The piano is one of the most popular musical instruments. It is also an exciting instrument you can learn at home. In the last several decades, more advanced technologies are used in digital piano designs making them sound and feel really close to acoustic pianos.
If you’re motivated to get an upgraded piano or start learning piano, it is worthwhile to take a closer look into the benefits of portable pianos.
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What is a Portable Digital Piano?
Digital pianos are electronic instruments. They are designed to replicate the sound and feel of the acoustic piano as closely as possible.
A traditional piano produces sound by using felt-covered hammers hitting the steel strings and the keys are connected to the hammers. They make sounds mechanically. The sound bounces within the piano chamber that creating various resonant effects.
In contrast, a digital piano builds sound with acoustic piano recording. Basically, it has a mini-computer that stores sound sampling for each key. That is why a digital piano can have many different tones such as pianos, organs, harpsichords, strings, etc.
Another important aspect of a digital piano is its key feel. In order to truly replicate the key touch of an acoustic piano, the digital piano keyboard needs to have a scaled weighted hammer action keyboard. If the keys are unweighted or spring-loaded, then it is just an electric keyboard, not a digital piano.
A portable digital piano has all the characteristics of a digital piano, yet it is much lighter and usually without a stand.
There are different types of digital pianos. It is important to find the best one that fits your goals and lifestyle.
Top Five Benefits of Portable Digital Pianos
1. Suit for Various Venues
Most mid-range portable digital pianos pack tons of functions into a slim body. Customarily, they come in the size of 51”-53”(L) x 11”-13” (D) x 6”-7” (H), and weigh about 25 lbs to 30 lbs.
These digital pianos are very easy to carry and fit nicely into compact cars.
They are perfect for gatherings in friends’ homes, playing within small ensembles, and gigging in professional performances.
In many situations, the onboard speakers are adequate for small gatherings. Additionally, many of them provide line-out ports to connect externally powered speakers for outdoors or larger venues.
2. Perfect for Home Practice
In many cases, a portable digital piano does not come with a stand. Since it is so compact, you can just put it on any table or desk.
Many manufacturers provide an option for you to purchase a matching stand. Hence a portable digital piano can be easily converted into a home-use upright piano. It fits in contemporary décor perfectly.
Digital pianos are ideal for home practice, especially with technology.
3. Technology-Enabled Features
All digital pianos feature at least one headphone jack and many with two. You can practice quietly without disturbing others in the house.
Most of them provide an onboard recording system, some with multiple tracks. This function allows you to record your performance and also can aid your practice. For instance, you can record your left hand, then practice your right hand with the left-hand playback.
Many portable digital pianos allow you to connect to your computer or wireless devices. This enables you to learn from apps, record your pieces, and exchange songs from your devices.
4. Useful Apps for Learning and Enjoyment
When it comes to piano apps, there are two main categories.
First are the stand-alone apps that can be used regardless of which digital piano you have. These apps present a broad spectrum of teaching functions including note reading, real-time feedback, ear training, music games, etc.
The second category is the apps from digital piano manufacturers. These apps are compatible with a specific brand or model. In many cases, these apps extend the functionalities of the digital piano itself. For example, you may use the app to remotely control the piano settings, change tones, or provide accompaniment.
5. Low Maintenance and More Affordable
One remarkable thing about a digital piano is that it will never be out of tune. The only maintenance probably is an occasional wipe down. Hence the ownership cost is very low.
On the other hand, acoustic pianos are required to be tuned at least once a year or after a major move to a location where the room temperature and humidity are different.
The digital piano is much easier for mass production, therefore more affordable. Around the $800 – $1000 range, you can buy a high-quality portable digital piano that could have an acoustic piano key feel, and a grand concert piano sound.
Portable digital pianos are really versatile and cost-effective. It is superb for gig professionals and economical for home use. The numerous tech-enabled features make learning easier and practice more enjoyable.
Nowadays, with advanced technologies, many digital pianos feature impressive sounds we found in world-class concert grand pianos. For instance, the Yamaha P125 comes with Yamaha’s CF 3 concert grand piano sound and the Kawai digital piano ES110 is using the Kawai’s EX concert grand piano sound sampling.
Both the Yamaha P125 and the Kawai ES110 are popular portable instruments. Check out our side-by-side comparison review.
Many features onboard String Ensemble and Drum Rhythms. Thus, your band is with you wherever you go.