Best Upright Pianos for Advanced Pianist (2023)

Most advanced piano players prefer to choose an upright piano as these grand pianos are capable of producing richer and deeper tones, similar to the acoustic piano. Everyone can’t afford an acoustic piano or accommodate them in their home space. The upright acoustic pianos come as an exceptional alternative to the grand pianos, without compromising on the features and the quality. We have picked up the top 5 best upright pianos for advanced pianists to help them in their music journey.

What Are the Best Upright Piano for Advanced Players?

Advanced Pianos vs Acoustic Piano 

The acoustic piano is a type of stringed percussion where steel strings are struck by soft-coated hammers. The digital piano only performs reproductions of an actual acoustic piano, but it has advantages. The acoustic piano differs from a digital piano in many ways, including look, sounds, features, and cost.

The system that produces sound on an acoustic and digital piano may be the fundamental distinction between both. When you depress the key on an acoustic piano, a felt-covered hammer strikes steel-wired strings, creating that pristine, natural sound we all adore. The digital piano, in contrast, makes use of sensors that are activated by key presses. Headphones or the built-in speakers produce the sound. 

  • The acoustic piano is a stunning and artistic instrument that creates full tones. The weighted keys enable the pianist to play with much greater expression. High touch sensitivity means that how hard or softly you press the keys will alter the tone and duration of the music. Tuning must be done frequently to keep the sound quality. An acoustic piano has numerous components that require readjusting and tightening in order to provide a clear, high-quality sound. 
  • Sound engineering has advanced significantly. A digital piano is quite able to generate sounds that are pleasing to the ear, even if it is still impossible to completely replicate the sound of an acoustic piano. Additionally, there are many other sound settings available on digital pianos. For a more quiet and covert practice session, you may even plug in headphones. The sound quality of the digital piano is not as high as that of an acoustic piano, despite the fact that it offers a variety of sound possibilities. 
  • An acoustic piano needs to be tuned and kept in a cool, dry place since humidity affects the tuning. The only real upkeep needed for digital pianos is the periodic cleaning.
  • Acoustic pianos are generally more expensive, with entry-level models costing between $1000 and $3,000 on average. This is because to the high-quality wood (maple, for example), steel strings, weighted keys, and distinctive design of the instrument.
  • Acoustic pianos are artistic marvels, but they take up more room. An acoustic piano is substantially bigger and heavier because of the materials used to produce the notes, making it challenging to move. 
  • You also need to control the surroundings where the piano is located. Keep your instrument, ideally, in a room that stays at a temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius. A digital piano takes up a lot less room and is simple to store. They typically have a collapsible stand, which makes them perfect for moving about and having a small area. 
  • The acoustic piano is the best option if you enjoy the sounds of orchestral music and wish to compose some of your own. The tones and delicate touch of an acoustic piano make it the ideal accompaniment for other classical instruments.
  • Musicians can produce and contribute to genres like Pop, Punk, and Funk using digital pianos. They utilize a variety of sounds and an electrical sound system to seamlessly adapt to current instruments. 

Why Are Grand Pianos Heavy? 

The keys, whippens, and hammers are only a few of the rotating parts that make up a piano’s action. Gravity, inertia, friction, the separation between the spinning components’ centres of gravity and their axes of rotation, and other factors all have a role in how the keyboard reacts to user input.

The inertia associated with the rotational movement of a grand piano’s action is larger than that of the mechanism in an upright piano, therefore when performing, the keys of a grand piano seem heavier than those of an upright piano. 

