Finding a Piano
Finding a piano can be a frightening task – especially for anyone who is new to the instrument. Pianos, of course, vary greatly in size, shape, touch and tone. However, they also vary in quality and price! Some people find a good piano given away after it languished years in a garage. Others pay two hundred thousand for an artist-quality thing of beauty.
Used pianos are often the way to go for a new piano student, but be forewarned: one can easily find themselves with an instrument that cannot hold a tuning, with sticking keys, malfunctioning pedals, or simply with an unpleasant sound. Many can be improved easily, but others may cost far more to restore than they would ever be worth.
We hope that the following links will prove useful in your search (we will continue to add to the list and welcome your suggestions). Some sites tell you what to look for and what questions to ask. Others offer insights about the market or detailed information about pianos and how they work.
Remember that your search depends, first of all, on your own unique situation, economics and needs.
While having a great instrument is the ideal scenario for anyone, a mediocre, used upright found on a community bulletin board can be an appropriate “starter piano” for many young beginners (just to see how the lessons go and how the student develops and enjoys playing). Alternatively, many opt to buy an electronic keyboard. Often poor choices for developing touch and sensitivity, keyboards may well be the perfect choice for a teen wishing just to jam with his/her friends, or for a piano newbie testing the musical waters.
Remember too: just because you are purchasing an instrument for, say, your five-year-old son, the piano is among the easiest instruments to approach (however difficult to master!). We challenge you and the other members of your household not to be drawn to it – Resistance is futile!! In the end, we hope and expect that your piano will become what the instrument has been for over two-hundred years: a centerpiece of your household providing a lifetime of entertainment and activity, passion and artistry, education and creativity.
Advice for finding a piano and related links
The Piano Technicians Guild has provided an excellent resource for anyone entering the piano market. Besides these tips, their site contains much information about piano care, maintenance, technicians, and more.
Piano Price Point is an information-only website aimed at helping you, the consumer make educated decisions about pianos. They gather information direct from manufacturers ~ pictures, specifications, MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price), components, dimensions & finishes. Their site also includes excellent information about pianos themselves, their history, varieties and how they work.
Piano Buyer is a free, semiannual piano buying guide (readable online) that will help you make an informed decision concerning the purchase of an acoustic or digital piano. Although their site promotes and advertises many products and businesses, it also contains much of value in the form of articles, F.A.Q.s and other resources.
AAAPTG Monthly Gazette – the Guild frequently receives notice of a piano for sale and lists such instruments in our monthly newsletter. Please note, this newsletter is not published during the summer months.