04 September 2018
By Guest Writer
A handy guide from Casio!
Digital pianos are a wonderful resource for people of all ages and all kinds of disciplines. They make learning and performing much easier but still offer the satisfaction of playing on a beautiful expressive musical instrument. Whether you’re looking to learn the piano or gift a beginner with their first ever instrument, choosing the perfect digital piano can be exhausting and frustrating.
Casio offers six tips to consider when selecting a beginner’s piano – from digital piano expert Chris Stanbury.
An authentic touch
Today, all digital piano keys are designed to look like those on a traditional piano, but some can feel far superior to others and it’s worth looking closely at how the keys are made. Some instruments, such as Casio’s Grand Hybrid range, have keys that are made from exactly the same materials as acoustic pianos, to make the playing experience as close to a traditional instrument as possible. What’s more, Casio Grand Hybrid keys are connected to real, moving hammers (which is what acoustic pianos have) to ensure that the weighting of the keys is true to the original instrument.
One of the big advantages of a digital piano is that it takes up far less space than an acoustic one. Portable pianos, those without wooden stands, are great for carrying around or setting up in a spare bedroom. You should consider the maximum practical weight of a portable piano to be about 12kg – anything more and it will be difficult to carry.
Will you be using headphones?
One of the huge benefits of a digital piano is the ability to play with headphones so that you don’t disturb others. The trouble is, many pianists say that using headphones removes the live acoustics that they hear when playing normally. If you’re going to be using headphones frequently, consider buying an instrument with a dedicated Headphone Mode, which will remix the sound and put the natural ambience back.
Look out for features that can take your playing in a new direction
Features such as USB Audio allows you to play audio tracks through the speakers of the digital piano, meaning that you can play along to any song that you have stored on a USB Stick. There are a range of many different features to look out for, such as Casio’s ‘Concert Play’ that allows you to play along to real orchestral recordings of famous classical pieces. There’s even the Hall Simulator - which recreates the acoustics of famous concert venues.
Check to see if it connects to other home devices
With the popularity of music learning apps on iPads and online music lesson systems, it's important to make sure that your chosen instrument will work with a computer or tablet.
Are you sitting comfortably?
Take time to check out your chosen instrument in a music store, and bring some music with you to try. Make sure that you are happy with the playing height and the position of the music when you play.
Find out about Casio’s Action in Music initiative, which shines a spotlight on music education across the UK and celebrates the work of music teachers nationwide.