Half- Damper Pedal Control 

  • A method of playing the piano that involves merely slightly depressing the damper (or sustain) pedal. This method, which elevates the dampers only partially off the strings, is required for some classical piano works. 
  • Digital pianos in particular have acquired half-damper capabilities in recent years for use with electronic keyboard instruments. The amount (or “shape”) of sustain produced on an acoustic piano depends on how deeply you push the sustain pedal.
  • Electronic keyboards had only an “on/off” sustain pedal option for a very long time. Contrary to other continuous controllers, MIDI continuous controller 64 was given the task of handling sustain and could only detect “on” (typically 127) and “off” (typically 0) values. 
  • Piano players who are accustomed to employ multiple pedal strategies on a piano may struggle with this straightforward pedal approach. 
  • Half-damper pedals communicate regular MIDI control changes from 0 to 127 in addition to MIDI controller 64 messages. A number of audio responses beyond a straightforward sustain on/off are possible, assuming the instrument itself is designed to respond to these values, for instance, through additional samples, amplitude contour modifications, or modelling. 

What Is GHS Weighted Action? 

Hammer action keyboards, graded weighting, and semi-weighted keys are the three primary subcategories of weighted keys. Semi-weighted keyboards are not advised for piano practice. Springs give the keys more resistance, but they don’t feel authentic enough to win our approval. Avoid using keys other than hammer or graded action keys. A mechanism is used to create hammer action keyboards that mimic the feel of a piano’s hammer action. The resistance you experience as you push the keys is intended to feel as authentically like a real piano as conceivable. Different manufacturers have various types of mechanisms with various sensations. In that the keys are designed to be resistive and to feel comparable to those on a piano, graded hammer action, also known as graded action, is akin to hammer action. The keys on the low end of the scale will feel heavier with graded weighting, whereas the keys on the higher end of the scale would feel lighter. Contrary to hammer action keys, this more nearly resembles the actual resistance you’ll find in a piano.

Also check: Top 14 Best Digital Pianos for Advanced Pianist

Top 5 Best Upright Pianos for Advanced Pianist

Shopping for a piano is not an easy task and you will never get satisfied until you end up with an instrument that satisfies your needs and meets your budget. As an advanced piano player, you would have known many things about digital pianos. Check our collection and our buying guide to get an idea of the best-performing upright digital piano for your next purchase.

#1. Yamaha YDP184 Digital Piano -Best Overall

Yamaha YDP-184 Digital Piano
Editor Rating: 9.4/10

Performance and sounds9.6
Easy to Assemble9.4
Build Quality9.3
Value for money9.5

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This is an exceptional digital piano from the legendary Yamaha brand and recreates the tone and the power of Yamaha’s flagship concert grand piano. The piano has a graded hammer 3 action key bed with synthetic ivory keytops. Its weighted keys reproduce responsive and controlled key touch mimicking the Yamaha acoustic pianos.  These keys have a tactile surface to the white keys and help in absorbing the finger moisture to prevent finger slipping. 

The piano also features a virtual resonance modeling technology to instill vivid and varied expression in the music tunes. The piano also has a great full dot LCD to help with smooth navigation of the features and functions of the instrument. The piano also holds graceful curves and a stylish design to adapt to diverse home interiors. The piano works great with smart devices with the Smart Pianist app.

There are three basic pedals in this piano to help with unlimited piano expressions. There are two headphone inputs in this piano that offers a grand piano feel in a compact model. The piano has rich sounds, and weighted keys and is indeed a beautiful piece of furniture. The keyboard covers in this piano look great and protect the keys from dust as well. 


  • Its headphones sound better than its speakers.
  • The MIDI board of this piano responds instantly


  • The piano doesn’t have a Bluetooth feature and Wi-Fi in this piano.
  • It cannot connect to iPhones and iPad through USB cables.

Note: This piano is also featured in our lists of best upright pianos for intermediates and pianos for composing.

#2. Yamaha YDPS54B Arius Series Digital Piano – Editor’s Pick

Yamaha YDPS54B Slim Digital Console Piano
Editor Rating: 9/10
Performance and sounds9.1
Build Quality8.9
Value for money9.2

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This is an exceptional digital piano from the Yamaha brand and it features a slim 88- keys bed with GHS weighted action. The GHS weighted keys with hammer action are heavier at the lower keys and lighter at the high keys, similar to the acoustic piano. The keys have special matte finishing at their tops and are designed to absorb moisture completely to remain tactile even after extended use. 

