And should I go acoustic (wood-and-strings) piano... or buy a digital (electronic) keyboard?
_ Electronic digital and electric pianos are generally not bad if you are performing music that is to some extent percussive, such as rock and roll, pop, jazz music, as well as blues favorites. But if you wish to engage in classical music that is certainly abundant of melody, such a digital keyboard is not really as fulfilling. You possibly can in fact start out with a digital keyboard while you learn the basic principles of music, but as you actually progress technically with your piano lessons, the traditional acoustic piano can become your own personal musical instrument of choice.
Choose an inexpensive spinet (aka: upright) piano over than an electronic keyboard, if you have the choice. If you have the room, you get bonus points if you can score a "grand piano" that is in acceptable condition.
Generally speaking, go electronic when: 1.) portability is an issue 2.) you need to play at a volume that does not disturb the neighbors (unless you intend to). Headphone optional keyboards afford privacy 3.) you wish to explore more than the traditional piano sound, or create unique instrumental sounds 4.) You want to interface it (via USB or MIDI) with a computer for education, composition, piano software learning or a plethora of other uses. One such software program is called Rocket Piano and it has recieved glowing reviews 5.) YOU ARE SHORT OF MONEY and someone is selling or literally "giving away" their unused digital keyboard on Craigslist or local classified advertisements.
Purchasing a Traditional acoustic Piano Do not worry about acquiring a top-name, high-priced piano while you are starting out. A playable one is going to do fine. As you progress with your studies, you could sell your "starter" piano and obtain an upgrade.
Going Traditional acoustic? Consider the following: 1.) Use the classifieds or Cragslist... or just ask around. A number of people give away their very own old family pianos. 2.) If you find a potential acoustic piano... do you like the way it sounds? Does it motivate you musically? 3.) Do you like the way it feels to play? Try actively playing each of the keys, starting low or high, and discover if they all operate. You might discover that a key may be difficult to play, effortless play, or maybe even “mushy” or perhaps “springy.” 4.) Will it physically "fit" in the location where you intend to play it? 5.) Can you (or someone knowledgeable) safely transport the piano to your residence? Traditional acoustic pianos and stairs don't mix to well when moving them from point A to point B.
There are a few additional tips on purchasing an Electronic Digital Piano. Electric digital pianos may not have all the traditional "88 keys" that acoustic pianos usually have. For a lot of serious or college level academic courses, a 49-note or 61-note electric keyboard just won't do. OK... they will do in a pinch but you'll sacrifice piano playing technique if that is a factor. You won't be able to play a lot of acoustic piano (sheet) music with anything less than 61-notes (5 octaves). Try to get at least a 71-key or higher keyboard as a practical compromise when an 88-key electric piano is not in the cards.
To acquire any kind of perception of playing a real piano, you may need a keyboard having weighted keys that will simulate the actual "feel" of a piano. On less expensive models you can actually sense the spring which pushes the key and your finger as you release it piano. This may give you the reduced sensation akin to button-pushing. This is so unlike a real rocket piano action that you should use it only if absolutely necessary to get started.