Digital Piano vs Upright Piano – What’s the Difference?




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Digital piano vs upright piano – what differences do these two types of piano have? First of all, before answering this question you have to know that there are many types of pianos. These two types of pianos are among the most popular, and they tend to differ in various that we’ll explain in this post.

So, how do these two types of pianos differ and what makes them so unique? The main difference is how they function and how their design. In this post, we’ll discuss each of these two pianos separately to help you understand them better.

Digital Piano

digital piano vs upright piano
Image Credit: Nord

A digital piano is an electronic keyboard instrument that is specifically designed to serve as an alternative to the acoustic piano. A digital piano either uses synthesized emulation or recorded samples of an acoustic piano, which it then amplifies via an internal speaker. To put it into perspective, this piano emulates the traditional acoustic piano with the only difference being the fact that it requires either batteries or electricity to function.

A digital piano also incorporates weighted keys, which recreate the feel of a real acoustic piano. Some digital pianos feature a design that resembles that of an Upright or Grand piano. Unfortunately, sometimes digital pianos fall short of acoustic ones in terms of feel and sound quality. However, the advantage of digital pianos is that they are portable, weigh less, and are affordable than acoustic pianos. Another advantage is that a digital piano doesn’t require tuning, but you can modify its tuning to match that of another instrument such as a pipe organ.


  • A digital piano is easy to use since it has features ideal for both beginners and advanced players.
  • Some digital pianos produce a wide range of sounds besides the piano.
  • Digital pianos are affordable and portable. This means that you can carry them wherever you’re going, unlike an acoustic piano which tends to be heavy.
  • Digital pianos are designed in many ways to emulate various types of pianos such as Upright, Grand, and Stage piano, etc.
  • Unlike a traditional acoustic piano, a digital piano doesn’t require tuning. What’s more, you can modify its tuning to match that of another instrument.


  • It requires batteries or electricity to function.
  • Some digital pianos are not ideal for professional pianists.

ALSO READ: Casio vs Yamaha – Which Is Better?

Upright Piano

digital piano vs upright piano
Image Credit: Wikipedia

An upright piano also called a vertical piano, is a more compact type of piano since it has a vertical structure of the frame and strings. The mechanical action structure of an upright piano was invented in London, England, in 1826 by Robert Wornum. After their invention, upright pianos went on to become very popular during their time. The good thing about an upright piano is that it takes less space compared to a grand piano.

Therefore, upright feature a better size suitable for homes, small studios, and private practice sessions. The hammers of an upright piano move horizontally and return to their resting position through springs, which are likely to experience degradation. Upright piano with tall frames and long strings used to be marketed as “upright grand pianos,” although that label was misleading.

Some people classify modern pianos according to their height, modifications, and actions. The benefit of upright pianos is that they are also affordable than grand pianos. Upright pianos are also widely used in churches, schools, community centers, university music programs, and music conservatories for practicing. They are also popular models for home use. Keep in mind that anything taller than a studio piano is called an upright piano.


  • Upright pianos are user-friendly take less space, unlike grand pianos that occupy large space.
  • They are affordable, and it’s easy to buy one, even for a beginner.
  • Widely used in churches, schools, and community centers.


  • Too tall due to their frame, which means you need to store them in a place where there’s enough height.
  • Heavy and not portable, unlike some digital pianos which you can carry anywhere.

Digital Piano vs Upright Piano – Which Is the Best Option?

So, which option is the best to consider? Most people face this dilemma. But I would say it all depends on your needs. There are both pros and cons associated with these two types of pianos, which means you have to assess them appropriately to determine the piano that best suits your needs.

If you want a portable piano, then a digital piano is the right option to consider. Also, a digital piano is easy to use and doesn’t require tuning.

However, if you don’t care about portability, or you’re an advanced player, then an upright piano can be a great option to consider. Upright pianos are ideal for practice sessions as well, and they are also user-friendly.

Fortunately, both pianos have ideal advantages that make them stand out and rank among the best types of pianos to consider buying.


Digital piano vs upright piano, it doesn’t matter the type you choose, as long it satisfies your needs. Any type of piano is a great option because what really matters is whether it can serve you better and help you improve your playing skills. Overall, these two types of pianos are excellent to consider and affordability is also another factor that makes them the best choice.

We hope this post has helped you learn the differences between these two types of pianos. If you have any questions or feedback regarding our post, feel free to reach out to us through email and we’ll be happy to help.

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