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The Piano’s One of the Best Musical Instruments to Play

By , published on 14/07/2017 Blog > Music > Piano > How to Buy Your First Piano
Contents
  • The Piano: A Well-Rounded Instrument
  • Buying a Piano: a Financial and Personal Investment
  • How Do You Buy a Piano?
  • How To Choose a Piano?
  • What Accessories Do You Need for Your Piano?
  • What Size is an Upright Piano?

When you decide to buy a piano, you’ve got to take your time. Whether you’re buying a digital piano or an acoustic piano or whether you want a new piano or a used piano, you can’t buy one on a whim like you would candy in a convenience store.

Is playing the piano good for my health? Playing piano could be the recipe for a happy and healthy life. (Source: Pulp Nature)

You need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is this a good purchase?

  • How much will it cost?

  • What will having a piano in my lounge do for me?
  • What is the best piano for me?

  • How do I choose my piano?

  • Should I ask my piano teacher?

  • Where should I buy my musical instrument? A piano store or online?

  • Should I buy new or look for used pianos? Where can I find a used piano for sale?

  • What other things do I need to buy (accessories, resources, etc.)?

  • Are there any other costs to consider (piano tuning, hiring a piano technician, piano moving, etc.)?

Soon you’ll know whether or not buying a piano is for you.

If you want to become a pianist playing jazz or classical music, you’re going to need a piano in your house.

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The Piano: A Well-Rounded Instrument

The piano’s the king of instruments and learning to play the piano will help you as both a musician and in your everyday life.

Playing the piano helps you coordinate several parts of your body. You work with both your head and your hands when you work out how to play a piano piece.

Your feet, eyes, hands, brain, and your back are all working together when you play the piano. You need a huge amount of concentration just to not focus on either the sheet music or the keys.

Your eyes read the sheet music and then focus on the keys. Your brain then coordinates the music and orders you to play it. In this case, your brain is the boss and your fingers follow orders.

With technical exercises and working on chord progressions, any pianist can learn to train their brain to work with large amounts of information simultaneously. Coordinating your hands and feet is also paramount for anyone wanting to play the piano well.

It’s recommended that beginners learn to use their feet in order to play better when making use of the sustain pedal. This is useful for lengthening notes (especially when it comes to whole notes and half notes). You can then use your left foot to keep rhythm.

Finally, you need to make sure you’re in a good position: you can’t curl your shoulders forwards. They need to be straight and your back needs to be aligned with your sacrum in order to manage your breathing while you play.

Hands aren’t just for touching the keys. Your wrists need to be perpendicular with the keyboard and your fingers need to be lightly curled at the end. You need to hold your hands lightly over the keyboard.

Practicing the piano requires flexibility, memory, and listening. You’re as mentally active as you can be when you’re playing the piano.

As you start playing the piano more often, you’ll get to used to remembering more and more and improving your concentration. This is one of the reasons for choosing to play the piano…

After learning to coordinate the various parts of your body, you’ll be able to work on increasingly difficult pieces. Don’t forget:

  • If you practice each piece phrase by phrase, you’ll know it by heart.

  • Playing the piano and getting better at it will give you more self confidence and a huge feeling of satisfaction.

  • Your listening and dexterity will improve.

As you learn to play the piano, your musical ear will get better. You’ll stop hearing music and start hearing the individual chords and notes. You’ll start actively listening to music.

Finally, the piano develops your motor skills, which will become more refined. All you need to do is get your own piano for your home.

Buying a Piano: a Financial and Personal Investment

You’ll need to open your wallet to buy a piano. However, don’t forget that a piano doesn’t just cost money, it also costs time.

How much does a piano cost? Buying a piano is a significant financial investment. (Source: Policy Genius)

However, the piano’s still a viable option for those with a limited budget. Your budget will depend on the kind of piano you’re looking for. You should budget:

  • $100 to $300 for an entry-level electronic piano.

  • $300 to $700 for a low-level electronic piano.

  • $700 to $1200 for a mid-level electronic piano.

  • $1,500 and above for a high-quality electronic piano.

  • $3,000 for a quality upright piano.

  • $9,000 for a used grand piano.

Without even considering the space they take up, grand pianos should only be bought by experienced or professional piano players.

If you’re just starting out but are going to be taking your playing very seriously, you can always opt for a mid-range electronic piano. $500 should be enough.

  • Think carefully about buying an acoustic piano as you’ll need to get it tuned at least twice a year. You might need to tune it more depending on the climate where you live since changes in temperature and humidity can massively affect the piano’s tuning. In that case, you may need to tune it as often as every three or four months.

  • Tuning can be expensive. Nobody does it for free! You can easily pay $100 just to get a piano tuned.

Having a piano in your home is also a personal investment: you need to put in the time in order to get better.

Spending at least fifteen minutes per day is the bare minimum. You should be looking at playing between thirty minutes and an hour every day. If you’re passionate about it, it’s easy to commit this much time!

An enthusiastic pianist, in addition to their regular routines, drills, and exercises, will spend all their free time working on the piece they’re currently learning. The best pianists are always those who put their heart and soul into getting better at the instrument.

Playing the piano and getting one for your home can be very costly. Getting all the extras can end up being quite expensive.

There are also non-tangible things you’ll end up paying for. The time and energy you need to commit to learning how to play it. It’s also essential to be motivated and have the willpower to practice regularly.

How Do You Buy a Piano?

Before you buy a piano you need to:

  • be aware that it’s a significant investment.

