Pianos Vs. Keyboards - 13 Key Differences To Note Wednesday August 30 2023, 3:00 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
Pianos Vs. Keyboards - 13 Key Differences To Note

Pianos Vs. Keyboards 

In the world of music, the age-old debate between traditional pianos and modern keyboards continues to strike a chord among musicians and enthusiasts.

Both instruments offer unique qualities and advantages that cater to different preferences and needs, and I happen to enjoy playing both pretty equally. 

Overall, pianos evoke tradition, authenticity, and an unparalleled playing experience, while keyboards offer flexibility, convenience, and a diverse range of sounds.

But there are tons of other differences that I'd like to point out below! 

Sound Variety

Pianos: Renowned for their rich, resonant tone, pianos offer a depth and authenticity that keyboards strive to replicate. The complex harmonics produced by the strings and hammers provide a unique tonal range.

Keyboards: Keyboards offer versatility through an array of digital sound samples. From classic piano tones to orchestral instruments and modern synth sounds, keyboards excel at adapting to various musical genres and styles.

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Price Point

Pianos: Traditional pianos tend to be more expensive due to their intricate craftsmanship and high-quality materials. Grand pianos, in particular, are a significant investment.

Keyboards: Keyboards are generally more affordable, making them a practical choice for beginners or those seeking a variety of sounds on a budget.


Pianos: Pianos require regular tuning and maintenance to retain their optimal sound quality. Changes in humidity and temperature can impact the tuning, requiring professional care.

Keyboards: Keyboards are virtually maintenance-free. They don't require tuning and are less susceptible to environmental changes, offering convenience to musicians.


Pianos: Traditional pianos are large and heavy, making them challenging to move. They are typically fixed pieces of furniture that need dedicated space.


Keyboards: Digital keyboards are compact and portable, suitable for gigs, practice sessions, and cramped living spaces. Some models are designed for easy transportation.

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Pianos: Pianos boast an extensive range of notes, allowing for dynamic expression in compositions and performances. The standard piano comes with 88 keys in total.

Keyboards: While many keyboards have fewer keys, they often have adjustable octaves, enabling musicians to play across a wide range of pitches, expanding creative possibilities.

Key Size 

Pianos: Traditional pianos feature full-sized keys that contribute to proper finger technique development, and won't confuse players who plan to stick to it.

Keyboards: Keyboards may have slightly smaller keys, which could impact the transition to playing on a full-sized piano. I suggest that students get a feel for both, but traditional pianos are preferred when it comes to old-school piano teachers. 



Pianos: Pianos offer an unparalleled touch and feel that is often referred to as action. The weighted action of the keys and the responsiveness of the hammers provide a tactile experience that's hard to replicate.

Keyboards: While modern keyboards aim to simulate piano-like action, they may not fully capture the nuanced feel of an acoustic piano.

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Pianos: The acoustics of a piano contribute significantly to its character. The resonance of strings interacting with the wooden body creates a unique and captivating sound.

Keyboards: Keyboards rely on electronic amplification, which can sometimes lack the organic resonance of an acoustic instrument.

Store Availability 

Pianos: Finding and purchasing pianos might be limited to specialized music stores, and their transportation can be a logistical challenge. Piano stores also give off a high-class feel because of their rarity. 

Keyboards: Keyboards are widely available, from music stores to online retailers, providing easy access to a diverse range of models.


Pedal Options

Pianos: Acoustic pianos typically come with three pedals—sustain, soft, and sostenuto—that offer nuanced control over sustain and dynamics.

Keyboards: Keyboards might have pedal inputs for sustain pedals, but some advanced models also offer additional pedal inputs for more complex pedal techniques.

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Beginner Accessibility 

Pianos: Learning to play on a piano can be physically demanding due to the weighted keys, but very rewarding for their musicianship. Beginners might need time to build finger strength and coordination.

Keyboards: Keyboards often have adjustable touch sensitivity, making them more accessible to beginners. They also offer learning features and interactive lessons within the system that are perfect for those who want to learn on their own.


Pianos: Pianos are often considered pieces of art and furniture, contributing to the ambiance of a space. They can make a home look very regal and uplift the decor of a space overall. 

Keyboards: Keyboards are functional and space-efficient but might not have the same aesthetic impact as a grand piano.


Recording and Connectivity

Pianos: Acoustic pianos generally lack built-in recording capabilities or digital connectivity options, requiring external equipment for recording and amplification, but they give you a sense of authenticity when it comes to sound quality.

Keyboards: Many keyboards come with built-in recording features, MIDI connectivity, and USB ports, making it easier to record and integrate with digital audio workstations (DAWs).

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In the epic contest of pianos vs. keyboards, both instruments have their distinct strengths and charm and can find their way into your heart as a budding musician.

Whether you're drawn to the nostalgic tone of a piano or the futuristic sounds of a keyboard, the choice ultimately rests on your musical aspirations and practical requirements.

So, strike the perfect balance and let the music resonate through your heartstrings, whether they be made of wood or silicon!

Or, as I like to say, why not both? 

Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!

If you are in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her services page.

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