What are the different types of piano?

A piano is just a piano, right?


A quick search of the internet will soon reveal a plethora of choice – from the iconic grand to the convenient digital and everything else in between. The type of piano you choose will affect its look, size, and functionality. So, finding the right instrument for you, is key (if you’ll pardon the pun!).

So where do you start? Thankfully, at Richard Lawson Pianos, we are experts on all things piano. And here we take a closer look at some of the most popular models on the market, to help clear up confusion and make your decision a little easier.


Different types of piano

  • Grand piano

The classic acoustic piano and generally regarded as the crème de la crème of the piano world. Retaining the elegant shape of the original pianoforte, the grand piano makes a real statement – with a ‘baby’ grand, this can be an option even if you’re slightly limited on space.

Favoured for its beautiful craftsmanship and exquisite sound, the grand piano’s horizontal strings allow for greater expression whilst playing, making it a favoured model among both professional and amateur pianists.


  • Upright piano

Competing with the sound quality of the grand but with the convenience of a more compact design, is the upright piano.

An upright takes up much less room than a grand. This is achieved by running the strings and soundboard vertically, rather than horizontally, which dramatically saves on space and reduces the overall footprint of the instrument.


  • Silent piano

Is noise a problem? Sensitive neighbours, unsocial playing times, or simply just prefer a little privacy with your playing? If any of these sound familiar, then a silent piano could be right for you.

These smart instruments offer all the expression and depth of their fellow acoustic pianos but have the enviable option of being able to pair with headphones and eliminate external noise. A huge advantage for anyone concerned about causing a disturbance.


  • Disklavier piano

Ever entered a hotel lobby only to be serenaded by a piano seemingly playing by itself? Mesmerising isn’t it?! Well, the only piano with the ability to record and playback as though the musician is still sat there is the Disklavier.

Commonly mistaken for a digital piano, let’s get one thing clear straight away – it is not! Although exceptionally clever, and with much built in digital capability, the Disklavier is, without doubt, an acoustic piano. However modern advances have resulted in this showpiece becoming an entire entertainment system rather than just a standard musical instrument.


  • Digital piano

Technology is developing at speed and, as we increasingly demand more from the equipment and instruments around us, a growing number of people are turning to digital pianos.

The key difference between a digital piano and its acoustic counterparts is that it doesn’t have strings! The digital piano bridges the gap between the electronic keyboard and an acoustic piano. The playing of a digital piano simulates the same feel as acoustic keys but with the modern-day conveniences of controllable sound, a compact, lightweight design and no tuning.


  • TransAcoustic piano

This is a piano that refuses to be pigeonholed. An acoustic piano with the ability to control volume, a digital piano with strings? In its simplest form, the TransAcoustic piano turns the piano’s soundboard into a loudspeaker, but it offers so much more than this. Blurring the boundaries of both digital and traditional acoustic pianos, combining the advantages of both and opening up a world of exciting musical possibility.


Need a hand?

Still a little unsure which type of piano is right for you? Why not let the experts help?

Here at Richard Lawson, we know every model of piano inside out. With a detailed understanding not just of the technical side of each instrument, but of the unique playing nuances too.

With a fantastic collection – and prices to suit all budgets – we’re always on hand to offer advice and guidance. Call us today on 01923 720 974, fill in our contact form or email us at info@richardlawsonpianos.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

We’re confident we can help you to find the right piano for your needs. But don’t forget, we also offer a hiring option so you can experiment with different types of pianos until you’re completely happy you’ve found your perfect match!


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