Sunday, November 6, 2022 by Elena Papavero | Buying a Piano
Guide to Buying a Piano
Any student wanting to learn an instrument will need to invest in having their own instrument for practice during the week. Without applying the information learned at the lesson during the week, progress will be stunted. Students who practice progress more quickly!
When searching for pianos, we know the options can become overwhelming! I recognize that the quality of the instrument needed may change as a student progresses; therefore, I have shared multiple options at a variety of price points. I hope the pros and cons have shared will help you make the right decision for your needs!
Types of Pianos
There are three basic types of pianos:
1. Acoustic Pianos are the largest and most expensive but also the best when it comes to developing piano skills. Acoustic pianos include upright and grand designs.
2. Digital Pianos are smaller, more portable, less expensive, and many are able to closely mirror the sound and touch of acoustic pianos. Digital pianos can be purchased with a cabinet-style console, enhancing the aesthetics and mimicking an acoustic instrument.
3. Electronic Keyboards are the most cost-effective option, however, sometimes they include less keys (which limits repertoire) and they may not have resistance (weighted-keys). These differences make transferring skills to a digital or acoustic piano more difficult. I do not recommend these for my students.
For each type of piano, have shared pros and cons to consider when choosing the right instrument for your student and your family!
Acoustics instruments are made of real wood and real strings, producing the highest quality sound and touch. If you are looking for an acoustic upright or grand piano, I highly recommend visiting the Freehold Music Piano Center.
I am happy to help Pianorama students choose their piano.
Aesthetics: Acoustics instruments, in our opinion, are simply the most beautiful option.
Tuning: Acoustic instruments are vulnerable to humidity and temperature fluctuations. To keep your piano in tune, it has to be tuned about 1-2 times every year by a professional (usually ranging from $100-$200 per visit).
Stationary: Acoustic pianos are not easily moved. If you are planning to move to another home soon you may want to consider the cost of moving (approximately $200-$500). Additionally, if your child spends time between 2 homes or travels often, a portable instrument may be a better choice.
Digital pianos are created to closely resemble acoustic instruments and the ones recommended below have 88 weighted keys and wonderful reviews! Additionally some include a cabinet-style console.
While it’s impossible to fully replicate the experience of playing on an acoustic piano, it is certainly okay to start learning on a digital piano. In fact, a high quality digital piano can be much better than playing a poor quality acoustic piano.
Volume Control: Digital instruments have both volume control and a headphone jack to allow a student to practice and not disturb others.
Digital-Only Features: Digital pianos often include multiple sound options, recording features, and versatility in changing the key of the music (transposing).
Power Source Needed: Consider where you are wanting to place your piano in your home and if there is a close by power source to plug it in.
Repair: While digital pianos do not require regular tuning and maintenance, like all technological things, they can still break or stop working.
My favorite brands for digital pianos are Korg, Yamaha and Casio. I have listed my recommendations below from most affordable to most expensive. Compare the features to decide which is the best model for you!
Yamaha P71 (this is an Amazon-only item, the equivalent model is the P45)
Casio PX860 BK Privia
Yamaha YDP-S34 Arius
See this site for reliable reviews
If the option you chose to purchase does not include a bench, pedal, or stand these are the ones I use and recommend. I prefer benches with storage, weighted pedals that will not slide on the floor and a stand that allows good placement of feet (not an x-
M-Audio SP 2 - Universal Sustain Pedal
Liquid Stands Piano Keyboard Stand - Z Style Adjustable and Portable Heavy Duty Music Stand for Kids and Adults -Fits 54-88 Key Electric Pianos - Sturdy Musical Keyboard Stand
Thank you for taking time to read my recommendations and I hope you will find the right instrument that best fits your budget and your needs.
If you have any questions or need additional assistance, just reach out - I am here to help.