A piano is one of the larger purchases consumers can make when it comes to instruments. When buying, you'll be faced with a vast variety of brands, models, styles, competing claims, and strange terminology. After taking budget, space, and personal preference into consideration, take a look at your options. Remember, definitely do some shopping around online and in-store before making your purchase --considering your options is the best thing you can do when spending a large amount of money. Also, playing a few different pianos will give you a better idea of what may be too expensive or what may not be good enough for your needs. Check up on your piano knowledge below.

Grand vs. Upright


* When shopping for a piano, take your proficiency level into consideration. Similar to buying a pair of shoes, it's a good rule of thumb to buy a piano slightly better than you feel you deserve, which will give you room to grow into it. * Even if your family decides that a piano is not in its future, good pianos hold their value extremely well and are easy to re-sell. Try to buy the tallest upright or longest grand piano that you can afford. * Longer strings and bigger soundboards provide better tonality. * Your piano should be located away from radiators, heating vents, air conditioners, direct sunlight and fireplaces. * Unlike most other instruments, buying a secondhand piano is not highly recommended. Used pianos generally have not been taken care of well, so the idea of saving a few dollars goes out the window after you're done paying for repairs and tuning. * Once you've found something you like, don't be afraid to negotiate with the salesperson. You can usually knock off anywhere between 10 to 20 percent from the price tag, so be willing to walk away empty handed a few times before you find a dealer who's willing to sell you a quality piano at the right price. Also, make sure the warranty that comes with the piano includes parts and labor. * When you get the piano home, have it inspected by a certified piano technician. It is well worth the money to find out that something is wrong with your instrument before the warranty period ends.

Electrify Your Sound

When choosing a piano, you may decide that you want to change your sound style or go for a different musical feel. In this case, purchasing an electric keyboard might be a good option for you to consider. While they can still be a bit pricey, they take up less space than a regular piano, and many keyboards are designed to have the look and feel of a regular grand piano. Other keyboards are just designed in the basic style and can be propped up on a stand. However, many of keyboards have features that regular pianos don't such as hook up to your USB drive and recording with playback ability.

Popular Brands

* Baldwin * Steinway & Sons * Wurlitzer * Yamaha * Young Chang

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