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Hugh
Hugh, Composer, Producer and Performer
Category: Entertainment
Satisfied Customers: 59
Experience:  20 years experience in performing, studio sessions, producing, composing, entertainment management.
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I like to purchase a piano for my 10 years old kid for lessons.

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I like to purchase a piano for my 10 years old kid for lessons. He never took any piano lessons before. Should I go with accoustic or digital? and why?
Hello, and thanks for your question. I've been in the music business for over 25 years as a keyboardist, vocalist and producer. I've also been an instructor.

I personally always recommend acoustic. They have true weighted keys and you completely control the expressiveness of your playing. However, most people aren't really willing to spend the money on an acoustic piano for their child who may just be starting out. This is understandable. After all, who knows if they are going to stick with it.

So, that being said, digital can be much more affordable. However, digital is a very generic term for a wide variety of electronic keyboards. There are personal keyboards that you usually see at Best Buy or Walmart. They typically have non-weighted keys (normally only 61 keys) and a variety of other features, such as multiple sounds (organ, brass, synth, etc), accompaniment options and low level sequencers. Then, there are digital pianos, such as Korg, Yamaha, Kurzweil, Casio and Roland to name a few of the more popular brands. You can get these with 88 keys and also, weighted action - that simulates the weighted keys of the piano. Some of these digital pianos sound amazingly like the real thing. They range anywhere from $600 up to $15,000.

If you want to just gage the interest of your child for say the first year, you may just want to go with a personal keyboard. Again, you can get these at Walmart, Best Buy etc. I recommend Yamaha. They have a great sound and you can typically purchase them for around $150 or so. You'll have to get a sustain pedal as well. Then, if it seems that there is interest and talent, think about upgrading to either an acoustic piano or a nice digital piano....perhaps one around $1000 or so.

The only downside to the personal keyboard line is that most of the models have keys that are not weighted. If the child is taking lessons on a real acoustic, it can be difficult to press the keys down (after practicing on a non-weighted keyboard) and additionally, for the child to properly learn dynamics. There are some models that have semi-simulated piano action (each brand names it differently), but it is definitely not a true weighted keyboard.

If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask!
Thanks.

Edited by Hugh on 12/12/2010 at 2:01 AM EST
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