for my 11 year old daughter who is learning music

Hello Graham,

Thank you very much for the time you took to create the digital piano guide! It was really helpful for somebody with no idea about pianos!

Hi Howard,

Thanks a lot for the amazing insight you have provided in your book that makes it very simple for lay-men like me to understand and decode the different terminologies used by various manufacturers and also assist in the decision making of what to buy.


Hi Graham,

I wanted to tell you how helpful your digital piano guide has been!

I am a piano teacher endlessly frustrated by having to teach children who have keyboards and cheap digitals, or even worse, I have to teach on a digital!  Thanks to your info I can now put into words why it feels so different, and why my peoples 'magically' change when they FINALLY get a real piano or a decent digital (although really bright, heavy yamahas dont seem great for kids either).  Im very much a 'feeling' pianist, more so than sound even, and I am always amazed how many teachers are happy to work with digitals that just dont really do the job!  

I am running adult piano courses in London now, and whilst I have gone down the dreaded keyboard/digital route to get started, I cant wait to have a room full of good digital pianos – and thanks to your info I'll know where to start!

Best Wishes
Liz Ingate, Piano Teacher in London

Five stars
Very helpful
The guide to the digital piano really helped me in my choice through the jungle of
web informations and forum, being myself completely ignorant about digital pianos.
I found the score system brilliant especially when updated with the piano prices.
Well done!
If I lived in the UK I would have definitely bought my piano at UK piano shop.

Thanks for forwarding another copy of your publication.  More than fifty years ago I stopped having piano lessons and haven't really played since.  Although I play guitar, the piano has always been my favourite instrument and, now I am moving house, I intend to buy a digital piano ( and take lessons again ).  Your bible is so useful.  And so comprehensive ! Although I have only skimmed it, I know it will inform my choice of instrument.  Many thanks, Andrew Craig

Graham Howard's free booklet on digital pianos was extremely helpful when I was looking to buy a new digital piano. Thanks for all your help!


Hello Graham.
Your guide to buying pianos was very good – it all made sense at last!

I have just ready your fantastic book on electric pianos, thank you! There is so much jargon, and it is really helpful to have some impartial advice on this!


Hi Graham,

I used your guide and found a used Clavinova CVP 103 for 200 pounds. Your guide was instrumental for helping us choosing the piano. We used your 6-step guide to make sure the instrument was right for us.

We have not played the piano since middle school and we are hoping this would be a starter piano for us to "regain" some of our earlier skills. The following the light feature would be useful for us to quickly learn some new tunes, hence we picked a CVP. We plan to upgrade to a better piano in a few years.

Best, Lin Wu


To claim your free copy of the 'Digital Piano Bible' –
a buyer's guide, just enter your name and email
below, then click 'Get the book!'



Questions and Comments

Hi Graham
I have found your book very helpful and have a few questions. My situation is that I bought a Technics digital piano about 15 years ago with the aim of resurrecting my piano technique that had been neglected for some years. That has worked well and I am pleased with my improvement. I feel that the technology has moved on, though, and that it is time to look for a better piano sound. I have a budget of up to about £2000.
I have tried out instruments by Yamaha, Roland and Kawai and am waiting for Chappell's to get the CLP 430, 440 and 470 into the showroom so that I can compare them. On experience so far I am tending towards Yamaha.
My first question is about whether it is possible to find an instrument that gives good quality piano sound without all the extra "stops". All I want is the piano quality, nothing else. In the section of your book about the negatives of buying an expensive instrument you note that cost can be driven by the extras. Not unexpectedly, sales staff in shops say that the better piano quality comes with the instruments that have the extras. Do you know of any models that have the piano quality (touch and sound) of, eg, CLP 470 without the extras?
My second question is about your ranking of the Yamaha instruments. In your top 10 list starting on page 47, you put the CLP 430, 440 and 470 in descending order at the top. In your top 20 over £1000 (page 56), though, you rank the 470 above the 440 at 5th and 6th places respectively, with the 430 coming lower down in 14th place, behind some Kawais, a Roland and a Classenti. Can you explain this difference, please?

