Before You Buy Your First Piano

Steinway-Haus Wien
By Gryffindor (Own work) [ CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The piano is one of the most versatile and beautiful sounding musical instruments. The piano can blend very well with other instruments and is also an ideal solo instrument. If you are thinking of buying an acoustic piano, here are some guidelines:


This should always be at the top of your list. Determine how much or how little you can spend on buying a piano. Pianos cost a lot more than other musical instruments because it is very durable.

New or Used

Unlike other musical instruments, the piano is very durable when properly cared for. It has an average lifespan of 40 years and its value depreciates very little over time. Although a piano costs more than other instruments, your investment will be well worth it because of its durability. Determine whether you can afford a new one or if you'll settle for a used piano. Remember to bring along a pianist, piano teacher or piano tuner/technician who can help inspect the instrument before you buy it, especially if it's used.

Size of Pianos

How much floor space do you have to accommodate a piano? The grand piano is larger and more responsive but it's also very costly. It ranges from 5 to 9 feet. There are also vertical pianos that range from 36 to 51 inches in height. The spinet is very popular because of its small size. Research the different sizes of pianos to help you choose which one to buy.

Styles of Pianos

Pianos come in different sizes and styles. When shopping for a piano, look at the type of wood used, the style of the piano cabinet, the music rack and leg design, the color and the overall look of the piano. Some people buy pianos based on how it will complement their other home furnishings.

Where to Go

Unlike other instruments which you can shop for online, pianos need to be seen and touched to determine its quality. Browse the classifieds section of your local paper to give you an idea how much new and used pianos costs. Visit different piano dealers, and if possible, bring along someone who has been playing the piano for a long time. That way you'll have help in determining whether the piano performs and sounds well.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions

The piano can be a good investment but it can also be expensive so don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask about its durability, performance, sound, aesthetic and internal construction. Be familiar with the different parts and functions of a piano so you'll get a better understanding of what you're looking for.

    Warranties, Repairs and Others

    Ask about warranties (how long and what does it cover?). Also, ask about repairs and maintenance (where will you go for such service?). Check out if the store has an ongoing promo that can offer you discounts. If you've already decided to buy a piano, ask if the purchase price includes the bench and delivery. Ask them to check the piano's tuning and whether it's been cleaned before they deliver it.