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Buying a Piano?

Please click here for links to our piano inventories:

New Yamaha pianos from Chicago Pianos . com
NEW PIANO INVENTORY

Used Vertical Pianos from Chicago Pianos . com
USED PIANO INVENTORY

Please call 630.584.5000 for current, best pricing and availability in your area.

Selling A Piano?

Renting A Piano?

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Downloadable Player Piano Song Library

Customer Software Upgrades

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Roland Digital Pianos



Hallet Davis Pianos:
Top-rated pianos in 24 styles and finishes!


Bohemia Pianos:

Handmade pianos from
the Czech Republic



Palatino Pianos

George Steck Pianos in Chicago
George Steck Pianos

Knabe Pianos from Chicago Pianos . com
Knabe Vertical and Grand Pianos


Buying a used piano?


Get to know the bad guys first.
click on the "Wanted" sign above


Casio Celviano Digital Pianos from Chicago Pianos . com
Casio Celviano Digital Pianos


Parents!! Click here for a must-read article from Music Inc. magazine written firsthand by a parent mired in the "acoustic vs. digital" dilemma!

Digital Pianos

This page is designed for those who have reached this page not knowing what a digital piano is or what it can do. If you’re not sure if you would like a digital piano or an acoustic piano, please visit our Digital vs. Acoustic page.

Call 630-584-5000 or stop in to let an experienced Cordogan’s sales representative help determine what your specific needs are and give you advice on what is the best instrument for your family and/or your musical requirements!
Fact: Digital pianos outsold new acoustic vertical pianos in the U.S. for the first time in 1997, and the trend has continued since.

Fact:  A recent study showed 92% of all piano teachers polled believed a particular manufacturer's digital piano model sounded better or about the same as a new acoustic piano. Please contact Cordogan's for specific information on this breakthrough study.


Fact: The print music industry has researched and confirmed an interesting statistic in music education materials:  When it comes to piano instruction books, for every ten “Level 1” books sold, there are only 1.5 “Level 2” books sold, representing an alarming dropout rate. However, when the books are accompanied by computer software (indicating the student is on a digital piano and using technology as a teaching aid), six “Level 2” books are sold to every ten “Level 1.” Obviously, book publishers are taking note of the higher success rate of piano students who utilize technology because it means more book sales for them. For piano students young and old, it is a clear indication of the documented effectiveness of music technology in learning piano.

Fact: When it comes to Piano Method books, there is usually only one Level 2 book sold for every TEN Level 1 books sold-- obviously not a great rate for staying power! However, when the books are accompanied by a CD-ROM or computer software (indicating the student is on a digital piano and using technology as a teaching aid) Level 2 books sell at an exponentially greater rate! Obviously, book publishers are taking note of the higher success rate of piano students that utilize technology because it means more book sales for them. For piano students young and old, it should be a clear indication of the documented effectiveness of music technology in learning piano.

Digital pianos and close relatives of the digital piano have evolved quite a bit in recent years. The following terms and definitions are what Cordogan’s and other industry professionals use to distinguish between the different keyboard categories offered by manufacturers. It is your crash course in digital piano terminology.

 

chicago pianos . com - Keyboard

"Keyboards" — Keyboards can be a fun way to explore music. Typically found at consumer electronics stores, keyboards (often referred to as "personal keyboards") usually have only 61 keys — as opposed to 88 on a piano or a full digital piano, no pedals, hollow organ-like keys (in other words not weighted like a piano), and have a sound quality that, while good for its price range, shouldn’t be compared to an acoustic piano or other digital products.

Keyboards should really only be purchased as a musical toy or as a means of inputting MIDI data into a computer. They should not be purchased as a substitute for the purpose of getting someone started with piano lessons (piano teachers, applaud here). The art and process of learning to play the piano involves building the correct finger muscles. This is not achievable without the authentically-weighted keys of an acoustic piano or a high quality digital piano. In fact, don’t be surprised if some teachers you contact refuse to teach piano lessons to a student who acknowledges using a "keyboard" as a practice instrument. While keyboards are convenient, inexpensive and fun, they offer very little resemblance to the environment experienced at an acoustic piano or at some digital pianos.

 

"Digital Pianos" - Born out of the computer revolution, digital pianos are the most exciting products to emerge in the piano industry since the spinet was invented in the 1930s. The concept of a digital piano is to reproduce the total environment experienced when playing an acoustic piano without using strings or 12,000 parts, which help acoustic pianos to weigh 400-1000 pounds.  

    
The means of accurately accomplishing this feat are difficult and expensive since the sounds produced by a piano and the key action mechanisms are very complex. To successfully recreate the experience, some digital piano manufacturers go to painstaking lengths to capture all the nuances of playing on an acoustic grand piano. Some of the newest digital pianos are convincing enough to win the hearts of musicians, teachers and beginners alike.

