If you’re serious about becoming a piano or keyboard player, you need to know more than just how to play. You also need to know how to care for your digital piano. In this updated and thorough guide, you’ll get all the tips needed to do a great job. In addition, we’ll explain the reasoning behind why you should do things a certain way.
A Few Common Sense Maintenance Tips
Just in case you think your digital piano is much more durable than it actually is, here are some basic things to keep in mind:
- It doesn’t have a massive weight capacity so avoid using it as a shelf
- Keep your cats, dogs, and other household pets from sleeping or playing on it
- Don’t take a quick lunch break mid-practice and use the keyboard or control interface as a table
- Keep liquids away from the piano
- Avoid leaning into your piano, even if it comes with a high-quality stand
These are just some tips to get you started. However, it’s nothing you shouldn’t have thought about on your own, given that pets can scratch the frame, pull out keys, and that the tiniest drop of water can short out circuits if it seeps into the right place.
Now let’s move on to more digital piano-specific maintenance tips.
Exercise the Appropriate Cleaning Practices
What are appropriate cleaning practices? These are specific methods of cleaning a digital piano, based on the materials it’s made of, the manufacturer’s instructions, and basic common sense knowledge.
- Clean your digital piano with a dry cloth
- Use only products recommended by the manufacturer
- Use soft and smooth cleaning cloths to avoid scratching
- Use compressed air to clean between the keys, if possible
- Clean all input jacks to avoid debris from piling up
- Clean your piano before and after you play
- Wash your hands and dry them before playing
- Wipe sweat off your hands during practice hours
Of course, cleaning your digital piano the right way isn’t always enough. There are other things you need to know about how to care for your digital piano.
Play It and Store It in an Appropriate Environment
Weighted keys keyboard costs more than semi-weighted and non-weighted keyboard.
So what is weighted keys? It is resistance offered by keys when it is pressed down. Weighted keys mimic the feel of playing a traditional piano which non-weighted keys do not. Although weighed key improves your technique and adds dynamics to your playing, at early stage of learning, it isn’ t the most important thing.
Weighted keys also requires more finger strength than non-weighted keys which can frustrate beginners.
However,If you see yourself playing acoustic piano in future, you should definitely get full size keyboard with weighted keys.
What constitutes an appropriate playing environment? Think of the exterior factors that could affect your piano. Is it made of plastic? If so, it’s likely that heat can damage it. Does it have speakers or wooden components?
If so, humidity could be an issue. Here are some rules you should follow to extend the life of your digital piano:
- Keep it out of direct sunlight
- Don’t keep it in a room with high humidity
- Keep the piano further away from heat sources such as heaters, stoves, fireplaces, or even other appliances that emit lots of heat
- Use a specialty case or gig bag to store your digital piano
- Keep it stored away from pets and kids when not in use
- Don’t keep your piano in the garage, attic, or other areas where it’s likely to get very hot or very cold
- Avoid playing it too much outside to avoid dust, insects, and other harmful particles from getting inside it
Mind Your Electronics
Cleaning your digital piano and minding its surroundings are just two of larger aspects of caring for it. Don’t forget that this is an electrical device. As such, there are other key factors you need to pay attention to:
- Use the recommended adapter
- Check the adapter specs before replacing it with a new one to avoid overloading the instrument
- Avoid plugging your digital piano in the same outlet as other power-hungry appliances and devices such as desktop computers, microwave ovens, studio equipment, and so on
- Store the cables when not in use to avoid tangles, stepping on them, etc.
- Turn off your piano from the power button before unplugging it
- Don’t plug your digital piano in faulty outlets or outlets you’re not sure are working properly
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be able to avoid shorting out circuits, causing a fire, and pretty much anything that can cause irreparable damage to the piano’s electronics.
Although many digital pianos come with piano covers, it’s always best to store it in a hard case than rely solely on the cover for protection. While it may keep dust off the keyboard, it won’t offer much in terms of impact protection, scratching, etc.
Q-tips can be used to clean around keys, modulation wheels, and digital displays. You may also be prepared to use more than one cleaning product for your piano as it’s unlikely that the entire instrument is made of just one material.
Taking care of your digital piano may involve some software updates too. In case you have an older model or your favorite DAW just got an update, check your piano’s manufacturer website to see if there are new drivers that you should download.
It’s best to do this when you first notice some incompatibilities than to rush it off to a repair shop at a later juncture. Also, remember to clean the piano’s internal memory from time to time by deleting older presets, backing tracks you don’t need, and so on.
Care for Your Digital Piano the Right Way
Even though some digital pianos are very cheap, the less you pay the less likely it will be a long-lasting instrument. So, in these situations it’s even more important to know how to care for your digital piano.
The better you treat it, the more you’ll be able to enjoy it, and the more money you’ll be able to get off the piano when you’re ready for an upgrade.