Purchasing a piano is no doubt a milestone in a musician’s career and no amount of caution you exercise is enough to prepare you for taking this major step in investing in the instrument that will become an extension of your inner creative self. Here’s some crucial information that will help you make the perfect purchase.

Deciding on the type of piano you want

One of the first things you need to consider is the kind of piano you want to purchase – the size of it and the space you have available to place it.

Pianos come in two broad size types – grand pianos and upright pianos. Now, grand pianos are named thus for a reason. A standard grand is at least 7 feet deep and 5 feet wide. While baby grand pianos may be an option, you must always remember that grand pianos, when delivered, appear to be larger than they were measured.

So if you live in an apartment or do not have a large living room, large dining room, an extra bedroom, and so on to put a grand piano in, it would be better to invest in a vertical piano which can be pushed against a wall. The strings of a vertical piano run perpendicular to the ground as opposed to those of a grand piano which run parallel to the ground.

classic piano
Image Courtesy of Flickr

What will be the quality of sound like?

Grand pianos offer a much louder and sonorous sound than their vertical counterparts, but though this seems like an enticing reason to invest in one, it might not be prudent enough if you live in an apartment building or there are neighbors living close by who can get disturbed. Since the lid on a grand piano can be lifted, the entire vibration of its strings is let out making for a much richer and fuller experience.

In the case of upright pianos, the sound is let out only by lifting a narrow lid at the top and hence a lot of the sonority of the tunes is not adequately let out. But some taller varieties of uprights have longer strings that can replicate the sounds produced by some of the smaller versions of grand pianos. The area exposed by lifting the lids in both varieties makes a world of difference to the sound produced in each case.

Where in the house should I place my piano?

Make sure you place your piano away from direct sunlight at all costs. The direct rays can cause a lot of damage to a piano’s finish and also hamper the soundboard which in turn affects the quality of sound produced by the instrument.

brown colored piano
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

You must also take care not to place the instrument against an outside wall of the house, but if that is the only spot you have, make sure there is a gap of at least two feet from the wall.

How much money would you need to invest?

One of the most expensive musical instruments, pianos can set you back by a considerable amount of money. But with all major investments, you get what you pay for and over time a piano worth its price will ensure you never regret the initial expenditure. However, it is best to pay your local vendor a visit and find out about current prices of various varieties of the instrument before coming to a conclusion.

Generally, upright pianos cost much lesser than grand ones. If you are not averse to purchasing a piano without actually seeing it, you can buy one online and have it delivered to your residence or studio. With the bigger brands like Steinway or Yamaha, there is little to worry about if you buy one of the products online.

Mark 2 piano
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

Choosing between a new piano and a used one

New pianos purchased from stores generally come with a manufacturer’s warranty and few free servicing and tuning sessions, which is a great plus. But, if you are buying a used instrument you are likely to get a much better deal on the price if the seller has a realistic idea of resale values.

However, in dealing with an individual seller, your choices when it comes to designs and personalized requirements are sure to be limited. You will also be liable to arrange for transportation for delivering the instrument and the piano is highly likely to require servicing and tuning before you can use it.

Research conducted by musicians and piano experts suggest that although bigger brand names may seem enticing when making a purchase, what matters in the end, is how comfortable you are playing the instrument. So before you seal the deal, make sure you sit on the bench and have a go at the keys!

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