Keyboard vs Piano: Top Main Differences

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If you are a newcomer to the music world, you might be confused about the difference between piano and keyboard. It’s not always obvious what properties they have in common, and the differences between the two.

Certain things are the same for either. For instance, knowing how to read piano notes is the same for both keyboard and piano. In this guide, we look at the distinct differences.

Table of Contents

How The Sound Is Generated

One keyboard and piano difference is how the actual sound is generated. On a piano, particularly an acoustic piano, the sound is made by a string being hit by a tiny “hammer”. This makes the sound of each key project and resonate acoustically.

A digital option like a keyboard will instead trigger a recording of a piano or other sampled sound when the key in question is hit. The sound is played by speakers rather than being made acoustically.

piano has tiny hammers

Number Of Keys

Considering keyboard vs piano, the number of keys is usually different, though you can sometimes find 88-key keyboards. Almost all pianos have 88 keys. This is considered the full range of a piano. For portability, sometimes a keyboard may have 49 or 61 keys. This is equivalent to one section of the piano.


You probably won’t have to buy many accessories separately for an acoustic piano. Many will come with a stool and with a set of piano pedals for altering the sound characteristics.

You can buy stools and pedals for keyboards, as well as stands, headphones, amplifiers and more. The electronic compatibility means they can be much more portable and easy to use with other studio equipment. Keyboards are arguably more convenient. You can potentially take a keyboard to a piano class in Singapore.


The maintenance of a keyboard is minimal, whereas an acoustic piano may require maintenance for the wood and the keys. Plus, you will need to tune the piano.

A modern keyboard which is made well should stay in tune no matter how long you have it for. They don’t tend to have wood in the designs, so they can cope with different temperatures and humidities better.

I just want to clean my piano


Whereas an acoustic piano will have just the one sound, which can be altered using pedals and playing styles, keyboards can have many sounds included, such as synth sounds or sampled sounds from different brands of piano.

Keyboards are transforming the way we make music. With a vast array of sounds and possibilities, they are becoming increasingly popular among musicians and producers alike. Unlike acoustic pianos that only have one sound, keyboards can offer a range of sounds such as synthesizers, drum machines, sampled sounds from different instruments and more. This variety gives you the freedom to create unique musical pieces that you would not be able to do with an acoustic piano.

Keyboards and digital pianos are becoming increasingly popular in the music production industry due to their versatility and convenience. With the ability to add onboard effects, such as reverb, delay or other studio processors, keyboards can take your sound to the next level. Not only do these effects help musicians create unique sounds, but they also save time by allowing them to quickly adjust parameters without needing to switch out hardware or manipulate a mixer.

The Feel Of The Keys

Piano keys are often made out of spruce wood and treated to have ebony and ivory feels to them, to replicate older styles of piano. They are also heavier to press, and the harder they are pressed, the louder the sound.

This feels vastly different from a keyboard, which may not be touch-sensitive, and keyboards tend to be made of plastic.

Cost & Portability – Who Wins the Battle?

Cost and portability are two of the most important factors when deciding between a keyboard or a piano. Keyboards are usually cheaper than pianos, and they are also more portable, making them the perfect choice for those who want to practice at home or take their instrument with them on the go.

On the other hand, pianos offer a more authentic sound and feel that can’t be replicated by keyboards. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and budget when deciding which is best for you.

Which is Better for Music Production?

Music production is an art form that requires the right tools to create the desired sound. Both keyboards and pianos can be used for music production, but which one is better? While it ultimately depends on the individual’s preferences, there are some key differences between keyboards and pianos that could help make a decision.

Keyboards are more versatile than pianos when it comes to music production. They offer a wider range of sounds and effects, as well as the ability to record multiple tracks at once. On the other hand, pianos provide a more natural sound with greater control over dynamics and expression.

In conclusion, both keyboards and pianos have their own advantages when it comes to music production. It is important to consider your own needs before making a decision on which one would be better for you.

Which Instrument is Better Suited for Learning Music?

Music is one of the most beautiful forms of art and can be learned on either a keyboard or piano. But when it comes to deciding which instrument is better suited for learning music, it really depends on the individual’s preference. Both keyboards and pianos have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider which instrument would be better for you.

For beginners, keyboards are often considered the easier option because they are more portable and typically have fewer keys than pianos. On the other hand, pianos provide a more realistic feel when playing and allow for more dynamic expression due to their larger range of notes. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to decide which instrument will work best for them depending on their goals and budget.


Though these instruments are very similar in the way they are played, and intrinsically linked in terms of design, there are some vital differences to understand between the two. While a keyboard is arguably more convenient to play and transport, it may not generate such a rich, wholesome and acoustic sound as a piano.

For many music lovers, the decision of whether to learn a keyboard or a piano is an important one. While both offer unique benefits, it is important to consider the differences between them before making a choice. In this article, I have discussed the pros and cons of each instrument and provide guidance on which one may be best for beginners. By now you should have a better understanding of which instrument may be right for you.

About The Author:
About The Author:

Alan Senejani
Alan is the co-founder of LVL Music Academy and in charge of everyday operations. His wife, Ms Janice and himself are passionate to bring out the best in kids & adults with quality music lessons in Singapore. He is a loving father to his 4 years old little girl & 1 year old little boy.

About The Author:
About The Author:

Alan Senejani
Alan is the co-founder of LVL Music Academy and in charge of everyday operations. His wife, Ms Janice and himself are passionate to bring out the best in kids & adults with quality music lessons in Singapore. He is a loving father to his 4 years old little girl & 1 year old little boy.

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