Piano Player World

Playing Piano vs. Playing Keyboard

piano vs keyboardThe difference between playing piano vs. playing keyboard, to some extent, varies based on the quality of the keyboard. The way a piano must be built to function properly does not allow for much variance.

As a result, the basic functionality of any piano is almost identical. However, keyboards allow for a variety of different features to be added or removed.

Some of the low end keyboards lack very basic features a piano has, such as the ability to play multiple notes simultaneously and pedals. However, middle range and professional level keyboards tend to function and respond similar to a piano.

From a playing standpoint, there should be little difference between a piano and a decent quality keyboard using a piano setting. The piano settings closely mimic how an actual piano plays. For example, if you press down on a piano key, the note eventually would fade out over time, even if the key is held down.

The piano setting on a keyboard replicates this same effect even though there is no mechanical reason the note should fade out like it does on the piano. The pedals on the keyboard also function in the same way most of the time.

For the most part, the difference of playing piano vs. playing keyboard should not be related to technique. You should be able to move back and forth between both instruments without changing how you play them.

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differences between keyboard and pianoKeyboards allow for more options that are not possible on the piano. The keyboard can change its tone and even replicate other instruments. In addition, higher end keyboards often allow the users to edit many of the basic settings on the keyboard.

For example, a keyboard player could be able to change the amount of time it takes for a note to fade out after the key is pressed. Some more advanced keyboards allow different parts of the keyboard to have different tones, which can allow a keyboard player to sound like they are playing two different instruments simultaneously.

The value of these features varies between musicians. A piano player that only plays piano parts might never touch them, while a keyboard player could very well not use the piano functions of a keyboard at any point.

The ultimate difference between playing piano vs. playing keyboard is the instrument tone. The piano generates its sound through vibrating strings in the casing. A keyboard attempts to replicate this sound through a synthesizer and broadcasts it using a speaker. The quality of synthesizers varies dramatically.

Lower end synthesizers often sound artificial and do not sound very good compared to an actual piano. The upper end synthesizers sound fairly close to a real piano, but even they do not sound exactly like an actual piano. No matter how good the synthesizer actually is, the difference between how the two instruments project sound is so different that the keyboard cannot sound exactly like a piano.

For the most part, a piano player chooses between using a piano or keyboard out of convenience or necessity. Keyboards are much easier to transport, weigh less and even professional quality ones are cheap compared to the cost of a piano.

In addition, some performing pianists need a keyboard to imitate other instruments for their songs. For example, a song with a trumpet solo and no trumpet player could use a keyboard to fill in for that part. However, no matter how well a keyboard is made, it cannot exactly duplicate the sound of a piano.

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