Choosing a Piano: 6 Things to Consider When Buying

Having a piano in your home can be a source of endless joy and entertainment. They can also become a priceless family heirloom that gets passed down from one generation to the next.


But before you go and snatch up the first piano you see there are some things you might want to consider. In this article we'll go over some of those things to help you choose the piano that's right for your home and your needs.


1. What will you use the piano for?


First things first: Think about what you'll be using the piano for, and where you're planning on putting it. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Are you looking for a grand, upright, or digital piano?

  • Is the piano for performance or recreation?

  • How much space is the piano going to take?

  • What is the price range you're looking to spend in?

A lot of it will come down to personal needs and preferences. You might be a serious musician that needs a nice acoustic piano to perform and record with, or you might be the kind of person that would enjoy a digital piano with lots of different sounds and features.


Most people will simply want something they can play and enjoy in the comfort of their own home.


All of these are valid reasons to have a piano in your home!


2. How the piano feels

One of the first things you'll notice when playing any piano is how it feels. When a piano has good touch it can allow for you as the musician to play with all the emotion and artistry you need.


The keys should feel smooth and responsive under your fingers while you're playing. Otherwise it won't be so enjoyable to play and every piece of music will be a slog to get through.


What gives a piano that optimum touch and feel is the construction underneath the lid. Check the action - does the motion of all the keys feel fluid and respond well? Can you play every note at soft dynamics as well as loud dynamics?


You'll also want to know if the piano is made from quality parts. If you can, ask a piano specialist to open up the piano and show you what's inside. This is a good way to check out the action inside the instrument, but also the overall strength of the piano (more on that down below).


3. How the piano sounds


You're looking for a musical instrument, so obviously you'll want something that's going to be pleasing to your ears. Your ideal piano will produce rich, colorful tones that allow you to play musically and expressively.


Each piano has its own unique sound. The differences may be subtle or they may be obvious. If you can, take someone with you for an extra set of ears. Play for a little bit, then ask them what things they like or don't like about the sound of each piano.


Everyone will have their own idea on what a good instrument should sound like. Some people might prefer warmer, darker tones while others might like something a bit more bright. Be sure to try a variety of pianos and find the one that suites you!


4. Long-term durability of the piano


The other big thing you should think about is how well the piano is going to hold up. The strength and durability of a piano allows it to hold its tune and maintain integrity over time. If a piano has a solid, sturdy construction you won't have to worry about it falling apart, and you won't have to worry about getting it tuned as much.


Earlier we brought up the idea of opening the piano lid to see the action inside. This also a good way to see its construction and see how it’s built and what kinds of parts are being used.


In most pianos you should be able to see if the hammers and the hammer rail are made from sturdy parts that keep the action going. Any tuning pins, screws and framing inside and outside of the piano should also be indicators of the piano's strength.


5. How the piano looks

This may seem superficial, but a piano is as much piece of furniture as it is a musical instrument. If you have an instrument that you love to look at it, then you're going to want to play it more.


Most manufacturers offer multiple finishes on their pianos, typically in shades of black, brown, red, and white. Think of where the piano is going to be. What finish will best match the aesthetics of the room?


6. Additional features


Some pianos might have additional features that add just a little extra sauce on top of an already great instrument.


For example, Kawai Pianos have a "soft fall" system for the keyboard cover. This means you won’t accidentally crush your fingers when closing it, making them ideal for homes with small children.


If you spend a lot of time writing music then a piano with a built-in composer's desk could be very useful to you, or even a digital piano with MIDI output to your workstation would be great.


Digital pianos can be super basic, or can be loaded with hundreds of extra sounds and features. Be sure to do some research and find what works best for you.



Find your next piano today!


If you’re in Utah and you’re looking for a great piano, look no further! We have a wide selection of beautiful grand pianos, acoustic upright pianos, and digital pianos for every type of home and player.


Contact us now if you have questions or want to schedule a visit.

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