  • compare the different options available to you, taking the sound, finish, and the brand into account.

  • only look at pianos that are within your budget.

  • buy a piano in accordance with your current and potential ability.

  • think about how you’re going to learn how to play it: whether you’re going to take piano lessons or follow on-line tutorials, etc.

  • work out how much space you’ll need in your house for it.

The size of the room you’re going to put the piano in and where you’re going to put it will massively affect the type of piano you’ll need and how it’ll sound: it’s better to get electronic pianos for smaller rooms. Grand pianos are designed for large rooms with high ceilings.

What's the best piano? Take the time to choose a piano that helps you learn. (Source: PeaxPX)

What type of piano should you get?

These are the three main types of piano:

  • Electronic Pianos/Digital Pianos:

  1. Perfect for beginners. The keys are usually lighter.

  2. They’re far more portable and easier to move than other pianos.

  3. This is great if you’re a student or change apartment a lot. It’s also great if you’re still not sure if you’re going to stick with playing the piano.

  4. It’s also great if you don’t want to disturb the neighbors. Electronic pianos can be played with headphones plugged in so nobody around can hear you.

  • Upright Pianos:

  1. This is the most common type of piano.

  2. This is for intermediate and advanced players.

  3. Given it weight (450-550lbs) and its price ($1500-$2000), it’s a genuine piece of furniture and is difficult to move around.

  4. It has a beautiful sound.

  • Grand Pianos:

  1. This is the top-end of pianos.

  2. It’ll be the centerpiece of any room.

  3. It’s a huge investment and a decision that you shouldn’t take lightly given its price ($10,000 for a second-hand model). Beginners shouldn’t even be considering any type of grand piano, not even a baby grand piano!

Here are a few piano’s we’d recommend for a variety of players:

  • Yamaha PSR-F50: 61 keys and 120 voices. Very light (7.5lbs). Cheap ($99). Perfect for absolute beginners.

  • Yamaha DGX-650WH: A high-quality electronic piano. 88 realistic keys with a number of voices. Recording functions. At around $750, you’re looking at a mid-range piano.

  • Materai 118C: An upright piano that you can put anywhere. A long-term investment. You’ll need to tune it one to three times a year. Costs around $5,000.

  • Steingraeber B 192: A beautiful boudoir grand piano with the sound of a concert grand. It becomes the focal point of whatever room it’s in. Definitely for advanced pianists. Around $12,500

  • Steinway and Sons B-211: A top-of-the-range grand isn’t for everyone. Especially at around $60,000!

Where Can You Buy a Piano?

The first place you should go is your local music store. This is the best place to try the instruments and ask for advice. Unfortunately, they tend to be more expensive in-store than on-line.

You’ll get a cheaper price by buying on-line. However, you run the risk of not being able to try out your instrument before you get it. However, there are a number of stores that also sell their products on-line. In fact, nearly everyone’s on-line. Always be dubious of offers that seem too good to be true.

How To Choose a Piano?

Before you buy your piano you should try out the various parts of the instrument:

  • The pedals: It’s important to check the flexibility, precision, and comfort of the pedals.

  • The keyboard: When starting out, you should favor lighter action over heavier action.

  • The music rack

  • The general state of the instrument.

Where can I buy used pianos? Make sure you check what condition the piano’s in before you buy. (Source: pxhere)

Ask for advice from your friends and family, too. Anyone who knows you well should be able to weigh in on which piano is right for you.

If you’re taking private tutorials, don’t forget to ask your tutor.

Have you fallen in love with a particular piano? Don’t forget all the accessories and extras you’ll need to buy, too.

What Accessories Do You Need for Your Piano?

There are a number of accessories that you should get to make your playing easier.

The stool is probably the most important. Get rid of that chair from the dining room! You should be looking at actual piano stools. The stool is the first accessory you should get because it helps you adopt the right posture.

You can’t be out of time when you play the piano. This is where a metronome comes in handy. If your piano doesn’t have one built in, then you can either download a metronome app or go for the real thing!

Make sure you get a duster and a protective cover to make sure your piano is always free of dust.

If you don’t want to bother the neighbors, you should also consider buying headphones to use with your electronic piano! This will keep you out of trouble with your neighbors if you decide to practice late into the night.

Sennheiser, Yamaha, and Roland are all brands you should look into.

One last thing: you should always try to haggle or barter when buying your piano. You’re making a significant investment so why not try to save a few bucks?

So you’ve got everything you need, right? There’s only one more thing you need before you get to work, a tutor! You can either go to a dedicated music school or center or hire a private tutor and have the lessons from the comfort of your own home.

What Size is an Upright Piano?

What type of piano should you get?

Throughout this article, we’ve been guiding you through the process of buying your very first piano. It’s a big investment that requires a lot of thought. If you’re leaning towards an upright piano, make sure you know how big they are.

Remember that upright pianos are those whose strings are held in a vertical position. This group of pianos come in the following sizes.

  1. The Spinet Piano is the smallest of the upright pianos. This type of piano is better suited to children because of its size. They tend to measure less than 40 inches in height.

  2. The Console Piano is bigger than the Spinet and tends to be between 40 and 44 inches tall.

  3. A Studio Piano measures between 44 and 47 inches from the ground. This piano is thought to have a better sound quality than the two previous types.

  4. Any upright bigger than a studio is just called an “Upright Piano”. These are the most common type of upright pianos.

Remember that upright pianos are almost always lighter than a grand piano.

So, what size is best for your room?

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