Sometimes, an acoustic piano is more suitable for beginners if your budget allows. With the wide range of new and old types, shapes, sizes, and brands, it can be challenging to choose the right one for beginners. While some people are lured by a digital one, nothing beats the authentic feel of the keys and tone that an acoustic piano can provide.
If you are thinking of purchasing this type of piano for a beginner, you are one step in the right direction. Acoustic pianos are what most musicians would refer to as the real piano. Each time a key is pressed, a hammer inside the piano strikes a string that will vibrate and transmitted to the soundboard that will eventually generate a sound. Let your child experience the traditional classic sound of a real piano and get used to it first before trying out the digital ones that can only mimic the original sound.
It is such a popular investment for new piano players. The sound is quite clear that learning how to play the instrument is easier without any distractions that most digital pianos have in their console.
Factors to Consider When Choosing An Acoustic Piano
Most people focus on the budget and brand when purchasing an instrument, only to find out when it gets delivered that it does not fit into the space you intend to put the acoustic piano. Before you get excited about looking at the other details, make sure that you get the right size dimensions. Returning or exchanging a paid item can be a difficult task. Never buy an instrument without checking its actual size.
Space Allocated for the Piano
Getting the right measurement of the piano is not enough. You also need to prepare a space for it. Ensure that the piano can fit all the doors and pathways leading to the room that it will be placed. If you have a limited area, try marking the floor space of the room with a tape to see if it can work with what you have envisioned. You don’t want to be left with a bulky instrument in the hallway or regret not being able to put it on the designated spot. Let the tape marking help you get used to the idea for a few days before purchasing anything. This task is even more important when you live on an upper floor of a shared condominium-type or apartment-type building.
Aesthetically, it is appealing to have the acoustic piano near a large clear window where you can have lots of light coming in to make the glossy finish of the instrument sparkle in the room. However, this is one placement that must be avoided at all costs. No direct sunlight should touch the instrument as it would damage some parts such as those made of wood and felt. If possible, do not put it under air vents as it can also be harmful. Long exposure to heat and cold can affect the string and hammer mechanism as well as weaken the wooden parts. Most ideal room temperature if you can regulate it is around 21 to 22°C or 70 to 72°F.
While it is true that a brand new acoustic piano is more expensive than a brand new digital piano, the sound coming from the former is way better than the latter. It is ideal for beginners to learn how to play using the traditional one even if digital pianos are more affordable. A decent quality acoustic upright piano would cost between $4,000 and $8,000 each. Baby grand pianos are even more expensive as they are being offered at a starting price of $6,000 because the quality of its sound is superior to the upright ones. That being said, music stores offer acoustic piano rental plans which are more affordable for budding pianists. There are also second-hand acoustic pianos online that can either be rented or purchased. Just be sure to have a professional check the mechanism first before getting one. You don’t want the beginner to end up with a low-quality instrument, as it would only discourage him or her from continuing to learn.
If you are going to invest in an acoustic piano, it would be best to rely on reputable piano manufacturers. The good thing is that over the years, numerous brands have proven their credibility in producing quality instruments. To avoid being overwhelmed with the wide range of choices, you can start by going through the products of Baldwin, Bosendorfer, Kawai, Steinway & Sons, and Yamaha. These are popular choices for both amateur and professional musicians. You can never go wrong with any of their instruments.
Types of Acoustic Pianos – Upright Piano and Grand Piano
The upright and grand pianos are the two types of acoustic pianos. Basically, the difference between the two is that the grand piano has a larger frame as the strings in the mechanism are horizontally extended on its frame. The upright piano has them vertically and housed in a compact structure.
Another difference is in the ‘action’ when keys are pressed. In the grand piano, there is the advantage of gravity, where the strings and hammers are allowed the quickest response as they are facing downwards. The keys only needed to return 1/3 of its original position. It takes a bit longer with the upright piano due to the vertical layout of the strings and hammers. The sound quality is better with a grand piano since it has a larger soundboard, and it can naturally express better volume and fullness.
Having longer strings would mean the grand piano has a lesser degree of inharmonicity when creating sounds. It occurs when the overtone sound overwhelms the primary pitch. The shorter the strings used, the possibility of more inharmonicity occurrence is higher. That being said, it does not mean upright pianos produce low- quality sound, but the grand piano produces better sound quality.
Getting the best warranty from a reputable music store is guaranteed as most of them offer at least five years of warranty. When you buy an expensive instrument, it is highly recommended to inquire about the length of the warranty and the details about it. Always keep the receipt and the warranty together in a safe place for easy access just in case you need to use it. Be wary of buying from private retailers or unauthorized dealers as most reputable piano brands do not acknowledge or provide warranty coverage for items sold from these dealers.
Practical Tips on Buying Acoustic Piano
Play as Many Pianos as Possible Before Making a Purchase
Whether you have the budget to spare or not, it is best to play the piano that you will be purchasing instead of choosing it online. Do not just settle for the first piano you see in the showroom. Try playing as many pianos as you can in the music store before making a decision. You will definitely hear a difference in the sound as well as the touch response of the keys. Even if you favor one brand, go around and try different brands as well as sizes. The more options, the better, and bring another one with you, preferably your piano teacher to help you decide. It is like buying a car – do not buy one without test driving it first.
Know the Delivery Details: Who, When, and How
Arrange for delivery as these piano manufacturers are quite adept at delivering them. Know the details of who is responsible for moving the piano and if you need to pay ahead. Make sure that they will deliver it inside the house, not just at the door. Ask if there are any extra charges. If you decide to buy from private retailers, better make sure that the piano will be delivered by professionals. The delivery fee may cost from $75 up to $600, depending on the situation. Take note of the date and time to be sure that someone will be there to accept the delivery.
Research about Room Acoustics
Some people tend to forget that the room acoustics is essential to the quality of sound that can be heard when playing the piano. When you play in the showroom or store, the sound quality may be different when you play it at your house. Do research on how to make your home acoustically appropriate to generate a better sound when playing.
Feedback and Reviews
One can never have enough feedback or reviews. Read as many as you can or join forums online to get more tips. The more information you have, the easier for you to decide.
An acoustic piano is a fine instrument that can last for many decades if properly cared for, but it is more expensive than other instruments. For a beginner, it is recommended to consider the skills and dedication of the piano player as well as the size and budget of the piano. To avoid making any mistake, it is best to buy from authorized music stores and choose a reputable brand.