Question: Finances keep me from getting a piano. Can a keyboard help while one is getting started?Caleb (Phoenix, Arizona, USA)
Albert's reply: Keyboards can certainly be fine for the very beginning stages, as you familiarize yourself with the piano keyboard, the notes, scales and the essentials of piano theory.
If you do start with a keyboard, I recommend getting one with full-sized keys and at least 49 keys in total. With full-sized keys, you'll have a much easier time adjusting to an acoustic piano.
Also, it's important to distinguish between keyboards and their big brothers, digital pianos. Digital piano technology has improved dramatically over the years, and while I don't consider them substitutes for good acoustic pianos, some Roland digital piano models and those by other manufacturers have achieved a surprising level of realism in touch, if not yet in sound.
Unfortunately, a decent digital piano will cost at least $1000, and at that price level you can already find a respectable used upright acoustic piano.