the differences between piano vs keyboard

What Is The Difference Between A Keyboard and Piano?

Interested in playing a musical instrument? That’s great! However, sometimes they are not so different from one another which could confuse you – in fact, Piano and Keyboard have always brought about much confusion.

When you are a newbie in the field of learning a musical instrument, it is quite common to perceive that a keyboard and a piano are the same musical instruments. While it is true that there are certain similarities here and there, at the end of the day – both musical instruments have some level of differences in functionality, feel, weight and budget.

So, before you dive into choosing one of these instruments; piano or keyboard; what exactly separates the two from each other? Read on below and let us enlighten you!

What is the main difference between the Piano vs. Keyboard?

In general, the piano is an acoustic instrument with a fully-weighted 88 keynotes while a keyboard is an electronic musical instrument with 61-88 lightweight keys. Due to its electronic functionality, a keyboard have more sounds than the piano which some of the keyboard models allow user to customize them.

4 Fundamental Differences Between Piano vs Keyboard



By the looks of it, an acoustic piano is nowhere striking a resemblance to the violin but an acoustic piano is defined as a stringed instrument because it’s played percussively. As the piano keys are pressed, the wooden hammers of the instrument are known to strike the respective strings, then a specific note resonates within the piano’s body.

A piano body is often (or always) made of high-quality wood, it is one of the reasons why an acoustic piano body is so large. The space within the musical instrument is known to produce an effective resonance – delivering a richer sound. So, if you make a comparison between a grand and upright piano – you can clearly hear the difference in a minute.


Technically, the keyboard is referred to as a row or series of keys on a piano body. However, in the modern era, keyboards have become synonymous with electronic or digital keyboards. These are high-end musical instruments that require electric power to operate. The electronic keyboards are known to produce music through a synthesizer instead of using hammers and strings – making them smaller in structure as compared to a grand piano.

piano vs keyboard - functionality
piano vs keyboard - touch and feel

Touch and Feel


One of the major points of differences between a piano and a keyboard is the key itself. A piano always has 88 keynotes and is known to be heavier and usually carries some weight behind them to be struck by hammers. As you are playing an acoustic piano, you’ll notice that it delivers a highly natural feel as you are applying the pressure directly on the instrument’s dynamics. This feature gives an acoustic piano improved control as far as the overall dynamics, as well as musicality, are concerned.


On the other hand, keyboards are all about replicating the abilities offered by an acoustic piano but to a certain limit. Most keyboard models do not possess the dynamic range of an acoustic piano and they also tend to have 61 up to 88 keynotes with lighter touch key response. This is because most of the musicality and loudness in the instrument is handled through a volume knob, not by pressure being applied to the keys.



Just by looking at its size, the answer’s already pretty clear, an acoustic piano is a heavy one. A smaller upright piano weighs from 180 kg to 225 kg, can you imagine how much a larger piano would weigh? Well, a huge one could weigh up to 540 kg. That’s usually the reason why an acoustic piano is fixed to one location – it’s a real hassle to move it around after all. However, this is just one minor downside. If you are truly passionate about the piano, the signature sound that it can make will definitely blow anyone’s mind away!


As said earlier, the option of portability alongside affordability makes an electronic keyboard an attractive musical instrument to many! Especially when it comes to the setup, you can easily bring it along to just about any location. Also, electronic keyboards possess the capability to alter their sounds – for whatever musical needs! Want a slightly mellow tone or are you looking to produce an upbeat tune for your next piece? Either way, electronic keyboards got you covered!

piano vs keyboard - weight
piano vs keyboard - budget-wise



Generally, there are two main types of pianos you can purchase – a traditional piano (including acoustic, upright, and grand piano) or digital piano. The former is more likely to burn a hole in your pocket – they can go up to a couple of thousands of Singapore dollars even if it’s a used or secondhand. You should only invest in a traditional piano if you’re ready to commit to this musical instrument, otherwise; owning one is not really necessary! A digital piano will do just fine for your basic piano lessons, which start from SGD 300 to around SGD 1,000. If you make a little comparison, you’ll even notice that the price point for high-end digital piano models is actually pretty similar to smaller upright pianos!


Meanwhile, an electronic keyboard is priced pretty reasonably, a portable one typically ranges from SGD 100 to SGD 500. That’s why for beginners, an electronic keyboard could be the best option because it won’t hurt your wallet and you can always upgrade to a digital piano or even an acoustic piano once your skill level has gone up.


So, whether you decide to get a piano or keyboard is completely up to you – it all lies in your passion for the music. Meanwhile, if you are interested to know more about a digital piano and the differences with a digital keyboard, then you’ve got to read this Digital Piano vs Keyboard article.

However, if you are still confused about their differences, you can always reach our team to give you some detailed advice by filling the form below.

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