Difference between Pianist & Keyboardist?

Darn... it's about music.

What's the difference between Samy's fish curry& the local foodstalls?A lot if you wanna get into details but once it's in, as long as it's yummy, that's all that matters.
Keyboardist is someone who plays keyboard instruments. Can be:

Organ, Piano, Harpsichord, Clavichord, Celesta, Electronic keyboard

Which is very general. However if you're specific, than it's call organist, pianist, harpsichordist etc...

However in modern day when we say keyboardist, we are referring to electronic keyboard.

Well people who learn piano shouldn't have any problem applying on other keyboard instruments as basic principle applies there. Just a slight different need to adjust. Like organ, you need to get use on playing the leg pedal or the weight, feel, etc etc on different keyboard instruments.

Not sure for people started from electric keyboard but I guess classical pianist gain better advantage due to the nature of the instrument itself as compared to an electric keyboard. However some classical things like fingering are unable to apply on genre like Jazz. But that's more like music genre and not instrument itself.
Sees pop as the world's greatest sin and evil, and should be avoided at all costs, failing which their ears will burst a thousand explosions and their (male) genitals rendered sterile

Actually what you are saying is true.....there are a lot of idiot pianist think they can smell different air from us....
i cannot stand that kind of attitude....

i love your description....

but anyways, i am a classically trained pianist and it has helped me in many ways but i have never really loved classical music....
i play pop music now and i disagree that pop requires no technique at all....it actually requires a lot of discipline and a lot more control not to overplay(which a lot of classical pianist do when they play pop songs).....

i have had about enough of those classical pianist and their sickening tamper tantrums... i used to be able to tell wat notes pple are playing on the piano (i think its called relative pitch or dunno wat)....but i decided to try and "untrain" myself from that because i had to play in so many situations that the piano was completely out of tune and some notes missing....
u still got to make it sound nice....

yea i can transpose to whatever key or wat but what the heck...when i'm in a rush just press the transpose button....
the keyboard/piano is suppose to make our lives easier and help us enjoy...not make us feel like we need to play a song in the hardest way possible, and the people listening cant even tell the difference....

i'm chinese, i make racist jokes infront of my indian friends, they laugh
my indian friends make racist jokes on chinese peeps, i laugh
in the end we're still friends.

i could sense the sarcasm in his very first sentence, i'm quite surprised there'd be people who'd take his comment seriously.. hello, chillax please
Nikolaiski, u sound like the biggest sour plum. haha.. It's alright that u dun respect classical musicians, cos u nvr knew them --probably ever personally-- since u make them sound so horrible.
Stereotyping them just becos u don like classical music/musicians? It's alright. Your lost.

Btw, this is coming from an accomplished pianist who is OPENED to many genres n enjoys POP, ROCK, FUSION JAZZ.
N I'm not the only one. [do u even know who is Jay Chou? hahaha!]
So listen up, if u r going to slam classical pianist/S, u r not getting any further in music technicality n sensitivity, because believe it or not, music begins from BAROQUE, CLASSICAL PERIOD, day to day POP doesn't appear from thin air.
N sorry, CLASSICAL music is always timeless, n here to stay. =)

Good day Cherry,

Sorry for replying two years later, I realized I didn't even check this thread! But it compels me...:)

I apologise that you have taken my statements that were meant to be in jest, so very seriously. Clearly you do not have much of a sense of humour. However, I wish to state that I am no sour plum, and am indeed a classically trained pianist with 4 solid years of conservatory training. But I, like you, do not respect clasically trained pianists who wall themselves up with an elitist attitude, thinking that they are above the rest just because of their technique, etc...blah blah blah.

My background also includes arranging and improvising for POP, ROCK and FUSION JAZZ, oh wait, isn't that what you do too?

So you see, don't be too quick to judge. We're very much on the same page here. The only difference is, I seem to be able to joke about it with my 10 years of experience or so, so lighten up :)

more about me: www.asiapiano.com.sg/company.htm --> Look for Amery Reuben

I also teach at Playbyear, which happens to be one of Singapore's most popular dedicated pop + jazz piano improvisation schools - LOTS of classically trained piano teachers happen to be our clients. Maybe you'd like to drop by and have a chat, maybe I can get you to er, OPEN UP, like you've suggested.

..pianist and keyboardist = SAME THING - you're still touching the plastic/ivories, etc etc... however, it is worth noting that techniques do very, such as aftertouch like when one might be playing a V-synth, etc...manipulating the keys with different sensitivities when using different sounds from a synthesized source as is popular with USB-iPads, so yeah :) I'm sure many of you know better than me. What's important is, the keyboard is still a medium of communication between a human and his/her listener - it's just what that keyboard is connected to and how one manipulates it that matters in the end result of sound-production. So in my opinion, there shouldn't even be a distinction because every pianist, in order to be a complete musician, should expose his/herself to every possible genre/sound/sensation. You only live once.

Peace =)

and PS. Out of many Chinese composers like David Tao, Stefanie Sun, etc..I like Jay Chou - I think his background makes him a solid chinese-pop performer and all-rounded musician. He writes most of his songs, which I respect, and sings pretty well. Hell, I don't even speak chinese but I listen to him. And if you think I'm just spewing hot hair, please feel free to purchase a $12 ticket to watch me perform on the 1st of October, 7:30pm at DBS Auditorium, amongst many other very talented improvisationists that will be present on that day :) I'll be playing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, amongst other things - call 63387979 to buy (shameless plugging...but necessary to prove one's abilities - clearly compensating for something I lack -points down there-..hahahaha)
Last edited:
PBE having a competition to improv Amazing Grace.....

How about Amazing Grace in jazz swing ....and then play it in Minor key ala Dave Brubeck's Take Five?
I'm sorry to weigh in this late. Just chanced upon the topic and felt like adding my two cents.

I'm not a pro but have played both piano and keys in a band for over 20 years. I don't agree with people who say that keyboard is easier. It in fact requires very different skillset. The role of the keyboard in a band is to add texture, layering, that complements the other instruments. Not only do you need to be a good programmer (or at least be familiar with the sound banks and how to edit them), you need really good ears and be super aware about band dynamics, and then adjust your own tone and texture accordingly. And the keyboard player needs a highly restrained genius to know when to stay in the background and when to lead.
Although I'm a pianist by training, I've learned to really like playing the keys, especially emulating sounds and instruments that are signature of particular genre.
Is there any difference between Pianist & Keyboardist? Can a pianist play a keyboard or vice versa, what special skills are needed for either?

Modern keyboards are able to mimick a real piano touch and tone, from pressure sensors, to pedals etc.

The only difference I know is that a keyboard can install VST for different sounds, able to adjust volume, or add sound effects, some may have pitch bend/pitch shift.

So if I'm a pianist, can I play the keyboard in bands, or advertise myself as an available keyboardist?
I’m both so the simplest answer to this is:
Both are keyboard instruments.

A pianist primarily or exclusively plays on a piano/stage piano or electric piano. The genre is irrelevant.

A keyboardist gets to use different timbres of several instruments or create unique ones and sometimes does “sound design” and is able to “bend” the pitch like certain string instruments this is only one different way to articulate a note as compared to just percussive action on keys. When the piano sounds of a keyboard equipped with weighted keys are used then he/she blurs the line to become a pianist as well.

Hope this is accurate :) it’s the clearest way I see it.