How to Buy a Piano
Information You Need to Know
Piano lessons are one of the most sought after music lesson. Everybody wants to play the piano. Wouldn’t it be great to be the life of the party and to be able to play on demand? With a little knowledge and some footwork you will be able to become the pianist you would like to be. This article will help you make an educated decision on your purchase. This is the first step of your musical journey.
Step One-What Kind of Piano will I be Playing?
Most people do not realize there are many kinds of pianos. When beginning lessons you will need to first decide what kind of piano you want to play. This will also determine your choice of teacher. The acoustic piano has many choices in and of itself.
Vertical Pianos The harp of the instrument is positioned vertically rather than horizontally. Vertical instruments are listed below.
- Spinet The height of the Spinet is approximately 36-38″ tall and 58″ in width. Many people choose the Spinet because it is smaller and will not take up as much space.
- Console The Console is a little larger than the Spinet. They are approximately 40-43″ in height and about 58″ in width.
- Studio The Studio height ranges from 45″-48″ and approximately 58″ wide.
- Studio Grand The Studio Grand is the tallest of the vertical pianos. They typically run 50″-60″ in height and approximately 58″ in width.
- Grand Pianos Grand pianos are larger with the harp being positioned horizontally rather than vertically. They include the Petite Grand, Baby Grand, Medium Grand, Parlor Grand, Semi-Concert and Concert Grand.
- Petite Grand This is the smallest of the grand’s. it ranges in size from 4’5″ to 4’10”.
- Baby Grand The Baby Grand is the more popular size. They range in size from 4’11” to 5’6″.
- Medium Grand The Medium Grand is approximately 5’7″ .
- Parlor Grand The Parlor Grand ranges in size from 5’9″-6’1″.
- Semi-Concert or Ballroom The Semi-Concert or Ballroom piano is approximately 6’2″-6’7″.
- Concert Grand The largest grand piano. It is approximately 9′ long.
- Once you have narrowed down, the type , wood and finish, now comes the difficult task of brand. There are many brands available for your purchase. Some of the top manufacturers include: Steinway, Bosndorfer, Yamaha, Baldwin, Mason & Hamlin, Kawai, Stewart & Sons, Charles Walter, Boston, Sohmer, Bechstein, Essex, Kohler & Campbell, and Young Chang. Typically the more expensive instruments have more hand made parts. Handmade pianos are often the most sought after by musicians and teachers. The more expensive instruments can be considered an asset and may go up in value. Oftentimes, people who choose this route, end up with a family heirloom that can be passed down for generations to come. Be sure to shop from a reputable dealer in your area.
- The main types of finish for the cabinet will be lacquer, polyurethane & polyester resins. The finish is designed to protect the piano from the damages of humidity changes, spills & dirt. It also enhances the beauty. Lacquer finishes may be satin (dull sheen), semi-gloss or high gloss. Polyester (high polish) finishes are often used in the Asian and European brands. The material used is harder and less prone to scratching than the lacquer.
- Another point to consider is what type of cabinet would you like? There are many possible cabinet choices. Most cabinets are made of wood. Wood used will vary. Different woods will result in higher or lower prices depending upon how expensive the wood used is. Price will also be dependent upon styling of cabinet. Pianos are often used as a decorative piece of furniture. Styles of furniture vary from traditional to contemporary. The more ornate the style, the more it will cost.
- Most music stores will have a paper cut out pattern of each size so you can better gauge its size for your room.