A good piano will last a lifetime, often outliving your current furniture, car and maybe even your house, so it’s important to make the right choice when purchasing a new one. Whether you’re looking to buy an upright piano, a grand piano, baby grand piano, or you’re perusing popular brands like Yamaha and Kawai, the breadth of choice can be overwhelming.
Additionally, sometimes sales representatives can have vested interests in selling some or other particular types of piano, which can make the decision on what types to consider even more confusing. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the choices and the wide array of types of pianos available, make sure you know what to look for before talking to a sales representative.
Be prepared with a budget before you start shopping for a piano. As a rule of thumb, the more you spend the more value you get when purchasing a piano, so it’s easy to be enticed into buying something beyond your budget. Give yourself a price range with an absolute maximum spend amount and only look at types of pianos that fall within your budget window. (But keep in mind that pianos hold their value incredibly well, so it’s almost always worth opting for something on the higher end of your budget.)
Always ask your piano retailer for the best price they can offer on the types of pianos you’re interested in. If you’re looking for a piano online, take a look at the retailer’s specials page regularly to see what types of pianos go on sale and whether something comes up within your price range. Again, it doesn’t hurt to get in touch to ask for the best price.
Upright vs. Baby Grand Piano
Whether you should look at upright pianos (vertical soundboard) or grand pianos (usually baby grand pianos for home use) will depend on the space you have available and how you intend to use the piano. Baby grand pianos are coveted for their elegant style and there is a common misconception that they sound better than upright pianos. The fact is that for home use you are likely to require a smaller style which will probably have a shorter soundboard than a good quality upright piano. Since the quality of tone comes from the length of the soundboard, there can be little advantage to buying a baby grand piano. However, if your space, budget and personal tastes allow for a grand piano, they are a valuable investment.
Acoustic vs. Digital Piano
The price entry-point is lower for digital pianos, making them a popular choice for families with a child learning piano. Digital pianos also have the convenience of being far more portable than their acoustic counterparts. However, the sound, touch and weighting of acoustic pianos are often regarded as superior to and more “authentic” than digital options.