This can be an exciting—but overwhelming—process. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place! At Pianote, we want everyone to start their piano journey strong, so here’s a guide to get you started.
No two people’s piano-buying needs are the same. To narrow down your piano choices, first consider the following:
One of the first things you should decide is whether to go digital or acoustic.
Digital/electronic pianos and keyboards are popular because they can be cheap, save space, allow you practice silently, and come in a wide variety of options. Some can imitate other instruments or even teach you how to play. Certain models (sometimes called hybrid pianos) imitate the touch, feel, and atmosphere of an acoustic well, so playing Chopin on an electric instrument (in addition to jazz or pop!) is certainly doable.
So how come some people prefer more expensive acoustic pianos? For experienced, classical pianists, the touch, feel, and sound of an acoustic piano remains unparalleled. On acoustics, pianists have more control over musical expression, such as access to a wider dynamic range.
If you decide to go the acoustic route, you will need to decide between an upright or grand piano.
Grand pianos are definitely advantageous for experienced pianists. Grand pianos allow for greater control over dynamics, more nuanced expression, and heightened clarity when playing repetitive notes and trills.
Upright pianos have slightly inferior sound because of the (vertical) way the hammers and strings are arranged. However, they do save space.
There are certainly advantages to renting or buying a second-hand piano.
Make sure you try a used piano before buying it, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about its history.
Renting is also a good option for beginners who are not ready to commit long-term, and most music retailers will have rental programs.
If you’re a total beginner, subtleties like tone quality are unlikely to matter too much. So, you may be perfectly happy with an inexpensive upright piano or an electronic/digital keyboard or piano.
But regardless of what piano type you choose, make sure you do the following to avoid buyer’s remorse:
Experiment with what feels and sounds best. Try not to stress too much if this is your first piano; at the end of the day, musical enjoyment can be had on even the simplest instruments.
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