     

The following features are in no particular order and are often cited as the advantages of a digital piano versus an acoustic piano. Not all digital pianos have the following features. Please consult a Cordogan’s representative for the best model for your needs.


Never needs tuning.
Save upwards of $200 per year on the semi-annual tunings needed for an acoustic piano.
Headphones, headphones, headphones!
Check out our blog for more extensive information on the benefits of practicing with headphones! Dad can watch football while Tommy plays scales. Many models even have two headphone jacks for duets and teaching situations.       
PC / iPod / iPad connection for downloading of lessons and songs.
Students can go online for live instruction, download free performances of the pieces they're trying to learn or use interactive learning software.  It’s a whole new world of music education!
Kids love ‘em!
 And why wouldn't they?  It's hip, it's fun yet educational and offers great flexibility. It's the computer generation's answer to the piano much like snowboarding is the youth of today’s answer to skiing.  They both get you down the hill!    
Affordability
 A good digital piano still costs less than a good acoustic piano. While it is true that the investment value of a digital piano is likely to be less than that of an acoustic piano, remember that hundreds — possibly more than thousands — of dollars of tuning, maintenance & moving costs over a, say 10-year period would be needed on an acoustic piano. Figuring that into the resale value considerably narrows the gap between the acoustic vs. digital resale levels.     
Portability
Third story walk-ups are a digital piano’s specialty. Gigging musicians, basement placements, church groups, restaurants, banquet facilities, schools, summer homes... if it needs to be moved, digitals create a compelling argument.
Authenticity
Even musicians and teachers are impressed by the authenticity on certain models.    
Other useful sounds such as pipe organ, harpsichord, strings, etc
What better way to learn baroque and classical pieces than by playing them using sounds from that period?  Some models offer up to 1000 or more high-quality instrument sounds, giving the student the opportunity to learn about ALL musical instruments – not just the piano.     
On-board song recorder
Again, using recordings to chart progress is priceless. Models with two-track recorders allow for "hands-alone" playing, or "four-hand’ arrangements. E-mail the performances/recordings to friends and relatives! Many models now even allow you to record directly to a USB drive, creating MIDI files (.mid files) and/or high-quality audio files (“.wav” files) that can be easily shared, uploaded or simply archived.    
Automatically transpose to any key
A vocalist’s dream come true.
Teachers are endorsing them! (see Cordogan's for particular models)
The term “digital piano” has been blurred by manufacturers in recent years. In our opinion, it should be used to refer to an 88-key instrument with a "weighted action," a built-in pedal assembly, sampled piano sound and built-in speakers to carry the sound. This criteria provides an environment that is a digital facsimile of an acoustic piano.  In an effort to bring prices down, however, manufacturers often sell shortened versions (76-key or 61-key) which employ a compromised "weighted action" and an inferior "sampled sound" that hardly resembles that of a higher-end digital piano, much less that of a fine acoustic piano. Incidentally, there is a place for these instruments in the marketplace, it just doesn’t qualify as a "substitute for a piano," which is the primary reason these are often purchased.      

 

Roland Foresta Digital Piano

"Digital Ensembles"
This is a unique product category which typically includes products that have built-in USB drives, rhythms, auto-play features and hundreds of sounds. Is it for you? Maybe. They are well-designed for the absolute beginner as well as for the professional player. A good digital ensemble is capable of involving the whole family on many different levels:


For a piano student, it’s a piano, first and foremost.
They can practice their lessons using the sampled sound of a $110,000 concert grand piano. They can even record their practices with the on-board recorder to listen and analyze.
The play-a-long features
...to sound like they’re an ace, when in fact, they’re actually being assisted by the on-board computer.
An advanced player can write, arrange and SCORE music on it...
...save the songs onto a USB stick, play in your music and have it scored automatically, and e-mail them or post them to a web site! 
A family member who is learning a string, woodwind or brass instrument can use it as a virtual accompanist...
...by downloading their pieces from the Internet onto a USB stick (click here for pic), for use with the digital ensemble (certain models only).
A family member who sings can use the on-board microphone input and vocal effects processor (certain models only)...
...to sound like they’re singing through a multi-thousand dollar P.A. system. Auto-tune and auto-harmonizer are also available on some models these days!     
Parents can make recordings of their children’s progress.
"Megan’s Spring Recital, Fall 2012,” the USB thumb drive might say. What better gift to pass on to them than the power of their own music captured digitally. Isn’t this why families take videos? Added bonus: You can e-mail the performances to their Aunt Sally in Topeka or to Megan’s best friend who moved away.    
All skill levels can benefit from software designed to assist in various activities...
...- from software accompanied by standard teaching method books to play-a-long songbooks containing the music and removable media. Certain models have built-in lesson tools and full-color touch screen displays. Not to mention video output options which allow you to view the lesson software on your TV!    


Digital ensembles can be an excellent way for the whole family to learn and explore music. To learn more about digital pianos or ensembles, please visit your nearest Cordogan’s location!


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