This is an exceptional piano that offers great finger practice. It looks pretty and its weighted keys feel great on the fingers. The weighted keys in this piano feel great and are great for practice to keep the fingers flexible. This piano offers everything that a piano requires. It has great sound quality, is low in maintenance, connects with headphones, and is also affordable.

The CFX stereo sampling technology of this piano reproduces the sound of Yamaha’s flagship full concert grand piano.  The instrument also has a half-damper pedal that controls the instrument music and it also helps in increasing the amount of sustain, as its pedals are depressed. The piano is also compatible with the smart pianist app. The app offers full control over the major functions of the piano. The app also helps in analyzing the favorite songs right out of the music library with the help of the chord tracker technology.  


  • The piano has a sleek design and intuitive features with advanced technology.
  • State of the art recording method helps in recreating the CFX sound piano from Yamaha.
  • Its virtual resonance modeling helps in recreating the resonance and natural feeling of an acoustic piano.
  • It is possible to practice duets with dual headphone jacks on the piano


  • The keys feel a little sticky and the keys don’t feel very responsive as a real piano.

Note: This piano is also featured in our lists of best digital pianos under $1500 and pianos under $3000.

#3. Korg LP380 Digital Piano – Stylish Design

Korg LP380 Digital Piano
Editor Rating: 9.1/10
Performance and sounds9.4
Build Quality8.9
Value for money9.4

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The Korg LP-380 digital piano offers exceptional piano action and brilliant sound and it is present in a slim and low-profile cabinet. The piano offers more than 30 expressive and high-quality sounds and these sounds include the sounds of strings, electric pianos, and Kronos-derived piano sounds. The instrument is available in a choice of five different color variations and its rich acoustic piano sounds are derived from the Kronos music workstation.

The layer mode in this piano allows two sounds to be played together and the partner mode in this piano divides the keyboard into two left and right regions so that the pianist can play the same range of octaves at the same time. The instrument is also perfect for teaching piano lessons and fun duets. Two headphone jacks in this piano make it convenient for two people to enjoy playing the LP-380 together. The flagship RH3 keyboard from Korg comes with three pedals and also features large-diameter speakers to enjoy an exceptional piano playing experience.

The LP-380 comes with a rosewood grain finish to offer a warm and traditional aesthetic and appeals to all home interiors. The LP-380 supports MIDI and helps in connecting devices to control the piano and to store music composed on the piano to be stored in the laptop, and computer. 


  • The piano is only 26 cm in-depth and it is slim enough to fit anywhere.
  • Its wooden key cover is flat and protects the keys while not playing it.
  • The instrument has three pedals and is perfect for an authentic piano playing experience.
  • The piano is compact and cost-effective and is the right choice for all piano needs.


  • The piano has an old model MIDI connection and requires a USB adapter to connect with the computer.

Note: This piano is also featured in our lists of best digital pianos under $1000 and best home digital pianos.

#4. Yamaha YDP164 – Great Piano For Professionals

Yamaha YDP-164 Digital Piano
Editor Rating: 9.5/10
Performance and sounds9.6
Easy to Assemble9.7
Build Quality9.4
Value for money9.6

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The YDP 164 digital piano is an exceptional upright piano for advanced pianists and it comes in an exceptional cabinet, bench, owner’s manual, and a quick operations guide. The instrument comes with three pedals and has a maximum polyphony of 192. The piano has 10 voices and also comes with two standard stereo phone jacks. It also comes with playback and recording capabilities. Its GHS weighted action is heavier at the lower keys and is lighter at the higher keys, similar to an acoustic piano.

