September 3, 2008
If your mom wasn’t able to teach you everything you need to know about buying a piano, this buyers guide will help with a few of the details. Check it out and then call your mom and thank her for something she did for you to make you the great guy or gal your are today!
Types of Pianos/Keyboards
There are three different groups of instruments to choose from if you are a piano/keyboard player:
1) Electronic Keyboard
2) Digital Piano
3) Acoustic Piano
Yamaha and Casio make a wide variety of models that are great for the beginning student. Keyboards often include tone banks that reproduce a wide variety of instrumental sounds, and rhythm banks that can keep your kids rockin’ out for hours. Only two features, however, are of any importance when you are shopping for a keyboard on which to study music. The first, and most important feature, is that the electronic keyboard have full size keys. The second, though less important feature, is that it should be that it is able to accept a foot pedal. While it is not necessary that the keyboard come with a pedal, it would be preferable to be able to plug one into the keyboard when your child was ready for it. A bench should also be purchased in order to place you child in the correct playing position.
If you can swing something even nicer you can consider a digital piano with weighted keys. Weighted keys come a little bit closer to simulating the action of an acoustic piano, providing the opportunity for a more expressive musical performance. While some inexpensive keyboards are designed with touch-sensitive functions, they do not allow young musicians to play expressively and therefore miss out on the rich variation that makes music so interesting to listen to and play. Finding a keyboard with a built-in metronome would be a wonderful option.
If your ready to lighten your wallet even more, an a spinet or upright piano would be a great choice. If you are also looking for a nice piece of furniture, a baby grand or grand piano would make a wonderful addition to your home, while providing a richer overall tone quality as a result of the extended string length. Pianos built in the USA are generally of high-quality design and construction, and are more expensive than imports. Recommended USA brands include Steinway and Baldwin. Asian pianos are highly regarded. The two most popular and recommended brands from Japan are Yamaha and Kawai. While German and Austrian made pianos, including Bosendorer and Perzina, are considered some of the world’s finest, the Czech Republic, France, and the U.K. also produce a fine range of pianos.
If you are considering buying a used acoustic piano remember that while a piano may look good on the outside, many problems may be lurking inside. It is always recommended that you evaluate the piano with your piano teacher or local piano technician. There are many great used pianos out there, you just have to sift through the weeds to find the flowers.