Are you considering buying a piano online for your dance studio? Most dance studio’s have pianos, especially if they have a ballet department. Pianos are still used by most studios, especially at exam time. Let’s look at buying a piano for your studio and what to look for.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you do decide to purchase anything off of this page, then I will get a small commission, but you still get a great price by buying online.
Let’s Look At Buying A Piano
Although it seems that buying a piano online is fairly simple, it is a large investment in most cases, so you must know what to look for in a good piano so that you don’t end up with a dudd.
There are quite a few small things that come into play that, if ignored, will find you buying a pile of junk. The one very large rule to follow when considering buying a piano is to have a Registered Piano Technician, not a piano tuner, check it out before you buy it if you can, especially if it is a second hand piano. Additionally, after he checks the piano out, allow some time for him to do a little research about what he has found.
Types Of Pianos
Before the ins and outs are gotten into consider the two types of pianos offered for sale. No electronic pianos here, just the real deal. There is the Grand piano and the up-right piano. Within each of these two types there are several sizes of piano.
For the Grand piano type, the intermediary sizes include: parlor, baby, medium, semi-concert and concert. Each is generally distinguished by its length. Within the up-right piano category there are: spinet, consol, studio and professional.
This one on the right is a small 32 key piano designed for the beginner player or a child, but the shape is the grand piano type. This shape of piano, although the sound is generally better, is not good for a studio where size is an issue. If you have a small studio then you need to get a upright piano that takes up less room.
In the world of piano’s there are some good makes and some not so good ones. The company may be in America or Germany, but is the company German owned and are the insides of the piano made by that company?
Perhaps they are using a cheaper parts manufacturer from someplace where piano manufacturing is thought of as a pipe dream? These are all valid issues when choosing a piano, and good reasons to have you Registered Piano Technician along for an inspection, just like your car mechanic.
Like cars, good piano makers come in and out of favor over time. Volkswagen, for example, was hot when it came out with its first cars, went out of favor and is now back again. Thinking about pianos, Germany is generally hot for pianos although you’ll need to make sure who owns the company first. The United States is generally good but in some cases they have been influenced by Asian companies outsourcing to them for cheaper parts. Japan and Korea were on the outs but they have slowly improved their quality through buying other non-Asian piano companies. The real important country to stay away from, at the moment, is any piano made in China.
There is a number on every piano. With this number your Registered Piano Technician can tell you everything you will need to know about that particular piano. Where it was made, who owns the company, when the company changed hands and where the actions were manufactured. The number is sort of like a VIN number for a car.
Some have suggested that over the last two centuries there have been well over 25,000 brands of different pianos. That is brands and not models, brands.
With this in mind it is rather difficult to give a solid representation of what to look for when you are searching for that one piano based on brand. Not wanting to return to the car analogy, but, if you sit in the right car you just now that that car is the right one for you. A piano is pretty much the same idea. When you play it you just feel that the sound and action just works right for your fingers and ears. Remember that you are the one that will be hearing the piano the most. You are the one that needs to like its sounds. Unfortunately very few dance teachers actually play the piano, so it may be a good idea to get your pianist to go shopping with you.
Examples Of Good Brands
Here are some of the more popular brands to look out for when buying a piano or even buying a piano online:
- Baldwin-a good piano
- Bechstien-high end
- Boston –very good
- Charles Walters –high quality
- Knabe –medium quality
- Kranich & Bach –current model not so good
- Steinway – a good piano but check if you like the sound first
- Yamaha – wonderful
- Wurlitzer – not wonderful
When buying a piano, have it checked out buy somebody that really knows their stuff. You are buying the piano for yourself and not as an investment.
Pianos, unfortunately hold little resale value except to the owner/player.
If thinking of buying a piano online, you may have to opt for an electric piano, as you don’t find many new piano’s online, but there are quite a few second hand ones on eBay. You need to be careful, but you may pick up a bargain.
Due to space constraints in our studio and pricing, I purchased an electric piano with a weighted keyboard similar to the ones below which served our purposes very well for many years. However, the sound was not as loud as a conventional piano so I did attache it to an amp for exam day.
It had a stiffy disk drive which I used to use to record the pianist which was really useful at the time.
However the electric models nowadays are far more advanced as you can see.
If you want to find out more about any of these electric pianos, simply click on the picture.
This piano on the right has 88 keys which is just like a normal piano, and also has the added feature of having video tutorials in case you want to learn how to play the piano.
Electric piano’s also allow you to record music, which is great if you can’t afford a pianist regularly. Simply record her when she does come and use her music later again so that the dancers can get used to dancing with different tempos.
This is another example of an electric piano with weighted keyboard that you can puchase online. It doesn’t have a stand like the white one, but is a lot more affordable.
If going the electric piano route, make sure that the keys are weighted so that it feels like playing a regular piano. Your pianist will thank you for this as it gives her an authentic playing experience.
This one also comes with tutorials and a pedal, but you will need to find a table to put it one.
Digital pianos mostly offer you unlimited tones and sounds to play and experiment with, while it is a good idea to sit back and think about how many you will actually use.
Listen for the tone and quality of the sounds that you will use. All of the notes should sound full and rich, without any of the tinny noise that often accompanies inferior pianos. There are many videos online thankfully that allow you to listen to the quality of a piano before you purchase it.
If buying a piano online it is always a good idea to not go for the cheapest brand as you don’t want a tinny sound, but rather the rich quality sound that goes with a regular piano.
This Donner on the right is a heavier make than the two above and has some great reviews. However it doesn’t seem to have the tones and sounds that the other two have. This may suit you better as a ballet teacher as you won’t have the kids wanting to play with the sounds all the time.
You can’t go wrong with a Yahama. I know because my electric piano was a Yahama and it lasted me for years. I sold it to a church last year, as we got in a proper piano from an inheritance, but it is still going strong.
This Yahama includes P45, L85 furniture stand, PKBB1 bench, and sustain pedal.
GHS weighted action is heavier in the low end and lighter in the high end, just like an acoustic piano. The advanced wave memory stereo sampling recreates natural instrument sound in stereo.
The USB to host port allows you to connect and interact with a wide variety of educational, music creation or music entertainment applications on a computer or mobile device.
It is also slim and stylish and can be moved anywhere with ease.
The only complaint I have seen about the Yahama is that it is difficult to get them to repair a faulty keyboard.
All the best with your experience of buying a piano for your studio. Let me know how it goes in the comments below.