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For young children, parents are often inclined to start with a keyboard because they can be the least expensive. To decide whether or not this course of action is right for a young student, it’s good to have a conversation with that student’s music teacher. Often, music teachers would prefer that a child starts with a digital piano because they are going to have the requisite number of weighted keys and fewer distracting options. When a child learns to play on a keyboard, they may have a harder time adjusting to a digital or traditional piano. Music teachers also have preferences for which digital pianos they think are going to offer the best balance of sound and cost, and their experience with a particular instrument can certainly be helpful as your child learns. For these reasons, it’s always best to talk to a child’s music teacher before making a purchase. If your child has expressed an interest in learning to play the keyboard specifically, less expensive keyboards with fewer features can be a good place to start.
In piano lingo, “action” describes the way the piano keys feel when you press on them. With a digital piano, the closer the action is to that of an acoustic piano, the better. Semi-weighted action uses a spring to create the resistance felt when pressing a key and its rebound when you lift your finger. Hammer action uses a hammer mechanism like that found in an acoustic piano to replicate the feel. Graded, or progressive, hammer action takes that a step further by increasing the weight of the action as you descend to the lower notes on the keyboard. Using a keyboard with weighted action is beneficial for multiple reasons. It helps build finger strength while practicing (a spring-based action will only minimally address this), and it allows for more variation and musicality in the way you play a note. While a piano keyboard might look like nothing more than a bunch of on/off switches, in reality there’s a range of volumes and timbres that can be achieved depending on how quickly or strongly you depress the keys. Hammer action best replicates those possibilities.
Maybe you've already got a specific brand in mind and want to see all the digital pianos they offer. All you have to do is click on the brand on the left hand side of the screen and within a few moments you'll have access to everything that's available. For that matter, you can always play is safe and stick to the top-rated items…and there are plenty of those in this selection.