These instruments are able to play more than one pitch at a time, and do not need to play with other instruments to create harmonies. Piano and keyboard players aren’t often needed for orchestral groups but can have exciting roles in small and big band settings that play jazz, blues or musical theatre styles, to name a few. Many classical pianists will pursue careers as soloists. There is a difference, however, between the two instruments.


The electronic keyboard creates sound electronically, and can imitate the other keyboard instruments as well as produce many other sounds.

Interesting fact: the keyboard is extremely versatile and has been used a great deal in popular music and also contemporary classical music.


The piano creates its sound by striking strings with hammers and is used in many different types of music, from classical to jazz. Although players will often start on an electronic keyboard, the playing technique for the piano is different, and prospective piano players should obtain a piano for piano lessons.

Interesting fact: it is easier for a pianist to play the keyboard than for a keyboardist to play the piano.