Welcome to the Piano Buyers Guide
This guide is designed for anyone new to playing the piano. The most common questions asked by new students or parents is "what kind of piano should I buy?", "How much should I spend?" and "what are the best brands?" These questions are very common when looking for an instrument for yourself or your child to practice on. In the beginning I would recommend keeping your investment in an instrument to a minimum. Many piano students quit piano within a short period of time. It's prudent not to invest a lot of money in an instrument until you or your child has shown a commitment to learning the instrument. Below are examples of acceptable practice instruments. Remember, whenever you buy a used digital or acoustic piano always check to make sure that every key functions. For used electronic keyboards make sure that they have the power plug and music rack before you drive out to take a look at it. Brands are not hugely important when looking at a beginning instrument. Yamaha, Casio, Technics, Roland, Kawai, Korg and Kurzweil are some of the better brands out there. Try to stay away from Suzuki and Williams instruments unless you find and incredible deal on one. However, even the lower end instruments will be sufficent for a beginner.
If you're on a budget I would recommend Craigslist. Go to the "for sale" section and click the "musical instruments" link ( or click here). Search for keyboards. Keyboards typically come in 61 key models and 76 key models (This number includes the white and the black keys). Either one will work for a beginner. The big difference between a keyboard and a digital piano will be the touch and the keyboard size. Most digital pianos have weighted keys and a full keyboard consisting of 88 keys. The wieghted keys help students get the feel of playing on a real acoustic piano. Acoustic pianos have keys that increase in weight as you move toward the left side of the piano and the weight becomes lighter as you move to the right. Most modern digital pianos have this same graded hammer effect built into them so that students can easily transition from a digital piano to playing on an acoustic piano without difficulty. However, students who have played only on a keyboard typically have to adjust when playing on a real piano. For this reason alone, students should plan to transition to either a digital piano or acoustic piano by the time they are in level 2. Below are pictures and brief descriptions of acceptable instruments for beginning students. If your child is an intermediate or advanced student and you would like advice on purchasing an acoustic piano please contact me through phone or email. I have exstensive knowledge about all major brands of pianos and would be happy to help you find a quality instrument. Here are some retailer links to purchase new keyboards.
61 Key Keyboard. This is the smallest keyboard that should be considered for a beginning piano player.
76 Key Keyboard. This is considered a mid-sized instrument. This should last longer than a 61 key instrument but still will need to be upgraded to a full keyboard if you or your child choose to continue into the intermediate or advanced levels of piano.
88 Key Keyboard. This is a full-sized digital piano with weighted keys. This instrument will be sufficent for students througout their piano studies.