Keyboard vs Piano | Ultimate Guide

Have you ever wondered about the similarities and differences between playing a keyboard and a piano? Which is easier to play? Are they similar or very different in terms of being considered an instrument? These are common questions that are going to be answered in this post!

The differences between a piano and a keyboard are somewhat significant. Pianos generally have keys that present a heavier feeling to the player while keyboards have lighter keys that don’t require as much force to play. Pianos are much larger than keyboards. This is because the piano is a string-based instrument that requires careful tuning and maintenance.

Several similarities exist when comparing a keyboard vs a piano. We are going to explore these by comparing them against each other in the sections below. In many ways, keyboards and pianos are similar, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some meaningful differences too. 


Keyboards are a type of digital instrument that is designed to be much more compact than a traditional piano. They are generally viewed as a great place for newcomers to start playing because they can be easier to understand and operate initially.

Musicians will agree that pianos have a heavier feeling due to the genuine string-based design that is linked to each key. Keyboards are not as heavy and this is why many novice players prefer to play on the keyboard until they build up the strength to switch over. Some keyboards have a heavy key setting, that makes the tone louder if you press down harder. This can be helpful if you intend on learning on a full-size piano.


One of the fascinating things about pianos is that they can be preserved for a very long time. To keep pianos operating for longer periods, maintenance is required periodically. Keyboards don’t require as much maintenance but they may face issues after several years of consistent playing. 

In addition, pianos are much larger and usually heavier in terms of overall weight and the amount of space that they take up. The keys are attached to hammers, that strike the string, playing the tone. This is an important factor to consider because some people don’t have enough room in their house to place a piano. Source.

Is a MIDI Controller a keyboard?

A MIDI controller is a keyboard that can work with other hardware or software to create tones assigned to the keys. This opens up your library of sounds to more than just what your specific keyboard comes with. A MIDI controller is a great tool for anyone who wants to use their keyboard skills for music production.

A MIDI controller is a (music instrument digital interface) that can connect to multiple programs and other hardware. This allows you to create a digital workstation, where you can sample sounds, assign them to your controller/keyboard, and use them in real-time. You must have some type of hardware/software to use this kind of keyboard.

Size Comparison

Pianos can easily weigh hundreds of pounds while keyboards are lightweight and not anywhere near as heavy. If you are comparing a keyboard to a piano, the piano is almost always going to be much larger and heavier than the keyboard that it is being compared to. 

Price Comparison

High-quality pianos can cost thousands, to tens of thousands of dollars. Pianos are usually more expensive than keyboards. It’s possible to acquire a keyboard for a few hundred dollars, and up to around $3,000 for a keyboard that is also a workstation, depending on the brand design, quality, and customization features. 

Comparison Chart | Keyboard vs Piano 

Here’s an in-depth comparison chart of some of the most significant differences between a piano and a keyboard. It’s important to understand these differences and similarities so that you don’t easily mix up these two types of instruments. 

Pianos are usually much heavier and take up a lot more space than keyboards due to the way that they are designed. This string-based instrument has been around for hundreds of years.Keyboards are much lighter and don’t take up as much space as the average piano. They are great for beginners because they are generally considered to be easier to play for novice musicians. 
Pianos are usually much more expensive than keyboards. They can cost thousands of dollars in some cases.Keyboards are usually a lot cheaper than pianos and can be purchased for only a few hundred dollars.  
It’s not uncommon for pianos to require extensive maintenance after several years. Some pianos have been around for decades or even centuries after receiving consistent maintenance.Keyboards are electronic-based instruments and this means that they could be vulnerable to a shorter lifespan. They require some maintenance but could fail after around a decade of using them. 
Some people don’t have the available space to purchase a piano for their household. If this is the case, then a keyboard might be an ideal replacement. It can depend on your specific situation and budget as well.The agile design makes keyboards a popular replacement for the piano. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it is better than a piano though. There are several reasons why you might prefer to play a piano, but it really depends on the situation.
Keyboard vs Piano Comparison Chart.

You should now understand several of the key differences between pianos and keyboards. They are both fascinating instruments that have pros and cons. You should spend a little bit of time comparing these two in the chart so that you have a sufficient understanding of the similarities and differences. 

You should also consider the style of music you plan on playing. If you are going for something classical, then a piano is where you want to be. However, if you are going to play in a rock band, then a keyboard or organ would be the best way to go. The keyboard was invented in 1875 and was originally called an “electric telegraph.” Source.

Keyboard vs Piano Conclusion

You probably started out by reading this post and not really knowing the important differences between a piano and a keyboard. The truth is that there are several similarities, but there are also some key differences that could have an impact. 

You should take a look at the comparison chart and compare the information to gain a better understanding of why each instrument might be ideal for your situation. If you are planning on buying one, factor in size, budget, and quality before making your decision. 

If you spend a little bit of time analyzing the comparison chart above, you’ll start to realize that several differences might have an impact on your final decision.