3. BUYING A PIANO
How Does A Piano Work?
The machinery inside a piano is fascinating. With each key press, a hammer is triggered to strike a long metal string inside the piano. The vibration from the string then reflects off the internal wooden soundboard, producing a rich and broad spectrum of frequencies and sounds. Some find it easy to learn the piano at first, and while most others find because you must play with two hands at the same time, it can be more challenging than other instruments. But this is why learning piano is so wonderful – it teaches creativity, dexterity, intelligence, focus, and multi-tasking -all at the same time! All of these are powerful skills that become extraordinarily helpful in adulthood,
What Kind Of Piano Should I Buy?
There are many different kinds of pianos that you can look into purchasing if you don’t have one already. They range from very affordable all the way to top of the line “Rolls Royce” of pianos. What kind of piano is best for your needs really depends on your budget, your commitment level, and your goals
You don’t necessarily need a full acoustic piano to start learning the instrument. Many decide to start with more cost and space efficient digital keyboards to get the basic finger movements and musical understanding in place, and time to demonstrate a more long-term interest in the piano, before making an investment of time and money in the purchase of a real acoustic. However, it’s worth remembering that only real pianos can give you the authentic experience of piano playing for the most enjoyable and rich learning experience. However, at midtown Toronto location, we offer a mix of acoustic and digital pianos for our award-winning piano lessons.
Starter Keyboards: Small, Lightweight Digital Pianos
If you’re just starting out, and not 100% sure if it’s the perfect instrument for you, and/or you don’t have much experience yet, we might suggest starting with a very inexpensive small, portable and lightweight digital keyboard (with full-size keys), with 3 or 4 octaves of keys (means you see the same pattern of notes repeat 3 or 4 times all the way up the keyboard) that will help you get accustomed to the correct fingerings and exercises, without breaking your bank account. You can usually purchase these keyboards including keyboard stand, one sustain pedal, bench and music sheet holder for sometimes less than $100 on Amazon. This is a great way to get started quickly and easily. And if you decide to upgrade, you can easily pass this keyboard to anyone you know that also might be thinking about starting piano lessons.
Full-Size Weighted-Keys Digital Pianos
If you’re a few months into your piano lessons, or if you really start falling in love with the magic of the piano and think you might be sticking to lessons for a year or more, then you may want to consider getting just a little bit closer to the real experience with a weighted-keys digital piano. While still not a real acoustic piano, a weighted-keys digital piano means that the keys on the keyboard are not lightweight as above, but weighted so the feel of pressing down on a key more closely resembles the same action on a real piano with heavier wooden keys. Practicing on this kind of digital piano will help train your fingers to adapt to the keypress action of a real piano, like what we have in our music schools when you take piano lessons with us! Keyboards with weighted keys will typically start around $600-$1000 for keyboards with a key range anywhere from 61 keys, or 5 octaves, to the full 88-key keyboards, the length of a real piano, which stretches out to about 8 octaves. Some other things to keep in mind when purchasing this kind of digital piano is whether or not you want to keep it simple with just a few different digital piano sounds on the piano, or if you are interested in exploring more varied sounds like strings, organs, and other sampled sounds, or even if you might enjoy editing or creating different sounds, which can be a lot of fun if you are into exploring and composing music.
Acoustic Upright Pianos
While digital pianos have a lot to offer, nothing quite beats the majestic feel of a real, acoustic piano. While the downside of a real piano is that they are not portable like digital pianos, a real piano uses real hammers hitting real strings, creating rich vibrations that will permeate with much more warmth, depth, and colour than a digital piano. Upright pianos are the best place to start. The strings in an upright lie vertically behind the piano stretching up and down to the floor. Uprights are more affordable than grand pianos (where the strings are laid out horizontally stretching away from the keyboard). Upright pianos are often much more affordable than grand pianos, and are a better fit for most homes with smaller spaces. Purchasing an upright piano brand new is the best options which could cost you anywhere from $4000 and up. Many choose to buy an upright piano used, as they are often significantly cheaper. Be warned, however, that getting a good quality used piano can be very difficult, as so many used pianos have mechanical issues and wear and tear that affect their usefulness and playability. We would suggest taking a piano tuner with you who has lots of experience working with acoustic pianos to look at any used piano you’re considering buying before purchasing one. There are so many components inside a piano that it is very easy to purchase a used piano that won’t play well in the long run, and could ruin your enjoyment of learning to play. Invest in a piano tuner or piano technicians time to go and look at used pianos with you. You’ll be glad you did!
Baby Grand & Full Grand Pianos
If you have been playing piano for some time, or you know that you just simply cannot go on without having the beauty of a real grand piano in your life, believe us when we say we understand! Playing a grand piano is a beautiful experience that has no other comparison. Grand pianos alone contain the most authentic and purely musical experience out of any other instrument. The strings are fully laid out with no impedance to their vibration. A grand piano does require considerably more space in your home than an upright, so you’ll need to make sure you have sufficient space for it. You may also want to invest in a piano humidifier to keep the wood in great condition for the long run. Grand pianos can cost anywhere from $5000 and up, depending on the size of the piano. They can range in size from the smallest – around 5’ long, all the way up to concert grands which run a full, nearly 10 feet long! Just imagine enjoying playing that in your home!