So what’s the difference between a digital piano a digital keyboard? Quite simply a digital piano has weighted keys which means that the keys are designed for the practicing musician or pianist. Weighted keys help the classical pianist or any musician to strengthen their fingers while they play the piano.
A digital keyboard on the other hand is quite simply a keyboard that is not weighted. The keyboard itself tends to feel very light to the touch and typically the keys are made of plastic. Although some synthesizers use these types of keys it is becoming less common as the demand for weighted keys continues.
If you’re considering taking classical piano lessons then I would suggest that you look for a weighted key digital piano or an acoustic piano. This is especially important if you are a beginning pianist and are taking classical piano lessons.
How does weighted keys help strengthen fingers you ask? Essentially classical pianists must develop dexterity in their fingers which is accomplished by practicing scales. When you learn to play scales you essentially exercise your fingers by raising each finger before you play a note. I guess you could call it push-ups for the fingers.
If you were to practice scales on the digital keyboard rather than a digital piano, in other words a keyboard that is not weighted, then scales will not help to strengthen your fingers and improve dexterity, accuracy and speed.
Many of the major brand of digital piano manufacturers offer their own unique weighted key action. These tend to vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer and the mechanics that create the weighted key response varies amongst the major manufacturers.
Some of the top digital piano models come very close to replicating the touch of a high end acoustic piano.