Digital and Acoustic Pianos: Which One Do I Buy? Part 2
You’ve decided that you would like to get an acoustic piano for your child! I think this is a GREAT decision!
Buying an acoustic piano is different from a digital piano, that’s for sure! Although you certainly need to still consider the three questions we asked in Part 1, there are other things to think about when buying an acoustic instrument.
Here are some tips for shopping for acoustic pianos:
1. Make sure everything works.
If you are buying used, this is especially important. Check to see if all of the keys work. Test the pedals to make sure they are working properly. When you look inside the piano, does anything look amiss?
2. When in doubt, call a piano technician to have them come and inspect the instrument.
You can always call a piano technician to take a look at the piano. This is a very wise decision because they can take a closer look at the inside of the piano to make sure that everything is working properly. While this may come with a fee, sometimes it’s better safe than sorry!
3. Find out how often the piano has been serviced.
It is very important that pianos are tuned and regulated on a regular basis to make sure that they are in good condition. Especially when you are looking at a used piano, you’ll want to know the service history of the instrument. If it has been a long time since it has been worked on, it may require a lot more work to get things up to pitch and working well again. Refer to number 2 if need be!
So, what are the basic kinds of acoustic pianos? Good question!
Sometimes upright pianos are referred to as vertical pianos because they stand vertically rather than horizontally like grand pianos do. However, just like grand pianos, upright pianos vary in height. Some are short like spinet or cabinet pianos, and some are tall like full uprights. All of these are great options if you are limited on space, but desire an acoustic instrument. Although, a full upright does have much better sound than a spinet because the strings are longer and there is a larger sound board.
As mentioned above, grands are horizontal pianos that vary in size. Sizes can range anywhere from smaller grands (baby grands) that are shorted than 5’2″, to concert grands which are 9′ long. Essentially, it is ideal to purchase a grand that is 6’2″ or longer if you are looking to get a grand piano because the overall resonance is so much better in the larger instruments. Anything smaller does effect the sound of the instrument, and, in some cases, may be no different than investing in a full upright. Of course, baby grands are still very beautiful to look at!
Notably, there are famous piano makes like Steinway, Yamaha and Kawai that make both upright and grand models. If you visit the local piano store, you’ll discover all kinds of different makes! It’s amazing how many there really are!
In closing, there are many, many opinions among pianists on which kind of piano is the best. Certainly, having a good-quality, grand piano is ideal, but we are very fortunate to have lots of smaller acoustic and digital options as well. This great because it makes this beautiful instrument more accessible to anyone who would like to enjoy it. Pretty awesome when you really think about it!
Ultimately, purchasing a new piano is a personal preference decision. It really boils down to what the student loves to hear and feel as they play as well as their budget and available living space. There are many good options for all situations and needs.
Any other questions about purchasing a piano? Let me know!