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How to choose the best piano, keyboard for beginners?

How to choose the best piano, keyboard for beginners?

This is it, you had your first piano lesson and you enjoyed it!
Now is the time to think about buying your first piano.
Whatever you want to buy, it is a real jungle and you can quickly be lost on the multiple choice that you can find on the market.
So What is the best piano, keyboard for beginners?
Let’s have a look at what is what and what you need.

Keyboard

little sa-47 casio keyboardkeyboard yamaha grey 61 keys

 
 
 
 
Keyboards can be cheap, easy to buy but are not pianos.
If you having piano lessons then don’t buy a keyboard because it is not what you need in the long term.
Don’t get me wrong here, there are amazing keyboards out there, but they have other purposes than traditional pianos and a very good keyboard is the same range of prices than a good digital piano.
 Nord electro 5
 
The first difference between keyboards and pianos, the number of keys.
A piano is normally composed of 88 weighted keys.
You can find the same number of keys on a keyboard but they generally have fewer keys than a traditional piano.
The word I used in the previous sentence, “weighted keys” is important because the piano has weighted keys and you have to get used playing on that type of mechanic.
 
 mechanic schema upright piano
Finally, depending on the price/type of keyboard you buy, your range of dynamics can be a bit lower than a piano.
 
From my point of view, investing on a keyboard can look cheaper but you will have to invest in another instrument a bit more expansive really quickly after your purchase.
My advice is, buy a keyboard because you know exactly what you want to do with it, but learning the piano on a keyboard is the same thing as learning piano on a church organ.

Digital piano

                                                      
 black digital piano with one pedal                             clavinova digital upright
They look like keyboards but are not keyboards.
First of all, the purpose of a digital piano, generally, is to try to simulate the feeling of playing on an acoustic piano.
They have 88 weighted keys.
Now the “go for it” and the “Not so sure about it”.
This is my personal taste but I really like Yamaha Clavinova for a digital piano. I think they are the best in term of emulation of piano touch and sound, even if it will never replace an acoustic instrument.
Go for it:
– No need of tuning (you can’t tune your piano yourself, you need a professional to do it for you)
– You can plug headphones and practice in silence
– You can adjust the volume
– It generally takes less space in your room
– It is more affordable than an acoustic piano
 
 
Not so sure about it:
– Whatever the price you put in, it will never replace the sound of an acoustic piano.
– The mechanic is good and close to reality, but it is not the same mechanic.
– After a moment, when your progression brings you to a wonderful and good level, you will feel the need of an acoustic piano.
 

Acoustic piano:

 
                                     
                                            open schimmel upright
Well, I think if you want to learn the piano, these instruments are the best of the best, but…
First of all, you can find extremely awful instruments out there!
It is better to invest in a good digital piano than a very bad acoustic upright piano.
Oh, by the way, what is an upright piano and what is grand?
 

Upright piano:

 black upright yamaha u3
 

Grand:

 
 yamaha baby grand piano
 
For the grand, you have different size available. You don’t need to buy the massive concert one.
The same thing for the upright, different size is available.
Now, we need to be clear, the price for an acoustic piano is a bit more expansive than a good digital, but, it is the best choice for your piano playing.
There again check that your piano has 88 keys.
Now let’s go for the “go for it” and the “I’m not so sure about it”
Go for it:
– Well, you choose to have piano lessons and we are talking about buying a piano so…
– It is always the best choice for dynamics range and key response
– Yamaha does a thing called the “silence system”, it allows you to use your piano like a digital piano with headphone and being able to use it as an acoustic piano.
– It is the best choice, but only if you choose the good one
Not so sure about it:
– It takes a bit more space in your room than a digital
– You have to tune it sometimes
– It is a bit more expansive than a digital
– If you choose a very bad one, then it would actually be worse than buying a good digital piano
Now, how to buy your instrument?
Internet:
Just be careful if you buy a new instrument on the net. A digital piano, even if it is less heavy than an acoustic, is still heavy. If there is something wrong with it, good luck for sending it back…
Plus it would be tricky to ask advises to the seller by email sometimes and the most important, you need to be able to try it before purchase. Remember my last post about “Music is good for your brain. Well, not necessarily” (click the link to the article to be able to read it if you didn’t do it yet!?!)?
 
If you didn’t read it yet, then it is definitely your fault!
I said, “Your very first piece of music is not a beginner piece, it is the first one!” So you need to be able to play on your new piano and enjoy it!
That’s why playing on it before purchase is important!
 
On the internet, you can have a good deal but hope that everything is ok with your purchase or it will cost you more… A lot more!
Second hand:
Be careful, just go and see the instrument. Check that all the keys works, the speakers, the pedals,…
Don’t let pass anything, if the speakers don’t work for example, then it could be the start of a bigger problem who can cost you a lot, so even with a massive discount, don’t buy it!
If the instrument is not on warranty (it is generally the case) if you have any problem with the instrument then… good luck!
 
You can buy a nice instrument for a good price second hand, but the same as purchasing on the internet, be sure that everything is ok or it will cost you more than what you save. The good thing is that you can try the instrument before buying it.
Music shop:
Those are a good choice but choose a good shop. In a big chain generally, they don’t care about your profile they just want to sell you something.
There are good shops in Derby.
Now, the pro music shop is; Warranty, if something goes wrong they are easy to reach, they generally try to find the best instrument to your budget/profile, they are not necessarily more expansive than the net and the most important, you can try the instrument before purchase.
And in my point of view, Nothing replaces human contact!
In Iron gate, in Derby, you can find Foulds Music shop (click the name of the shop to see their website). They are really professional and friendly.
It is a family business established since a very long time in Derby.
 
If you want to give them a call, ask for Danny Jackson, she is friendly and nice and will take all the time you need to choose the right instrument for you.
 
You can also ask for Richard Belfitt and he is exactly the same profile as Danny, but in a male version with a lovely beard.
 
It can be a little bit more expansive to buy a piano on a music shop, but first of all, you can negotiate and you might actually save money in case of something goes wrong with it. Plus you can have professional pieces of advice and try your instrument before purchase.
The price range for a digital piano or an acoustic piano? Well, it can go from around £200 to the price of a three bedroom house in Derby!
That model is probably one of the most expansive, but I don’t think you need this one. It is magical to play on one of those instruments. Just in case you want to buy me a nice present for my birthday in April…
 
 
 grand Steinway
 
And finally if you really want to spend a lot of money and buy the latest of the latest grand piano, then I would like to introduce you to the Peugeot-Pleyel design piano:
design peugeot-pleyel piano

Conclusion:

 
A digital piano is good for a beginner but an upright is even better.
 
A cheap digital piano is good for a few years, depending on your progression, but you will feel the need for a better quality instrument after a moment (probably a few years).
 
When you start the piano, you don’t need to buy an expansive instrument, because if you have to stop after a few months or worse, just don’t like it, then it would be a shame to spend a lot of money on a good instrument.
 
If you having a piano lesson don’t buy a keyboard because you will have to change it and buy a piano after a few months!
You can also ask more about it to me or your piano teacher.
 
 I hope this is helping to choose the best piano, keyboard for beginner and don’t hesitate to contact me for any help with purchasing your instrument.
Have fun!