When I decided to learn to the piano more seriously I already had a small keyboard and I wanted to replace this with an 88 key digital piano keyboard that would enable me to learn the same skills I would learn on an acoustic piano. I felt that this was important to help accelerate my learning and I didn’t want to waste time learning on the wrong instrument that may hinder my overall standard.
If I was going to get piano lessons from a piano teacher and travel to their home for lessons I didn’t imagine that they would have a little keyboard like mine to teach me. I presumed that they were more than likely to have a decent upright piano or maybe even a grand piano or baby grand piano. I hoped, should I decide that I wished to get a piano teacher that they would at least have a full sized keyboard like the one that I eventually decided to buy.
Advantages Of A Full Sized Piano Keyboard
The main advantage for me was that I knew that with a full sized keyboard that should there be a piece of music I wished to play then I wouldn’t be limited by the number of keys available on my piano. A full sized acoustic piano has 88 keys, seven octaves, plus three lower notes (B, B flat and A).
I don’t dispute that it is possible to learn to play the piano with fewer keys and for a beginner 66 may be sufficient when learning to play. A compromise however, would be the 72 key keyboard on which most pieces of music can played.
Another important factor when buying a full sized piano keyboard was that as an adult they would come with full sized keys as apposed to the slightly more compact keys found on smaller keyboards. This was why I decided on a digital piano. The keys are identical in size to an acoustic piano and it also imitates the sound perfectly. It is therefore recognised as the best reasonably priced keyboard for those who wish to practice musicianship and can be the best keyboard for adults who wish to learn to play the piano.
Many students like me, who are not able or willing to invest in an acoustic piano but wish to invest in an instrument that will take them beyond the beginner playing standard decide upon the digital piano. This is because it is affordable and helps us to experience a very similar feeling to playing an acoustic piano.
This brings me to the importance of full sized weighted keys.
Piano Weighted Keys – How they work
Acoustic pianos are made with hammers a leverage system and strings. This means that when a hammer hits a string the frequency at which the string vibrates when hit with the hammer makes the noise and note that we hear quieter or louder.
The hammer that is used to strike the appropriate string is attached to a key by a lever system. Think of this leverage system like a see-saw. The more weight or force that is put down on one end of the see-saw so the faster and more forcefully the other end of the see-saw rises.
The amount of force that a key is played with then results with a matching force with which the hammer hits the string. The weight system can be felt when the key or keys are pressed down with force or with control.
Pushing down the key in a more delicate controlled fashion will prevent the hammer from striking the string with much force and the resulting note will then be heard with little volume.
If the key is played harder so the hammer is then forced to hit the appropriate string with greater force and this subsequently results in the note heard at a greater volume.
88 Key Digital Piano Weighted Keys
Weighted keys are a superb feature of digital pianos (and some keyboards/portable pianos). Their design enables them to mimic the action of an acoustic piano and remove the unweighted feature found in many keyboards. The familiar sound of an acoustic piano is then created and so too is the ability to now have the same level of control to produce a variety of expressive possibilities.
Being able using weighted keys now enables the beginner to play with sensitivity and emotion as the keys are pushed down with different levels of force and control. Such a feeling is not provided by unweighted keys and therefore when learning without weighted keys an appreciation for controlled play cannot be found that is required on an acoustic piano and therefore doesn’t help develop ones playing skill.
This takes me back to my original point which was that if I was to learn to play more seriously and played a keyboard that didn’t provide the right acoustic piano sensation then I knew that I would soon lack the enthusiasm to play may well give up.
If I wasn’t provided with the same feeling, sound and level of play that I had experience from playing an acoustic piano this would result in having a negative impact on my learning ability.
Without the right size keys and the right resistance of each key the evenness of my play could be affected. The strength in my fingers may not build up as required to move rapidly from one key to another and this would also affect the dynamic level and tone that I could produce from my piano play. I didn’t wish for this to happen and so I decided to buy a full size piano keyboard with weighted keys.