Our Guide to Purchasing a Piano
What type of piano is right for me?
What is the Best Piano?The piano that is best for you is the one that sounds and feels like your partner. When you play, it seems to understand exactly what you’re wanting to communicate – with its vast range of emotion and nuance – and has the innate ability to transform your cognitive intention into a musical reality that moves both you and your listener. In other words, the best piano responds to your will as though it was an extension of yourself. Such a piano is not easy to find. And a piano that can be “all things to all players” may be even more elusive. To help in your quest to find the perfect instrument, here are some things to keep in mind.
Because all players are different, the “best piano” for one person may be quite different from the best piano for another. If you’re a seasoned player, always listen to your own feelings and intuition first before heeding the advice of others. Ask yourself whether the piano speaks “to you” and “for you” in a personal way. If you are not yet the player you aspire to be, ask someone who is a “musical role model” to provide advice on the piano you’re considering.
Keep in mind that the “best piano” for playing Mozart may not be the best for playing Rachmaninoff. From this perspective, there may be no “perfect” instrument. Consider the type of music you will be playing most – and let that preference help to guide you.
The issue of affordability may also come into play. The “best piano” may be the one that comes closest to your “ideal” within realistic budget constraints. The path to your “dream piano” may include relationships with several instruments along the way. So, the phrase “best piano” might be interpreted as “best piano for this season of life” based on your budget.
Be careful not to be overly concerned about “brand.” People sometimes think that the most expensive piano must be “the best” – which is simply not true. Choose a piano that “fits” you, one that can be your best partner regardless of the brand and the cost.
Lastly, remember that all pianos change over time. The piano you “love” in one moment of time may not be the same piano in a couple of years. If you’re choosing between two or three instruments that all “speak to you” equally, the “best piano” may be one with the proven ability to maintain its tone, feel and character over time – not just in that moment. This may require “looking under the hood” to see how the different instruments are made – but that effort will be extremely valuable. Ultimately, your perfect piano may be the one with the greatest potential to stay “true to your heart” for years to come. (this article is courtesy of Kawai Piano )
Acoustic Piano: Number 1 choice of teachers & professionals for touch, sound and musicality.
Please Note: Acoustic pianos require yearly tuning/maintenance for proper performance.
Disklavier Player Piano: Acoustic player piano with a complete entertainment center.
Record, video, electronics, headphone/silent play, moving keys, iPad/Smartphone.
Piano with Technology: Acoustic piano with digital options.
The future of pianos. The quality of acoustics plus the fun of electronics
Hybrid Piano: Acoustic piano action in a digital piano. (Kawai Novus, Yamaha AVANT)
Excellent option for institutions or locations with sound, space limitations.
Digital Piano: Electric 88 key to simulate an acoustic with multiple features.
Limited touch and tone versus acoustic piano. Weighted, 88-key Digitals may not replace an acoustic piano for lessons! Useful for a 2nd instrument when portability or recording is required. Acceptable for a limited time for beginning lessons but not recommended by piano instructors.
Portable Keyboard: 61 plastic unweighted keys or less. Super fun but not acceptable for lessons.
Aspiring Student/Hobbiest 43”-45” upright:
Nice upgrade from any digital keyboard or piano over 25 years old.
Quality workmanship and materials for all levels of students $3,500-$5000
New: Kawai: K15, K200, 506N, K200 or Yamaha: B1, B2, B3 P22
Professional/Series Studio 47”–52” upright:
Excellent Investment, quality workmanship & materials
Piano of choice for schools, studios and instructors
Suitable for any level player: student-professional $7,500 -$16000
New: Kawai St-1, K300, K400, K500 or Yamaha U1, U3, YUS3, YUS5
Intermediate Baby Grands 5’: $5,000-$10,000
Nice upgrade from upright for beauty, better action, tone, and tuning stability.
New: Kawai GL10, Yamaha GBK1
Professional Series Grand 5’2”–5’11”: $10,000-$30,000
Excellent investment, quality workmanship and materials
New: Yamaha GC or Kawai GL Series
Concert/Professional– Grand Piano 6’–9’: $30,000 +
Life long investment. Highest quality workmanship and materials
New: Yamaha CX, Kawai GX Series or Select American/European Models
What is the difference between a piano and keyboard?
When and why should I upgrade my piano/keyboard?
Why Free Pianos are not actually Free