How To Choose A Piano For Young Beginners
Editor's comment/ Many piano teachers are dead against digital pianos -
especially for young beginners - as this article sets out to explain the reasons why digital pianos are not ideal to learn
Many people don’t know the difference between an acoustic piano and a
digital piano. I will give you the right advice on which type of piano is best to learn on, especially from a young age.
The best time to start playing piano is when you are very young. The ideal
age is 5.
An acoustic piano is the best type of piano to learn on for young beginners.
This is because from their very first days you will get used to hearing the real, original sounds of the piano. Your finger muscles will also
get used to the weights of the piano keys from an early age and will strengthen them up for later in life.
Digital pianos tend to have a lighter key touch than acoustic pianos and
practicing too much on a digital will leave your fingers weak and you will find it difficult to adjust to the touch of an acoustic
I don’t advise learning classical music on a digital piano -- It won’t be
the same ‘beauty’ or ‘feeling’ -- It will be the electric (digital) feeling and not the natural original sounds of an acoustic
Most – if not all - examination centres have acoustic pianos. So if your
child has been practicing on a digital piano at home and he/she is confronted with an acoustic piano, they will find it a real struggle to
play the exam centre’s piano. Your child will probably not score as high in the exam as he or she should and will end up being disappointed
with the result.
Who buys digital pianos?
Musicians that want to compose their own music or practice with their band.
They need all these buttons and background sounds. They can connect to their computers. But not for young beginners who will more likely be
distracted by these extra features on the piano.
If you have no choice because an acoustic piano will not fit in your house
or your child’s bedroom, then the best choice is to go for the ‘most plain’ digital piano that hasn’t got lots of buttons, features (gimmicks
I call them!) and has weighted keys with a progressive piano action.
A progressive piano action mimics the weight of the real piano. The bass
notes have a heavy touch and they get progressively lighter as you go up the keyboard. This really is a ‘must-have’.
If you are used to driving an automatic car then you will find it very
difficult to drive a manual one. But, if you always drive a manual car, then switching to an automatic is much easier. This is the same thing
for acoustic and digital pianos. If you learn on an acoustic piano then it is dead easy to play a digital piano. If you learn on a digital
piano, or especially a keyboard then you will find it very difficult to adjust to playing an acoustic piano - mainly because of the feel and
weight of the piano keys.
Advantages of an acoustic piano
• The acoustic piano has got a VERY long life (if you
look after it of course)
• The only maintenance required is tuning once or twice
• You can sell it anytime, it never goes out of
• The piano’s value (if looked after) can be more than
you paid for it over time
• Acoustic pianos have real, natural
Disadvantages of a digital piano
• If something goes wrong it can cost over £100 to
• New models come out every 2-3 years, technology
advances and no one wants to buy an old model
• Digital pianos continue to depreciate over time and
will be worth less the more time goes on
• Electric sounds are unpleasant and can put you off
If you are starting to give a music education to your child, think very
carefully about which piano you buy for them to practice on at home. If you make the wrong choice, you may regret it in the
About the Author
My name is Hejran Seidova. I have been teaching piano for over 15 years and
am currently the head of music for the ALL Talents Music School in Enfield, North London. You can find information about my music school here:
http://www.alltalents.co.uk. I am
also writing a
piano course for beginners, so drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get a copy.
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