The Lounge is rated Safe For Work. If you're about to post something inappropriate for a shared office environment, then don't post it. No ads, no abuse, and no programming questions. Trolling, (political, climate, religious or whatever) will result in your account being removed.
Perhaps I should upgrade my ancient guitar so that it spares my neighbors from having to call the police because they think I'm torturing cats again. That reminds me that I have not yet tried to learn to play a guitar this decade.
I have lived with several Zen masters - all of them were cats.
His last invention was an evil Lasagna. It didn't kill anyone, and it actually tasted pretty good.
A piano key weights much more than a keyboard key. An important aspect of learning how to play involves doing finger exercises to strengthen one's fingers. Practicing those exercises in a keyboard won't be as efficient, and will have an impact in the agility of your son's fingers. That doesn't mean he can't be virtuoso with a keyboard, but it'll be harder. So I would advise against it.
However, I also live in an apartment, so I understand the dilemma. A good compromise (and what I did) is to buy a small electric piano that fits nicely in your living room. Plus, you can wear headphones, should the neighbors complain. The sound won't be as neat as with a normal piano, though. Just make sure that the weight of the keys are close enough to those of a normal piano.
Should you decide for the keyboard, make sure that it has at least seven octaves. The common keyboards have five octaves, making it impossible to play most of the common classical pieces. I did learn in one of those, and it was very frustrating. Seven octaves will cover almost every easy and medium level pieces, and a great deal of the advanced ones.
The one I have is considered to be a digital piano with semi-weighted keys and I think it feels very close to a real piano. I don't think it's even made any more but I like it. It is an Ensoniq Avista. I would recommend a digital piano for learning in an apartment environment.
I mostly agree with Fernando's reply, but just wanted to add a few things.
A digital piano (keyboard) is definitely the way to go, but I'd strongly encourage a full 88 key model with weighted keys. It will never need tuning, and has other advantages over an old piano such as MIDI ports which can be used to drive a virtual keyboard/synthesizer on a computer, or to work with learning software...lot's of possibilities. I bought a really nice Yamaha as described for about $450 a few years ago, the prices will be lowest through the holiday season. Good luck!
Weighted keys feel much like playing a real piano with all the moving parts...like they have some weight to them and not just cheap plastic. I forgot to mention that the keys should also be velocity sensitive...most of the decent ones are.
Yes I'm cheating on my bass! Thanks for remembering! Lately I've been playing bass lines on an acoustic guitar...put on Pandora Classic Rock and just play along.
I bought myself a Casio CDP-130BKC5 together with a stand three few years ago and have been very happy with it - it's an 88 key piano.
So I would definitely recommend either that particular piano or something similar.
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”