In 2016, the total value of the keyboard market in Australia was around $120 million.

With such a huge market, the variety of keyboards and digital pianos is large. With different sizes, functions, and actions, it can be very confusing for the first-time buyer.

But having some knowledge of the different options available to you will help you know how to pick a keyboard that is suitable to your needs. You can choose the right features and functions to fit your situation.

So read on as we look at 5 different types of piano keyboards.

1. Digital Pianos

Digital pianos are mainly intended to be an alternative to an acoustic piano.

Most come with 88 keys like a traditional piano. They also have a weighted keyboard action. This means that the keys feel heavy, like the keys of an acoustic piano. This makes playing a digital piano feel the same as it does playing on an acoustic piano.

Many digital pianos come built into a cabinet which means they don’t require an additional stand. It also makes them look more like an acoustic piano.

If you are looking for a piano keyboard for a player of a reasonable standard this is probably the best kind of keyboard to buy.

2. Workstations

A workstation is really three things in one: a keyboard, a sound module, and a sequencer.

The keyboard of a workstation will often be 88 keys. But they can sometimes have fewer keys to make the workstation more compact.

The sound module allows a workstation to produce far more sounds than a digital piano, which usually only produces a handful of different instrument sounds. The sound module allows a workstation to mimic the sounds of everything from orchestral instruments to drum kits.

Finally, the sequencer is a way to record and playback multiple tracks with different sounds on each, which means you can record an entire piece of music right on your workstation.

If you are just looking for which piano keyboard to buy, a workstation probably has many functions that you wouldn’t use. In addition, the inclusion of all the additional functions usually comes at the cost of weighted keys.

3. Midi Controllers

A midi controller is about as simple as a keyboard can get.

It is just a dummy keyboard that produces no sounds of its own. It needs to be used with a sound module, or a software package that will produce the sounds. The keyboard itself is used to trigger the sounds from the module or software.

The lack of onboard sounds makes midi controllers one of the cheapest piano keyboards to buy. But remember that you will also need to purchase something to make the sounds, although a lot of computers come bundled with free software that can do this.

If you are looking for which piano keyboard to buy, this is not an ideal choice as the low price usually means that the keyboard does not feel like a real piano.

4. Synthesizers

A synthesizer is basically halfway between a workstation and a midi controller.

It will include its own sound module so that you can play a whole range of instrumental sounds without the need for any other equipment. But it will not include a sequencer, so cannot be used for writing multitrack compositions.

Since synthesizers are not intended purely to mimic pianos, they tend to have less focus on weighted keys. This makes them feel less like a real piano to play. If you are just looking to buy a keyboard piano, a synthesizer is probably not the ideal option.

5. Smart Pianos

One of the most recent innovations in piano keyboards is the smart keyboard.

Smart keyboards are intended not only to play and sound exactly like real pianos but also to teach users how to play. They have clever innovations such as keys that can light up, and the ability to link to phones and tablets to use teaching apps.

Smart pianos are the ideal instrument if you are buying a keyboard piano for a relative beginner.

Looking for More Information on How to Pick a Keyboard?

As you can see there is a lot to consider when deciding on the best keyboard.

With such a range of options, it can be difficult to be certain that you are choosing the right piano keyboard for your needs. We always recommend talking to a specialist to get the best advice.

If you would like more information on how to pick a keyboard, or to learn about the range of educational instruments that we offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.