A standard acoustic piano has 88 keys – 52 white and 36 black. So why settle for a digital piano with a keyboard that has fewer than 88 keys?
The modern piano has taken several hundreds of years to develop into what it is today. The number of keys has altered dramatically, from as little as 32 keys when the piano was first developed. But by the mid-1800s, pianos had expanded to a full seven octaves. So why is this important to you when buying a digital piano?
Most modern music pieces were written using seven octaves, so in order to learn and play many pieces you will need a full 88 keys. Also, a full-size keyboard helps you develop correct technique and become a more expressive player. Settling for a keyboard with fewer keys means you will be limited in the number of pieces you can play, the techniques you can learn, and eventually you will need to upgrade.
“I always tell my students to buy a full-sized, 88-key digital piano, in order for them to learn proper technique”– Annabelle Cortís, Piano Instructor, Portland, OR
So what are weighted keys?
Acoustic pianos make their sound using a small hammer that strikes a string, which then causes the string to vibrate. This vibration is what we hear as a note. The hammer that strikes the strings is connected to the keyboard with a lever. This lever has a natural resistance or weighted feel, and we can feel that when playing an acoustic piano. The weight automatically feels more “natural” when playing and helps us gauge how much weight to apply to a key to get the sound we want. Press softly, and the note will resonate with a softer sound; harder and the extra pressure will cause the hammer to hit the strings harder, resulting in a louder more resonant sound.
Many digital pianos use a “spring” type key system, often referred to as “Semi-Weighted”. These unfortunately do not compare to a true, accurately weighted hammer action system like that developed for the Inovus i88™. Developed with true piano feel, the i88™ offers unmatched realism and natural grand piano like feel and playability.
So there you have it – make sure you choose a digital piano with 88 Weighted Keys, and enjoy playing for many years to come!