What to Know Before Buying Your First Piano

Are you in the market for your first piano? The piano is a wonderful instrument to play, but they can get expensive. Before you make such a large piece, it’s important to educate yourself on which piano is right for you.

Whether you’re just beginning to play or simply purchasing the first piano you own, there are a variety of factors to consider before taking the plunge.

Here are some of the things to keep in mind when you’re considering your first piano purchase:

Determine your budget

A quality first piano can roughly cost about $3,000-$100,000 depending on the type, brand and other qualities.

Before you head into a sales room, make sure you have at least some idea of how much you want to spend. This can determine which type of piano you buy as well as brand.

Many companies also offer piano financing options, so it’s good to know going in if you need to finance your piano or if you plan on paying cash.

Pick your style

If you’re completely new to the piano-playing world, you might not know that there are a few different types of pianos. Before you purchase, make sure you know which style suits your needs best:

1. Acoustic pianos

The acoustic piano is probably the most famous type of piano and includes the classic grand and upright pianos. This type of piano can be some of the most expensive on the market.

However, you can’t beat an acoustic piano when it comes to sound and performance.

2. Digital pianos

Digital pianos are very versatile, and typically much more affordable than an acoustic piano.

Digital pianos don’t use strings or hammers like acoustic pianos do. Thanks to recent technology advancements, they have a high-quality sound that imitates an acoustic piano.

3. Electronic keyboards

Keyboards are usually less expensive than traditional pianos but offer a slightly different sound and feel.

An electronic keyboard uses synthesizers that imitates the sound of a piano. This is a basic form of the digital piano, so it will not have as many features.

Pick the right size

How much room do you have for a piano in your home or apartment? This one might seem obvious, but a lot of people don’t consider just how big pianos can be until they’re trying to fit on in their small living room.

If you’re working with limited space, a keyboard or digital piano is probably the best option for you. You probably won’t want to select a grand piano, or something that requires a lot of floor space.

Either way, make sure you take measurements of the room where you plan to put your piano and always check twice to make sure the piano you select will fit in your space.

New vs. used pianos

Just like when you’re buying a car, pianos can be purchased both new and used. Which one you choose is largely your personal preference.

Pianos will last a long time if they are properly cared for, so you shouldn’t be afraid to purchase a used one. This is also a great way to save money.

If you chose to purchase a used piano, just make sure to have it inspected first or purchase it through an authorized seller. You don’t want to end up with an instrument that doesn’t work or constantly needs repairs.

Pick your brand

Once you know what type of piano you’re looking for, it’s time to consider what brand fits your needs best.

There are many famous piano brands on the market today, and they have a wide range of prices. Some of the best options for beginners or first piano buyers include:

1. Yamaha

Yamaha is one of the most well-know brands in music, and they offer a wide selection of pianos for beginners or professionals.

They’re famous for their products that are high-quality but still at a good price point, so you really can’t go wrong with a Yamaha piano. One feature the company is known for is their Graded Hammer Standard.

They offer a wide range of options, from acoustic grand pianos to electronic keyboards.

2. Roland

Roland is another popular brand for pianos in particular. This company is a great choice if you’ve decided on an acoustic piano, and they’re famous for their grand pianos.

Roland does, however, also offer quality digital pianos that are great for their acoustic-like sound.

3. Casio

Finally, Casio is a great brand that is perfect for first time piano buyers. They’re not well known for their acoustic pianos, but are a solid option for those looking for digital or electronic keyboards.

Before you make a decision, do your research and look into what each brand has to offer. It’s also a good idea to read online reviews for each model that you consider buying.

Where to buy your first piano

Since buying a first piano is a big purchase, we recommend going into a showroom to look at and purchase pianos.

Unlike other musical instruments, it’s not a good idea to order your piano online. You should be able to touch, inspect and even play a few songs on your piano before buy.

If you think about it, some pianos can cost as much as a new car. You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive first, right?

Other tips to remember

Our best tip is to come prepared with as many questions as possible, and don’t be afraid to discuss them all with your sales person.

The last thing you want is to end up with a piano that you don’t love. Asking tons of questions can make sure you’re picking a model that meets all of your needs.

One question you must ask is about warranty. Accidents happen, and even though you might be careful with your first piano, something could go wrong. Since this is an investment piece, you want to make sure any breaks are covered under a good warranty.

It’s also good to establish what you’ll have to do to get the piano repaired. Will the piano store come and repair it for you? Or is the warranty offered through the brand of piano? These are all things you should know before you had over a large amount of money.

You can never have too much information before you purchase your first piano. To read more about specific brands, check out our article on the top 10 piano brands based on expert reviews.

For more information on buying your first piano, check out our buying guide.

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