Should I learn how to play the keyboard or the piano first?
Keyboards and pianos look incredibly similar, I’ll admit.
They both have black and white keys, with the black in the same 2-then-3 pattern.
The keys are generally the same size (except for a handful of compact keyboards), and they both sound very similar. The sheet music reads the same.
But now the differences begin to crop up. The piano has a richer sound, especially when it’s a massive grand piano.
The keyboard doesn’t usually have pedals, but they do have a bunch of buttons on the top. If you’ve played the piano in the past, it’ll take time to develop new habits.
Should you learn how to play the keyboard or piano: your environment
Where will you be practicing? Will you be in the garage, quietly tucked away from the rest of the household while you pluck away at the keys, learning “Mary had a Little Lamb” while figuring out how to play the keyboard?
Or will you be in your lobby, gingerly playing on a grand piano so that your entire home can listen to your thousandth rendition of “Jingle Bells”.
If you’re interested in saving face or protecting your family’s ears, learning how to play the keyboard would be a better choice.
They have built in jacks for headphones. This means you can keep all the errors to yourself and, at the same time, keep yourself distraction free.
On the other hand, if you are a grand stander or if perfect quality sound is on your list of important features; a piano would be more in line with your needs.
It also costs more space and money but many people think the better sound is worth it.
Which is easier for beginners to learn how to play, the keyboard or piano?
Some argue that learning how to play the keyboard is easier than learning the piano. The keyboard allows you to focus more on the mechanics of the music rather than the mechanics of the instrument.
Some keyboards allow for you to turn off some features, like touch sensitivity which means the instrument will play the same volume note regardless of how hard you press the keys, which means you can sound good even when you have a little hesitation still in your fingertips.
You can also use other features to help you learn, like playing back your session.
It’s incredibly useful to hear yourself play without concentrating on the music sheet. You can focus on listening for your mistakes, and learn what you did wrong.
For kids, there are a variety of fun sounding instruments which may hold their interest longer.
Sure, it’s not going to keep them playing an instrument forever, but during periods of low drive it can be just what the piano instructor ordered!
It’s also easier on their fingers as you don’t have to physically hammer on a string to get the sound out.
Lastly, consider this, keyboards are easier to maintain. Pianos have to be tuned regularly and cleaned. Strings get frayed and have to be replaced, and the first time you close the top on your fingers you’ll know exactly what that problem is!
Are they really that different?
Anecdotal evidence says yes! I myself started with a keyboard at the age of 10. It was years later before I had regular access to a piano, and boy did I struggle to play songs that I already knew!