The piano comes with a half-damper pedal control for constantly increasing the amount of sustain as the pedal of the piano is depressed. The CFX premium grand piano also helps in recreating the power and tone of the flagship concert grand piano from Yamaha. The keys of the piano also have special matte black key tops and are designed to absorb moisture and remain tactile even after extended use, without getting slippery with sweat.

Its weighted keys help in reproducing the responsive and controlled touch of the grand acoustic pianos. The piano is compatible with all the smart devices and thus you can easily select the voices and choose the settings by simply connecting the piano with the Smart Pianist app. There are also two headphone jacks in this piano to help practice duets.


  • A phenomenal digital piano for the advanced pianist
  • Affordable piano with smart features and elegant design
  • Connect with both iOS devices to help pianists select voices, record performances, and configure settings.


  • The piano is a little hard to assemble and put together.

Note: This piano is also featured in our lists of best sounding digital pianos and top 15 digital pianos in the market.

#5. The ONE Smart Digital Piano – Best Quality

The ONE Smart Digital Piano
Editor Rating: 9.3/10
Performance and sounds9.4
Build Quality9.3
Value for money9.4

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This is one of the world’s first MFi-certified smart upright pianos for intermediate and advanced piano players. It features a set of 88 LED lights over the 88 keys on its key bed. The lights will glow every time the keys are pressed and will remain lighted until another key in the piano is pressed.  This way, it helps beginners and intermediate pianists to learn the instrument and helps advanced pianists to enjoy playing the instrument. 

The piano has 128-note polyphony to help in creating exceptional piano tunes and is compatible with the ONE smart piano app as well. This helps in learning new piano lessons and pianists can also make use of the app to browse the new piano lessons. Through this mobile app setting, the pianist can access the 128 GM- programmed timbres and four drums set tune Its graded hammer action keys will help you to play soft and hard keynotes and will sound realistic, pretty close to the sounds of an acoustic piano.

The piano also supports several modes such as the dual-mode, split mode, visual sound setting feature, recording function, and other smart functions through its free apps. There are also more than 4000 sheet music, 100+ videos, and fun games available through its free apps. The app is supported on both Android and iOS phones and tablet computers.


  • The piano has graded hammer action keys.
  • It is compatible with powerful apps
  • It features the best surround sound, speakers
  • The piano supports MIDI and hundredths of timber sounds.


  • The graded hammer action in this piano is not great.
  • The smart features of the app could have been better.

Note: This piano is also featured in our lists of best upright pianos for intermediates and digital pianos for small spaces.

Things To Consider Before Choosing To Buy An Advanced Upright Piano

As a general rule, look for the reviews of the brand and the model and choose a piano that fits your budget. The other features to look for in upright pianos for advanced pianists are as follows.

1. The sound of the piano

The digital piano plays its sounds through the pre-recorded sounds of the acoustic piano. the method that has been used to record these tunes will affect the quality of their sound. A good digital piano should emit warm sounds and sound less digital, to closely mimic an acoustic piano. Sound quality is a must-to-watch feature in a digital piano and ensures that it sounds sound nice to you. Apart from general sound quality, it is also important to look for music articulation and delay in the piano, so that it sounds as close to an acoustic piano. 

2. Keys and touch response

A full-sized piano always comes with 88 keys, though some digital pianos come with 61 keys too. Advanced piano players should always choose a full-size piano with graded hammer action keys. Also, make sure that the keys are responsive to touch and that the keys can sense the velocity with which the keys are pressed. 

3. Polyphony and other instrument sounds

Polyphony is always the number of sounds that the piano is capable of producing at any time. Choose pianos with about 128 polyphonies and higher so that your piano is capable of creating 128 different tones and adds a lot of life and value to the piano tunes. Also, choose a digital piano that can produce sounds of almost any instrument from choir and saxophone. 

4. Learning tools in the piano

Though you are an advanced pianist, it is still beneficial to choose a piano with a lot of learning tools. Pianos with the built-in metronome and dual-mode keyboard splits are great for pianists to play optimal tunes with a teacher or friend.

