1. Check the sound
Buying an instrument like a piano can be a bit on the tricky side as all pianos are different. Personal preference can be a huge factor - some people prefer a brighter tone, while others prefer a mellower tone. If you're not sure what you want, get some professional advice either from the showroom, by asking local pianists or from any friends or family that are in the know.
2. Check the keys
The quality of the keys’ surface and how they feel are also important. The keys should naturally have resistance to pressure, but you shouldn’t need to apply a lot of pressure to play. They should be able to support the pressure of loud notes which require force. Try it out to make sure that it’s comfortable to play.
3. Where do I put it?
Make sure you’ve thought through where you going to actually put the piano! It’s important to find the right spot in your house that will be a good environment for your piano to live. Think about things like whether that room might fluctuate in humidity, temperature or pressure – these things will affect the condition of the piano and can ruin the quality of it in the long term. A bad example of where to put it is next to a radiator. If possible, find somewhere where the temperature and humidity don’t fluctuate significantly. The space that the piano is going to go needs to be measured carefully as this will determine which piano you can get, for example an upright piano will require a much smaller space than a grand piano.
4. What's the warranty?
Pianos can be a pricey purchase so it’s worth finding a suitable warranty to protect your investment. It can be more expensive to buy the warranty directly from the manufacturer, but it usually tends to be more reliable than private companies as these tend to be poorer quality. Some companies won’t provide a warranty to privately sold items, so make sure you read up on the policy and check you’re happy with the conditions of the agreement before you buy!
5. Which brand do I choose?
There are a few mainstream piano companies which are sought after and recommended by professional pianists. There is a reason that they are popular, and so they’re probably your best bet. Plus, if something goes wrong with the piano, it’s more likely you’ll be able to find someone who will know how to help or will have the right tools and parts to fix it. Some popular makes are Yamaha, Fazioli, Steinway & Sons, Bechstein and Bösendorfer.
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