Updated: Mar 13, 2020
Very often people do not know where to start to buy the piano, as they feel completely overwhelmed by the choice available on the market. It is always good to have a professional whose advice you can trust. However, it is always better to know what you want before you embark on the piano search.
Here are some tips to help you make up your mind:
1. Decide on the type of the piano you want to have: grand or upright?
Whenever there is a choice, I would always advocate the grand, even if it is very small; as personally, I prefer the action of the grand piano to that of the upright. If you do go for the grand piano, decide what size would be most suited to you.
2. Heavy, Medium or Light: Decide on the action of the keyboard.
I would always advocate for a heavy-touch piano, as it trains fingers better (they become stronger quicker) and, also, piano actions get lighter with the time.
3. Decide the sound you prefer.
If you want to go for the black and white’ sound so to speak of a Yamaha piano, this sound is excellent for Bach and baroque music in general, as well as jazz. If you would like to go for a more layered sound, this sound is more appropriate for Romantic music like Chopin, Schumann and Rachmaninoff. Always have the number of pieces on which you test the sound:
· A quiet one
· A loud one (preferably with chords)
· A baroque piece
· A romantic piece
· A 20th century piece, including French impressionists (Debussy, Ravel, Satie) and
· A jazzy/modern piece, or something in your own style.
4. Decide on how loud you want your piano to be.
It depends on how big is the space where the piano will be staying. Remember that a loud instrument will only get louder with time. Also think how many hours of loud piano music you can peacefully tolerate. If you have low ceiling, I would strongly recommend against a piano with a bright sound, as it can make you tired quickly and interfere with your practice.
5. Decide on your budget:
These days you can find a grand piano on the market from £3,000 to £103,000. There are many places to buy: shops, private sales and auctions. Each option has problems and advantages. In the shop, you will normally get a few years guarantee and the piano would be more likely to be in a good condition, however, the price would be higher. In a private sale the price will be lower, but you must make sure that you will get it appraised by the independent specialist. At the auction you may get a bargain, but the danger is that you might not be able to discover the condition of the instrument inside, as normally auctions do not allow independent assessment of the pianos. However I strongly believe that there is a piano for everyone, you just need to know what piano you want. The clearer you are, the more likely you will find the best one for you.
I would advise you to see as many instruments as possible and mark their performance on a scale 1 to 10 for each criteria from the above list! Its like meeting new people and seeing who are you compatible with and how they make you feel! The piano is going to be your friend for a long time.
And, for those, who are strongly into interior design, think about the colour and texture of the polish that you would like to see on your piano, so not to waste your time.
Visualize it daily, and sooner or later the piano will manifest itself in your life!
Happy Piano Shopping!