Although experts might say that an acoustic piano will never be compared to a digital piano, the truth is that the latter are being chosen more and more frequently. But what is the motive? It is necessary to understand the needs of the users to be able to find the answer to this question.
When we sit down to listen to a piano recital with a great player who is in front of an elegant and imposing grand piano, the experience of sound and performance is captivating. From this perspective, we might think that every piano student or performer would ever want to get a copy of this type of instrument. However, there are some details that make this dream impractical to take into consideration.
First of all, we can’t help but think about the cost that an acoustic grand piano could have. We are talking about thousands of euros that not everyone could be willing to invest. But this is not the only aspect that might concern an average musician. There is also the fact that an acoustic piano needs constant maintenance that is not exactly affordable. This is because when including strings in their design, in order to offer the expected sound, we necessarily have to think that these elements are susceptible to changes in temperature and that they can lose their tuning. Then we already have a second problem, the necessary periodic review of a professional who tunes the piano, with its corresponding payment of fees.
Although we could analyze many other factors, perhaps the last and very important is the space that an acoustic piano can involve. The reality is that more often we find ourselves living in a compact apartment, in which not all kinds of furniture can be inserted just because we want to and access to the apartment does not always allow us to enter large furniture.
What does the digital piano offer compared to an acoustic one?
If we analyze the dimensions that one of the best digital pianos of 2020 could offer , we are talking about approximately 100 x 35 x 15 cm proportions for a standard 88-key version, which in octaves is equivalent to a full acoustic piano. In comparison, an acoustic one can measure around 146 x 180 cm in a relatively small design. Here we already have a notable difference in favor of the digital piano, which can be easily placed on the dining room table, a desk or some special base.
On the other hand, the weight of the instrument is considerably much less. There are versions of digital pianos that do not reach 8 kg, even with a full keyboard and other interesting options such as built-in speakers of considerable size. This allows the practitioner to even take him to his classes or transport him to perform a recital or presentation without this implying an entire logistical study as happens with an acoustic type.
The ability to choose the voices of the digital piano is very attractive to players. This expands the choice of, for example, an organ sound for a sacred music performance, or a bright sound for a jazz melody.
On the other hand, we find the possibility that manufacturers have added to adapt accompaniments for the melodies. Thus, it may be that some rhythms such as salsa, rock, folk, samba, etc. are already preloaded. With them, the pianist can simulate a real orchestra that accompanies him in his performances, to give creativity and enhancement to each piece.
It’s also possible to even split the keyboard, offering different nuances for the left hand and the right hand, which also provides plenty of options to experiment with.
Another aspect that also attracts users to choose a digital piano is that we often find special functions focused on helping music students improve their skills, with guides for chords, tones, or even lessons that can be accessed from the comfort of your very digital piano. There are manufacturers’ houses that have even developed applications that complement the model, so that they can be used from a mobile device.
We live in an interconnected world, that is why the ports that allow the transmission of sound to a computer or some other system so that the melodies are stored, edited or mixed cannot be missing in a digital piano, preserving the sound quality that is expected.
The most demanding musicians have been the base inspiration for digital piano manufacturing companies, to achieve their goal of providing the feeling of an acoustic piano through a digital piano. In this way, pianos have been created with hammer systems, which simulate the striking of the key with the strings.
In addition, the best digital pianos now include various amounts of sensors in their designs, which allow them to identify the force with which the pianist presses each key and thus dynamically interact with the melody to respond to this sensitivity and performance needs . For this reason, the experience of playing a digital piano today is very different from what one could have, for example, 15 years ago.
Maintenance and cost
Although no instrument is maintenance-free, the truth is that for a digital piano to be kept in optimal conditions the effort is much less. It will be enough to store it away from the effect of dust to preserve its mechanisms and electronic parts working. Maintain its cleanliness by choosing an appropriate cloth and voila. There is no need to periodically resort to expensive tune-ups or call a cabinetmaker to discuss a material problem.
In addition, when it comes to the cost of an acoustic piano compared to a digital one, we find very affordable versions that differ by many hundreds of euros to the purchase of an acoustic one, and that offer a high quality sound experience. That’s why they top the buying choices of many users today.
In conclusion, we cannot guarantee that a digital piano will ever match the sound and experience of an acoustic piano. But without a doubt, we can say that this electronic instrument has come a long way to satisfy the needs of users, who want to express themselves through this beautiful instrument.