5 Tips for Parents Buying Pianos
As a parent, buying a piano for your child can prove to be quite challenging. Between varied prices and a wide range of brands to choose from, what seems like a simple task can quickly become overwhelming. Here we have laid out five simple tips that will help you find a high quality instrument within your price range!
Many electronic keyboards have keys that are not weighted however, it is absolutely essential that the piano you purchase has weighted keys. Especially when considering youth instruction, it is very important that new piano players build up the muscles in their hands when learning the instrument. Keyboards with keys that aren’t waited do not allow for this and will prevent your child from developing the strength required to play a real piano.
Shop in Person
If possible, it always helps to go in person. Going directly to the source will allow you to discuss the purchase with an expert on site. Most people working in a music store will have enough knowledge to help you find exactly what you need. It’s also very important to bring your young musician along with you and make sure they test out the instrument before you make the purchase. Every piano, even of the same make and model, will feel and sound slightly different. Given the expense of investing in a piano it is important that the instrument feels right for the person who will be playing it the most.
Buying a piano is an investment in your child's cognitive development; learning music teaches children valuable skills of discipline and dedication. Since pianos are a hefty investment financially, it is extra important to purchase an instrument that will stay in good condition for a long time. Poor instrument quality can often be a turn off for new players, so it is important to invest in a high quality instrument that will last well.
This rule is especially important if you are looking for a used piano. Used pianos can be a fantastic purchase, but it is important to verify the quality of the instrument before buying it as some deals out there are too good to be true. Here is a youtube video that explains in more detail how to understand the quality of a piano.
Pricing and Sizing
The first thing to know is that a high quality acoustic piano will cost at minimum several thousand euros. As the piano goes up in size and quality the price will rise as well. Grand pianos are categorized by their length and upright pianos are categorized by their height. Retail prices listed by the manufacturer are often significantly more expensive than the prices you’ll find at a music store, so it’s extra important to follow tip #2.
This is the largest type of piano starting at around 1.6m for a baby grand and going all the way up to 3.1m for a concert grand. Given the size you need to have a large room with plenty of space as well as a way to get the piano inside of your house/apartment after it has been purchased.
Entry level pricing for grand pianos starts around $10,000 and can very quickly rise well above $100,000 depending on the make and model.
Upright Pianos range from 114 - 140cm in height. The taller the piano the longer the strings are, and so some 140cm uprights have string length similar to grand pianos, meaning that they produce a very similar sound. However it is also important to note that as with grand pianos, the price will rise with the size of the instrument.
Pricing for upright pianos starts around $3,000 and just like grand pianos that number can range much higher depending on the make and model.
Electric Pianos (Keyboards)
Electric Pianos are by far the cheapest option, but they can only emulate the tone and feel of real pianos, and they do not hold their value as well as real pianos. The cheapest electric pianos with weighted keys are around $500 and the price can range up to $20,000.
It’s especially important with this type to pay attention to the number of keys and whether or not they are weighted.
Use Your Resources
In this day and age there are unlimited resources available to aid you in making your decision. There are countless forums, blogs, and websites with even more information on the nitty gritty details of piano quality, pricing, and everything in between. Here are a few other resources that could help you:
Resources don’t only exist online. If your child has been taking lessons already it is always good to ask their music teacher for input at any stage of making the purchase.