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What is a Keyboard, Where Did it Come From and How is it Different to a Piano?



The common question of “what’s the actual difference between a keyboard and a piano” is one we’ve heard for as long as we remember! There’s always been confusion around clarifying the difference between a keyboard and a piano, which is what’s encouraged us to create this full guide today on the differences between keyboards and pianos.


Whilst the fundamentals of learning piano and keyboard are the same, there are some differences which we will mention in today’s article. Generally, keyboards have much more variety with sound and effects which you can use, in comparison to pianos which only make one sound and cannot be manipulated through effects.


This article is brought to you by our piano teacher in Adelaide who’s poured their knowledge into this easily digestible and compact article for you. Before you begin reading, don’t forget to check out our piano classes in Adelaide and book your introductory trial lesson 100% for free!


Pianos have been around for much longer


The first and most obvious difference is that pianos have around for centuries, opposite to keyboards which have only evolved with the new and digital age of the past few decades.


The first keyboard was only made in the 1960’s. Now compare that to the first piano which came around 1700. Close to 300 years is a big difference to take into consideration!


Price difference


If your budget is an area of concern, then you most likely will have a greater liking for keyboards. Whilst there are cheap pianos out there, in order to get something good and reliable you’ll have to pay quite a few bucks.


Luckily when it comes to keyboards you can manage to get something good with a much lower price, usually only around $100-$200, and that’s only if you’re greatly concerned about getting the top quality available.


Quality of sound


When looking at the quality of sound produced, pianos do have the upper hand. Due to the larger and more traditional build a piano is able to produce a much better quality of sound and tone, in comparison to a keyboard which is reliant on digital power and settings.


If you’re someone who’s picky on the sound quality and tone, then a piano is a much better choice for you, in fact the best choice for you!


Ps. If you’re worried about how you’re going to get a good sound out of the piano, this is an area which we focus on in our Adelaide piano lessons, so don’t forget to book your introductory lesson now!


Range and variety


Whilst pianos do create a very beautiful tone and sound, an area of weakness is the range and variety which they don’t have when it comes to competing with keyboards. The average keyboard will let you imitate the sound of at least 4-5 different instruments such as guitar, strings, percussion, and more.




If you’re a fan of carrying your instrument around and sharing the music, then a keyboard is perfect for you, as it is much more portable than a traditional piano. Just imagine trying to move a traditional piano to the park! Keyboards are easily portable, giving you the opportunity to play anywhere anytime, and for anyone!




Another difference is the accessibility of good pianos compared to accessibility of good keyboards. It may be relatively easier to find a higher quality keyboard, especially if you live in a small city like Adelaide. Don’t misunderstand us, there are great pianos available too, however it’s usually a much slower process to assess the different details of a traditional piano and find the best one in the market.


Maintenance requirements


Regardless of what it is, any instrument needs proper maintenance and care to stay at its best, however a piano usually has a much more difficult maintenance process, especially when it comes to tuning the piano every once in a while.


What is a keyboard?




Many people mistake keyboards for being the same as digital pianos, however this is not the case. A digital piano is a regular piano which has a build in digital system, allowing it to have more features; basically, a hybrid of a normal piano and a keyboard.


A keyboard is a fully digital board with keys, which basically is not a piano and only looks like one. This is why the name “piano” is not seen anywhere in keyboard, since it’s only a board with keys which make different sounds!


It’s important to know the difference between digital pianos and keyboards, as this will save you a lot of confusion down the track, especially if you ever are in a phase of buying.


Main differences between pianos and keyboards






We can fairly conclude that pianos are a much greater option for those interested in traditional music and details of sound and tone. However, if you’re a fan of  convenience as well as some extra fun options to explore, a keyboard is worth giving a try!


Keyboard and piano classes in Adelaide


Regardless of whether you want to take up the keyboard or piano, there’s a spot at Kia Music Academy for you! Our lessons are suitable both for those looking to learn piano and keyboard, covering every single aspect of each instrument. For competitive and cheap prices, our options include:


  • Adelaide piano lessons
  • Adelaide keyboard lessons
  • Keyboard and piano lessons online in Australia and around the world


Book your first lesson for free now and experience the musical difference at Kia Music Academy!

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