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How to Buy the Perfect Electric Piano for Your Child in 2024

Updated: Mar 5

orange cat paws on piano keyboard. view from above

As your child embarks on their exciting journey into the world of piano, you may ponder the perfect instrument to kickstart their musical adventure. Electric pianos offer an excellent entry point, combining affordability, portability, and the allure of authentic piano sounds. For your budding pianist, the first piano should be an inspiring companion on their learning path, offering the right features without breaking the bank. Remember that they can start with almost any electric piano or keyboard and upgrade as their skills grow. This guide outlines three ideal minimum requirements for your child's first instrument to ensure they start on the right note.

88 Keys: The Standard for Expression

The foundation of any good piano is its keyboard. When it comes to electric pianos, the gold standard is 88 keys. These 88 keys consist of 52 white and 36 black keys, providing you with the full range of notes from the lowest A0 to the highest C8. This comprehensive set allows you to play virtually any piece of music without limitations. If you're shopping for an electric piano, ensure it comes equipped with all 88 keys to have the full spectrum of sound at your fingertips. Some budget models may have fewer keys, so be sure to check this specification carefully.

Weighted or Touch-Sensitive Keys: The Feel of the Keys

The tactile experience of playing an electric piano is a critical aspect to consider. Two common key types you'll encounter are weighted and touch-sensitive keys. Your choice here should align with your playing style and preferences:

Weighted Keys: These keys are designed to replicate the feel of acoustic piano keys. When you press a key, you'll experience resistance and a more realistic response to the strength of your touch. This is ideal for pianists who are accustomed to acoustic pianos and want an authentic playing experience.

Touch-Sensitive Keys: Even if the keys aren't fully weighted, it's essential to have touch-sensitive keys. These keys respond to the velocity of your keystrokes, allowing for dynamic control over the volume of each note. This feature adds expressiveness to your playing and is excellent for various music genres.

Choosing between weighted and touch-sensitive keys ultimately depends on your personal preferences. You may prefer weighted keys if you're an experienced pianist or transitioning from an acoustic piano. However, if you want a more cost-effective and portable instrument, touch-sensitive keys are perfectly adequate. They make for a lighter-weight instrument and are usually lower cost.

Sustain Pedal or Compatibility: Shaping Your Sound

A sustain pedal is a critical accessory that enhances your ability to shape your piano's sound. This pedal allows you to hold notes and create a rich, sustained quality like an acoustic piano. When shopping for an electric piano, make sure it comes with a sustain pedal or is compatible with one. Most electric pianos have a designated pedal input, so you can purchase a sustain pedal separately.

Additional Considerations

While these three factors are ideal minimums for your first instrument, there are additional aspects to contemplate:

Sound Quality: Evaluate the instrument's sound quality and consider whether it offers various piano sounds to suit your preferences.

Connectivity: Check for MIDI, USB, and headphone jacks.

Built-In Sounds: Assess the range and quality of built-in instrument sounds. For piano lessons, only a solid piano sound is needed. Still, the fun of playing different built-in sounds is a great incentive to practice!

Accessories and Software: Explore whether the piano has additional accessories or software to enhance your playing experience.

Be sure to read reviews, seek recommendations from fellow musicians, and, if possible, try out the instrument in person before making a final decision. Your choice of an electric piano should align with your playing style, goals, and budget.

When acquiring your child's first electric piano, remember the essential factors of having 88 keys, selecting between weighted or touch-sensitive keys, and ensuring the availability of a sustain pedal or compatibility with one. These qualities will lay a strong foundation for their musical journey, providing the feel and sound quality they need to thrive. If your child is just beginning their lessons and you're unsure about making a long-term investment in a new instrument, consider asking family and friends if they have an instrument to borrow or browse platforms like Facebook Marketplace for budget-friendly options. Remember, starting with the basics is a prudent step, and as their skills grow, you can explore more advanced options. Here are a few options from Amazon. Information current as of 25 October 2023. These are affiliate links. Donner DDP-80 Digital Piano 88 Key Weighted Keyboard $659.99

wood tone electric piano with skinny legs

black electric piano with sustain pedal and power cord

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