There are three primary types of pianos: Grand, Upright, and Electronic. These types are often resized and combined to incarnate other styles, such as the "Electric Baby Grand Piano", "Electric Upright Pianos", and "Baby Grand Piano".
The largest piano type, and frequently the most majestic (as well as expensive). Grand Pianos are categorized by horizontal soundboards sometimes stretching up to 4 ft. (front to back). The Soundboard is encased in a supportable opening platform that lifts on the left in a upwards direction. Dampers lie on top of the strings, adjacent to the hammers (also horizontal). The internal construction is braced with form-holders, usually made of wood, as well as the small equipped metal reinforcements. Essentially the casing is "bottomless" allowing one to see the soundboard support base, also of reinforced wood, which technically acts as the base. Keys consist of wood coated in ivory, or sometimes pure ivory, depending on the piano's manufacturers and classification. The grand piano has the standard 88 keys. Most of these pianos have sheet music piece platforms. A retractable cover slides over, or folds down on the keys.
The Baby Grand piano, as the name implies, is essentially a smaller version of the regular grand piano. It has an 88-key set up, just like the regular grand does, but generally has a smaller soundboard and thus is not as loud as the regular grand.
The most common piano, a popular addition to a living room or a parlor. The Upright piano has been a favorite because it costs less, it is more compact and offers a warm sound. The soundboard is vertical, strings and dampers stretching downward, hammers and dampers horizontal to the board. Since the hammers strike outward or horizontally, they take slightly longer to return to resting position than the hammers of a grand (which strike vertically). The support base of the soundboard as well as wooden reinforcements are visible on the backside. Uprights usually cost less, depending on the model, however some can exceed grands in total value. Although uprights often get depicted as inferior to the grand pianos, a five-foot upright can rival a typical grand in terms of tone quality and loudness. Essentially the keyboard is the same and like the grand, varies in material construction.
Good for beginners or moving performers, Electric Pianos are usually the most affordable, and although they do not have the qualities of an acoustic, sound continues to improve for the high-end and mid-range instruments. They vary greatly in quality, some have hollow keys, while others try to replicate the feel and weight of acoustic keyboards. In addition to the features of an accoustic piano, electric pianos have a variety of sounds and settings such as organ, guitar, string, choir, and percussion. The numerous sounds on some keyboards make it virtually a portable band. Other pianos have limited functions, but this is better for someone who is trying to replicate an acoustic and save money. True electric pianos (compared to the plain keyboards) have a professional appearance and good materials (most consist largely of plastic), as well as touch sensitive features and sometimes equipped frames. Most have connectors for pedals and computer interactive abilities. They never need to be tuned, and rapidly becoming more popular in modern bands. The electric piano also has the advantage of allowing the user to practice silently with headphones at times when doing so would otherwise disturb people. The few drawbacks are technological infancy and power supply.