Buying a Piano – A Guide for Beginners
Buying a piano can be a very difficult decision, particularly if you just started your lessons. The truth is that each piano is different, just like each person that will play it. As such, there is not one piano that would be perfect for everyone. In this post, we will discuss different types of pianos, the pros and cons of each, questions to help you narrow down your search, and links to recommendations.
Types of pianos
1. Acoustic/mechanic pianos
These are the traditional types of instruments, which do not require an electrical output as the sound is produced by the hammers hitting the keys. They can be either upright or grand pianos.
Find acoustic piano recommendations here. You can also check our post on how to take care of an acoustic instrument.
2. Electric pianos
A modern invention, where the sound is produced electronically, rather than by hammers hitting the keys.
Find electric piano recommendations, based on low, medium, and higher budgets in our post. If you already have an electric instrument and want to check how to take care of it, check out this article.
3. Silent/Hybrid pianos
These are a combination between acoustic and electric pianos. The main benefit is that they have a real piano action inside. A silent piano is an acoustic instrument that is digitally enhanced, while a hybrid piano is an electric instrument that has an acoustic piano action, but the sound is solely produced electrically. Read more on the difference between the silent and hybrid pianos here.
Find silent and hybrid piano recommendations here.
Things to consider
Having gone through the pros and cons, now it’s the time to ask yourself what is essential for you and what are your home conditions.
How much space do you have?
Acoustic and silent pianos require more space, while electric and hybrid ones need less.
How much will I play the piano and at what times?
Acoustic pianos are considerably louder (although uprights have a practice pedal, which can dampen the sound quite a bit), while electrics, silent, and hybrids can be used with headphones.
How long do I want to use this instrument for?
As you become more proficient, an electrical instrument will eventually need to be replaced with an acoustic one. Electrical instruments also become obsolete quicker, so you might need to replace them quicker than acoustics.
What is your budget?
Electrical pianos are more budget friendly, while acoustic and silent instruments are more expensive.
Do you like the sound of it and how it feels under the fingers?
This is the most important question, as you will be the one to hear this instrument over and over again. For acoustic pianos it is a must to go in the music shop and try them on, as the same piano can sound and feel differently even if it is the same model. For electric pianos, it is still recommended to go inside or shop, or listen to sound samples on YouTube. As these are mass produced, the sound variations are much smaller than on acoustic pianos. Still, I highly recommend going in a music shop, if possible, to get a feel of the keys under your fingers.