• What Piano should you buy for a beginning Piano Student

    8 Aug 2016 | Blog
  • So you are your child have decided to start learning to play the piano, the big question is what piano should you buy for a beginning student.

    If you or your child has never played piano before and you have no idea if piano playing is something you/they will like or continue then my suggestion is to keep your costs low at first and buy yourself a cheap keyboard.  Usually you can find a used one on places like Kijiji Calgary from $100 to around $300.  Usually these keyboards aren’t the ideal musical instrument but after you or your child has had at least a month or two to learn and practice you can look at investing a bit more money for something a bit more advanced.

    If you’ve passed the point of deciding you or your child enjoy the playing the piano and you want to invest in a piano you can grow with then here are your options.

    Purchasing an Acoustic Piano
    An acoustic piano is a normal upright that you’ve seen used by most pianists.  The term ‘acoustic’ piano is used to describe a piano, which relies on making its sound purely from the natural acoustics of felt covered hammers hitting high-tensile steel wire strings.

     Things that you must consider when looking to purchase an acoustic piano include:

    1. Do you have a good place in your home to put your piano that doesn’t fluctuate from room temperature? If not it’s better to buy digital since changes in temperature and humidity can affect your tuning.
    2. Will the sound of your piano playing disturb other family member
    3. Careful when purchasing a cheap used piano, many are very old and will be more susceptible to tuning issues. The action may we worn, hammers and dampers may need attention.
    4. Avoid imports, acoustic pianos from other countries are not manufactured and acclimatised for this country. 
    5. Make sure you have a reasonable budget at $3000 for a decent piano.

    If you purchase a cheap used acoustic piano that’s in bad condition it can be worse than buying a cheap keyboard and the piano won’t be worth all the value you will have to pay to get it fixed. A good idea is to bring someone with you that knows about pianos when you buy a used one or go to a music shop where you should get some kind of warranty when you buy a trade-in plus you’ll know they shop has looked it over for you, probably fixed any issues and and tuned it.

    Purchasing a Digital Piano

    The downside to purchasing a digital piano is it’s not an acoustic piano. Essentially the sound reproduced by a digital piano does not recreate many acoustic nuances of an acoustic piano, which is why some purists will always dismiss the digital piano.  For example, the sustain pedal on some digital pianos is a discrete on/off action, whereas on an acoustic piano it is a gradual process. Plus the action of the keys synthetically mimics the complex action of an acoustic piano, which can make for a different feel and response. The digitally reproduced sound may imitate individual notes very well, but when played in harmony, subtle overtones formed by sympathetic string resonance is often not reproduced, generating a sound which is artificial in colour and not true to a living breathing acoustic instrument.

    Things to consider when buying a digital piano:

    1. The keys must be weighted keys, meaning there’s a bit of resistance to them.
    2. The keys must also be Touch Sensitive so the harder you hit the keys the louder the sound will be
    3. Good news, digital pianos don’t need tuning
    4. It is more advisable to purchase a good digital piano than a cheap acoustic piano.
    5. The more you pay for your digital piano, the better it will be. Manufacturers such as Yamaha and Roland have used advance technology to closely replicate an acoustic pianos sound.
    6. You can buy a decent digital piano for under $3000
    7. A digital piano takes up less space and you can put the piano anywhere you would like in your home.
    8. Listening to your kids lessons driving you crazy?  A digital piano can be played through headphones, therefore eliminating the necessity to locate it in a room where it will not disturb others.

    For more information check out our blog post on an in depth look at the differences between acoustic and digital pianos.  

    Purchasing a Hybrid

    If your budget won’t cover the costs of a digital piano then you have the option of purchasing a Hybrid which is a mix between a keyboard and a digital piano. A hybrid will look very similar to a keyboard but the will have the weighted and the touch sensitive keys like you would find on a piano.  Hybrids may come with a stand but you can also sit it on any surface. They usually cost no more than $500 to buy.

    Piano Movers

    If you decide to buy an acoustic piano please consider getting professional piano movers to move it for you.  Acoustic pianos such as uprights and some grand pianos are very heavy and it’s important to ensure your piano is moved safely without damaging the piano or the home your moving it from.  If you don’t have the right equipment or experience it can all very easily go wrong.  At Calgary Piano Movers our team of professional piano movers has over 15 year experience moving pianos and we will ensure your new piano purchase is treated with the utmost care.