What’s The Best Piano For Beginners? A Buyer’s Guide
For those just starting out, or for parents looking at buying an instrument for their child, one of the most seemingly daunting tasks is finding the best piano for a beginner. With a massive range of brands, types, shapes and sizes, it can be hard choosing the right one to match your needs. Hopefully, this will help make your decision easier. Remember though, help is always at hand – feel free to give our experts a call or send us an email.
The first step in choosing a piano for a beginner is to decide whether you want a keyboard, a digital piano, or an acoustic piano.
Generally, keyboards are smaller and more lightweight. They don’t have weighted keys which make them a little easier to press down. This can be ideal for young beginners who want to start discovering music and learn the relationship between all the different notes. It’s worth noting that keyboards without weighted keys feel very different to a traditional acoustic piano. Some keyboards are very small with just a couple of octaves (12 notes in an octave) – the bigger the keyboard, the more notes you’ve got to play.
If you’re serious about learning how to play the piano or maybe even starting the grades, as opposed to just having a bit of a tinker about, then you’ll need an instrument with 88 weighted keys. As such, you’ll want to have a look at either a digital or acoustic piano.
Out of the three, this is the most popular choice for beginners learning to play piano. With weighted keys, it’s more like playing an acoustic piano, which is what you’ll take your exams on. Like with many things, the more you pay, the better product you get. As you go further up in the ranges, the more authentic the feel of the keys becomes. The advantages of having a digital piano over an acoustic include being able to adjust the volume, use headphones for silent practice, they never need tuning, and they often have a variety of different sounds other than piano. We recently did a digital vs acoustic piano guide which you can view here.
Digital stage pianos start around the £300 mark and are relatively portable. The Casio CDP130 is an entry level piano and has 88 full-sized, weighted keys so will be good enough to learn the basics of piano. It probably won’t last more than a couple of grades – as you progress, your technique will require a better keyboard action. If you want to test the waters with piano, it’s a good option.
Another stage piano option that produces a better quality sound is the Roland FP-30. The key action allows you to be a bit more expressive too. Rolands also have a slightly different tone to Yamahas. If you’d like to know more about the differences between the four major digital piano brands, take a look at our comparison guide here.
If you want something that feels, sounds and looks more like a traditional piano, have a look at the Yamaha YDP143. It’s more of a permanent piece of furniture, though still much easier to move than an acoustic piano. Also, like an acoustic piano, the keys at the bottom are heavier and become gradually lighter as you get to the top. The YDP143 is one of the best all-round pianos for beginners, and will see you further through the grades than a cheaper stage piano.
The Yamaha Clavinova series is our best-selling range of digital pianos. They start at just over £1000 (for the CLP625) and offer an incredible feel and sound. The more you go up in the range, the more realistic the sound becomes – as if you were sat at an acoustic grand piano. They also offer upgrades in the feel of the keys. On their top two models (the CLP675 and CLP685), they have what they call GrandTouch keyboard action – it’s basically the closest they’ve got to the feel of an acoustic piano in a digital package. If you are really serious about learning the piano properly, including all of the subtle techniques, I can’t reccommend these two Clavinovas enough. A good keyboard action is more likely to result in a good playing technique, plus they’ll see you right through to those later grades.
Other full sized digital pianos with 88 weighted keys that would be great for beginners are the Roland HP series – these react really nicely to how you play – great for adding expression to pieces; something that you’ll need to do as you make your way through the grades. If you want something that will keep up with your progress throughout the years – the LX7 and LX17 are very good options.
Another nice, fairly new line of pianos is the Casio Bechstein GP series – these have a real hammer action inside, so the keys feel very much like they do on an acoustic piano. They’re the first of their kind and are proving to be really popular.
Digital pianos are great, but sometimes you just want the real thing. Acoustic pianos have a richness of tone that’s difficult to replicate digitally. They are fairly loud so as long it won’t earn you complaints from the neighbours, an acoustic piano could be the best option for a beginner learning to play. Unlike digital pianos, these aren’t trying to replicate anything so the action is just how it should be.
We have quite a range of pianos; many of which are second hand and offer great value for money. One thing to look out for is whether the piano is overstrung. This refers to how the strings lie within the piano – they’re strung diagonally, firstly, to reduce the physical footprint of the instrument, and secondly so that the keys are more responsive, allowing you to play with more expression and emotion.
An acoustic piano is one of the best options for a beginner learning to play. There are however, things to consider. They need to be tuned regularly (around every 6 months) and are susceptable to changes in humidity and temperature. They’re also heavy and fairly difficult to move!
How Do You Get Your Piano Delivered?
Obviously pianos are bulky items and you might be wondering how it gets delivered. Here at Reidys we make the whole process of choosing, ordering and receiving your piano as easy and hassle-free as possible. All digital pianos come with free delivery – usually it’s with a courier, but there’s also the option of having it delivered and isntalled by our own in-house piano team – more info here. You’d be hard-pushed to find a group of guys that have delivered as many pianos as ours!
We know that it can be difficult to choose from the many instruments on offer. If you need any more information on choosing the best piano for a beginner, then please do get in touch with us.