Guide on Choosing the Best Type of Piano for You
Choosing the right type of piano is extremely important – a good piano will develop a good sense of touch, build up finger strength & dexterity, build up the correct sense of pitch… and so on. Here is a guide on choosing the best type of piano for you.
What types of piano do we have?
Nowadays, we have mainly concert grands also baby grands, uprights, and the electronic pianos. Besides, there are various choices of brands – Steinway or Yamaha, Kawai or Young Chang or Pearl River or even Bosendorfer…
Given so many choices, let’s go through each of type of pianos:
Those 9 feet long grand pianos which you see at concerts. These are the best pianos one can ever afford, Steinway is famous for their concert grands – many classical pianists prefer them.
Baby grands are usually 5 or 6 feet grand pianos – which is about 2 feet smaller than the “normal” brands. The smaller size enables it to be fit into a smaller room, however from experience; you need quite a large room for the baby grand to sound nice.
Upright pianos are the most common piano. Unlike a grand piano, the upright’s strings are placed vertically instead of horizontal. This makes the mechanism different from grand pianos, so the touch is also very different.
Digital pianos have the advantage of being able to produce many instruments’ sounds. Digital piano is a far cheaper and much lighter. Also, it never goes out of tune. Nowadays a lot of digital pianos feature fully weighted keys.
What to consider when buying a piano?
1) Budget / Price: How much are you willing to spend to buy an instrument? For example, you do not want to spend a few hundred thousand bucks on a concert grand, if you are just starting to take lessons.
2) Space: How much room do you have for your piano? If you need a good piano, but do not have room for a grand piano – a tall upright is a solution.
3) Tone & touch: This depends on your likings. You need to test playing the pianos yourselves before selecting. Even if you are just starting to take lessons, try to press the keys – do you like the sound? Do you like the touch? How loud and how soft can the piano go? Are the keys responsive enough – if you press hard, do you find the sound goes loud enough, and if you press softly, does the sound goes soft enough?
4) The length of the piano: The measurement of length is for grand pianos, and the height is for upright pianos. As a general guideline, the larger the length or the height, the heavier the touch will be, and the better the tone & responsiveness will be.
5) The piano shop technicians / after sales service: This is very important, all pianos (except electronic pianos) will need to be tuned if you play them or not. It is important to find out whether the shop provides tuning services.
Other Important Tips When Buying a Piano
1) If you know an honest piano technician, it is always good to ask him/her to help you on piano selection. He/she will be able to look at the internals of a piano to tell whether it is in a good condition or not. Bring your technician to the piano shop and ask him to try them out.
2) If you do not know a piano technician, why not bring over your piano teacher/instructor? Teachers has better piano knowledge than beginners.
3) Buying pianos over eBay: yes it is possible! But I do not recommend doing this, let’s don’t talk about the security about trading over the internet – the fact is you do not get to test and try the piano for yourself, you might be ending spending lots of money and getting an instrument which you hate.
4) Reconditioned/refurbished pianos: it is hard to find good reconditioned/refurbished pianos nowadays. No doubt that we do have good ones, however, these are hard to find. If you do not have a piano technician/teacher to help you out, avoid those. Reconditioned Pianos usually goes out of tune quickly, and has bad touch and bad respond.
5) Electronic pianos: if you have budget constraints, think of this: most people only buy ONE piano in their entire lifetime – do you want to end up playing a bad touch, bad respond, too light touch electronic keyboard after 20, 30 years? Honestly, I still recommend to AVOID electronic pianos, whatever the sales person tells you.
Breathe life into your dream. It’s simple, go on and do it.
Try Willan’s music lessons to jumpstart your musical journey.
Getting Inspiration from the Greats
244 Madison Avenue Suite 171
New York, NY 10016