5. Brand

The brand of the piano that you choose should speak for itself and when we talk about upright pianos with advanced pianos. Choose your piano from legendary brands such as Yamaha, Korg, ONE smart piano, etc. 

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Final Words

There is no one size fits all design when it comes to upright pianos for advanced pianists. Before choosing your model, weigh all its pros and cons to choose the piano that best suits your needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the benefits of weighted keys? 

Weighted-key keyboards have a number of advantages. They are more adaptable than pianos as they are portable and don’t require tuning. You can practice in more places and at more hours of the day if you use headphones to avoid disturbing people. Additionally, using sealed headphones can help you practice more effectively by reducing distractions.

2. Should you buy a piano based on the genre of your expertise? 

In the end, it boils down to your musical preferences. The acoustic piano is indeed the best option if you love producing classical sounds and imitating the music created by the masters. If you like a variety of sound possibilities with a contemporary vibe, the digital piano is the best solution for you.

3. How do pianos differ in their genres? 

The acoustic piano is the best option if you enjoy the sounds of orchestral music and wish to compose some of your own. The tones and delicate touch of an acoustic piano make it the ideal accompaniment for other classic instruments.

Musicians can produce and contribute to genres like Pop, Rock, and Funk using digital pianos. They seamlessly incorporate a variety of sounds and an electronic sound system into current instruments.

4. Why should one consider size while purchasing a piano? 

Bigger is better in this situation! Larger pianos typically have better sound quality because the longer strings offer a smoother transition between registers. Even while it would be lovely if every piano student could own a concert grand piano, you need to think about the size of your living area. The size of the space will also affect the piano’s acoustics, so it ought to be taken into account as well. While upright pianos and baby grand pianos are frequently used in learning and practising environments, people with limited room can also use full-sized keyboards with weighted keys.

5. What is the pedal system of an acoustic piano? 

An acoustic piano has three pedals.  They, in turn, are the soft, sostenuto, and sustain pedals. Although the majority of digital pianos include an optional 3-pedal system that uses software to imitate the impacts of each pedal, this method rarely accurately reproduces the feel of the instrument. By pushing the damper against the strings without completely muzzling them, it attempts to mimic how a true sustain pedal operates. Half-dampening, however, is not an on-or-off binary state.

6. How portable is a digital piano? 

Comparatively speaking, digital pianos are much lighter than their acoustic counterparts. However, the vast selection of possibilities available here also works in the digital pianos’ favour. Stage pianos further lighten their load by eliminating unnecessary functions, and innovation is one of the nicest things about digital pianos.

7. Why should you consider your budget before purchasing a piano? 

A higher-quality piano may cost more, but keep in mind that it will last longer because it is made of stronger materials. However, people on a tighter budget can also choose from less expensive variants. It is generally not advised to buy a piano online because it is best to “try drive” a few different pianos before deciding which one would be the greatest fit. Used pianos are frequently quite affordable, but a piano technician should properly inspect them for flaws before buying.

8. How does quality play a role in the purchase of a piano? 

How well a piano performs is greatly influenced by both its internal and external parts. A piano’s resonance and range will be better with a soundboard and strings of higher caliber. It’s crucial to consider the piano’s capacity to be tuned because it may affect how long the instrument lasts. However, the piano’s exterior is also crucial. No matter how expertly manufactured the piano’s internal mechanisms are, a badly manufactured cabinet will have a negative impact on the sound.

9. What is a stage piano? 

Different from regular pianos, stage pianos are designed more to meet the demands of live stage performers. These pianos are often robust machines that have all the essentials for any live performance a travelling or performing musician would require from a single instrument. They typically lack a wide variety of sounds, like synthesizer-based pianos, or a number of additional bells and whistles, and they’re typically made to be portable and withstand heavy use.

Being in love with music, Larry started this website to help piano lovers get the most detailed and accurate information with his 5 Years of experience of working in a music store.

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