Digital Piano or Keyboard: What’s The Difference?

Digital Piano or Keyboard What's The Difference
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When it comes to keyboard musical instruments, people are most confused between a digital piano and a keyboard. Many people have the misconception that these musical instruments are just the same, with names and descriptions only interchangeable. The real thing is that they are very different. So, when you decide to learn or play any of them, which would you choose: digital piano or keyboard?

To help you decide, this article shows the differences between a digital piano and a keyboard. What are the factors that make them different? What makes them similar?

Purpose: Digital piano or keyboard?

The main difference of digital piano and keyboard is the purpose. Each of them is specifically designed to serve different purposes. So, what is the purpose of each musical instrument?

Digital piano

A digital piano is designed to imitate the “feel” and experience of a real acoustic piano. We all know that acoustic pianos are very expensive and are made with complicated parts that need tuning. They are also very difficult to move from one place to another. But their qualities are highly regarded and they last a lifetime.

Many people who wish to learn how to play a piano or parents who want their kids to play musical instruments consider a digital piano. It is much more affordable compared to an acoustic piano. It is lightweight and compact so it is easy to transport. It tries to have all the feel, look, and capabilities of an expensive acoustic piano.


A keyboard is designed but does not imitate a real piano. It is made to produce sounds similar to the sounds produced by a piano. This sound mostly comprises electronically devised and synthesized sounds. Keys usually feel like those of an organ.

It is much lighter and built with different bells and whistles.

Features: Digital piano or keyboard?

Digital piano

A digital piano is typically built with full-sized 88 keys which have the weight and experience of the keys found on a real acoustic piano. It has built-in additional features, modes, settings, but not as many as the keyboard.

As said above, the goal of the digital piano is to imitate the capabilities and features of an acoustic piano but without the expensive cost and heaviness, but it will provide more functionality.

Although digital pianos are more lightweight and smaller, when compared to acoustic pianos, there is still one musical instrument that’s lightest and most compact—the keyboard.


A keyboard is built with one concept in mind—transportability. It is meant to be placed in the trunk and conveniently carried anywhere you go. This is why it is the most-used musical instrument by traveling musicians. Since a keyboard is meant to travel a lot, it should be durable.

The keyboard should be able to withstand accidental bumps and slight damages. It might not produce the best piano sound, but it is very durable which make them child friendly. It is often given to kids as musical instrument to play in their growing years and introduces them to the world of music.

The main feature of a keyboard is that its keys are moderately weighted, if they are weighted at all. Hence, it has an incomplete 88 keys; it may have 61 keys which are lighter and smaller but still create a similar piano experience.


A keyboard is much more affordable compared to a digital piano. However, a digital piano provides the feel and experience similar to an acoustic piano. If you want an alternative to an acoustic piano, a digital piano is a good choice.

However, if you still want something that’s much lighter and more compact than a digital piano, then a keyboard is a better choice. If you are a traveling musician, it is the must-buy keyboard instrument. If you want to introduce music to your young children, the keyboard is also a good choice.

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