All Fine Tune Academy Students receive FREE purchase assistance at the store of their choice. One of our Master instructors will demonstrate the different kinds of Pianos and make sure you get the right instrument for your musical taste & budget.

PIANO BUYERS GUIDE



The piano is such a popular instrument that there are many choices for every budget. As you pay more money you get higher build quality and more features. 


Most people start with a Digital Keyboard of some sort. Either a Digital Piano or a Synthesizer. 





THE KEYS
If you intend on learning traditional Piano, it recommended that you get something with 88 Keys that has a "Weighted Action" 

The Weighted-Action makes the keys feel heavy, more like a real Piano.

Many Keyboards offer "Hammer Action" or "Semi Weighted Action". If you rarely plan on playing a real Piano and you like the feel of a particular keyboard you should go with what feels comfortable. Different brands have a different feel in the Keys. 


THE SOUNDS

Digital Pianos all use microchips to produce their sound. Manufacturers put their newest and best technology's in their flagship models. 

A $200 Yamaha Digital Piano set on "GRAND PIANO" will sound less good than a $2000 Yamaha Digital Piano set on "GRAND PIANO". The more expensive model has a better processor allowing more depth and character in the sound. 

USB keyboards do not have any sounds built in. USB Keyboards are used to control software on a computer. Garageband is a common home recording software, you can access thousands of sounds to play and record with your USB Keyboard.



PURCHASE


NEW


Melodica  $40


USB Keyboards start at $50


Beginners Digital Pianos Start at $150


New Upright Pianos start at approximately $5000. 


New Baby Grand Piano's start at Approximately $10,000

A beautiful Concert Grand Piano can easily cost $50,000+. 

The longer body of "Grand" Pianos allows for longer strings and a larger sound board. Due to the laws of physics, longer strings sound richer and less harsh than shorter strings. Even relatively new students can feel and hear the silky awesomeness of a Grand Piano. Unfortunately, the size and complexity of Grand Pianos make them cost as much as a car.




USED


Used upright pianos in playable condition start at approximately $700.


Pianos can be very expensive to fix. If you are buying used from a private seller we recommend having a Piano expert take a look at the Piano before you buy it. Your Local Piano Tuner it a good choice, they normally conduct a pre-purchase inspection for less than $100. We can recommend a couple of great local Piano Tuners, drop us a line at the contact page.


There are many used Digital Pianos available for $50+ 


Check for loose or non-functional keys, scratchy volume knobs, electrical gremlins and water/fall damage. Make sure it comes with a power supply and check that the battery compartment is not corroded.




RENT

There are also many options to rent Pianos. 

Digital Pianos Rent for $35+/month. 

A Baby Grand Piano rents for $150+/month. 

Renting allows you to learn on a quality instrument without a large upfront expense. 

Rental companies will also upgrade your Piano or let you try a different one as your playing progresses. 

You do not have to pay for a rental Piano to be tuned, fixed or moved.




Other Expenses:


Piano movers

Pianos are really terrible to move. You should expect to hire a professional company to move a Piano from one address to another or even one floor to another. A standard across town move of a Baby Grand Piano will cost $300. It's money well spent.



Piano Tuners

Pianos will stay in tune pretty well for months or even years. It's recommended that you have them tuned them at least twice per year as the season's change. The change in temperature and humidity affects the shape and size of the Strings and the Piano, resulting in tuning issues. To have a professional Piano tuner come to your house and do a general inspection and tuning costs about $130. 



The famous Honky Tonk Piano sound comes from slightly neglected out of tune Pianos in the old American Wild West.



Buyers insurance


For both Real Pianos and Digital Pianos, some kind of insurance is recommended. Your homeowner's insurance may cover some things. A $20,000 Grand Piano may need an additional premium. 


While real Pianos are often fixable, Digital Pianos/Synths's/Workstations and USB keyboards are famous for becoming paperweights if they break after their 1-year manufacturer's warranty. Check what warranty comes with the item, consider buying an extended warranty from the retailer. Guitar Center offers a   reasonably priced insurance for instruments that break for any reason. We have had a number of students that needed to use their Guitar Center insurance, they all got new instruments within a few days as promised.