Buying an upright piano is no small feat and should not be considered as a quick impulse purchase. For many, an upright piano might be your piano for life, or could act as the starting point on helping you become a musical sensation.
An upright piano isn’t just an instrument, it is a part of the home and no matter which room it is kept in, it will be a talking point for many years to come.
Being such magnificent instruments, we wanted to offer the first time upright piano buyer a comprehensive guide on the key things to look out for when buying your first upright piano and give you some inspiration for the questions to ask when visiting a piano showroom. For any further information on anything mentioned here, we’d be happy to help! Get in touch with one of our piano experts today.
So without further ado, let’s get started on this exciting adventure of buying your first upright piano!
Where Is The Piano Going?
The absolute first thing to ask yourself when buying an upright piano is: Where are you storing it? Unlike most digital pianos, upright pianos are not designed to be moved and will generally stay in the same place for the majority of its lifespan. Of course our expert delivery and assembly team are here to help and can get your piano exactly where you want it to be but there are still a few things to consider.
There are a number of things to consider when purchasing an acoustic piano, which we have outlined in our guide to finding the perfect position for your piano in the home, but the main factor to consider is room temperature.
We’ve spoken about this in our silent vs hybrid piano guide, but acoustic pianos generally dislike being in rooms with dramatically changing temperature conditions. Being made from wood and utilising physical metal strings, rooms that change temperature regularly will severely affect your piano as its materials contract and expand to the room’s temperature. These changes may cause issues such as causing the instrument to go out of tune more frequently and potentially even damage the frame of the piano. The same goes for storing your piano next to radiators too!
Another thing to consider here is things such as stairs and any narrow corridors that you’ll need to get your piano through. Our specialist deliver carriers are amazing at what they do and generally can overcome most problems when it comes to piano delivery and getting the instrument to its desired location, but things such as tight stairwells will need to be reviewed beforehand.
When it comes to tone, this is an incredibly personal choice with no right or wrong answers. The beauty of pianos is that each instrument comes in it own unique nuances and tones. A pianos tone comes down to everything from manufacturing materials such as the woods, strings and hammers, to the philosophy behind each brand. Only so much of this can be appreciated and researched online, so that is why we highly recommend visiting your local piano showroom to experience the piano in person for yourself.
The inner workings of any acoustic piano are nothing short of mesmerising. With thousands of small components working together in harmony to create something truly spectacular. This is perhaps best exemplified by the other key aspect to consider on any acoustic upright piano, touch. Touch refers to how the instrument actually feels to touch and play. Piano touches can be lighter, heavier, quicker or slower than one another and once again, this is a personal preference as to what you like to play. This is yet another reason to visit your local piano showroom as even the best review videos and articles out there cannot replicate how a piano will feel for you.
If you don’t feel comfortable playing an instrument, or aren’t quite getting the sound and feel that you want from it, it is not the right piano for you. That’s why we always recommend visiting our showrooms when purchasing an upright piano as this will give you the physical opportunity to compare similar pianos, how they sound, how they feel and if they are right for you or not.
Another great question to ask yourself when buying an upright piano is: What do I actually want this piano to do? We covered this in our Digital Vs Acoustic Piano guide, but it is especially true for upright pianos.
If you’re buying an acoustic piano, you will likely already have some kind of intention for either home practice or performance, but what we mean here is that someone looking to have an incredibly expressive instrument with lots of colour and tonal range shouldn't be looking at pianos that are more suited for beginner players.
Instead, think about your playing style, are you more of a classical player who loves precision and finesse? Or more of a jazz player who loves groove and unleashing a flood of expressive energy? They are two completely different intents for the same instrument to achieve and whilst many instruments can be adapted to suit the needs of the player, it is a good idea to consider what you are looking to achieve from your piano.
It’s also worth noting here on any additional features that you might want your piano to have. For example do you want your piano to also have a silent system fitted so you can practice anytime of the day? Or what colour finish would you like your piano to have so it matches your home? When do you need it by? All great questions to consider.
Ultimately, when beginning your journey to finding the perfect upright piano for your home, tone, touch and design are the main three things to consider. If you are unsure what kinds of tones, touches and designs are out there or how they should sound, visit your local piano dealer, they will be more than happy to help guide you through the process.
We hope that offers some great insight into helping you make the right decision for you and has given you some inspiration to go out there and begin finding the perfect piano for you.
Of course, we would love to show you around all of our beautiful piano showrooms and speak to our expert team in order to help you find your piano for life that is going to support your musical journey.