Grand Piano vs. Electronic Keyboard

July 10, 2010
By LynnY. SILVER, Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
LynnY. SILVER, Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
7 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you can dream- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think- and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;" -R. Kipling

Throughout the years, the music industries have developed various ways of producing sound. One of the oldest and most traditional instruments, the grand piano, is still enjoyed by many today but is fiercely debated over the electronic keyboard. Though the sound is very much alike, there are flaws in both instruments that make music generally flat and unconvincing depending on the technique of the player. Price, tone quality, portability, and the feel for the keys are just a few factors that come into play when comparing the two very different instruments.

The grand piano has been around for centuries and is still respected today by many people and select companies that craft them well. On a grand piano, it does not require any further set up making performances truly acoustic and seldom will they ever need to be amplified. A setback with this is that a piano cannot be as easily moved as an electronic keyboard and, so, the pianist faces the dilemma of never knowing how an instrument will feel under their touch. The weighted keys of a grand piano give a much fuller sound and train the fingers to learn control. This technique can take several years to master fully whereas on the keyboard one only has to press keys. The sound of a well constructed piano is a deep, full sound that electronic keyboards cover with overtones. To the untrained ear, these overtones are mere buzzes, but to those who have studied music for many years they can be quite irritating. A piano provides a clear sound that can be manipulated to produce any emotion and has been the producer of many musical collections around the world.

On the electric piano, one will find a variety of tones that range from piano to a trombone. This extends the versatility of the instrument because if that trombone player did not show up for practice, one can simply change the tone and play their part. Another side to this would be that the electronic keyboard, in many cases, must be hooked up to an amplifier or an outlet and during outdoor concerts, this can be a major issue to deal with. The one thing about the keyboard that many rejoice over is the fact that there is hardly any maintenance to do. On the grand piano, a tuner must come in at regular intervals and at certain times parts must be replaced and this can cost quite a lot. With an electric keyboard, though, one sacrifices the full tone the piano can provide and less range. Despite this, a keyboard is much cheaper than a grand piano and this is the reason many choose it for their entertainment.

As both instruments are still widely respected, many things must be taken into consideration before making the final decision. As far as cash and portability go, the keyboard is the winner because they can cost $100 whereas a good grand piano can cost well over $30,000. This investment is well worth it when tone quality is thought over. On the piano, one is provided with the full range of keys and, with experience, can learn to control the depth of the instrument that can bring joy or tears to those who listen.

I, personally, would purchase the grand piano because I place sound quality over portability and cash. With the grand piano, the weighted keys give a feeling of power when one rips a large chord whereas on a keyboard you would receive a flat blend of overtones along with the keys one actually hit. The piano is a deep instrument when you make it to be. After years of going back and forth from a keyboard to a grand piano, I find the keys of a keyboard much too light to provide the adequate amount of electronically produced sound. To constantly adjust the volume, for me, is not the way I would like to spend a practice session. I hope that after reading this article, you will think twice about all the options and take into consideration everything here and more when you decide to purchase a keyboard instrument.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jul. 22 2010 at 10:29 am
sarap611 BRONZE, Winslow, Maine
4 articles 0 photos 9 comments
Huh, interesting points, this made me think. I guess it depends on what you can afford. Either way, each one will teach you how to play a piano. If you learn on a keyboard you'll still have a good handle on a grand piano in the end.

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