A Guide to Buying Your First Piano for Beginners

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buying piano for beginners

Did you know that roughly 28% of American households own a piano or keyboard? It’s no wonder, given the joy music brings to our lives. For many, a piano is a way to express themselves, whether it be through songwriting or learning to read sheet music.

Playing an instrument is a great way to practice mindfulness and connect with others. It’s also an excellent way to foster creativity, increase intellectual capacity, and hone your problem-solving skills.

Whether you are just starting out or have been playing for years, buying a piano can be intimidating. There is so much to consider: the size of the instrument, acoustic vs. digital pianos, the manufacturer, the cost, and whether or not to purchase the piano used.

In this buying guide, we’ll cover the basics of choosing a piano or keyboard for beginners – as well as some tips to help you make the most informed decision possible. Let’s get started!

Deciding on Which Type of Piano to Buy

The first step in buying a piano is deciding what type of instrument you’d like to purchase. Depending on your budget, skill level, and space constraints, different types of pianos will be better suited for you than others.

Here’s a quick overview of some of your options:

Digital Pianos

Privia - px-770bk
Casio privia | image credit: casio

The lowest entry point for a piano is the digital piano. These instruments are much lighter than traditional pianos, making them easier to move and store. They also come in a variety of sizes and have many features that can help you hone your playing skills. For instance, many digital pianos come with built-in metronomes and recording functions.

Unlike other keyboards, these will usually have 88 keys – just like the ones found on a traditional piano. Most models also feature weighted keys, so you can learn to play with the same touch and feel as an acoustic instrument.

Digital pianos are generally a more affordable option, too. Ranging from $400 to $1,200 for a basic model to a few thousand dollars for a high-end instrument – they are much less expensive than other pianos.

Advantages of a Digital Piano

  • It feels like playing a traditional piano.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Cheaper to purchase and maintain than a traditional piano.
  • Lots of features to enhance your learning experience.
  • It offers volume control.

Disadvantages of a Digital Piano

  • The sound quality may not be as good as traditional pianos.
  • It may require batteries or an electrical outlet for power.
  • The keys may not feel as responsive or natural.

Workstation Keyboards

Workstation keyboard
Roland fantom 8 | image credit roland

Workstation keyboards are more advanced than digital pianos. They offer you a lot of control over the sounds you create and allow you to layer multiple instrumentations in one song.

These instruments are useful if you are looking to compose music and create unique sounds. They also come with many features, such as built-in drum loops and sound effects.

Workstations usually have 61 keys or fewer, making them lighter and easier to transport than a traditional piano. They are a bit more expensive than digital pianos and may not be the best choice for beginners – but they offer a lot of creativity and flexibility.

Advantages of Workstation Keyboards

  • A wide range of sounds and effects.
  • Easy to transport and store.
  • It allows you to create unique compositions.
  • It offers lots of control over the sounds you create.

Disadvantages of Workstation Keyboards

  • They are more expensive than digital keyboards.
  • There are fewer keys and less of a feel like a real piano.
  • More complex to use than digital and traditional pianos.

Upright Piano

Kawai upright piano
Kawai k-800 | image credits kawai

An upright piano is more of a median option. They are incredibly popular, as they are more affordable than grand pianos and offer a more authentic touch and sound than digital keyboards. Upright pianos typically come with 88 keys, although some models may have only 78 or fewer.

These instruments also take up less space than grand pianos. This makes them ideal for those who live in smaller homes or apartments. They also tend to be less expensive, ranging from a few hundred dollars for used models up to several thousand for new pianos.

Not only that, but uprights are incredibly reliable instruments. They can last many decades with proper maintenance and tuning.

Advantages of an Upright Piano

  • Much less expensive than a grand piano.
  • Offers an authentic touch and sound.
  • More compact than a grand piano.
  • Long-lasting with proper maintenance.
  • Sleek and attractive design.

Disadvantages of an Upright Piano

  • Not as loud or resonant as a grand piano.
  • Requires regular tuning to maintain optimal sound quality.
  • Heavy and difficult to move.

Grand Piano

Yamaha grand piano
Yamaha c7x | image credits yamaha

A grand piano is the most luxurious and expensive option. These are popular among advanced players and concert pianists – as they provide a richer, more resonant sound than uprights or digital keyboards. Grand pianos also have longer strings, which produce a deeper resonance compared to other types of pianos.

Additionally, grand pianos are incredibly beautiful instruments. Their sleek wooden exteriors and classic designs make them a centerpiece in any home or studio.

However, they take up a lot of space and can be quite expensive. Depending on the size, brand, and condition – grand pianos can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands.

Advantages of a Grand Piano

  • Provides a more authentic and resonant sound than uprights or digital keyboards.
  • Attractive and timeless design.
  • Longer strings allow for a wider range of tones and dynamics.
  • It lasts for many years with proper care and maintenance

Disadvantages of a Grand Piano

  • Highly expensive.
  • Large and difficult to move or transport.
  • Requires regular tuning to maintain optimal sound quality

Understanding Your Budget

At this point of the buying process, you should have a better idea of what type of piano best suits your needs. Now it’s time to consider your piano budget.

It’s important to remember that there are some hidden costs associated with buying a piano. For example, you will need to factor in the price of tuning and maintenance and any repairs it may require over time. Also, you may need to consider the cost of hiring a professional to move the piano safely from its current location.

If you’re budget-conscious, make sure you research all the different options thoroughly and compare prices. You may find a great deal on a used piano or even score an amazing discount on a digital keyboard or grand piano.

Additionally, you may be able to find financing or leasing options that can help you get the piano you want. Just remember to read the fine print and make sure you understand the terms before making any commitments.

Test the Instrument

Musician trying to play on piano in music store

Once you’ve narrowed down your options and identified a budget, it’s time to test the instrument. Buying a piano is a big investment, and if you’re serious about playing, it’s important to ensure you’re getting the right one.

If you plan on buying an upright or grand piano, try to get a feel for the touch and sound of each instrument before making a decision. Even if you can’t test the actual model you want to buy, you can still test similar models to get an idea of what you like.

In addition, if you’re considering a digital keyboard, research online reviews and watch videos demonstrating each model’s sound quality and features. Then, make sure it has all the necessary features you need – such as weighted keys or built-in effects – before making a purchase.

It may also prove useful to get a professional opinion. Ask your music teacher or a piano tuner for their advice on the different models and brands you’re interested in. Their expertise can help you make an informed decision about which instrument is best for you.

The Wrap Up

Buying a piano is an exciting and rewarding experience. By taking the time to select the right instrument for your needs, you can ensure that it will provide years of musical enjoyment.

Looking to take learn how to play your new instrument? Be Natural Music has you covered. We offer both in-person and remote piano classes for all ages.

Looking to take learn how to play your new instrument? Be Natural Music has you covered. Be Natural Music has you covered. We offer both in-person and remote piano classes for all ages. Our experienced piano instructors will tailor your lessons to your individual needs, helping you learn at your own pace.So, if you’re looking for piano classes that challenge and excite you, contact us today. We look forward to helping you discover the joy of playing music!


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