The Ultimate Guide to Knowing How Much You Need to Spend on a Piano

If you are looking to get a piano, you need one that can stick around with you, a reason you would want to get a high-quality one. That brings up the question – how much does a piano cost?

To answer that, you first have to know how pianos differ. We will begin with digital pianos, as that’s what most beginners look for when they start playing.

Electronic or Digital Piano

Digital pianos are convenient, cheap, and ideal for starting your piano lessons. You can now get a digital piano for a few hundred dollars without compromising the original sound or feel of a piano.

Digital pianos also have a few other advantages-

  • You can practice using headphones without disturbing others
  • Digital pianos are compact and fit easily in your room
  • You can get additional features like sound effects, metronome, backing tracks, and more

Digital Piano Buying Considerations

You should consider two things while buying a digital piano-

The number of keys: A standard piano comes with 88 keys. So look for digital pianos with at least 88 keys.

Weighted keys: Some digital piano keys offer no resistance. You miss out on the feel of playing on an analog piano completely. We suggest you buy a digital piano with weighted keys that make you really feel like playing the piano.

Beginners also need weighted keys to build finger strength to handle any piano.

Cost of Digital Pianos

You can get a digital piano for a few hundred dollars on Amazon. But the good ones may cost $500 to$20,000. A decent one will cost you around $1,000 to $1,500. The sound and key action improve as the price goes up.

Upright Pianos

Most of us who had a piano teacher in the school days know what this type of piano is. All those pieces you played in college or university were most probably one. They became popular during the 1920s and are still in vogue across the world. These pianos have a vertical string arrangement that makes the size compact without affecting the sound too much.

Choose an upright piano if you have a restricted budget. The standard dimensions here are suitable for most living rooms and don’t need much additional space. An upright piano has a width of around 5-inches, and up to 2 1/2-inches deep.

So, what are the best ones you can buy? Here is a look.

Professional: They are around 50-inches tall. Some of these sport strings that are as long as that of a grand piano helping produce a sound that seems akin to it.

Studio: Studio upright pianos can start at the height of 43-inches. You can find them in most practice rooms, hence the name! These have a rich tonal quality like that of a grand piano and also mimic the feel.

Console: A popular choice, you have the piano action here directly over the keys. The hammers sit straight while a string pulls back the hammer. Once you release the key, it strikes again. The sound though may not be as good though as the other ones.

These are a common choice because they often measure less than 43-inches.

Spinet: They are the smallest that you could have bought before, at around 36 inches in height. Unfortunately, they are not manufactured anymore.

You may be able to find used spinet pianos online, but they can be difficult to repair because of the multiple parts.

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The Price

These pianos can vary greatly in price. You can buy an entry-level upright piano for $3,500 to $5,000. On the other hand, top-end models can cost you $10,000 and upwards.

For instance, the ones from Yamaha can cost around $4,500 to $19,000. On the other hand, Baldwin models cost approximately $9,000.

If you are a beginner, you will be well-off with something around $3,500 to $4,500.

Grand Pianos

So, what do these beautiful and majestic pianos cost? To know that, we need to first look at the history.

Bartolomeo Cristofori invented this type of piano around three centuries back in 1700, in Italy. Down the years, it went through several iterations and changes to reach where we are today. These today are some of the most expensive pianos in the world.

Contrary to upright pianos, the arrangement of strings here is horizontal. Earlier, there used to be ones with vertical strings, but not anymore. Also, you never call an upright piano as a grand piano.

So, how do you classify these?

1. Those that you use for concerts

Ever felt awed looking at those huge pianos in concerts and stages?

These range from 7 to 10 feet and reaching up to 9-feet in height. All professional programs and venues in the world use concert pianos, whether it’s Royal Albert Hall or Carnegie Hall.

For one, these offer the loudest sound. What’s the secret, you ask? For one, the long and stiff strings are important. The lower inharmonicity is another factor too.

What do these cost?

They do not come cheap. They are the biggest and grandest of the lot, so you can expect to shell out $130,000 to $170,000 for a top-end model. For a new one, you may need to spend as much as $200,000, or even more.

2. The Ones that you use in your home

These strike a balance between the other types of pianos and is somewhere in between. They measure between 6 and 7-feet in width and can fit in large rooms in your home. You can also use parlor grand pianos, as they are often called, for recital halls and rehearsal halls that aren’t too big.

