How a Keyboard is different from a Piano

Do you want to know the differences between a keyboard and a digital piano? What are the main features available in both these instruments? How technically keyboard and a piano are different? This article is mainly written to those who are unaware of the look and differences in a piano and keyboard.

The most common question that many of come across, how to differentiate between a Keyboard and a Piano. This is because both the instruments look very similar. Of course, the Upright and Grand Piano looks different and unique, but a digital Piano looks almost close to a digital Keyboard. The insufficient knowledge about these instruments leads us to make a wrong selection. It sometimes so happens that when you need to buy a Piano for yourself or for your kids, you end up buying a digital keyboard. Both Piano and Keyboard have different features, specifications and construction design. If you are learning a Piano, you must buy only a piano even if it is a very basic one. This article will provide you all the details about a Piano or a Keyboard which will help you to identify your kind of musical instruments easily. The details in this article can easily guide you as to why a keyboard can’t be a Piano. Please go through the details which are mentioned below.

How to identify a Digital Keyboard:

A Keyboard comes in different sizes. There are some toy keyboards you can find which comes with 32 keys, 48 keys, etc. These keyboards have mini keys and are good for the kids to learn basics. The regular size keyboards come with 61 numbers, standard size keys. It will have three main basic features namely, Tone/songs/style (almost all the keyboard will have these options). Keys of a keyboard will be light and easy to play. With the help of Tone option, you can select the sounds of different musical instruments and accompany them with the style you like. Some high-end keyboards come with 88 numbers of keys which are made for professional playing purpose. A keyboard doesn’t come with an attached stand. You will have to keep it either on a keyboard stand or on a table and play. It can work on both electricity and battery. The weight of a keyboard will be light and easy to carry inside its bag.

How to identify a Digital Piano:

A Piano will always come with 88 numbers of keys, no matter whether it is a Grand Piano, Upright Piano or digital Piano. This is the main specification which differentiates a Piano from keyboards. With time and market trends, some digital pianos come with accompaniment features just like the keyboards. However, for a piano learner it is strongly recommended to go with the basic features in piano. The keys of a piano will be heavier or denser as compared to the lighter keys of keyboards. Almost all the Digital Pianos come with attached stand but sometimes it is optional to buy in the case of a basic range piano. A standard digital Piano will have three pedal features unlike keyboards, which have only one pedal feature that too is optional. Although, nowadays almost all the keyboards come with a touch response feature, a piano’s keys’ touch will be totally different when you play it. Piano keys are constructed with graded hammer action feature which is necessary to get proper piano playing touch, wherein a keyboard will have normal action. That is why a keyboard player will always find it hard to play on a Piano.

Differences in playing techniques:

Both keyboard and Piano have very different techniques and methods to play. In Piano playing, both hands are used equally. Both bass and clef notes are played with left and right hand. In a keyboard, mainly right hand is used for notes playing and the left hand works for chords progressions. So, for a piano player, they will have to read two notes (both Bass and Clef) simultaneously but for a keyboard player it is just one.  The uses of pedals in a piano, after completing a few levels, play a very important role to bring out the dynamics or the feel of the songs. In keyboard playing there is no such requirement.


Hope this short article has provided you with the important differences between a piano and a keyboard and made you understand as to how a keyboard is different from a Piano. Both instruments are equally important in music, but it is you who has to decide which instrument to follow. There is no short cut in music. However, if you want to learn for fun and to enjoy your time with friends and family, you can always select a Keyboard. Piano is something which needs strong interest and much more hard work than instruments like Keyboard. No matter which instrument you select or learn, you should enjoy your music. If you are not enjoying, you are just not into music.


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