What You Need To Know When Buying a Keyboard or Digital Piano

Though sometimes they can seem deceptively similar, a digital piano and keyboard can be quite different in what they have to offer.

If you’re ready to dive into the exciting world of keyboards, you’ll have realised there’s a lot of options out there, and it can be hard to know which one will best suit your needs. 

But don’t worry, here’s a list of things to consider that should help you decide which keyboard you should purchase. 

Know your goals

One of the simplest ways to help you decide which instrument you want to get, is to know your own personal goals.

 If you’re looking to one day use a traditional acoustic piano, you’re better off getting a digital piano over a keyboard. 

A digital piano is like a mix of an electric keyboard and a piano. It has the convenience and functionality of a keyboard, but the simplicity and feel of an acoustic piano. It’s a great way to learn how to play, and will help prepare you for playing other types of pianos later on. 

If you’re looking to create your own music compositions, then you’ll want a keyboard with features such as MIDI inputs, computer connectivity and sampler and recording capabilities. 

And if you want to learn to play in a band with other musicians, a keyboard with an auto-accompaniment feature is perfect to help you practice. 

These are just a few of the different ways your goals can affect your keyboard choice, as these beautiful instruments have such a wide range of possibilities and functions to offer. 

Number of keys

If you want to get the best feel for the piano style, and are looking to play on stage pianos and grand pianos in the future, you should get a keyboard with 88 full-size piano keys. 

Digital pianos have 88 keys and are designed to give you the experience of playing a real piano, so they are most suitable for people wanting to play classical music. 

Many keyboards will have less keys, which can help with portability and ease of use when first beginning. Good entry level keyboards will help you develop skills that transfer to playing a piano, even if they don’t have 88 keys. 

If you are interested in playing the piano later on, but aren’t sure you’re ready to commit to a full size keyboard just yet, a smaller keyboard with fewer keys is still a great way to get started.


It’s definitely a no-brainer, but the way your instrument sounds is one of the most important things to think about when choosing what you want. 

I may be starting to sound like a broken record, but if you’re after the piano sound, you should buy a digital piano. Digital pianos are designed to replicate an acoustic piano, with either hammer action keys or weighted keys, that help to mimic both the feel, and the grand and powerful sound of these classic instruments.  

Keyboards, on the other hand, are a great way to experiment with music. Most keyboards offer a huge range of sounds, and a touch-sensitive keyboard will accurately reflect every nuance of your playing. 

They’re a great way to play electronic music, as well as a wide variety of other music types due to their range and flexibility. 


Price is always an important factor when choosing your next instrument. While a more expensive instrument often means higher sound quality, many good quality brands sell their products at affordable prices too. 

Starting off with a cheaper model, with perhaps less of the bells and whistles, is a good way to get to know how you feel about the instrument. You can start playing music and learning how your new keyboard or piano works, without the huge price tag. Later down the line you can always invest in a fancier product, that perhaps better suits your needs or aesthetic desires. 

If you’re already certain of what you want, and you fall in love with a certain product, investing in a more expensive product can definitely be worth all the features that it has to offer. 

You’ll also want to make sure that you budget for any accessories or extras that you might need with your new keyboard or digital piano such as stands, stools, sustain pedals, and cases. 

Feeling ready to choose your next instrument? Browse our selection online, or even better, come check them out for yourself at our store in Nambour.