“If I Had to Choose . . .” A Brief Guide to Buying a Piano

Whether you’re a beginner, a returning student, or an advanced pianist, your instrument should have a pleasant touch, a powerful and nuanced sound, and robust workmanship.

With the guidance of a trained sales consultant, even beginners, and especially children, can hear and feel clear differences in sound and action between the instruments on display in a piano showroom. These qualitative differences are due entirely to the materials used and the expertise of the workmanship — and they explain the different price classes on offer. There is no comparison, in price or quality, between a new piano from Asian mass production and a premium quality instrument from a German or European piano-maker.

One thing is certain, however: learning and practising on a quality piano delivers the satisfaction, the pleasure and the motivation that every player’s enthusiasm depends on, whatever their talent.

The buyer who has to choose between an upright or a grand piano knows of course that the grand piano is the epitome of the piano-maker’s art: the sound, the touch and, not least, the styling of the grand piano’s case form a wonderful symbiosis. The instrument’s more generous size clearly affects the sound volume: the bigger the soundboard, the greater the area that radiates the resonant tones. But greater size is not the same thing as a louder sound – on the contrary! Moreover, a large upright piano offers optimum leverages in the action for more precise and controlled playing, permitting a broader range of interpretation and interaction with the instrument. Remember, a small, high-quality upright will sound better than a large, mass-produced grand.

Our advice: listen to each piano, play it, or have someone play it for you! Take the time to compare the sound, the touch, and the workmanship in terms of value for money.

Let an expert piano dealer advise you. You can also find valuable information on the web. Renowned manufacturers offer detailed, useful information online about the manufacturing methods and the production sites of their instruments. Be sure to read Bechstein’s Piano Guide for more advice before you purchase your piano.