Many thanks
Chris Morris


Reply/ Hi Chris


The top ten list on page 47 takes into consideration resale value,
popularity and value for money.


The other list is a result purely on performance.


There aren’t any pianos that are as good as the CLP470 that
have less features.


Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard



Dear Graham,


At a time being I subscribed to your digital piano guide in order to get more thorough info, as I plan to purchase one for my son. And, it was an invaluable tour for which I sincerely thank you so much.
Besides that, the offers at UK Pianos are sometimes very attractive, but, unfortunately, I dont live even close to England, and shipping costs will always overcame any savings.
Anyway, I use this opportunity to send you my full respect and support for your nice and enthusiastic work, and send you my best regards from Belgrade (Serbia).


Yours sincerely, Srdjan



Hi Graham.


I found your book very helpful and informative.

My wife and I have already popped into the local music shop to have a look at some models there.

Having read your guide, it was interesting to see that after demonstrating a Yamaha YDP model, the salesman then moved quickly on to some Kawai models and then quite heavily pushed them.

We intend to go back and ask to try out some of the other makes. A piano playing friend has a Clavinova, so I think I might have a leaning towards the CLP series.

Anyway, excuse my waffle and thanks again for your book





In your model comparison you rate the Yamaha YDP-141 higher than the YDP-161. I find that somewhat odd since the 141 only has 2×6 Watts output power. In to the guide you state that this is too low, which I also found when trying it in a store.



Niclas Wiberg


Reply/ Hi Niclas


The YDP161 is a better piano, but the
YDP141 is better value for money.


The YDP141 also has a better resale
value and is more popular.


These are the reasons it rates higher.


Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard


Graham, hi


Many thanks for the Digital Piano guide, I found it very helpful, and well laid out, especially the list of top ones in each price bracket.

My only comment might be that your preference tends to be towards Yamaha, and when I tried these in a local shop I found the keys just a little too springy, however when I tried the Kawai it just felt much better (to me anyway)





Hey Graham
I've been going through your book and I find it very helpful. Thank your for putting in the effort. A couple of remarks:
1) You mention KAWAI being agressively marketed by salespeople out of self-interest. Why is that? Does KAWAI pay (higher) Kickbacks on Sales? Generally I feel you give Kawai a bit of a hard time (a bit!). The MP-10 for example is by any account one of the best dpianos out there at the moment and while it doesn't cost more than many other higher-end products, it's highly customizable to use a midi controller. That's a big issue for me when I'm spending that kind of money (see (3) below).
2) I find the "Brand Ranking" not very useful, since some brands cover a wide range of products. It's unfair to put e.g. Roland, which in the DP realm has only mid- to high-end products, up next to Casio, which covers the full range. The "Product Ranking" is fair enough, but the 'scoreboard' is only as good as the facts behind it. I find a short writeup would be more useful than just listing that piano x has a . Especially since much of the list consists of Yamaha pianos, it's not entirely clear how 'separate' these products are. E.g. they all use the same sound engine and sometimes the same keybed, it's hardly worth putting them on separate positions. Similarly, rating resell value on the same scale as, say, touch, completely misses the point. Good touch IMO is crucial, resell value is not. But in your scale it bears the same weight (a piano with bad touch but high resell value is an over-hyped product to avoid, but it will score the same as what would be an insider's gem with reversed values).
3) Finally, while I realize that it's geared towards strict piano purchases, I would have liked to read more about 'expandability', e.g. using the piano as a midi controller. For example, while I too like certain Yamaha Pianos a lot as pianos, I find them very weak on the midi side. If I want to use them as a midi controller too, they are very limited. Many manufacturers don't even offer the full suite of piano pedals, much less allow assigning them to other midi funtions. This may not be a bog deal for a hardcore classivcal pianist, but a large number of potential buyers want to know, how much of the best of both worlds they can have.
Maybe an intro that explains the crossroads of "do I want a strict piano or do I want to be able to do other things with it too?" would be helpful. In the "I want to be able to do other things too"-realm, there is not nearly as much selection, IMO. It pretty much boils down to Kawai and Roland, but that flexibility, to me, as I mentioned, is a huge selling point, and I know I'm not alone. There meanwhile also are enough products out there that one no longer must accept that it simply can't be done and you should get a synth workstation if you need a synth workstation.
Anyway, just a few thoughts…



"I suggust each one who is looking for a digital piano MUST read this book!"

