When it comes to learning to play the piano, there a couple of different choices you can go with. You start with a keyboard, a digital piano or a real piano.
If you have the budget, I believe you should start with a digital piano, whether it’s for a kid or for an adult. By doing this, you can test the waters while at the same time getting a quality instrument that will last you. If you truly desire a piano, then by no means am I saying to not get one, I just believe a digital piano gets the job done and is plenty in the beginning. Some of the more advanced instructors won’t begin lessons until you have access to digital piano.
If you are looking for an instrument for a beginner and don’t want to break the bank, I recommend these.
Why Do Instructors Dislike Keyboards?
They don’t like keyboards because they can lead to really bad habits. There are a few different things that keyboards have that aren’t great. Non-weighted keys for some instructors is a huge no. Having non-weighted keys can lead to bad wrist posture and poor finger dexterity.
Finger dexterity is such an important thing for students who are new to the piano. If you don’t start to build your strength early on, it can lead to some really bad habits.
If you want to see my favorite finger strength exercises for piano, you can view the best here.
The sounds on most keyboards typically aren’t great or super realistic on the budget end. As you go up in price, you definitely go up in sound as well.
Keyboards Can Lead To Poor Dynamics And Technique
This is a proven fact as non-weighted keys don’t allow for dynamics. Some musical pieces require you to play soft and then to play loud, you can’t really do this on a cheaper keyboard. When you play the keys louder, sure they might play louder on a keyboard, however, you’re not getting used to how hard or soft you should be playing.
I would recommend finding a keyboard that allows you to adjust the keys. You can find these on the market and they make a difference when it comes to dynamics.
You will find yourself having improper technique if you are solely playing on a keyboard. I would recommend trying to get on a real piano as often as you can just to improve your finger dexterity.
I have noticed that students tend to sag their wrists when playing on keyboards and I believe the reason of this is because of the lack of weighted keys. When you don’t have weighted keys, you can easily find yourself not striking the keys the way that you should be.
Instructors know that most of the budget keyboards are of poor quality. If their students are going to buy a keyboard, they want them to purchase something that is going to last them a few years. If you get a cheap keyboard, you will find yourself outgrowing it as you get better at the piano.
With a digital piano, you can basically use the same thing for your entire journey as long as you get a decent one. I look at it as, yeah you can save at first, but in the end, you will lose money when you purchase a nicer product.
Instructors want to work with students who are working on something to similar as them. Switching from keyboard to piano every time you practice is not fun and it’s not preferred. Practicing frequently on something that has weighted keys definitely furthers your progress and no one would disagree with that statement.
If you are planning on playing in recitals through your conservatory, you will notice that you are playing on a grand piano typically. If you are getting ready for one I would recommend trying to get as much practice time on digital pianos as you possibly can.
I truly believe that having a nicer instrument aids in motivation when it comes to playing the piano. I have always enjoyed playing on real pianos or super nice digital pianos because it just feels good. Practicing on a cheaper instrument never seems fun compared to this.
Motivation is very important when it comes to kids as you want to make sure they’re practicing daily and enjoying it. Finding ways for them to enjoy the piano is crucial for their learning. If you they don’t enjoy playing, they’re not going to develop at the rate that they should be.
Teachers can get deeper into dynamics when you are practicing with weighted keys because they know they can explain things during lessons and have you go home and practice. If they are just waiting for your once a week lesson, it’s hard to truly make great progress.
Learning the piano is a long, but fun journey. I went through countless keyboards on my journey and upgrading to nicer ones is something I’ll always remember. When I started getting better and showing more interest, I was rewarded with an upright piano and then a really nice digital piano. This is a great feeling when you’re a kid because you can tell that your parents are proud of you. That feeling motivates children even more as they typically will want to please their parents.
What was your first instrument that you began with? Do you remember upgrading instruments and was it worth the upgrade? Let me know in the comment section below!