The Differences Between a Digital Piano and a Keyboard

Do you know the difference between a digital piano and a keyboard?

Working in a piano shop for a number of years has made one thing desperately obvious to me: people don’t understand the differences between digital pianos and keyboards. I regularly talk to customers who tell me they need a keyboard because their child has just started to learn the piano at school. I usually probe a little further and find out what kind of piano the school has – the answer is almost always an acoustic upright piano.

A digital piano is the instrument that is actually needed, and there are a number of reasons why a keyboard is not a suitable instrument to practice the piano on, but here are the top two:

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Young Pianist Receives Donated Piano

Young Pianist on the Radio

Another heart-warming piano related story has hit the headlines this month – the story of a kind stranger delivering a piano to a young pianist who had told BBC Radio 2 listeners that she was saving up for her very own piano. Six year old Ellie-Eve was featured on BBC radio 2 and spoke about her piano lessons, and mentioned in passing that she was saving up for a piano – on hearing this news, a number of kind people up and down the UK rang into the radio station with offers of piano donations!

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Virtual Piano App vs Real Keys

Virtual Piano Apps

Over the past few years, many apps for phones and tablets alike have appeared on the market claiming to teach you how to how to play the piano. Some are free, and others charge you, but which ever app you choose, they are all cheaper than buying a real piano. Thousands of people all over the world are investing their time (and sometimes money) into these apps with the hopes of being a piano virtuoso after a few weeks, but is it really possible?

Virtual Piano app

The short answer is no. None of our piano superstars today started their musical journey on a virtual piano. The likes of Daniel Barenboim, Yuja Wang, and even Elton John would probably shudder at the idea of replacing an accoustic or digital piano with a virtual piano. In addition to disregarding the actual instrument itself, there is no teacher on any of the virtual piano apps available. You must simply read the messages displayed on the screen and copy a series of movements – almost a poor man’s version of the Suzuki method… What’s more, if your app-learned skills are ever then transferred to a real instrument, the chances are that even if you can bash out a tune, your technique will be diabolical.

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New Digital Piano Releases from NAMM 2018

What is NAMM?

For anyone who has never come across NAMM before, it’s a trade show in the US for all things music and music technology. It stands for the National Association of Music Merchants, and every year, hundreds of brands attend NAMM to showcase their new products, including digital pianos. This year, brands showing off their latest digital piano releases at NAMM included huge names in the piano and keyboard world, such as Yamaha, Casio, and Kawai. Each of these particular digital piano manufacturers brought game changing instruments to the market which will all be available to purchase in the UK in the coming months.

The NAMM show
The NAMM show

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Kawai KDP-110 Digital Piano Review

The Brand New Model KDP 110 From Kawai

Following its release at NAMM this week, I have been lucky enough to have played the brand new Kawai digital piano – the KDP110. Having bought a Kawai KDP90 digital piano several years ago, I had exceptionally high expectations from the new model, seeing as the KDP-90 is such a fantastic all round instrument which has proved invaluable to me. It has been undoubtedly the best piano (digital or acoustic) that I have ever owned. The new model KDP-110 digital piano boasts a far more impressive list of features than its predecessor which was evident when playing the instrument. Here are just some of the highlights: Continue reading “Kawai KDP-110 Digital Piano Review”

Nobody to Duet with?

The problems of a duet

Go back in time, and if you wanted to duet Chopsticks or the Jamaican Rhumba, you had to find a time that was convenient for both you and your piano playing friend. Diaries had to be consulted and spare piano stools had to be sourced. While playing a piano duet is always fantastic fun, organising the time to do such an activity has always been a bit of a nightmare.  Fast forward to today, and thanks to the joy of digital pianos, you can play any duet any time of the day or night that tickles your fancy.

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The Best for Piano Teachers

An ongoing debate among music and piano teachers is which piano is the best. Pupils will always go to their piano teachers for advice when looking to buy a new piano, but what kind of instrument do they tend to recommend? While purists will always recommend an acoustic instrument, this comes with many problems which has lead to an increasing number of teachers recommending digital pianos as the instrument of choice.

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Alexander Hamilton

Hamilton – the World’s Hottest Show

In case you have missed the news – the big hit in the musical theatre world last year was undoubtedly ‘ Hamilton ’. Written by the ridiculously talented Lin Manuel Miranda, the show has smashed Broadway records and stolen the hearts of millions of musical theatre lovers across the globe.

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Time for a New Piano? Take a Look at the Kawai KDP-110!

Time for a new piano?

Is your piano old and tired? Has it seen better days? Are you in need of a beautiful new instrument? Well, there is no need to look any further because a beautiful brand new digital piano has been released from Kawai! The brand new 2018 model KDP-110 has just been released and is available to buy today from Chase Direct.

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Nilsson – Everybody’s Talkin

Nilsson was an US singer-songwriter who pervaded the music charts in the ‘70s with pure pop-rock poetry. As a cult figure of his time Nilsson knew how to pull at the heart-strings with his trademark love-laboured songs that languished in lyrics of sadness and despair. Though Nilsson graced the air waves as a Swedish-rooted blonde beauty with his superficial good looks and romantic repertoire beneath the mask laid his own hidden depths that took on more of a Dirty Harry role than the angelic façade. Continue reading “Nilsson – Everybody’s Talkin”