Popular in Pianos
A piano is a welcome sight in any living room. While the feel of a real acoustic piano hitting real hammers against real strings can make you feel like a real concert pianist, digital pianos can offer a lot of perks that acoustic pianos just can't. And here at Bax Music, you'll find a wide array of digital pianos available.
Volume & Weight
There are two points that might make a digital piano a better choice over an acoustic piano: the first is the fact that any digital piano will come fitted with a volume knob and often have a headphone output, or even two. Digital pianos also come in a range of sizes, from the super-lightweight, to the ultra-heavy. Generally you're talking about tens of kilos, but even with just two people, it's far easier to shift a digital piano than an acoustic piano.
The Sound: Pros & Cons
The biggest advantage offered by a digital piano is that most models emulate the sound of a really expensive acoustic piano, like an astronomically priced, concert-grade grand, which you just wouldn't get out of a cheap grand piano. Another advantage is that you'll never have to tune a digital piano. Many digital pianos also offer some extra sounds, like electric pianos, strings, or choirs which, depending on the model, can be a nice bonus. The disadvantage of digital models is that the sound is dependent on the quality of the speakers, while the whole cabinet of an acoustic piano acts as a big, natural 'speaker' which has a more spacious and organic sound. However, the more you're willing to pay for a digital piano, the better sound is likely to get.
The Physical and the Practical
Real acoustic pianos can be pretty hefty. Even a small upright piano can weigh as much as 200 kilos, while grand pianos get much heavier. All that weight lies in the wooden cabinet, internal mechanics and the metal frame that holds the strings in place. So, moving a piano around isn't really an option. If you're putting one in your living room, choose the perfect spot, because it's going to be there for a while.
The sound of a real acoustic piano will always have a certain quality that you just can't get with a digital piano. The whole cabinet of an acoustic piano serves as a speaker, that naturally amplifies the sound. With digital pianos, you're relying on the quality of the built-in speakers, so the pure piano sound, the resonance and sound dispersion of an acoustic piano still beats the sound of most digital pianos. But that's not to say that digital pianos don't come with their own advantages.
There are two main types of acoustic piano: the upright pianos that you see in many living rooms, and the pianos you see on the stages of concert halls. Upright pianos, of course, tend to be a bit cheaper than grand pianos, and since they're also much smaller, it's much easier to make space for one at home. Upright pianos are less resonant than grand pianos, so they have a shorter sustain, meaning that a note or chord will tail off more quickly. The sound of a grand piano is bigger, richer and louder than that of an upright, which is exactly why you see them on the stages of concert halls. They also have a 'grand', elegant look.
Learning to Play the Piano
Most students start taking piano lessons at seven years old, when their hands have had a chance to grow a little and the toddler-phase is already long over. Becoming a pianist involves a lot of playing. The ideal route is piano lessons, but if lessons aren't for you, then you still need to play as much as possible to train up your hands and wrists. By playing, you're building up muscle memory and memorising the 'map' of the piano keys so that, one day, you'll be able play without having to even think about it.
At Bax Music, we have plenty of accessories for acoustic as well as digital pianos, including a wide range of different piano benches and piano stools, all in various finishes and colours so you can find the one that matches your interior. A piano lamp is always useful for late night study, and to complete the look of stage pianos or digital piano models that don't come with a frame, we have plenty of stable piano stands. If you have a digital piano, you might also want to practise in silence using a good pair of headphones. While digital pianos come with one built in, if you have an acoustic piano, a metronome is an essential tool for studying rhythm and timing. And, of course, there's one thing that you can never have enough: sheet music and piano books, whether they're lesson books, complete pop or rock albums, Beethoven's sonatas, Christmas songs or film or musical soundtracks, there's something for every pianist.
Hiring a Piano
If you're not entirely sure that the piano is the right instrument for you, it makes sense to try one out before taking the leap and buying one. At Bax Music, you can hire almost any musical instrument you could want, and that includes digital pianos. Check out our piano hire page to find more information about hiring digital pianos and accessories, as well as information about hire purchase options.
Buying a Piano Online
At Bax Music, we stock digital pianos made by big names like Yamaha, Roland, Casio and Korg, and the range spans entry-level models to professional instruments, all in various colours and with various functions. For complete beginners, we also have models from brands like Fazley, which offer great features for really good prices. Buying a piano online is a safe bet these days, and since we offer a long trial period, you're given all the time you need to try it out and send it back if it doesn't quite work for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pianos
How many keys does a piano have?
A full sized piano keyboard will have 52 white keys and 36 black keys, which comes to 88 keys in total. Some stage and digital pianos have fewer keys so it can fit comfortably in the back of a car or the corner of a smaller room, and if you want to start taking piano lessons, then you don't necessarily need all 88 keys, since most lesson books will barely touch on the lowest and highest octaves. Of course, if you want to be able to improvise with the full note range at your fingertips, then you'll want an 88-key model.
What does 'piano' mean?
The first incarnation of the piano was referred to as the piano forte. In Italian 'Piano' means quiet, and 'forte' means loud. Since it was designed to compete with the harpsichord which can only be played at a fixed volume level, no matter how hard you hit the keys, the piano forte was given its name because it can be played both quietly and loudly. Later, the name was simply shortened to piano.
How many black keys does a modern piano have?
A normal, modern piano has 88 keys in total, 52 of which are white, and 36 of which are black.
How much does a good piano cost?
Some acoustic pianos can run into the thousands, but you can sometimes pick up a used upright piano for a couple of hundred pounds, but a good second hand grand piano for your living room could set you back as much as ten-thousand pounds. Digital pianos tend to a bit cheaper, and for as little as £200 you can pick up a really good beginner's model.
Is it hard to play the piano?
It's actually easy to start playing the piano since the keyboard gives you such a clear overview of all the notes, so unlike an instrument like the guitar, you don't have to learn any difficult 'grips' to play notes and chords. Also, unlike brass or woodwind instruments, you can never play a note out of tune (unless your piano needs tuning) or run out of breath.
Why should I learn to play the piano?
Once of the biggest advantages of learning to play the piano is that you can play complete pieces that include the bass, chords, and melody, on one instrument. The piano is an all-in-one backing band for solo performers or for accompanying vocalists.
What kind of instrument is the piano?
The modern piano is considered a chordophone instrument, since like a guitar or violin, sound is produced by striking, plucking, or bowing strings. But, because the mechanics of a piano strike the strings with hammers, the piano is also considered part of the family of tuned percussion instruments.
How much does it cost to get a piano tuned?
If you have an acoustic piano, then getting it tuned should be a yearly ritual. It can cost around £90 to get a piano tuned, but this price could be higher or lower depending on the tuner you hire. The price may also rise depending on how far the piano tuner needs to travel.