Digital Pianos vs. Acoustic Pianos:

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Which is right for you?
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The acoustic piano is not for everybody. The digital piano is not for everybody. If you are unaware which one is right for YOU and/or YOUR family, it is important for you to consult a vastly knowledgeable piano dealership who is clearly invested in selling both acoustic and digital pianos. If they don't actively stock and sell both types of pianos, it stands to reason they will have a bias toward the product category they sell. It's also important that the dealership is clearly in the used piano business as well because a good used acoustic piano is the most viable option for someone who is interested in a digital piano since a new acoustic piano is likely cost prohibitive. Finding a dealer equally invested in all three product categories will help remove ulterior motives from dealerships who don't sell all three categories - or who carry only a few of one of the categories as "props" to help sell what they truly are in business to sell. In many areas, a full-spectrum piano dealer may be difficult to find.

Cordogan's clearly and actively sells new & used acoustic and digital pianos. Our staff will take the time to educate you on the pros and cons of both acoustic and digital pianos and specific models therein. The method by which Cordogan's uses to help determine which is right for you begins with an important Q&A about what you are hoping to accomplish with the instrument you seek. We will then share the features of acoustic, digital and even "hybrid" pianos to further fine tune (no pun intended) those needs. More often than not, we will raise important issues that you may have never thought of, which can drastically change what you thought you might have wanted or secure your confidence in the original product you sought.


In many cultures, music education is almost a birthright — a compulsory component of a child's education which parents enforce alongside the "three R's". In American culture, sadly this is not often the case. Learning to play an instrument in the United States is often considered a recreational activity, to which parents wish to expose their children; however, they may not place it any higher on the priority totem pole than say, soccer or gymnastics. Which parent are you? The answer may largely play a part in what type of piano you should consider for your child(ren).

Have you ever, as an adult, said that you wish your parents would have offered you lessons or wish your parents would have made you stick with it? If so, then please don't ever let your children say that about you! Your children are growing up in a most unique time — the world where almost every activity offers results more instant than learning to play a musical instrument.

TV, computers, video games, sports, social media, pop culture are all part of today's life in most young people. Some of these activities can be argued are important in some capacity, yet all vie for the same daily time slots that could have been spent practicing an instrument which could culturally enrich a child's life. Compounding this dilemma are school music program budgets which are vanishing and musical instrument/lesson costs which keep increasing.

With all of these factors, the parent's role in their child's musical aptitude is ever on the rise. These social changes should be examined to determine how they might affect your effort to musically educate your child in today’s world. Given the importance of your child’s musical education and the potential costs involved, Cordogan’s will help you evaluate your needs.

That said, learning to play the piano on a good digital piano is the equivalent of snowboarding instead of skiing. Both snowboarding and skiing can get you down the hill, but snowboarding is more popular among younger people these days. If you buy skis, kids may not take to it or be as excited about it.  In general, kids often relate to digital pianos better, especially those children who spend a great deal of time on the computer, as digital pianos are actually distant relatives to the computer and are even capable of being connected to a computer or tablets or even a smart phone for enhanced learning. Parents who wish to limit their children's exposure to and participation in the world of "all things electronic" may be better suited with an acoustic piano.

What do piano teachers say? Some teachers are just happy to hear that there is SOMEthing at home to practice on. At the other end of the spectrum, there are several institutions of higher learning in Chicagoland (and of course elsewhere too) who feel so strongly that digital pianos are NOT an acceptable substitute for a piano that they won't even accept students who are playing on a digital piano. That's how widely the views vary. They both have valid points and we're happy to share them with you - or you can call around and hear it for yourself. 

Is the headphone feature on digital pianos valuable?

Learning how to play piano on an ACOUSTIC piano is like learning how to paint with someone standing over your shoulder.  EVERYONE within earshot hears every note, and alas, every mistake -- whether they want to hear it or not.  No painter would enjoy having someone standing over them watching THE WHOLE TIME, especially when they're just learning how to hold and use a brush. Yet that's what learning to piano is like for everyone who is learning on an acoustic piano. The headphone jack allows digital piano students the privacy that painters and aspiring artists in other mediums have.

Certainly there are times when a parent might want to HEAR their child practicing, and for those times you can always unplug the headphones of a digital piano, but privacy during the creative process can produce magical results.

This is all great, you say.  But does it play like a PIANO?

Piano actions (or "touches" or "feels") are different like computer keyboards are all different.  Some are better than others and some are slower— and some are just different, but given a little time you can get used to a new (or different) one and type away.  A good digital piano action can feel better than the actions of many acoustic pianos and will offer no greater adaptation to an acoustic piano than going from one acoustic piano to another.

If you intend to be dedicated to your child’s lessons—the practicing, the encouragement, the diligence—a Cordogan's salesperson can lead you toward instruments which will compliment such an environment. If your intention is to offer your children lessons with the hope that they maintain their own motivation and stick with it, then Cordogan's will offer you instrument options with features that will cater to this situation.

Music education has varying levels of importance in different cultures as well as in different homes on the same street. We want to let you know that no matter how you choose to treat music education in your family, Cordogan's sales staff is trained to provide the palette of information to help you intelligently choose the proper instrument.


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