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Review, what to look for when buying a piano

Source: Singapore Online Piano Shop   Published: 12/14/2009 10:50:59 AM   Clicked: 4421

With so many brands of pianos, for the beginner it could be a daunting task that awaits them - choosing the right piano. Choosing a piano which isn't right for the purpose could be debtramental to the player and the sound the player is making, let alone your bank account. Therefore, I have written this article to provide a good understanding of what to look for in each type of piano.
Grand pianos, Upright Pianos, Digital Pianos
Range in size from approximately 4 foot to 9 foot long and contain about 8'000-10'000 intricate parts. With a curved right side, a flat left side and a lid that can be raised, they are generally considered top of the range for pianos however I have grand pianos that are not as good as upright pianos.
Grand pianos vary in sizes. Known as Concert Grand, this is largest of the Grand piano and the smallest is the Baby Grand.
The two primary types of grand pianos are Concert Grand pianos, the largest of grands reaching 9' and over, and Baby Grand pianos, any grand piano that is smaller than 6' tall.
The other well know piano is the Upright Piano (some call it a Vertical Piano). They have less parts than the Grand piano - no more than about 5'000-6'000 and as a result they are considerable cost less. The general rule of thumb is the taller the upright, the better the action.
Digital Pianos have recently flooded a market. Many years ago, the quality of sound that digital pianos produced was not very good, however, as the market has developed so has the digital piano. Many have internal speakers which mean that you can hear everything you are playing so you don't have to connect them to PA systems and the good old volume control. Many also have other instrument sounds available to the performer. A good digital piano will be approximately $1,000 starting. They often have the same keys weighted as you would find on Grand and Upright pianos. Some of the best are Yamaha, Kurzweil, Roland, Alesis, and Technics, but this list is not limited.
How to find the best piano
Different materials means different timbres or sounds, and as pianos are made throughout the world, the sound they make can vary. Steinway and Fazioli are considered by many to be the best, but ultimately the most expensive. Pianos made by Yamaha and Kawai in Japan are considered closely behind but the cost is far more versatile. Personally, I prefer the touch, feel and sound of the Yamaha.
When buying your piano I would suggest 3 things.
Cost - set a budget and stick with it. Most dealers are happy to negotiate especially on a good 2nd hand model. Personally, I would buy a second hand Yamaha than a new unknown brand. Don't always think that new is going to be better.
Sound - Very important. A harsh sound will be bad for you and the neighbours. It needs to be strong, delicate and pleasant. Hit a key hard and if it sounds harsh or your cant control the harshness, move on to another model.
Comfort - what feels correct when sitting at the instrument. The height of the keys from the grounds, the amount of keys, 88 in most cases, how to the keys feel, are they hard, easy to feel to the touch, what about control, spacing. You need to find the right comfortability as playing the piano might not be enjoyable for you if you play regularly.

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