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What type of piano have you bought for your child?

(17 Posts)
Gidleigh Wed 04-May-11 12:26:29

Just went to the piano showroom and was overwhelmed by the choice and price. I am looking to buy a good quality acoustic upright piano that will last for all 3 of my children. I am hoping to start lessons for my oldest sometime this summer. So any thoughts or advice would be helpful.

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 04-May-11 20:58:56

I bought a piano a couple of years ago, chiefly for myself, but I let the kids have a go now and then grin. What I did:

Fixed a budget.
Went to many showrooms. Banged on lots of pianos. My local piano dealer said to bang on low notes and high notes see how you like it. He also said to buy the biggest one you could get. But I didn't have to follow that advice because I just found one that I like.

What's your budget?

You could also rent one to start with. Or get one of those electronic ones.

Sorry not much help. Hopefully somebody more knowledgeable comes along!

snorkie Fri 06-May-11 13:28:48

Are you looking new or second hand? We bought an ancient beast and it's been fine (two children bashed away on it, one gave up, the other continued). It's a Challen, a make I'd not heard of, but apparently they made decent pianos and it's been reasonably looked after in its life - you do need someone who knows about pianos to check it for you unless you buy from a reputable shop or you might end up with one that needs a lot of work doing or is perhaps not economic to repair. We had to have the hammers filed down after about 10 years, but generally it's been no trouble. Ds reckons it's better than some of the school pianos, but not as nice as some of the grand pianos he's played (which include 2 Steinways,so no great surprise there!).

If you are looking at new ones Yamahas seem to be popular and quite nice.

Gidleigh Tue 10-May-11 07:50:15

Thanks for your replies. I went into the Edgeware Road showroom and was recommended the Kawai K2. Its not a name I was familiar with so I googled it and it got mixed reviews. Some stating it was a good starter piano and others saying its was aweful. I have heard of Yamahas and Steinways but whilst I'm willing to make an sizable investment the costs even for an upright seem incredible. I think the entry point Yamaha was 5000 and forget steinway it was even more in the region of 8000-9000. I would look at the second hand market but the dealer told me the price savings is only modest as good pianos retain their value. I started out with a budget of 3000 to 5000 but for a very good piano which will last for the long run without the need for upgrade. So very curious what others have opted for. Any thoughts of course welcome

snorkie Tue 10-May-11 08:38:26

Ah sorry about that - I knew Steinways were a ridiculous price but hadn't realised Yamahas were as much as that. The dealer presumably has a vested interest in selling you a new piano, so I wouldn't necessarily believe what he said - though it probably has an element of truth. I think there are good second hand pianos available that can sound nicer than low-mid end new ones. It might be worth contacting a few piano tuners and asking their opinion too - as they go around seeing pianos every day they should have a good idea of which last well, sound good and give least trouble either new or second hand. If they also restore pianos then they are likely to be as biased towards reconditioned ones as your dealer was to new ones, so be warned.

MollieO Tue 10-May-11 09:29:51

I got this one in cherry rather than rosewood. It has weighted keys and a nice tone. It also has a facility where you can record your playing. It was recommended as a good beginner's piano. I reckon it will do Ds up to grade 5. If he gets that far I'll happily shell out serious dosh for a proper piano. Until then this one is fine. Best of all you can plug in headphones grin

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 10-May-11 18:36:30

Gidleigh - I got a Kemble second hand for around 4500 (it's a hybrid acoustic one where you can press a pedal and it becomes silent - very handy for terraced houses) and I'm intending it to last for a long time. (I play myself.) I've been to a showroom on the Edgeware Road too. (I assume there's only one?) They were quite big on Kawai. wink But to be honest I think 3000-5000 will get you a pretty good piano to last for quite a while. There's a shop in Ruislip who does reconditioned Yamahas - I tried a few and thought they were pretty nice (though I've set my heart on the Kemble by then). Can dig out the address if you like. You can get pretty cheap Yamahas (B-series, I think) but I couldn't like them at all. Where abouts are you? I've also been to showrooms in Hanwell and Regents Park (saw a red grand piano - apparently they hire that out) and Surbiton. There's bound to be something for you in one of these places!

activate Tue 10-May-11 18:41:08

we have an old upright that we got free - look locally there's always people wanting to get rid of pianos

you will have to pay for mover though - a professional mover if you don't want it damaged which is expensive

that should see children through beginners stages and if they want to play more you invest in a better one

well that's what we did

virgiltracey Tue 10-May-11 18:44:05

I would avoid buying one at all until your eldest has started lessons. What if they hate it? Lots of the boys at school practice on keyboards initially.

