Different types of pianos

A piano is an amazing instrument that has mesmerized many people over the years. Its beautiful sounds cannot be compared to anything else. No wonder that it is one of the most often played instruments by professionals and amateurs alike.

How do you even start learning how to play the piano? Well, you need to start with the piano itself. We’ve prepared a short guide that describes each piano type, from the most to the least expensive.

Acoustic pianos

This is what most people think of when they hear the word piano. Acoustic pianos have strings that are plucked with little hammers as you press the keys to produce that characteristic sounds. There are two types of acoustic pianos:

Grand piano

This is the piano you would see in a philharmonic. With its curved shape, the grand piano is immediately recognizable. The soundboard and the strings are horizontal. The hammers strike the strings and then fall using gravity which makes the keys go back up naturally after being pressed. A grand piano produces the richest tones among all the pianos – of course, that makes it the most expensive choice, usually at least around $150,000.

Upright piano

This piano is more compact than the grand piano. It has a rectangular shape so it can fit more easily in a normal-sized room. However, the main difference lays in the mechanism inside. Strings are wound vertically to save space. The hammers cannot rely on gravity so a special spring mechanism is installed to power the hammers. These springs can wear down with time. An upright piano is much more affordable than a grand piano, you can find a good starter upright piano for around $10,000, although the best models can cost even twice or three times as that.

Digital pianos

Digital pianos, also called electric pianos, are pianos that are supposed to imitate an acoustic piano. When you press a key, the piano’s speakers play a recording of a corresponding sound played on a real acoustic piano. The better the model, the higher quality the sound is. Digital pianos are a close replica of acoustic pianos that are meant to feel like the real deal. They often resemble the shape of an upright piano, although many different models exist. The price range is on average slightly lower than an upright piano. You can usually get a nice model for a few thousand dollars.


Last but not least is the keyboard. The most portable type of piano, they are often used by people who are looking for something lightweight that can be easily transported. They don’t hide the fact that they are not a real string instrument like the digital pianos. Keyboards often feature various settings and can even imitate the drum’s rhythm to allow you to digitally create a well-rounded composition. They are the least expensive, with the cheapest models starting at $100. Yamaha models are a nice choice if you don’t know where to start. They are great for people who want to play around with their sound and create something unique.