What Are The Key Differences Between Keyboard Vs Piano?

Jack Pound by Jack Pound | Last Updated: May 18, 2020

Learning something new is always beneficial and fun. When you have artistic skill like playing guitar or dancing, you can easily show off your talent in front of your friends or relieve stress by doing what you love.

Learning Keyboard or Piano is a great suggestion as both instruments will blossom your life with beautiful and elegant sounds. Some newbies may think that keyboard vs piano is similar. However, they are actually worlds apart.

In this article, we’ll shed light on the key differences between piano and keyboard. Hopefully, this article can solve all your concerns about the two. Check it out now!

Key Differences Between Keyboard Vs Piano That You May Don’t Know

Before choosing any instrument, you all need to understand each type of instrument and which one will suit you best. In this article, we spent time on researching and finally we listed down several main differences between keyboard and piano. Let’s see what we have!

Space And Portability

Apart from price, portability is also a key feature to look for when selecting a musical instrument. If you have a large space, you should go for the piano.

Keyboard vs piano - has more portability than piano

However, if you are living in a narrow house, keyboards are more suitable as it requires less room.

What is more, compared to pianos, keyboards are more lightweight and compact, which make them ideal for traveling purposes.


Price is the first and foremost factor to consider when it comes to buying anything. A traditional piano may cost you a fortune.

Hence, purchasing a piano is a real investment, and you should only go for it if you take piano seriously enough.

If a traditional piano is over your budget, let’s take a glance at the digital piano.

difference between piano and keyboard- price

Digital keyboards’ price is fairly reasonable. Middle-quality models are in the low hundreds, and the price tag of high-end models is just comparable to that of small upright pianos.

If you want to save money, electric keyboard is the best option.

Investing in an instrument needs careful consideration, especially when the instrument may cost an arm and a leg. Furthermore, after the initial cost, you have to pay for the maintenance as well.

As a result, before pouring out the money, you should ask whether this instrument is your temporary hobby or a long-term one.  The answer will help you decide.

Longevity And Maintenance

In terms of longevity, pianos come second to none. If they are properly kept in good condition, it may last hundreds of years.

Extreme temperatures and high humidity can be severely harmful for your piano. As a result, you should choose a piano which comes with a cast iron frame for frame.

piano tuning

Choosing the location placing the piano is also important. You should avoid locations near rooms with large doors, heaters or high-traffic door.

Additionally, you are better off covering the keys when you don’t play it to prevent dust. You should clean up the piano’s key with damp cloth and mild soap weekly and let them dry immediately.

Similar to pianos, digital keyboards are also no slouch when it comes to long lifespan. While several cheap models may break down in a couple of years, premium-quality models can still function normally after several decades.

Regarding maintenance, keyboards take lesser time and effort to maintain than pianos. To protect keyboards from harms, all you need to do is keeping it dry and clean all the time.

Additionally, you should keep the keyboard away from the direct sunlight, heat, air conditioner and radiator. While using, don’t ever let the dust or liquid enter to the inner body.

Functionality And Weight

In this round, the piano seems to be at a disadvantage as it is fairly heavy. The piano weighs from 400 lbs to even 1200lbs. Due to the heavyweight, pianos are usually placed in a fixed location. Moving a piano is similar to moving a bulky mountain stone.

On the contrary, keyboards are more lightweight, and an adult can carry it along effortlessly. Also, setting up a keyboard is more straightforward and time-saving compared to assembling a piano.

When it comes to flexibility, keyboards once again have an edge over pianos. This amazing device is capable of altering and changing all types of sounds to fit all musical styles.

The keyboard is highly appropriate for in-home studios which necessitate unique sounds and direct connection to mixing software.

On the other hand, pianos can only make one type of sound. Although it can create a wide range of notes and dynamics, in general, it can only produce its signature sound.

Touch And Feel

Piano vs keyboard delivers extremely different touch and feel.

Compared to piano keys, keyboard keys seem lighter, which make them ideal for newbies, especially for kids with weak fingers.

Piano keys are heavier as they have to carry the weight of the hammers behind them. Hence, playing the piano gives you an organic feeling simply because the applied pressure shapes the dynamics of the piece.

keyboards vs piano - feel of the keys

To be honest, a piano is better than a keyboard as the former allows more control over musicality and dynamics. Digital pianos are equipped with a technology called Graded Hammer key action to add more sensitization on pressure.

Piano keys offers a completely unique feel and involve distinct fingering habits compared to the average keyboard.

Keyboards are gratifying instruments for  learning, practicing and making music. However, they can’t give you authenticity like an acoustic, or a digital piano does.

Even though keyboard manufacturers are trying to upgrade more sensitive products, few can compare to the functionalities of the piano. A lot of models are lack of the same dynamic range of a piano.

In short, if you are looking for a perfect musical instrument for your child, the piano will be an ideal pick.

Keyboard Vs Piano – Which One Is Your Best Pick?

Pianos and keyboards have their pros and cons, and the choice is completely based on your requirement and taste.

If you want to follow the professional path in the future, investing in a piano is a great option. If you are just a casual learner a keyboard is all you need. On top of that, keyboards are a good fit for both kids and beginners who have little experience with musical instruments before.

Additionally, most digital keyboards come with headphone jacks, which allow users to practice without disturbing anyone.

In terms of the price range, pianos cost an arm and a leg (from $2,000 to $50,000). When choosing keyboards, you may save a lot of money as its price range is lower, from $200 to $600.

Several keyboards which cost up to $1,000 may come with extra devices such as USB drive, internal metronome, special effects, etc.

Instead of spending $1,000 to purchase a normal piano, you can buy a high-end keyboard with more features.

One thing that people don’t usually notice is that moving a piano also costs tons of money as it requires professional help. If you want to bring the music everywhere you go, then the keyboard is your best bet.

What is more, a piano should be tuned at least once a year. The tuning fee may cost around $100 each time; and the cost also depends on where you live and the condition of the piano. An in-tune piano or digital piano makes a world of difference.

When it comes to stage piano vs digital piano, going for a digital piano is a smart decision for beginners and those who have a tight budget.

Just start by a digital piano to learn and practice, if after a long time of learning, you still want to become a professional piano player, then invest in an acoustic piano later.


In conclusion, there are several differences between Keyboard vs Piano, including touch, feel, longevity, maintenance, functionality, weight, and price.

Whether you should opt for a keyboard lesson or piano lesson is a challenging question. However, it is a matter of taste. Hence, before making a purchase, listen to yourself first, and pick up what suit you best.

Hopefully, after reading this article, if someone asks you “Are keyboards and piano the same”, you can answer the question effortlessly.

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Jack is the leading publisher of Fire Inside Music. He is teaching piano at a music school in Los Angeles. Since he was a teenager, Jack has had a great passion for music, the thing he enjoyed most was singing and playing the piano. He has excellent keyboard experience, works with William to help players select the best instrument to invest.