Timetowaste Tue 10-May-11 22:12:08

I got lucky - but I used ebay. I did all the shops to get all the info out of the dealers as to what one looks for in a piano. Then went on ebay.

Best bit advice I had was find one that has got their child through their grades and now their child has left home and they are downsizing.

I bought a piano for £400 off ebay. I got a professional mover in for £90, and a piano tuner round for £40.

The piano tuner asked where I'd got piano from, he said it was fantastic bargain, and would last through the grades and beyond, and I would not need to buy another piano, unless we purely chose to, not down to quality of piano.

So my advice would be trawl the shops to get the info, then sit and search on ebay/gumtree etc for "the" one to come up.

AnnieBesant Tue 10-May-11 22:17:10

We moved our piano 250 miles in a horsebox shock

Gidleigh Sat 14-May-11 15:27:09

Hi, UptoapointLordCopper we are in NW3 so all the shops you mention is within reach. It sounds like if I am patient some good second hand bargains are available. I would like to see if there are good deals for Yamaha P series or YUS series. Yes, Edgeware road was pushing Kawai big time!

I feel very nervous about Ebay mainly because I have not a clue. But good to know bargains can be had in any event.

UptoapointLordCopper Sat 14-May-11 19:08:41

Gidleigh - I tried two shops in Ruislip across from each other, one of them is
Little and Lampert Pianos but can't remember what the other one is called. Also tried Markson piano - pretty messy shop but lots to try and they are friendldy - have you tried them? But I eventually bought from Piano warehouse (the Surbiton branch). One of the Ruislip shop sells reconditioned Yamahas (the other one sells anything but Yamahas).

cordyblue Sat 14-May-11 19:19:32

We rented a nice upright for a while at £30 a month, thought about buying it but decided against it. Then got a really good Yamaha electric piano for £1000 (discounted the more expensive ones as this one nicer in tone, look at reviews and buy from a good shop. My shop recommended the mid range £1000 in total yamaha - £700 basic price - rather than the more expensive ones) last autumn. Main reason being, we knew we had to move house at least twice in twelve months - moving not good for decent pianos and even when we buy a good piano later on, the electric one is a fab investment for practicing purposes.
We will eventually become a two piano house grin. Thinking of getting a german made grand that may need work and money spending on it in the future. But completely happy with the electric yamaha for now! It does nothing very fancy, but that's great. If I want an organ, I'll buy one... baffled at why electric pianos have so many gimmicks. We just needed something for DD1 to get better on.

ellodarlin Sat 14-May-11 19:36:17

I would get a good digital (like a Rowland) and upgrade when they are better older . They are perfectly good to learn on and have the supreme advantage OF HAVING HEADPHONES which are a blessing with a learning child. Ditto volume control. You can move them about shove them in a childs bedroom without damaging them, you don't have to worry about damp and you don't have to get them tuned. There isn't an appreciable difference between a decent digital and an ok acoustic for a beginner. You can also adjust the touch sensitivity and change the pitch and my personal fave, split the keyboard into 2 'sides' so 2 people can play a duet as if they were on 2 pianos.

UptoapointLordCopper Sat 14-May-11 20:48:43

I've got a silent piano - proper acoustic piano but turns into digital piano by depressing middle pedal. So headphones for when it's too embarrassing to let people hear what a hash you make of a song. Can also record and play back. Kids love that. grin

UniS Sun 05-Jun-11 21:19:51

I acquired a 90 yr old upright someone wanted rid of. Had it tuned and tuner reckons I got a bargain as ist a chappel and hasn't been moved about much and hasn't dried out. Would 2nd Snorkies comment that would do well to take a friend who has some knowledge when buying 2nd hand. I got lucky, I said yes before I'd even seen it, but it was free so no skin off my nose if it was a lemon.

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