Thanks for contacting me. Your book has been great; it has shed light upon many aspects of the digital piano that I, as a total novice, was completely oblivious to. Armed with this information I have tried to sample as many pianos as possible and have more-or-less settled upon the Yamaha YDP161 which appears to be the nicest piano within my rather tight budget of £750 ish. If there are any other pianos you would recommend in that price bracket I would be grateful for your opinion.
I have, however, had wildly conflicting information as to the usefulness of digital pianos as instruments. Some people have told me they are merely toys and entirely unsuitable for anyone serious about learning to play. Others have ventured the opinion that thet are more than good enough for up to grade 7 or 8. The majority seem to think they suffice for grade 3 or 4 but no more. I suspect that many of these people have their own agendas or prejudices so I would appreciate your opinion on the matter.
Thanks again for any furthur assistance you can offer me.
Reply/ Hi Jim
You’ll get lots of conflicting advice about whether
digital pianos are good enough to learn on, or if
they’ll be suitable up to a certain grade…
For instance, a shop selling acoustic pianos will
most likely try to put you off buying a digital.
This is because they make more money if they sell
you an acoustic piano!
… So you’ll probably be told that a digital piano
is only suitable up to grade 3 or 4.
Some piano teachers are very against digital pianos…
This is understandable if they’ve always played an
acoustic piano, or they tried a digital piano over
10 years ago. Most of the older digital pianos
are quite awful.
This is my opinion:
Really cheap digital pianos (usually £400 or less)
should be avoided at all cost. These pianos usually
have either a very heavy, springy touch or a loud,
wobbly, clicky noise when you press down a key.
Most mid range digital pianos (Â£500 – £800) will
be fine up to about grade 5 or 6. Some will even
take you to grade 7 or 8.
Digital pianos over £1,000 will generally be good
for all levels. Even professional pianists that
need to get some out of hours practice in.
But… BEWARE… there are ALWAYS exceptions to
the rule both for cheap and expensive digital pianos.
If you have any doubt, just send me an email and I’ll
let you know what I think about any digital piano.
If you’re looking to spend around £750 then I would
go for either the Classenti CDP1 or CDP2.
The Classenti CDP1 is a fine piano for beginner up
to about grade 6 or 7.
It has a good sound and fully-weighted touch.
The Classenti CDP2 has a deeper, more resonant
sound than the CDP1.
It also has an extra level of touch sensitivity (5
levels against the CDP1’s 4 levels).
The CDP2 also has:
Sliding key cover
Almost full back board (helps with stability)
Simplified user panel (tidier, less distractions from the piano)
Larger speakers (2 x 20 watts versus 2 x 15 watts)
The CDP2 will take yoou up to grade 8 (the highest
piano grade). You won’t need to upgrade it later.
Let me know if you need more help choosing your piano.
Here’s my telephone number: 020 8367 2080.
Graham Howard, Piano Adviser
Send me an email if you have any questions or need advice: email@example.com