Learning on Keyboard Or Piano – What’s the Difference?

You may be wondering how the keyboard differs from a piano and how piano lessons differ from keyboard lessons? Both are pertinent questions and in this article, you will find an explanation of both.

Differences Between a Keyboard and a Piano

While the piano is an acoustic instrument, the keyboard is an electronic one and requires a power source. Again, while the piano has weighted keys, the keyboard has lighter, unweighted keys. Both instruments have their own unique features and benefits. For instance, the piano’s weighted keys are great for building up finger strength which improves your playing technique.

Additionally, when you play notes on the piano, there is a richness of sound owing to harmonics unique to the instrument. If the piano does have a con it is that it needs to be regularly tuned and this can be costly.

In contrast, the keyboard doesn’t even need to be tuned. The keyboard is an instrument where you can alter the instruments and sounds adding a lot more variety to your practice sessions. The keyboard contains hundreds of sounds to choose from. What’s more, on this instrument you can even play alongside backing tracks which develops your skills to play precisely in time.

For instance, playing an incorrect note occasionally on the piano is noticed less than if you make the same error on the keyboard. Another advantage of the keyboard is that most keyboards can also be connected to your computer or gadget and opens up a plethora of music-making prospects.

A point to note here is that a keyboard has unweighted keys. However, there are some electronic keyboard instruments that have weighted keys. The correct term for such an instrument is a digital piano. Now, if the term MIDI keyboards are being used, it is an umbrella term for all electronic MIDI instruments including keyboards with unweighted keys and digital pianos with weighted keys assuming that the instrument has a MIDI capability.

Differences Between Keyboard Lessons and Piano Lessons

The term “keyboard lessons” usually refers to courses and lessons in which students are taught to read the melody or right-hand notes, while they play 1-finger chords or easy block chords with their left hand. In contrast, “piano lessons” is a term that refers to lessons through which students learn to read and play notes in each hand properly. This is definitely better than what is taught in keyboard lessons.

Differences in Style

The sound of a piano is usually quite different from that of a keyboard. If you are interested in a more traditional sound then learning the piano might be more meaningful for you. Blues, jazz and classical sound best when played on a piano. While acoustic pianos sound best some digital pianos are also good at copying a great piano style. On the other hand, if you are keener on playing modern music you might lean towards learning the keyboard. However, do not be mistaken. You can play modern music on a piano and classical music on a keyboard.

Dedication and Focus

Another factor to note regarding which lesson to learn is whether you have the level of dedication to learn the smaller details and the level of perseverance to learn multiple skills at the same time. Since keyboards are created to emit the perfect note every time, you will need to focus on rhythm, finger placement and speed here. But for a piano, your focus will be on learning to play the piano using specific techniques such as pressing the pedals and pressing the keys appropriately.


An important consideration that you also need to keep in mind is when and where you are likely to play the instrument or practice it. If you are looking to play modern music at varied locations, a keyboard might be a good idea. On the other hand, if you are likely to play traditional piano music at locations that have the instrument for example a church, then piano lessons are advisable.

However, if you live in an apartment complex in close proximity to others and need to practice at night, taking keyboard lessons could work out better. The reason being that most keyboards come with an audio jack, so you just need to plug in your headphones and you will cause no disturbance to anyone.


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