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Brand new piano, used piano or digital piano?
Released: 1/21/2010 1:20:39 AM    Clicked: 15    Source: Singapore Piano Shop
Question:
My daughters (5 yr) are about to start their piano lessons. Shall I buy a brand new piano or used piano or digital piano?? Where do I buy them?
 
I was thinking about buying a good used piano, in case they don't want to continue their lessons, I can sell it and not losing too much money. The problem is neither my husband and I know much about piano. How to get a good one and a good price? For digitial piano, does it feel the same way as playing a real piano? Will it harm one's learning quality?
 
Finally, where do I shop for piano in Singapore? Can someone also recommend a good beginer piano?
 
Thanks.
 
 
Answers:
Digital pianos/keyboards have a different touch than a real piano. Real pianos take more finger muscles! Think about the difference between typing on a typewriter (even an electric one) and typing on a computer keyboard. That's similar to the difference between a real piano and keyboards.
 
I can't help you with buying a piano. My folks bought the one I have back in 1961, before I was born. My sister, my brother, my mom and I all learned to play on it. I know Mom and Dad it new, and it's a studio upright. I'm sure it wasn't the best quality, but it's held up just fine since 1961. I get it tuned every couple years and it stays in tune just fine.
 
Tell your girls to have fun with their lessons! I took 12 years of piano lessons, was in the band in school, sang in the choir from the time I was 4 and took 3 years of voice lessons in college. Music is a wonderful thing.
 
Definitely find a real piano, not a digital one, for all the reasons listed above. They are just not the same instruments! I took piano lessons for eight years and the piano my parents found at Joske's - used - was an old Gulbranson player piano (minus the player). My mom sold the piano years ago, and when my kids wanted to learn, I couldn't afford a piano, so I purchased a digital keyboard. They soon lost interest, so there wasn't so much money lost, but I often wonder if the piano had been a real one if they would have kept up their interest. Now my daughter wants to learn how to play again. Go figure! Both my kids play the guitar a little and my son is a trombone player in the band at his middle school. They still get out the keyboard and 'play around' with it, and I'm still thinking about finding a piano, if I can convince DH to go for it!
 
As for purchasing, look in the classified ads. The local colleges/universities will periodically change out their instruments, you might get a good deal there. Also, check the local piano stores - sometimes they run good sales. I've seen a person from one of these stores post here - I think the post was about piano lessons. Perhaps they can point you in the right direction.
 
Good luck with the lessons. I absolutely hated practicing, but I am soooo glad my mom made me do it!
 
I will say that the more expensive digital keyboards come closer to feeling like real pianos - but to get one in that range can be over $2000. One advantage is the ability to plug in headphones and practice without disturbing anyone - but probably not worth the price tag if you're not sure it's something the kids will stick with.
 
As a piano teacher I always say that an acoustic piano is your best bet (although a keyboard works just fine for beginners--at least for the first year or two). Besides the key touch and weight issues, quality acoustic pianos hold their value.
 
The main thing you want to look for in either a used or new upright piano is height, because a taller piano has longer strings and therefore a richer, fuller sound. Stay away from spinets and consoles (the shortest models). The studio (middle height) is perfectly acceptable, although the 50-52" "upright" is the best; its strings are as long as those on a baby grand. You will also want to avoid the really huge antique models; even though they are tall, a complete rebuilding is necessary to get the beautiful sound of a more recent model.
 
Piano manufacturers have come and gone over the years, so brand means less than it could. My piano is a 30-year-old Baldwin studio and it is a really good one. However, the newer Baldwins are not that great. Your best bet is to visit a couple of piano stores and play their pianos, to familiarize yourself with good tone. Then if you want to go look at used pianos you will have some context. A couple of my students have gotten good used pianos off of Craigslist recently, so you might try there.