I have never any ideas about digital piano until i read '7things you must know about digital piano' written by Graham! Which helps me amazingly!!!! I suggust each one who is looking for a digital piano MUST read this book!
Graham tells me that choosing a digital piano is a very serious step, if we are young kid who are just about to take the beginners class, a good digital piano which will be easily transfer to an anoustic one (that is our final purpose, isn't it!!!!) is more than important!!! if the digital piano's key is too light, when we transfer to an anoustic one, we will never get acostomed to the touching feel, and if the digital piano has not a sentitive danamic changes of the volumne of each key, the music will never have mood, which a pianist should care most about!!!! Graham tells me everything about how to choose a digital piano with his book and his advice emails for me!!!
send him email and ask him all the questions about piano before you choose one!! it is a really really serious decision to buy a digital piano!!!!!!
Thanks very much Graham


Yasong Cong, Canada


"I was pleased the chosen model came well up on your list!"


I read your "book" between ordering the piano and getting delivery and I
agreed with all I read. I was pleased the chosen model came well up on
your list! I would add to your list of things to test: play some of the
demo pieces. They are better than my standard and I can stand back,
giving quite a different sound.




"I read your book and am glad I did. I nearly rushed
into an 'opportunity' which you have helped me resist"




Thank you for your most useful guide. After a lifetime playing guitar I am now learning to play piano, primarily on a Yamaha PSR E403, which you will doubtless know has only 5 octaves. I also have a piano, but don't use it too often to save my wife from the torment of my practicing (I use headphones with the Yamaha). I got your guide because a Kawai slim digital piano was advertised locally, and as my playing is improving (very slowly!) I felt it was worth having a look. Before I rang, though, I read your book and am glad I did.

I asked the vendor for the model number – L1 – and she said it was about 6 years old. Failed on your criteria of age. I told her I would research the model on the internet and get back to her. I found a comment from you on one of the sites essentially saying "don't bother", and having seen the spec and with the knowledge from your book, I rang her back and said no thanks. I think she will be very lucky to get the £600 she is asking!

Thanks again. I'm not rushing into buying yet, (though I'm sure your advice would be to get something with proper weighted keys) it was just an opportunity which you have helped me resist.


Kind regards




"The top notes on the Yamaha were without any tonal sound"


I have read your "7 Things you must do……etc…….." but one thing I could not find any reference to was "note power" on the top half- dozen notes. yesterday, I tried a Clavinova CLP 470 at a local large piano dealer in Bolton. The top notes were without any tonal sound, – more like striking wood with another piece of wood. Have I missed a reference to this in your guide? If so, where is it mentioned? I also tried their CLP 480 and that was the same.
As I wish to purchase a piano with all the notes as they are on an accoustic piano, could you give me some guidance as to which make and model does have a full complement of notes (88). I only play for my own amusement, and am way past "grade 8" playing many pieces that need the "top C". I have played the piano since the age of 5, all my life, and am now retired. I wish to be able to "play in silence", but it is no good if some of the notes are "missing".
Any help you could offer would be welcome,
Thanks in advance,

Reply/ Hi Geoffrey


Yes, this is a problem with all digital pianos.

The problem stems from the sampling of the notes
on an acoustic piano.


The last few notes on an acoustic piano are never pure.
This is because the strings are so short. Short strings
create a lot of falseness. It isn’t as noticeable in an
acoustic piano as it is in a digital.


If I were producing a digital piano then lengthening
the decay and increasing the volume of the last few
notes would help reduce this problem.


Yours pianistically,


Graham Howard



"Your explanations were easily understood"


Hi Graham, good morning from Madrid,
Just a few lines to let you know how much my children and I enjoy our new Arius 161. You were right in so many ways, your guide book on how to buy a digital piano is a must for all world buyers.
Your explanations were easily understood, you make things easier. AND know with this Learn to Read Music I must say the same. Thank you, thank you once again.
Have a great pianistically day!
P.S. I'm forwarding your emails to my office, they're my reading "paper" for my lunch time.


