choosing-piano

WHICH PIANO TO BUY?

Luca helps you to choose

In this post series, Luca Ridolfo, piano teacher in Studio MusicalMente is going to reply to some of the most common questions beginners ask.

One of the common questions when people start to have piano lessons is: Which piano should I buy? To start, you need an instrument to practice at home. Practicing is vital if you want your money to be well spent on piano lessons, otherwise, it’ll be difficult for you to make progress in your musical path. I know, you don’t have time. Read what Boukje van Gelder has written about practicing.

The piano you’re going to buy is important to make your practicing time well spent. For example, a bad piano with faulty mechanics or a non-weighted keyboard piano will not put you in a condition of developing a good piano technique.

There are some questions you can ask yourself to make a better decision, here I will answer the most important one.

In which piano level are you?

I’m trying to make it simple: the more advanced you are, the better the piano has to be to make you a better pianist. Why? Because you’ll become more sensitive to details!

So, don’t worry: if you are a total beginner you don’t need any Steinway & Sons Model D!

Digital or Acoustic piano?

When you start playing piano and you’re not sure if you want to continue you have two options: buy a digital piano, that eventually is easier to be resold or rent an acoustic one.

Digital Piano
or Acoustic Piano?

I made a brief summary of the pros of both the solution; a digital piano has the following benefits:

  • You can practice at which hour you want, as you’re able to plug on the piano a pair of headphones
  • Easy to be resold
  • No maintenance costs, like tuning it.
  • Easy to carry in case you’re moving.
  • It’s easier to place, especially if you live in an apartment without an elevator.

An acoustic piano has the following benefits:

  • It’s the real thing!
  • You’ll understand faster how to produce a good sound
  • Dynamics and various details are more evident

As I said before, it depends totally on you: which level do you want to reach? When you’re sure you want to continue, then buy or an acoustic piano if possible. In some shops, you can also rent-buy a piano.

Upright or grand piano? (acoustic)

Also here, it totally depends on you and your piano level.

Again, to make it simple, here a short description of the two acoustic options:

Upright piano

  • It fits in less space than a grand piano
  • It’s cheaper than a grand piano
  • It’s better than an electronic piano


Grand Piano:

  • It takes more space than an upright piano
  • It has a wider dynamic range than an upright piano
  • It has particular characteristics that a professional pianist needs! (like the more precise mechanics of the double escapement)¹

How much it costs?

I never suggest my students to go for the cheapest option. In fact, trying to save some little money now will end in losing more later!

For a digital piano at the very beginning, you can find good options starting from 500€. If you want a good second-hand piano, you can find some interesting pianos starting from 2500€.

Tip: never buy a second-hand piano without the assistance of an expert!

Which brands are good ones?

The most well-known ones will give you a good instrument under your hands; these are Yamaha, Kawai, Roland.

To sum up

With this article, you have some guidelines to make an educated guess on which piano you can buy. If it’s still hard for you to make a good decision, you are free to send me an email and I’ll try to reply to all of your questions!

1. Double Escapement Grand piano

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