There are many types of pianos on the market, but they all fall into four broad categories. Grand pianos, upright pianos, digital pianos and hybrid pianos each have their own characteristics and advantages.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the four main types of piano and what differentiates them from each other.
Grand pianos are the largest type of piano, and they’re also the most expensive. They range in size from 1.8 to 2.5 meters in length, and weigh between 225 and 453 kilos.
Grand pianos feature a full 88-key keyboard and produce a rich, deep sound, ideal for classical music. They are also the preferred choice of most professional pianists. Pianos are built from six different types of material, depending on make and model.
The most common materials are maple, mahogany, pine, blackened hardwood, spruce and ebony. The steady-state sound is the output of a piano in its natural state.
It contains keys for a C major and C minor scale, but with trans notes laid down.
The grand piano is capable of executing all chromatic keys without any additional keyboard. The player of a grand piano sits on a low stool beneath the keyboard and does not need to move his feet from the pedals to play, using the weight of his body and feet as required for appropriate tactile action.
The player uses both hands and fingers to vary the dynamics of their playing, using both hands, for example. The piano keys are separated by a wooden frame called the keyboard.
The upright piano is a type of piano that stands vertically. The strings are also vertical and, to produce sound, the keys are depressed rather than pulled.
The upright piano is considered a more affordable option than the grand piano. It also has a more compact size and can be placed in smaller spaces.
A grand piano is a larger, more complex and more expensive keyboard instrument than the upright. It has 88 or more keys over the seven most commonly used octaves of its compass, instead of 73 on the standard upright.
Uprights are a good choice for beginners or for people with limited space in their home or office.
Grand pianos are larger than uprights, and have a longer keyboard of 88 keys. The sound produced by a grand piano is very rich and deep, and can easily be heard in a large room.
A grand piano weighs between 230 and 500 kilos and costs around €2,500.
Digital pianos are a type of instrument that uses electronics to simulate the sound of an acoustic piano.
Digital pianos are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer the same features as grand and upright pianos, but at a more affordable price.
They are a modern and practical way to play the piano, as they are portable and easy to store.
Digital pianos can be used to create a wide range of sounds, including acoustic pianos, electric pianos, harpsichords and even percussion. The sound is generated by a computer chip that is programmed with samples of real instruments.
They can be used by people of all ages and skill levels. The only thing you need is the desire to learn to play the piano.
Some digital pianos have weighted keys to play more like an acoustic piano. Others have keys that function more like a traditional keyboard or synthesizer.
Many digital pianos have built-in speakers so you can play them without connecting them to an amplifier or sound system.
Hybrid pianos are a relatively new type of piano that combine the best features of grand pianos, upright pianos and digital pianos.
They are generally more expensive than digital pianos, but offer the advantage of a traditional piano feel with the added features of a digital piano.
There are two main types of hybrid piano:
- digital pianos with a piano-style hammer action and upright pianos with a digital sound engine. The first type produces the same sound as a traditional grand piano;
- the second type offers all possible classical piano tones in a single instrument. Unlike acoustic grand and upright pianos, which have a short sustain.
Digital pianos have a long sustain, enabling a more expressive performance.
Some of the features that make up a hybrid piano are:
- Ivory or ebony piano action for a traditional feel, with digital tuning and other features.
- Grand piano sound, with double bass or digital sounds (depending on the type of options you buy).
- Tactile sensitivity similar to an acoustic piano. The same tactile sensitivity as an acoustic piano, with the added benefits of digital playability.
- Traditional key layout, with some modern features that add to the overall experience.
Console pianos are similar in size to upright pianos, but have a more traditional appearance with decorated cabinets. They’re a good choice for people who want the feel of a grand piano without the price tag.
Console pianos are the world’s most popular instruments. They are often used in concerts, recording studios and live performances.
Console pianos are a type of piano that is generally smaller and lighter than an acoustic piano. Console pianos are more portable and can be stored easily. They come with a wide range of features, depending on the model.
The cost of console pianos depends on size and features, but they are generally less expensive than acoustic pianos. Console pianos generally have 88 keys and weigh between 180 and 250 kilos. Many console pianos come with a built-in amplifier, but an external one is not recommended.
Acoustic-electric pianos are a type of piano that can be played acoustically or connected to an amplifier to be played electrically.
This type of piano is ideal for people who want to play the instrument but don’t have the space or budget for a full acoustic piano. They’re also ideal for people who can’t play in noisy environments, as they can be played as quietly as you need them.
Electro-acoustic pianos have become increasingly popular in recent years. They’re a good option for those who want the sound quality of an acoustic piano, but also want to be able to plug in their instrument and play it through an amplifier.
The sound of an electro-acoustic piano is different from that of a traditional acoustic piano, as it features an amplification system. It may be more difficult to maintain sound quality on an electro-acoustic piano than on a traditional piano, but it’s not impossible.
Electro-acoustic pianos are a type of piano with an electronic soundboard and speakers installed inside.
They are a good choice for people who want to be able to play either way. Acoustic-electric pianos generally have 88 keys and weigh between 250 and 400 kilos.
So, which type of piano is right for you?
That really depends on your budget, your space constraints and the type of music you want to play. If you’re just starting out, a digital or upright piano might be the best option. If you’ve got the budget for it, a grand piano would be the ideal choice. And if you want the best of both worlds, a hybrid piano could be the ideal solution. Whatever type of piano you choose, be sure to try it out in person before making your final decision.