purchasing a piano, either new or used, the more you know
the happier you will be with your purchase. Before you
start shopping, do your homework.
A New Piano
likes to have something new rather than used. However,
as you will discover, new pianos are quite costly. Keep
in mind as you search for a new piano that there are
almost always a number of used pianos for sale by individuals.
If you do not become impatient in your search, and if
you understand some facts about pianos and if you have
a qualified technician to
help you, you can find a used
instrument that meets your requirements.
what type of instrument
best fits your needs-consider the size of the space
where you are going to place the instrument, and think
about what finish-ebony, walnut, mahogany, glossy
vs. satin finish, etc-will match the surroundings.
Determine the maximum amount you can pay for the piano-you
can expect this number to increase somewhat, as you
begin to shop around and learn more about the price
of new instruments. Retail dealers almost always offer
a rent-to- purchase plan, which lets the buyer rent
the piano for, say, six months and then, if the buyer
wants to keep the piano, apply part of the rental
fees to the purchase price. Under these plans, the
instrument will cost more in the long run, but these
plans do allow the purchaser to "back out"
of the purchase during or after the rental period.
something about the different makes or brands of pianos
that you can choose from. Your piano
technician can suggest what brands tochoose from
and which ones to avoid. Be aware that some technicians
are paid by dealers to send them prospects. You want
advice from a technician that is not obligated to
the retail dealers before you visit them. The Better
Business Bureau, your technician, piano teachers,
anyone who has recently purchased a new piano-these
are all good sources of information.
When you start shopping, keep in mind that different
types of pianos sound
differently. So do different brands. In fact, two
pianos of the same make and model will sound different
from each other.
your time. This is a major item that you and your
family will live with for many years. If you find
a piano you really like, talk with your technician
or piano teacher before you make a final decision.
a Used Piano
you start looking for a piano, decide your price-range
and what type of instrument you want.(Keep in mind that
you will probably have to hire someone to move
the piano.) There are still a number of old upright
pianos around, most of which should be junked because
of neglect and the ravages of the environment over the
years. Few spinets have
adequate tone and touch. They are, however, the least
costly, compared to other types.
shopping for an instrument, the buyer should be familiar
enough with pianos to make at least a preliminary judgement
about the condition and quality of the piano. To do
this, visit with a trusted piano technician, get some
tips on what to look for and which brands to avoid.
One of the very best places to look for a piano is in
the classified section of the local newspaper. The information
you will want, at the outset, should include:
manufacturer of the piano.
type-spinet, console, grand, upright, etc.
age of the instrument.
or not it has been tuned and/or played regularly (Remember,
sometimes people just don't know these things-an inspection
by a competent technician can better help you determine
whether a piano has stood unused for a long time,
and whether or not it has been properly maintained).
price-more often than not, the price will be somewhat
you go to inspect the piano, go armed with your acquired
knowledge, and be alert to the general surroundings
and the impression they give you as to how the piano
might have been cared for or abused. Pay attention to
the location of the piano-you are going to have
to have it moved . Movers charge
extra for getting a piano out of a back bedroom or down
a flight of stairs. (It's not likely in this part of
the country, but a piano in a remodeled basement or
other room might have been put there before the
remodeling was done, and it might be impossible to get
it out.) Don't try to move it yourself, unless the pianos
is very small, in an easily accessible location, and
you have adequate people and equipment to move it-leave
it to the pros. Your technician and the Yellow Pages
are the best sources for locating a competent piano
you have examined a few instruments, you will become
more knowledgeable and confident. You don't want the
expense of having several pianos inspected before you
make a decision, so your ability to eliminate those
that don't "fill the bill" will save you money.
Once you have found an instrument that seems to fit
your needs and budget, HAVE IT INSPECTED by a qualified
technician (hopefully one who is not a representative
of a retail piano dealer).
more pianos you look at, the better you will be at it.
Remember also-as with many things in life, beauty is
only skin-deep. An attractive instrument could very
well be junk on the inside. BE CAREFUL!