Private: Do NOT follow this link!


Buying A Beginner Piano


When it comes to people looking to buy their first ever piano, there is always that uncertainty as to whether they think they should start off small with something like a basic keyboard that is cheap and doesn’t take up too much space, or whether they should jump into the deep end and go the whole nine yards with a full size piano. It’s understandable that this is to be a buyer’s main concern, particularly if they are buying for a child which is often the case. After all, at a young age, none of us were ever very good at sticking to things we thought we wanted to try!


   As a music shop, you probably won’t find it hard to believe we are often approached by very worried, slightly pale looking parents who have had the dreaded lecture by the local piano teacher alerting them of the urgent necessity to walk into their local retailer and spend some hard earned cash on their first piano. Naturally, there are a number of very common questions, and there are three in particular that I would like to address:


“What sort of budget do I need to be looking at to get something decent enough to cover the essentials but without spending a fortune?”


   This one is easy! Here at Allegro Music, we believe you do not have to spend a large sum of money to get an instrument that fits you or your child’s needs. From as little as £200 we offer a range of instruments, from touch sensitive keyboards up to your basic digital pianos which are built with up to date learning facilities designed with a range of piano samples and voices and built in headphone connection as standard. Thankfully good quality instruments are no longer exclusive to those with fortunes to spend! Some customers will also ask me, “Why does a piano need to have a number of different tones and voices, is it necessary?” It is important to remember that learning an instrument needs to be a fun journey and every child should see it not only as educational and productive, but also a means to express themselves. It’s key to remember that if they are having fun and learning at the same time, the chances of them continuing are far more likely. You will be surprised!


 “If I buy a small keyboard now can I later buy them something more advanced if they take to it?”


There is nothing wrong about wanting to start with something small or a little less advanced in order to get started. However it is extremely important to make sure that the instrument you are looking to purchase meets the basic criteria required to get to you to where you want to go. It is understandable that many people see a keyboard and a piano as the same instrument and there are certainly similarities. The truth is that there are potential differences which become apparent to new players once you look a bit closer. The first thing you’ll notice about a keyboard is that it has fewer keys than a traditional piano; in most cases 61 is standard. More importantly they are loaded underneath with a spring motion. As you push down on the keys, there is hardly any resistance against your fingers. A piano’s keys on the other hand are weighted accordingly from top to bottom. For a keyboard player, this is not an essential requirement. As a pianist, it is important that you start to develop a strong sense and familiarity on a weighted keyboard at an early stage in order to progress. We therefore will tend to steer customers more in the direction of something weighted, even for a first instrument. Once you know what you want, the question of space saving can still remain a concern in some cases, which is why we offer a wide range of portable digital pianos here at Allegro Music. But if you can buy one instrument that will last you to a long while, you may find that this will work out far more cost effective than having to come back and spend out again!


Do I get an acoustic or a digital piano?


   The choice is completely yours! Like most things in life, both options have their pros and cons.  Digital pianos have proved to be remarkably popular due to their flexible and exciting nature as well as their relative portability. Their practical size and tolerances in more extreme environments make them a far more desirable purchase. They are not affected by different room temperatures; they can be located upstairs as well as downstairs. You can also adjust the volume or even plug in headphones so you can play as loud and as late as you want. From my experience, the main reason people tend to sway more towards a digital piano is the lack of maintenance that’s required as they don’t require regular tuning. There is of course the fun stuff to add to all of this . . . Let’s not forget that you are, in many ways, buying a range of pianos when you purchase a digital piano, as most have a choice of various piano and electric samples as standard. There are certainly enough to suit various different styles of playing, be it jazz, boogie-woogie, classical or whatever you happen to be feeling at the time. That said, some people will vehemently proclaim that nothing beats the touch and sound of an acoustic piano. It is also a very personal instrument, with much more variation from model to model which allows discerning players much more of an opportunity to find ‘their’ perfect piano. Certainly more traditional teachers will tend to opt towards the acoustic side of things as they feel it is better for their students progression and technique in the long run, but from a practical point of view, you will do just as well to have an instrument that can cater for your current situation.


Here at Allegro, whatever you choose, we will be here to back you up and advise you in the best way possible to ensure you walk out with the perfect instrument for you!


Written By Ollie Souraya, Allegro Music Chelmsford


Back to recent articles