"It’s great you put so much effort into helping people avoid making mistakes"


Thanks Graham for this follow up note. I’m working my way through your text and trying out a few things in shops as you have suggested. The truth is I’m still working on my “project” purchasing a piano and I’m finding your experience very helpful.
I think it’s great you are prepared to put so much effort into helping people avoid making mistakes.





"Overall, a superb article and definitely worthwhile downloading"


Dear Graham


Thank you for “7 Things you MUST know Before Buying a Digital Piano”. I found it immensely helpful. Interestingly, I was already thinking of a Yamaha CLP430 or Roland HP503, before reading your article. The article confirmed my choices. I had done quite a lot of research on various websites and these two seemed likely to give me what I wanted, together with a degree of quality sound, for the amount I wished to spend.

My four criteria (apart from obvious requirements) were: transposition, organ, USB port and headphones jack.
A store in Sydney (I live in Australia) had Roland pianos but not the HP503. My local store, Macron Music, at Tuggerah, had a Yamaha CLP430 on the floor and I was happy with it when I played it. It was even in the finish I wanted. I also got a good deal so I decided to buy that one.

I am very pleased with it so far (only had it about three weeks), except I am a little disappointed in the ‘strings’ sound. Also, the ‘organ’ seems to lose the bass sound somewhat. However, maybe I need to fiddle with settings some more, as I haven’t had a lot of time to play (no pun intended!) around with it.

The spec. says Preset Number of Voices 14 (Voice Demo), 50 (Piano). I took this to mean a large range of voices. However, the CLP430 only seems to have the 14, so obviously I misunderstood – I still don’t know what that meant!
Your article also clarified the terminology and the breakdown of which models have which features was most welcome. The six tests to do in store was good to know as well. The only other thing I can suggest is that maybe you consider including a side by side comparison of features in similar models between brands. Even though playing various instruments can help make the final decision, easy comparisons can assist with elimination.

Overall, a superb article and definitely worthwhile downloading. Thank you so much, Graham, for the trouble you’ve taken to compile it and keep it up to date.






"Without your comments I could spend a year for the proper choice"

Mr Howard, I truly feel sad for that piano and can not figure out how one can do this. It was obvious that one would take it…
By the way, I'm indebted for your valuable advices and comments.
I live in Istanbul, and purchased my piano from a local dialer. I can safely say that, without your comments I could spend a year
for the proper choice. Your sincerely…


A fine resource.piano bought and happy with it!
..thanks for sharing
best wishes,
Dan Reade

I have been following and reading your reviews and online books and tips constantly. You most certainly have given me a great morale boost about which pianos to choose from, which to discard immediately and what to look for. Thank you!


Hi Graham

I've just finished reading your book and have found it very comprehensive and a pleasure to read.


Among all the advices, discussion, forums, personal opinions, professional advices etc. I found the most comprehensive and useful information and advice is the one from Mr. Howard. It was interesting to purchase my digital piano finally following the advices from  Mr. Howard, after spending almost a year to understand that what a piano really is. Mr. Howard absolutely saves your time, thanks to him…



Many thanks for the download of your digital piano bible.  A masterpiece of research by  a true authority on the subject.

Dave Cave

I have been following and reading your reviews and online books and tips constantly. You most certainly have given me a great morale boost about which pianos to choose from, which to discard immediately and what to look for. Thank you!


With many thanks for your expertise; your book has been an extraordinary help to me.

Very best regards

Hi Graham,

Many thanks for all the advice in your booklet – very kind that it’s free.


Здравствуйте, Graham Howard !
 Очень понравилась ваша статья  " 7 Вещей, которые Вы должны знать прежде, чем купить цифровое пианино". Сапасибо))]

С уважением Анна.

