Before buying any musical instrument, you are naturally going to need to do some research to help ensure that you are making the right decision.
If you are considering buying your first piano, here are a few things to take into account before you go ahead and make that payment and have it delivered.
1. Size Matters
Do you have a large spacious house or a cozy little flat? Do you have an idea where your new acoustic piano is going to stand in your home? Obviously, you do...but can you imagine buying a piano that's simply too big?
It might be a good idea to research different sizes of pianos anyway. This should then also give you an idea of where in your home you have space for your piano. Measure twice ( yes, really...) just to be sure, and then write down these measurements so that you are sure what your restrictions are.
2. A Pretty Piano
Now that you know what the physical restrictions might be, you can look around the room and see what your aesthetic restrictions are.
Not everyone chooses a piano as a decor statement but, you also don't want it looking out of place.
Sure you want the best quality for your money, but let's face it if...it's going to be an eyesore you might get tired of it very quickly. You want to love your musical instrument. Hopefully, you are going to spend a lot of time not just practicing on it, but just looking at it too.
Think about color and details, the kind of stool that will look best and will be comfortable...and if you want something with a lot of detail or just a plain, clean look.
3. Figure Out Your Budget
If you have trouble deciding on what a reasonable budget is, browse the internet for music stores in your area. Go out and have a look at what a new piano will cost versus a second-hand one in your area.
You can look far and wide. At this stage, it is only to give you an indication of what price range you can expect.
Later when looking to buy you might want to consider only looking close to you.
4. Beware Hidden Costs
When researching the price of a piano, remember to ask about delivery as well as possible maintenance.
The last thing you would want to do is blow your whole budget by not asking if the delivery costs are included, or spending all that money and having to fork out more on maintenance.
Be sure that you know exactly what the financial implications of your purchase will be. This includes asking about warranties for new pianos and someone to contact in case of repairs.
5. Something Old Something New
There is nothing wrong with buying a second-hand piano. If a piano has been taken care of it should not be a problem at all.
You might also decide on buying second-hand because of its character, its history...or simply because you like the way it sounds.
Whatever your motivation, remember that local is best when sourcing a second-hand piano. Buy your local newspaper and check the classifieds. Depending on where you live, this might take a while to find the perfect fit.
You might also want to check local notice boards and ask at your local music store if they know of anything. But, be careful...if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is, and be wary of any hard selling tactics.
6. Ask For Help
So, you've done all your research and now it is time to go out and make your dreams a reality. You will have to listen to the piano with a trained ear, so be sure to take someone with you trust that and someone who has knowledge of the piano.
It might be a good idea to research piano tuners as well. If you know a piano tuner, ask them for their help. See if the person will give you some advice on what they would look for, or where they would look. This, in turn, should give you a good indication if you would make use of their services later on.
Ask your music teacher too. Ask them what they would look for in a piano and what to look out for. They might actually know of someone selling their piano when you speak to them. You might even ask your music teacher to come with you so that they can give their opinion on the sound and some other finer details you are unaware of.
The most important thing to keep in mind, however, is to be patient and not to make any rushed decisions. Make sure you know how much you can spend and avoid an impulse buy just because you're ready to get your first piano. A good piano will come your way if you really want it.
About the Author: Joseph Evans
My name is Joseph Evans and I am a guitar playing, freelance writing, online teaching music lover based in Seattle, WA. Growing up in a musical family naturally lead to obtaining my Bachelor of Music (BM) in Composition & Music Theory degree, after which I taught and traveled my way across Europe for 7 years before returning back home to settle in beautiful Seattle. On a typical day, you would find me playing my guitar, pottering around in the vegetable garden, going on long hikes, reading and/or writing.