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Different Types of Piano

Updated: Oct 25, 2022


There are quite a few different types of pianos in the market. To simplify this we categorise the different styles of piano by the way they function.


Briefly, the piano traditionally is a string and hammer action instrument. The musician press any keys, and the mechanical reaction between the string and the hammer behind the keys produce a unique sound. We are not going in dept now!


In that case, we can categorise the pianos into four main groups. The Ground piano, the Upright piano, the Hybrid and the Electric piano.


The Grand piano is the largest size of any piano in the music industry. They can have the loudest sound naturally because of the instrument's mechanicals. There are a few different types of Grand pianos based on their size including Petit grand, Baby grand, Medium grand, professional, Parlor grand, Semi concert grand, and Concert grand. The sound produced by this instrument can be different in tone and quality based on the make and size. But the way the Grand piano function is pretty similar in their category. The mechanical is not too complicated. There are several strings and hammers with the same number of keys, behind the board, horizontally. The Grand piano is used mostly in concert halls for performances. But you can see them in some musician houses when there's enough room for them to fit in.


The Upright piano has one main difference from the other group which is its mechanical functionalities. The strings and hammer are located vertically behind the keys where you can see Upright pianos are taller than Grand pianos. That's why it's a suitable instrument to fit in medium size houses. Because the Upright piano is a tall instrument it's more suitable to fit it by the wall. It's less likely to use Upright piano in a live performance as it's not appropriate visually. There are a few different types of upright pianos including Spinet, Conole, Studio, and Full upright and the size is the differentiating factor here. Similar to the Grand pianos, the Upright piano can sound different in tone and quality depending on the make and its size.


The Electric piano is the next group of pianos. As it they are titled, they work with electricity, either AC, DC connection or batteries; so nothing mechanical. They are the most affordable type of piano as the way they function is different to the other types of piano. They also come in different sizes and makes. Electric pianos have quite a variety compared to the other two categories. Depending on the make and the cost they can vary in sound quality, key functionality and also the features that they may come with. Some Electric pianos are only keyboard instruments with sampled sound from the Grand piano. Some Electric pianos could have a very similar sound to a high-quality Grand piano with a similar feel to the keys when you play them. They tend to be the first instrument for beginners who want to start to learn the piano. The majority of the music producers would normally have a midi keyboard or an Electric piano connected to their music studio to write notes. Some Electric pianos have the feature to arrange songs and beats on with a fancy touchscreen device on them.


The Hybrid pianos are the new generation of pianos combining most of the main features of the acoustic pianos with electric pianos. There are a few types of Hybrid pianos that Yamaha has introduced: Disklavier, Silent, Transacoustic and Avantgrand. They can be the ideal instrument to play the piano with the acoustic feel, and still, be able to use the other option of an electric piano!


If you are not sure what instrument is suitable for you feel free to book a 101 introduction session with us (free of charge) and discuss your choices.


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