They can be a great choice with a little bit of compromise. They are still big and have a strong resonance, which you are sure to like. Plus, they may also be easier to play.

The Cost

Manufacturers keep a flexible price tag. This way, shopkeepers can adjust the price according to their wishes. We suggest you shop around for the best prices!

That being said, some of the popular models can cost you as much as $95,000.

3. The Ones that Existed in the 19th Century

These started gaining ground more than a century ago. Americans developed a keen sense of music and needed something to practice in their homes. The price factor was also important as not many Americans could afford to buy costlier ones.

The baby grand, as they are more popularly known, was invented by Hugo Sohmer over a century ago in 1884, who went on to establish the Sohmer and Co. later on.

These are ideal for homes as they are 5 to 6-feet wide. You can also enjoy a softer sound, which is perfect if you are looking to enjoy music by yourself or only have a few guests to play it to.

What should you pay for it?

These pianos also vary vastly in price. You can get a standard model of Yamaha baby grand piano at around $34,000. A Steinway starts at around $50,000 and can cost you as much as $99,000. The price of Baldwin’s baby pianos ranges between $22,000 and $35,000.

Should You go for casinos that have been used before?

Used pianos can fit your bill if you have a tight budget. You can get used pianos for dirt cheap prices and even for free! Yes, you heard it absolutely right! Some people are giving away pianos for free on platforms like Craigslist. But there is a catch!

First, you need to have a basic knowledge of how to assess a piano’s condition. If you don’t, you can end up with something that costs thousands of dollars in repairs. Think about the time when you bought a pre-owned car. Without the right knowledge, you wouldn’t have made a good choice.

What’s the cost of these?

Now, let’s come down to the price part.

Even though you may get a piano for free, there may be hidden costs associated. First, you will need to move the piano out of the seller’s house and transport it to your address. Unless you do it yourself, you will need to hire the services of a professional piano mover. It can then cost you around $200.

Next, you may need to get the piano tuned by a professional piano technician. Let’s say you end up paying another $150 to $200, taking the total cost to $400. Now, add the cost of other repairs and restoration (considering a free piano won’t be in great condition) that could add up to thousands of dollars.

So buying a used piano needs technical knowledge and research of the product. Always consider the repair and transport charges and see if it makes sense to spend that much on a used piano.

Making Music Even Better With Your Love for Piano

If you are looking for some melody, nothing does it better than a piano. Piano’s aren’t as 19000 as you may think. Celine Dion’s ever-popular ‘My Heart Will Go On’ had a piano. Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’, from 2011 had a lot of Piano too. Come to think of it, many popular songs including Bruno Mars ‘When I Was Your Man’ had a piano too – it’s just too melodious to leave out!

If you love the piano, why not think of some piano lessons? You can start taking one even if you’re middle-aged – piano lessons aren’t just meant for kids. With the right instructor, you can be the guy everyone looks up to.

Even though you might take it up as a hobby first, your piano will soon become a way of life for you. You will have the following benefits:

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A more focused mind:

Multi-tasking is never easy. It’s why playing the piano can be more difficult than it seems. You have to concentrate sharply, and it should not waver even for a second. This helps improve your mental ability, and soon you can focus better. It helps develop your brain astonishingly well.

Improves your mood:

When you are playing the piano, you automatically relax. It acts as a stress reliever not just for your mind but for your body as well. Playing the piano is a great outlet for all your negative feelings, and you will begin to feel calm as you engage yourself fully in this activity.

You will become a happier and confident person:

There has been a few research studies which has shown that adults who played the piano or any other musical instrument were more likely to be sociable. They would also be happier in their day to day life which is all we aspire for. As you begin to improve your skillset, your self-confidence will also increase as you begin to get compliments from the people you love.

Additional Costs

You will need to incur some expenses to use your piano. They include-

  • Stools: You will need to buy a bench separately ($20 to $70 based on features)
  • Stand: Basic stands start at around $25
  • Music rest: You may need a stand to keep your music sheets ($15 to $25)
  • Headphones: You may need a headphone if you have a digital piano

Final Thoughts

As you can see, prices of pianos vary by the models, how big or small you want them, as well as the brands. You should first decide what you want and then go on a price hunt to get the best deal. The best way to do it is to speak with someone who knows about pianos – maybe someone who has been using them for years.