Should You Get a Piano or a Keyboard? (Part 1)

Piano Versus Keyboard

Are you debating about whether to get a piano or a keyboard? I love my piano, but I also own a keyboard and like that too, so let’s compare these two things side-by-side in this two-part post. Hopefully you’ll come away with a better idea of what you need.

Why You Should Get a Real Piano

1. Real Pianos are the Real Deal

The most compelling reason to get a real piano is because you can’t replace the sound and feel of a real acoustic instrument. I love the sound, feel and response of a real piano. When my fingers hit the keys, those keys trigger hammers, which hit strings, which create music, and I can feel the music I’m creating – I love that!

2. Pianos Come in Different Sizes

Pianos are generally big and heavy, but they do come in different sizes so you have some options.

Grand Pianos

A grand piano is the dream of many piano-players, and while they come in different lengths, you pretty much need to dedicate an entire room to a grand piano. But grand pianos are special to play, with the music filling the room.

Vertical Pianos

Since grand pianos need a lot of space, you may be better off with a vertical piano. Grand pianos are measured by their length from front to back, but vertical pianos are measured by their height. The smallest size vertical piano is the spinet (36 – 40″). Next is the Console (40-43″), then the Studio (44-48″), and finally the Upright (49″ +). Check out this helpful page to get an idea of how these different-sized pianos compare.

Should You Get a Piano or a Keyboard? (Part 1)

My Piano

I have a Baldwin Spinet, which I love. It was an answer to prayer, actually. I’ve had a keyboard for awhile, but began realizing how much I missed having an acoustic piano.

So I prayed “God, please bring me a real piano for free.” Shortly after that, my mom asked if I would be interested in a piano from a friend who was getting rid of one. I was so happy I cried. We went to look, and it was a beautiful little Baldwin spinet in great condition. Such a wonderful answer to prayer!

Our house was already full, but that piano was like water to a thirsty soul. If having a real piano is important to you, you can probably get creative with your space to make it work.

learn piano chords charts printable pdf

Learn Piano Chords Printable

Get started learning piano chords with this 32-page PDF. These charts will lay a great foundation for you at the piano, and will be referenced again and again! 

3. You Can Probably Get a Free or Cheap Piano

People are regularly getting rid of their pianos, so if you’d like to own the real thing, you could start asking around, or use an online marketplace to find something. Sometimes pianos show up at furniture resale stores. Our local piano store has a large selection of used pianos.

4. Pianos Are Simple

Eighty-eight keys and three pedals, and that’s it. No 1/4 cables, DC adapters, amplifiers, buttons, sliders, LCD’s, USB’s, stands, carrying cases, or the 300-page owner’s manual. You can sit down and just start playing.

The three pedals on a piano are, from left to right: the soft pedal (softens the sound), the sostenuto pedal (sustains selected notes), and the sustain or damper pedal (sustains all the sounds). I use the sustain pedal the most, due to the style of piano-playing I most enjoy.

5. A Real Piano Is More Likely to Be Played

Real pianos don’t require setup, so you just sit down and start playing. You don’t have to plug anything in, turn it on, select your sound, and trouble-shoot if something isn’t working.

6. Pianos Are Nice to Look At

When I look at a piano, I see an invitation. An invitation to come and create music, to express what I’m feeling and thinking, and to enjoy the moment. I also use my piano to pray and create worship songs, which is one way I express and build my faith (I wrote a Christmas song you can check out here). The piano can become that for you too.

A piano sitting in a room is a song waiting to be created!

Have I Convinced You?

If you have the option, a real piano is wonderful to own. They’re lovely to look at, easy to use, provide a wonderful touch-response, and can create beautiful sounds.

Now let’s look at why you might want a keyboard.

You May Also Like…


  1. Connie

    Enjoyed your post! I especially enjoyed your quote, “A piano is a song waiting to be created.” Very helpful and informative article for those trying to make that big decision.

    • Julie

      Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *