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What to look for in a Digital Piano:

    Listen to the piano through headphones. If it does not sound like it is surrounding you and you don't need to ask those standing beside you "Can you hear this?" then you need to keep looking. Listen to the piano as someone else plays it. Stand across the room. Do you like the sound? Each digital piano brand is sampled from a different 9ft Grand Piano. You may or may not like that sound.

1. Play a note, play it loudly, hold it and listen carefully. How long does it take to decay into silence? Does it sound natural? Does it last too long?

2. Does the sound move realistically from side to side on the keyboard? Do the sounds of the music come from where you are playing the note? Bass notes to the left of the keyboard, treble notes on the right. How loud and soft can you play?

3. Polyphony. Digital pianos used to boast of having an eight polyphonic note capability. Meaning, you could play eight keys at the same time, without loosing any sounds. Now, polyphony has grown to 190 on some digital pianos. If you have a question about polyphony, play the two lowest Cs, then play a glissando about five octaves or more long. Low quality models will drop notes that you can hear clearly. The worst models will drop one or both bass notes. The best models will play all the notes you played, much like an acoustic.

4. Design: How is the control panel laid out? Can you move through the buttons easily? Caould you accidentally hit the buttons because they are too close to the keys?

5. How many "bells and whistles" do you want? Do you want rhythms? Do you want recording capabilities? What are the effects on the instrument? Is there a keyboard cover? Do you want a CD drive or a Flash drive?

6. How powerful is the amplifier? Bigger amps and multiple numbers of speakers spaced appropriately on the piano will give you better sound. You may not use all the power but you will have more balanced sound.

7. What do the pedals do? Right sustains, left is for softness and the middle pedal is for sostenuto. Then look for a piano that is not "on and off" pedal.

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