The facility via UKPianos to get a reasonably objective assessment of these instruments is very useful. Graham Howard has clearly gone to considerable effort to produce his general analysis and is also willing to comment on specific machines. Clearly the purchaser still has to make up their own mind since they will have their own additional ideas on what is important to them (in my case eg portability was a critical factor). Also the impression I get is that Graham is assessing the instruments as a pianist as opposed to a keyboard player and this will no doubt have an effect of his views.

Campbell Fisher

Hi Graham,

I found your book to be very helpful. Thank you.



The digital piano guide is very comprehensive and is most useful, just the type of advice I needed. I would recommend it to any one who intends purchasing a digital piano.

With my sincere regards,

Douglas Johnson.

Hi Graham,

Thank you so much for your guide!!!
The things are explained so well!!

Best regards!!!

Ian Cottofan (04/09/2014)

Thank you very much for your help! Your work is really of great value to anyone who considers buying a piano, no matter a digital or an acoustic one. I have learned a lot from you. Thank you!

Best regards,

Mr Howard,
    Thank you very much for allowing me to have a copy of your book. it was very enlightening and provived me with useful information.
Increcrible work!


It was extremely helpful. I live in USA and we just used your bible to make a purchase.
Thank you very much.


Hi Graham
The information contained in your guide is  IMPRESSIVE.  I first read the sections I thought were more relevant to me, but then I realised the entire guide was a must for any beginner. So much I liked it than it was the first thing I recommend to a friend in  same situation.

Brilliant, no-nonsense invaluable advice.
Text: I was almost at the stage of abandoning the idea of getting a digital piano because I was bamboozled by the choice and didn't feel confident to ask the right questions or know what to look for. I now do, thanks to Graham. It's not a small purchase, though, and I think it's like choosing a life partner (!), so unfortunately other pressing family commitments mean I haven't got one yet … but I know when I do go for it, I will make the right choice for me and my circumstances. This is Graham's strongest advantage, perhaps, ie that he gives you all the info and you can choose according to our own needs and preferences. First class so far….

Hello Graham

Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your amazing work of compiling the Digital Piano Guide! I am a complete novice in the world of digital pianos so the guide was really helpful and explained in simple language the necessary criteria.


Thank you for all info, Howard. Outstanding!
We live in Dubai and will have to look for a Claviano down here, as the shipping cost from your shop will probably be quite high.


Hi Graham and many thanks for all your research and helpful comments.

I found your guide particularly useful in giving me a vocabulary with which I could articulate what I knew I was looking for in a digital piano and have recommended your guide to others.  I ended up not needing to use it descriptively (but kept your checklist in mind) as I was able to go and see/play a second hand one, very little used and in excellent condition.

I'm extremely happy with the Yamaha Clavinova CVP 301 I purchased.

With thanks and best wishes


Digital Bible Review
I have been playing stage pianos in bands for the best part of 10 years and I was confident that my understanding of the piano was comprehensive enough to ensure that when I moved into my new home, I would have the bases covered in purchasing a digital piano to reside in the larger space available. I decided to visit UK Pianos website to research my purchase further….
It is no underestimation to say that upon downloading Graham’s Digital Bible I was rendered awestruck by the incredibly detailed information and just how many numerous gaps in my knowledge there were! It was a delight to learn in such a precise way from Graham’s guide about the relevance of factors I hadn’t considered, such as dynamic levels, graded hammer systems and escapement actions. In equal measure I was made aware of beneficial technical enhancements to aid my playing whilst also having the satisfaction of other superfluous technical jargon, dispelled as myths with such aplomb!
I purchased a Roland HP508 and I am thrilled with it! Downloading this guide has saved me a whole lot of time and money. Thank you UK Pianos!

Hi Graham,
Your digital piano bible is an invaluable document, which would have taken me hours if not days trawling the internet for all the information included. Thanks!


Hi Graham

Thanks for the free guide! It was very helpful, and might just have saved me from wasting hundreds of pounds on an ancient dud on Ebay.


Hi Graham

Thanks for the piano bible and for the music course. I found them very useful and and helpful.

