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How Much Should I Spend on a Piano?

So, you’re thinking about learning the piano for the first time? Or maybe your child or grandchild wants to learn piano and you want to gift them with an instrument? Maybe you’re a seasoned player and you’re looking to upgrade what you already have. Regardless of your motivation for shopping, I know you’re thinking, “How much should I spend?” Well, it depends! There are some very important pieces of information you should have in order to get the piano that’s right for you and your family! There are many options to choose from, including grand pianos, digital pianos, uprights (or verticals), and pre-owned pianos. Read on to learn about some of the features, advantages, pros, and cons of each type of piano, as well as the answer to your burning question, “How much should I spend?”

 

Digital Pianos

The first category, digital pianos, can be one of the more economical options to consider. Although, certain digital pianos can cost considerably more money than their acoustic counterparts. It all depends on what your needs are. A digital piano is not the same thing as a keyboard but they can look almost identical. You can find a keyboard for as low as a hundred dollars at some stores or online, but if you want a quality instrument for you and your family, you will need to invest more.

What qualifies an instrument as a digital piano?

88 Keys: A standard piano (both digital and acoustic) has 88 keys. You should not compromise on this when making your decision.

Weighted Action: Appropriate quality digital pianos will have keys that are similar in weight to those of an acoustic piano. The keys should be touch-sensitive as well.

On the lower end, a digital piano that meets these basic criteria can start at around $500-700. This would be considered the bare minimum for a quality musical instrument in the piano family. Some examples of this instrument level include the Roland FP-30 or the Casio PX-160. The price-point on these instruments doesn’t usually include a stand, pedals, and a bench, which are essential for anyone looking to learn the instrument. You should include another $100-$150 in your budget to cover your stand, pedal(s), and bench.

Other items to consider include the size and amount of speakers, the style and finish of the cabinet on your piano, and the inclusion of the pedals, etc. If you prefer a more traditional or acoustic look, similar to a spinet or upright piano, you’ll be spending anywhere from $1,000 up to around $7,000. Examples include the Casio GP-500, Roland RP-102, Roland HP-603, or the Roland LX-708. Here at Amro, the Roland products I just mentioned also come with a 10-year warranty, a matching bench, and a pair of headphones (for that night-owl or early-bird musician in the family.)

Additional benefits of digital pianos include:

  • Never needs to be tuned
  • Headphones can be used for “silent practice”
  • Recording capabilities for monitoring the level of progress
  • Multiple sounds to choose from in addition to high-quality acoustic piano sounds
  • Transpose music at the touch of a button
  • Computer based software allows for quick music notation, recording/tracking, sequencing/composing new music
  • Interactive teaching software to aid in music education
  • Layering of different sounds together at the same time
  • Rhythm styles and accompaniments for various arrangements
     

If you’re sold on all the benefits and features of digital pianos, but love the look of a baby grand, a great option for you would be the Roland GP-607 or GP-609. These instruments range from around $6000 to over $10,000.

 

Let’s keep digging to find out about another great option: acoustic pianos!

 

Acoustic Pianos

When it comes to acoustic pianos, there are many shapes, finishes, and styles from which to make your choice. In fact, the amount of options can be a little overwhelming. This is why visiting your local piano store and working one on one with an expert in the industry is so important. There are definite benefits to researching online, however, there’s no replacement for the kind of expertise you’ll get at a brick-and-mortar music store. Until you take that step, here are some basic facts and figures to consider:

Vertical Pianos

Vertical or upright pianos are popular with churches, teachers, schools, and professional musicians.  Prior to 1935, most vertical pianos were 50” to 60” tall.  Due to their age, most of these old uprights are worn out and are not suitable for the study of piano.  Although these pianos can be refurbished, the cost of the restoration will far exceed the value of most pianos. Whether new or used, an excellent vertical piano can range from $1,000 up to $40,000. Many factors determine these prices including finish, size, manufacturer, and age of the instrument.

Click here for more information on the piano pictured above.

Grand Pianos

Grand pianos come in varying lengths from 4'5"-4’7” (petite) to 9' (concert).  Distinctive shape and design make this the most prized piano of all.  Grands may be placed anywhere in a room and come in a wide variety of styles and finishes.  Grand pianos have the finest piano tone and most responsive key action. These instruments can start around $8,000 and go all the way up to $200,000 or more depending on special finishes. Grand pianos can also be upgraded to include a player piano system.

 

Benefits of acoustic pianos:

  • Will retain its value on average longer than any other type of piano.
  • Beautiful and elegant design
  • Can be passed down to family members
  • Higher quality action
  • Finer tone

 

I know I’ve given you a lot to think about, however, I believe the takeaway is this:  no matter what your budget is, there is a high-quality, beautiful, and affordable instrument that is perfect for you and your family. There are so many options out there, and my hope is that this information has made your choice a little bit clearer. Now, you are one step closer to pursuing your dream of playing the piano.

 

If you have any questions about what was mentioned in the article, or anything else, please contact Amro Music at 901-323-8888.

Posted by Emilee McGee at 12:09 PM
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