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The purchase of the first piano (keyboard)
#3040694 10/29/20 01:30 PM
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Hello! My name is Guillem.

I am new here in the forum and in this world of music. I want to start learning to play the piano and to study music theory (I don't know anything about music yet and I'm very eager to learn).

I want to buy a keyboard (or piano) but I have no idea whether to buy it digital or acoustic to start in this world but I have no idea where to start looking. I guess I'd better buy a keyboard for the price to begin with. You could recommend keyboards to buy and help me understand if a digital or an acoustic one is better to start with. Any suggestion and advice is very welcome.

I had looked at this one: Thomann DP-26 which is around 300

Thank you very much!

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Re: The purchase of the first piano (keyboard)
Guillem_dlc #3040714 10/29/20 02:08 PM
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Because of the personal orientation of most people here they'll advice to buy a digital piano with 88 keys and hammer action. (Like e.g. Casio PX-160, Roland FP-30, Kawai ES-110, Yamaha P-125...)

Then you'll be learning to play "piano" instead of "keyboard".

But playing keyboard is of course an option too. It's just that after the very basics they are then two slightly different things.

And they'll advice against very cheap models like the Thomann DP-26 which is actually a Medeli SP4000.

(Somebody here did once comment on Medelis and said that the SP4200 i.e. Thomann SP-5600 is much better.)

The one thing about acoustics is that they feel and sound just like the real thing. Obviously. 😉

Digitals try to do that too and accomplish it in varying degrees. Not that it's so critical for a beginner or a random hobbyist.

Re: The purchase of the first piano (keyboard)
clothearednincompo #3040731 10/29/20 02:45 PM
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The Thomann DP-26 is a digital piano with 88 keys and hammer action, right?

Re: The purchase of the first piano (keyboard)
Guillem_dlc #3040733 10/29/20 02:48 PM
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You mentioned possibly buying an acoustic piano then mentioned looking at the DP-26. That's almost like saying you're considering buying a Toyota Camry but looked at this... bicycle smile

All joking aside. It may not be the worst idea to spend under $300 to start playing right away while you decide on an acoustic or a much better digital.

I won't claim to know anything about the DP-26 but:
* it does have a 3-year warranty from Thomann.
* it does have good reviews from both newbies and people who've played the piano for many years (for what they're worth!)
* some people mentioned paying only 239 so, see if you can get a lower price.
* Hopefully, you will absolutely love playing and in a few months or a year be able to decide whether you want an acoustic or better digital. If you buy an acoustic, you can keep this piano to control VSTs or for practicing with headphones, or give it to someone else who's in your current situation.
* even if you spend twice or three times as much, you'd probably still want to upgrade anyway.

So while I don't think this is a great/good piano, it will get you to start learning/playing right away and that alone is worth its price. Even if you have plenty of money to spend, the last thing you should do is nothing while you spend the next 6 months making a decision.

Re: The purchase of the first piano (keyboard)
Guillem_dlc #3040734 10/29/20 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Guillem_dlc
The Thomann DP-26 is a digital piano with 88 keys and hammer action, right?
Right, but I know someone who add troubles with a thomann/Medili. Typically a buggy damper resonance effect, but he has found the keyboard quite good. Then choosing a more known brand can be preferred. (The Roland FP10 can be a good entry level digital piano)


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Re: The purchase of the first piano (keyboard)
Guillem_dlc #3040736 10/29/20 02:49 PM
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You mentioned possibly buying an acoustic piano then mentioned looking at the DP-26. That's almost like saying you're considering buying a Toyota Camry but looked at this... bicycle smile

All joking aside. It may not be the worst idea to spend under $300 to start playing right away while you decide on an acoustic or a much better digital.

I won't claim to know anything about the DP-26 but:
* it does have a 3-year warranty from Thomann.
* it does have good reviews from both newbies and people who've played the piano for many years (for what they're worth!)
* some people mentioned paying only 239 so, see if you can get a lower price.
* Hopefully, you will absolutely love playing and in a few months or a year be able to decide whether you want an acoustic or better digital. If you buy an acoustic, you can keep this piano to control VSTs or for practicing with headphones, or give it to someone else who's in your current situation.
* even if you spend twice or three times as much, you'd probably still want to upgrade anyway.

So while I don't think this is a great/good piano, it will get you to start learning/playing right away and that alone is worth its price. Even if you have plenty of money to spend, the last thing you should do is nothing while you spend the next 6 months making a decision.

Re: The purchase of the first piano (keyboard)
Guillem_dlc #3040843 10/29/20 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Guillem_dlc
I have no idea whether to buy it digital or acoustic to start in this world
This is a false dichotomy.

Ideally buy both, assuming you live in a house (an apartment may be too small for both).

These days you can find plenty of very good second hand acoustic pianos for around $500.

Then purchase a $500 digital like an Yamaha P-125 or P-121 as well.

Most top pianists learned on multiple different instruments simultaneously - the more the better.

Also ask yourself why you are interested in learning. If the reasons include physical and mental health/wellbeing, then ask yourself how much you value these things?

This should dictate your budget: a common novice mistake is to pluck a budget out of thin air (e.g. that's the only amount I have in the bank - save up more!)

Last edited by Burkey; 10/29/20 08:34 PM.

Piano is one of the best human inventions of the past 320 years - help evangelize the magic!
Re: The purchase of the first piano (keyboard)
Burkey #3040858 10/29/20 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Burkey
These days you can find plenty of very good second hand acoustic pianos for around $500.
Or even $100:

Remember to factor in the costs of:
  • moving it
  • tuning it

Last edited by Burkey; 10/29/20 09:25 PM.

Piano is one of the best human inventions of the past 320 years - help evangelize the magic!
Re: The purchase of the first piano (keyboard)
Guillem_dlc #3040880 10/29/20 11:31 PM
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Whatta deal James got! So cool he put it back up on eBay.


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Re: The purchase of the first piano (keyboard)
Guillem_dlc #3040912 10/30/20 03:39 AM
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Hi Guillem,

You said you wanted to learn to play piano. So I will just assume you want to become a pianist, and not a keyboardist. May I ask what kind of music you'd like to play? Also, what's your budget?

A few years ago I also started learning piano, with mainly classical music in mind. If that's also your case, I would give the advice to purchase at least a digital piano with weighted hammer action and/or, if your situation allows it, a decent (used) upright. That way you won't put too much money into it, should you decide to quit for whatever reasons. As others said, you can get both if your budget allows. That gives you the best of both worlds.

Frankly, for a total beginner, either a decent acoustic or decent digital should be fine until your level increases. A digital is of course nice for silent play and eventually recording.

The digital piano I started with was a Casio AP-450, which has the same hammer action as the Casio PX-160 (which is around the $500 price point. For some reason, I can't find any online... did it get deprecated?) I can't really say anything wrong about that action, it should do fine for your first few years. And maybe the following ones too, who knows, if you can bear with the action getting noisy wink I never had any problem transferring to acoustic pianos, uprights or grands, during lessons or exams, at least for the beginner repertoire I was playing.

Ones I never tried:
- Other sub-$500 DPs which are regularly mentioned on these forums are the Roland FP-10, Yamaha P45, among others.
- A friend of mine got a Roland FP-30 and is so far happy with it, but it already costs more than $500. Also in the same price range: Kawai ES110, Yamaha P125.

Anyway, good luck in your piano journey! It's a fun one (with some difficulties along the road sometimes wink )! Piano brought so much to my life I wished I had started as a kid. But it's never too late wink


Estonia L190, Kawai VPC1, Casio AP-450

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