Acoustic or digital piano? This is one the most commonly asked questions from piano parents as the student 'grows out' of their entry-level keyboard. Hearing this, I give a sigh of relief. Finally the student will soon be playing on a quality instrument that has the range and longevity to develop their musicality, intrinsic motivation and technique.
Acoustic pianos will always be better than digital pianos. Whilst digital pianos try to compensate through features such as MIDI output, silent playing with headphones and instrument settings.... Digital pianos are not responsive enough for late intermediate/ advanced players, most apparent for pieces that require rapidly repeating notes. It can never fully replicate the feel and sound of a true acoustic piano.
But saying that, digital pianos a strong consideration for those in rental properties, noise-sensitive properties or space constraints. Digital pianos are a great starter for beginners.
For all my students whom live within M25 (South East London, UK), I first recommend Piano Warehouse. This is London's largest retailer for pianos, their staff are very experienced and they have an excellent selection. I've frequented the showrooms many times with student families and to purchase my own piano.
For those looking for Yamaha specific models, I recommend Yamaha Music London. Although I have not personally visited or purchased from this retailer, I have heard positive reviews.
Below are a my digital piano recommendations, starting from my favourite and moving down to entry level choices.
My favourites for complete beginners all the way up to mid-intermediates...
Yamaha CLP series
- Top tier replication of the sound and feel of a grand acoustic with virtual resonance modelling. My personal favourite and first recommendation (approx. £1200)
- Excellent sensitivity and feel of the keys, allowing for expressive playing to be captured (approx. £2000)
Great key feel with graded weighted touch and well-rounded sound quality (approx. £1600)
Entry level choices for complete beginners...
- Solid quality and great price for beginners. Uses a graded hammer system (GHS) to replicate the weight difference between high and low keys (approx. £450)
- Good entry level digital piano for beginners, an alternative to the Yamaha P45 (approx. £700)