Both acoustic and electric pianos can be expensive purchases, and I’m talking “exotic car” expensive.
Some grand pianos on the market today go for around $200,000.
Luckily, you don’t need to spend anywhere near that to get a decent piano. Follow our list, and we’ll tell you what to look out for.
Follow our list, and we’ll tell you what to look out for.
This one is a no-brainer. You need to work out a budget and stick to it.
Generally, electric pianos are much cheaper than their acoustic counterpart. So you won’t have any issues finding a quality one of these.
Acoustic pianos, on the other hand, are expensive pieces of kit, so it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the best option, even if buying one brand new. Cheap pianos mean poor-quality, and you don’t want to be learning to play on one of these.
Trust me! Typically, a brand new piano will cost you at least $5000 for a cheap model. Unless you have a budget of around $25,000 - $50,000 to guarantee a quality purchase, I advise you to look at second-hand options.
The most cost-effective solution is a second-hand piano made by a quality company. You can stumble upon these on websites like eBay, Craigslist, Gumtree, and Shpock, in antique shops, local newspaper ads, or second-hand stores.
They might have a few scratches and bumps, but this only adds to their character.
You can pick up a second-hand piano for as little as $500. So, look for something within your budget and do some research on the pianos available - brand/company, age, size, etc.
Oh, and make sure you haggle!
There are two types of the piano - acoustic and digital/electric.
Both claim to sound the same, but experts and professionals will always prefer the sound from a real acoustic piano. Arguing that electric is merely imitating the sound rather than producing it.
Electric pianos do have some benefits though:
- Compact/take up less space.
- Don’t require tuning.
- Minimal maintenance.
- Top quality models sound the same as acoustic.
More comfortable to transport/move around.
If acoustic is still your preference, you can choose between a vertical/upright piano or a grand piano. The latter of which is bigger and more expensive.
Measure the space you have against the size of the piano, remembering to leave room for the stool along with leg room.
You want to be able to play your piano as well as it being a statement piece in your home.
Along with ensuring you have enough room for your new instrument, be sure to make a plan of how you’re going to get the piano into space.
Acoustic pianos, especially grand pianos, are large and tricky to maneuver, so hiring professionals to do this would be beneficial. You don't want to damage it after all!
Listening to how a piano sounds are one of the best ways to tell if a piano is of good quality. Most people, even those who aren’t piano experts, can say if a piano sounds off key.
Get recommendations from people such as music teachers, piano technicians or music shop assistants. This will help you get a good idea of the most popular brands of piano, along with their longevity.
Ensure the inside looks like it’s built to last. If you look inside the piano and the wood is rotting or chipped, that’s a sure fire way of knowing you aren’t buying quality.
Test all parts of the piano, from the keys to the pedals. If one key is stiff, or the pedals have no resistance, leave it and move onto another one.
Play a variety of pianos before you commit to purchasing it. You will be able to find which one you feel comfortable with, how the keys are spaced and how the keys respond to your touch.
Knowing this will help you keep your piano in tip-top condition, and you’ll notice if things go wrong more easily.
Ask if the piano has been kept in a dust-free environment, this can affect the keys and the overall sound. Ensuring the piano is kept clean and is dusted regularly is essential for proper piano maintenance.
If you need some assistance with this, professional piano technicians offer services such as cleaning and tuning, to keep it at its best.
So there you have it, 5 tips on how to buy a piano. We’re sure once you’ve found your dream piano, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Needless to mention, you will have to assess your budgetary needs and review your checklist to ascertain what’s most important before making the purchase decision.