Buying a digital keyboard – Advantages & Disadvantages
You may not be aware but you can actually rent a digital keyboard as well. Not all models of digital keyboards are available as rentals and newer and the fancier models are mostly for sale only. Second hand digital keyboards can also be found in abundance. If you look around carefully you might be able to find one in good condition. A lot of stores offer rental options on larger digital pianos or digital organs as well. Many online stores will ship the keyboard and provide knowledgeable staff and support over the phone. The restriction of buying a keyboard on line is that while it may give you a lot of options, if you are not aware of the nuances of a particular model, you really do not know how it is going to sound and feel.
Advantages of buying a digital keyboard
The digital keyboards can be purchased for a wide spectrum of prices. Unless you go for the very expensive and high-end models, most of the digital keyboards are quite affordable and much less expensive than their acoustic counterparts.
A digital keyboard can be accommodated much more easily in a home. The odds are that you will find a place in the for housing your digital keyboard inevitably. You can also move it around much easier than an acoustic piano which more or less takes up a prominent place which needs to be predetermined. You can move a digital keyboard from one room to another without calling in professional help. You can also carry it along with you when you travel for family gatherings and sing-alongs.
Digital keyboard come with a lot of features loaded in it. You can play a lot more instruments. With higher technical features such as MIDI player and digital recording, you can record an entire band just on your digital keyboard.
Digital keyboards almost require no maintenance such as semiannual or annual tuning. What you need to do is keep your keyboard does free and protected from the elements like excessive humidity and heat. Usually by using the keyboard regularly you can keep it in good shape.
Privacy and practice
Digital keyboards allow you to put on a pair of headphones and practice or play your piano silently. This is important if you do not wish to disturb the neighbors or need to play the piano without disturbing other family members. This comes in handy when you’re a busy person and the only time that you can find to play a piano is early in the morning or late at night. By plugging in headphones, you will be muting the sound of the piano and only you will be able to hear it. You can play the piano to your hearts content at whatever time suits you. This can be crucial to learning and practicing.
Cons or dis-advantages of buying a digital keyboard
Even a digital keyboards have negative points.
This may or may not be a negative issue. While it is true that digital keyboards come with a lot of features loaded onto it, you do not necessarily have to learn all of them. If all you are concerned with is playing a piano, then the preset setting will suit you just fine. However, if you do purchase a complex keyboard such as a workstation, there can be a steep learning curve involved in planning all of its functions.
Digital keyboards work on complex circuitry and software. They also have electronic contact points such as knobs, buttons etc. The truth is that any number these things can go wrong. In my experience, if you have an expensive digital keyboard, and some fault occurs inside it like fault in the circuitry, the repair costs can cost you quite a lot if the keyboard is out of the warranty. It is not uncommon for the keyboard to malfunction after some time.
You need electricity, battery backup or a lot of batteries in order to play a digital keyboard. This is not a problem for most of the people but should be mentioned.
Once again this may or may not be a problem. With the latest advance in technology of sampling real piano sounds, the high-end digital keyboards come very close to matching the sound of an acoustic piano. Some high end keyboards are capable of checking the resonance of the entire room and adjust their sound accordingly. This feature is usually found in digital uprights which are not so portable as portable digital keyboards.
The feel and experience
Personally, I would not recommend picking up a digital keyboard that isn’t touch sensitive. Touch sensitive means that the volume of the sound is controlled by how hard or soft you play the key just as it would be in an acoustic piano. If the only way you can control the volume is by controlling the volume knob, you are not going to get the same experience and feel as playing a real piano. I also highly recommend choosing a model that has a weighted key action. Weighted piano keys gives you the feel of real piano keys. Of course certain models have incorporated this feature better than others.
Unlike acoustic pianos that appreciate in value over the years if you keep them well maintained, a digital keyboard is liable to become obsolete. It can loose its value altogether just like any other electronic devices like computers and mobile phones. Eventually you might feel the need to upgrade to a later model which over the long run means that you spend more money than you had initially planned for.
This is something that people who are obsessed with having the latest technology should watch out for. If you are constantly going to want more sound samples, a better amplifier, a better speaker or a stand, you might be setting up yourself for spending much more money than you had initially planned for and intended to save by choosing a digital keyboard over an acoustic piano.