Shopping for a piano can be rather overwhelming, considering the cost involved in it. Aside from that, there is the choice of a traditional piano or a more modern (digital) one. Then, there comes a decision of whether to get a new or used piano. Let’s also not forget the various brands available out there in the market today. If one has no clue what to listen for, he/she might end up regarding every piano as the same.

“It’s kind of like shopping for anything. The range of quality goes from made-in-China to hand-built in Europe,” stated Pierre Julia, owner of Pierre’s Fine Pianos based in Los Angeles. The first thing that one should pay attention to before they start piano hunting is their piano’s use.

“I notice that parents tend to buy digital pianos like keyboards because they don’t require tuning,” noted Dina Paolucci, founder of the New York Piano School. As compared to a real traditional piano, which price can easily range from US$2,000, a full-size keyboard amounts to only around US$200. As we all know, a traditional piano should be tuned twice a year for best performance. This would set one back by US$100 each time. So a keyboard has the ability to save a significant amount of money even in the long run.

According to Dina, it is not mandatory to purchase a traditional piano until one starts to learn the more advanced pieces. This usually occurs during the second or third year of one’s study. Dina also recommended beginners to start off with a Yamaha or a Casio weighted keyboard as the keys feel quite similar to an actual piano. Alternatively, one can also consider the option of a used piano. Then, the brand question comes into play. “What I tell customers is to not worry so much about the brand, but to look at each individual piano as a separate entity,” explained Newell Hill, executive director of Keys 4/4 Kids, a nonprofit organization based in Minnesota.

There are also certain ways one can determine if the piano will stand the test of time. “One thing you do want to worry about is the pin block, which is where the pins go into the piece of wood. If there are cracks, it won’t be able to stay in tune,” added Newell. For more expert advice, you can check it out here.

At Awesome Piano in Singapore, we offer our students the option of renting a piano when they sign up to have piano lessons with us. This enables them to not have to worry about purchasing a piano just yet when they have just started out.