Where to buy an accoustic piano
We recommend seeking out an acoustic piano specialist rather than a general music store.
The considerations around purchasing an acoustic piano are many and varied requiring advice from experienced professionals. Technical knowledge acquired through many years of working with pianos cannot be rivalled by current manufacturer information alone.
Purchasing a piano should also be an enjoyable experience, choose a piano specialist that you are comfortable with to help and guide you through suitable choices of pianos. You should experience different makes and models that fit your criteria, it is through comparison that you discover your preferences.
Acoustic or Digital
In our opinion the tonal quality and touch response of an acoustic piano cannot be fully replicated by a digital model, despite the claims of many brochures! However, there are legitimate reasons why a digital piano purchase may be appropriate. They can be an excellent entry into piano playing, are affordable, convenient and offer the advantages that technology brings.
We recommend discussing the pros and cons of acoustic versus digital with a specialist piano business that can discuss and demonstrate both options.
We regularly upgrade digital piano owners to acoustic models but without the digital piano they may not have had the opportunity to progress to the point of an upgrade!
Buying a piano for a beginner
Our advice is to buy as good a piano as you can to start with. This may be an entry level new piano or a modern used piano in good condition.
Pianos deteriorate with age and use, there are countless numbers of pianos offered for free or very little money that are not suitable instruments to begin learning on. The risk with these type of old worn out pianos is that the poor action response and uneven tone can actually put off the player and halt progression.
We find that even the younger children that visit us are able to appreciate and enjoy playing a well maintained piano even if they are unable to articulate why.
A modern digital piano can be better than a poor old acoustic piano, however, the best option is to start with a decent acoustic piano so that the skill of touch and producing a musical performance can be developed.
Buying a used piano
As I mention earlier a piano will deteriorate with age and use. However, a modern used piano that has previously had light domestic use can be a good alternative to a new model in some cases. Every used piano has its own history of where it has been located, how much it has been played and the environment it has been kept in.
A piano specialist will be able to fully assess these considerations and advise on the suitability of an instrument. If the piano has been lightly used in the past a service, including refacing of the hammers and regulation, will be required to get the best performance from the piano again. If more extensive work is required, such as hammer replacement, then wear on other parts and general condition must be fully assessed to make sure this work is the correct course of action.
Trust in the expertise and integrity of the seller is of the utmost importance when considering a used piano purchase.
Selecting a new piano
As with all purchase considerations the place to start is with an experienced piano specialist business. After much discussion a piano specialist will be able to recommend suitable pianos to try considering budget, technical and musical ability and build quality.
An in depth knowledge of current piano manufacturing is crucial, do not be influenced by brochure speak salesmanship presented from the manufacturer. With guidance you should strive to find a piano of an appropriate quality with a musical voice that you connect with to express your musical creativity.
For a piano to sound and perform to its potential it requires skilled final preparation in addition to the preparation carried out by the manufacturers, a quality piano specialist will carry out this work before delivering a piano. If possible purchase a piano from a business that can offer technical support after purchase, regular tuning and maintenance is crucial to keeping a piano in best condition.