What's the Deal with 73 Keys?

Questions, answers, practical applications and model suggestions

Published November 9th, 2018 by Nathan H.

Pianos have 88 black and white keys, so what’s the deal with these digital pianos that only have 73? Did the designers get lazy? With the recent launch of the Yamaha P-121 Digital Piano, we’re getting lots questions on the purpose of a 73-key model. So let’s take a moment to explore this topic, provide some answers, and see if 73 keys are right for you!

This concept isn’t new for synthesizers and stage pianos, but there is a significant growing demand for digital pianos that can fit in smaller spaces and/or travel a little easier without sacrificing beautiful and sleek designs, key action, and sounds. In our “go, go, go” world, more and more people want to take their instruments with them to practice and play whenever they can. For piano and keyboard players, these needs have always presented a bit of a challenge. You can get the best of both worlds when you purchase a 73-key model.

Yamaha P-121

Here are a few specific applications for these instruments:

Gigging Musicians: 73-key models travel that much easier than their 88-key counterparts. Pianos are lengthy instruments by nature, so saving a few inches can be the difference between it comfortably fitting in your car or being crunched by a closing car door. Many gigs also do not require the full range of the instrument. When was the last time you went up to the top of the keyboard?

Dorm Rooms: Music majors, songwriters, and hobbyists have had a rough time finding ways to practice in their dorm rooms in the past. There is only so much space to start, then add a roommate and that room starts to feel small real fast. 73-key models fit in tighter spaces (either under the bed or in between lofts). Don’t sacrifice because you’re low on space.

Apartments / Bedrooms: Just like the collegiate crowd in the dorm rooms, those of us who live in smaller spaces but still want a quality instrument don’t need to settle. A 73-key model can help you make the most out of any space in your home. What’s more convenient than being able to comfortably sit and practice in your bedroom? Instead of checking your phone when you wake up (I’m guilty too), you can make some music!

Now here are just a few models for you to consider if you think that 73 keys are right for you:

Yamaha P-121 Digital Piano

Yamaha has designed a sleek and slim digital piano to fit in those tight spaces or class up your next coffee shop gig while still providing hammer weighted keys and amazing sounds. The onboard speakers are great for playing without headphones or external amplification as well. If you’ve seen the P-125, the P-121 will look very familiar and carries many of the same features, including compatibility with the free Smart Pianist app. Add on the triple pedal unit and furniture stand and you’ll have the best of performance, portability, and design. The P-121 is also the most affordable of all the 73-key models with weighted keys that we carry.

Explore Our P-121 Bundles

Dexibell Vivo S3 and P3

Dexibell are quickly making a name for themselves with their impressive attention to detail, especially regarding the sounds these pianos produce. By utilizing a combination of meticulous sampling and modeling, Dexibell packs a lot of power into these 73-key models. Primarily built for the stage, the S3 and P3 have plenty of sounds and other features to make playing out with these instruments a joy. There are some other differences between the S3 and P3, but the P3 does have some powerful onboard speakers for non-amplified purposes. Weighing in at less than 30 pounds, either of these models will give you a tremendous sound in a compact setting.

Explore Our S3 and P3 Bundles

Korg Grandstage 73

With easy panel controls, 500 sounds, and Korg’s premier hammer weighted key action, it’s no secret that the Grandstage is an ideal instrument for any stage. Factor that with the portability of 73 keys and you will not be at a loss for ease of use and travel. Numerous functions, sounds, and controls make the Grandstage a win for any stage, studio session, or home recording artist. This model weighs less than 40 pounds and is beautifully designed to marry the traditional pianos with the modern electronic instruments.

Explore Our Grandstage 73 Bundles

For more options or questions about the models we talked about here, please contact us. We're happy to create customized bundles, talk to you about your needs, and get you set up for success no matter the space.

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