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Guide to buying your first keyboard or piano

All right, let's talk about getting started on piano. The first step is getting your piano!

If a student is going to invest the time and effort into learning piano eventually you will want to look into getting a piano with weighted keys.

If you are here reading this I want you to make the choice that best fits your needs and your budget. All I can do is provide the best information possible and then it is up to you to make the choice that best suits you and I fully support whichever choice you make!

If you are thinking about getting a digital piano which costs around $500 dollars new, I would say that these are going to be used on craigslist for about $350 at the cheapest and normally $450 which means that weighted key digital pianos, hold their value extremely well and you can purchase one and always sell it if you need.

Why weighted keys? Weighted keys are what make a digital piano feel like a real piano. The weight of the key builds the muscles in the students arms much faster. Also, you might not know this but when you watch a piano player and they are gracefully moving their hands around, this is not for show but is done to use arm weight to press the keys down rather than using just fingers. There are many different aspects of this piano technique but almost all of the techniques are related to the weight of the keys and how to move about the keys efficiently and safely. Yes I said safely, though this is more for older players who need to make sure they are using proper technique to avoid injury. A keyboard with non- weighted keys will not really react the same way to the techniques I have described.

I’ll lay out a few pathways to get started on your musical journey. The first three are the best pathways for starting in my opinion.

  1. Non-weighted keyboard: these are going to be the cheapest way to get started! Buy any used or new keyboard anywhere from 50 to 200 dollars: ) This gets you started and I’m sure a child could get a couple of years out of a keyboard with non- weighted keys. In the meantime I would keep an eye out for a digital piano with weighted keys. When you are ready to upgrade you can always sell this one. A piano rental for a piano with weighted keys is usually about 35 dollars a month.

  2. Pianos with weighted keys start out around 500 dollars new, additionally you would need a stand and a bench which can be adjusted to accommodate you or your child. For a more portable experience you can purchase these with an x-stand or with a wood stand for a sturdier option. I believe the wood stand may suit the home and be more inspirational for many but I have seen many piano players who use and prefer the x stands for years! The weighted keys are the main point! I used to like the Casio Privia but it has been discontinued so now I suggest getting another Casio model or probably the best most common choice...any of the Yamaha starter keyboards. The Yamaha P-45 or any of its predecessors or models of a similar number. If it is a Yamaha with weighted keys you should be good. Note: Portable, can have usb outs for digital recording. Roland is a good brand also.

  3. The next step up: For a more luxurious and furniture and lifelike piano experience for your home I would suggest the digital pianos with a beautiful wood case. The best one I have found is the Yamaha Arius YDP -144. These are similar to the other Yamahas in feel and tone but look much more lifelike and may have a few more upgrades as you go up and up. You can upgrade or downgrade from the Arius but the body type will probably have a similar look to it.

  4. A used Acoustic/real/upright/grand piano. A tuning costs about 200 and It costs about 250 dollars to move a real piano. The experience of a real piano is the best because of the resonance of the strings and I’m sure most of them work just great, but unfortunately when shopping used you will occasionally find a cracked soundboard etc.. If you have the room and you have people to help you move one, a real piano is often found free online and could be a great option. You do have maintenance costs, such as tuning but many families go years without a tuning. It is suggested to get one every year. But if you are looking for one, just make sure it sounds good when you play it, chances are it will be okay and will stay reasonably in tune. I would hate to see someone read this go get a used piano and it turn out to be a total lemon. If you don’t know what you are doing be careful. Also these weigh a TON!

  5. Buying a new acoustic, upright or grand piano. There are many choices to choose from and the prices and models are endless. The best thing here is to check with me and we can talk about your options. I would say the people at the piano store are going to have a lot of info for you. Most new pianos come with a free moving and tuning.


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