Thanks for doing a great job!


thank you for putting the time into writing it also your web page is very informative
with a wealth of items all set to tempt anyone wishing to buy a piano.
Many Thanks

Hi Graham,

Although I could not use your service due to my loacation in Vietnam I highly appreciate your digital piano knowledge sharing. Thanks to your ebook I chose a good piano.
Best regards,

I eventuallly purchased a piano in January (Casio PX-350), thank you for your emails & also your piano buying advice which I
downloaded & perused for many months prior to making my decision to purchase.  
Your Guides were most interesting & were of assistance.   

Thank you again.   


Hi Graham
The digital piano bible has been extremely enlightening.  I'm a novice when it comes to these pianos so it has really given me 'food for thought'.  It's not often nowadays someone is so willing to give their time and expertise for free.
Kind regards

Good Morning Graham.

Thank you for the digital piano bible which I found to be very useful and should be read by all contemplating a digital piano purchase.


Dear Graham,
I have found your Digital Piano Bible comprehensive, reader friendly and immensely helpful.  It has also raised some recommendations which will advise me when purchasing the instrument.  Thank you for making your insight and expertise readily available.


Hi Graham,

thanks for your digital piano guide. it took me a long to time decide whether to buy acoustic or digital piano and once i decided on digital i then had the mammoth task of deciding WHICH digital piano would be best for me! your guide was a God-send and i thank you very much. i have purchased the Yamaha Clavinova and i love it! thanks!


what you are doing for people who want buy a piano is fantastic. I didn't find so many practical information nowhere and written in very easy way. Thank you for all. If my kids will want to play piano in the future,  with all certainty I will look for advice at UKPIANOS.

Dear Graham
I wish i could buy from you, but I live in Iran.
You've helped me so much and I appreciate it.
Thank you very much.
About your book, It is fantastic and unique, I found it very useful. It helps me to learn a lot of things about digital piano.

Very helpful, thanks; it saves a lot of time in collecting and comparing data, also keeping up with advances in technology in the capabilities of digital pianos.

Hi Graham,

Thanks so much for the email and digital piano guide.

From my first brief glance of the guide, it has everything I could hope or wish for.

Thanks for your pianistic passion and for pulling this all together in one place – simply amazing !

Yours appreciatively


Hi Howard

I found your digital piano bible very helpful indeed.  I particularly liked the point you made about the minimum levels of dynamics that you would recommend.  This was really useful advise.  The areas I did not quite agree was the escapement and touch sensitivity.

Escapement may not be useful if you only play on digital pianos.  In grade exams or concerts, however, you are likely to play on a grand piano.  There you will encounter escapement which may really throw you if you are not used to it.  So it can be beneficial if some digital pianos have this feature.

Similarly the touch sensitivity.  One of the most difficult things to overcome in my piano exams was the different sensitivity of the keys on the exam instrument.  If we were lucky we could get one or two lessons on the exam piano but not more.  So if you can set your digital piano to approximately match the touch sensitivity of the exam piano that's a great bonus.

It looks to me that music students who are preparing for grade exams or study the classical piano are better of with digital pianos that have these features.

In my case, I have a traditional piano but would like to be able to practice using a headset so that I don't get on my neighbours (and my husbands) nerves.  While I was first looking at a Casio piano I'm now more inclined to go for Yamaha.  The next step is to try a few.

Kind regards

Dear Graham Howard
Thank you for your "Digital Piano Bible". It's truly a great buyer's guide for people like me (Absolute beginner!) wanting to buy a digital piano and yet not knowing what to look out for and which one to buy. And the more I look up the Internet for tips on buying a digital piano, the more confused and frustrated I become. But not until I came across your invaluable guide by chance! It's as if I finally saw light at the end of the tunnel of jargon (used by pianists and salespersons). Now I can confidently walk into a piano store or roadshow and at least know what to look out and/or ask relevant questions. Best of all, I would imagine the salesperson will take me more seriously!

Thank you again for your wonderful guide, and your amazing grace in providing it all for free!


Further Reading:

Should I Buy a Digital Piano or an Upright Piano?
Digital Pianos – Which Brand Should I Buy
Rocket Piano – The Best Online Piano Method By Far

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