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Replacing a piano

(15 Posts)
BackforGood Wed 07-Jan-15 21:21:06

We need to replace our old upright piano.
To be fair, it owes us nothing, and we always knew it would be "ok for them to start out on but would need replacing if/as they got more serious".

dd1 is now playing a lot - probably around Grade 6 standard, although she refuses to do Grades (is doing GCSE at the moment if that is at all relevant). She's playing for pleasure, but FAR more than she ever did when sitting exams.

Anyhow - I really have no idea what I'm looking for.
Would a digital piano be the right move? I understand I'd have to get one with 'weighted keys' but don't know beyond that what sort of questions I should be asking.

Can anyone help please?

BackforGood Wed 07-Jan-15 22:02:41


Noregretsatall Wed 07-Jan-15 22:13:23

As a (lapsed) pianist I would advise against getting a digital. If she's grade 6 she's going to become frustrated that she can't achieve the sound she wants from a digital. I know because I did a music degree and bought a digital thinking it offered me the best of both worlds (headphones etc) but I ended up saving up and buying an acoustic three years later as I could not get a satisfactory resonance and authentic sound from the digital. The sound will always be 'artificial'.

Berrie Wed 07-Jan-15 22:19:01

We've just replaced ours with a digital one. Our children are only grade 1/2 and we are anticipating space issues while we have an extension built this year. When shopping for it we were told that from grade 4 onwards digital was not really suitable and I'd agree that that although it sounds OK it isn't really an actual 'instrument' and I get little pleasure form playing it myself.

MoreBeta Wed 07-Jan-15 22:24:42

Get a top quality digital piano with a full keyboard and keys with proper weightings. It is really important for fingering.

Good music shops often have second hand ones for sale right now as musicians are often cash strapped after Xmas.

Bonus is headphones make for silent practice too!

BackforGood Wed 07-Jan-15 23:49:35

to be fair - although I'd have REALLY appreciated headphones over the last 10 years (from when eldest had first lesson wink), I actually love listening to her play now it sounds so much better - so I'm not worried about headphones grin

So - opinion 2 : 1 against , at the moment.

If I go with an upright - what should I be looking for in that?

Ferguson Wed 07-Jan-15 23:59:10

I have replied on similar topics many times, so if you search on my name, keyboard, piano and music etc you will find various replies to this kind of question.

Unless you can easily afford the £10K to £15K for a worthwhile acoustic piano, you will be better off with a reliable digital piano. You need 88 weighted keys, variable degrees of touch sensitivity, three pedals, and MIDI In/Out (and ideally Thru). If it has built in recording facility that is good, but you can always record via a computer.

As to the 'artificial' claim for the digital sound, this may well be true for cheaper digitals, but these days there are software packages that run on good computers, that are actually digital versions of 'classic' pianos, including Steinway, Bosendorfer, etc. for around £150:

BackforGood Thu 08-Jan-15 00:01:39

No, I can't afford £10k or £15K grin

Thanks Ferguson - that's really helpful (and has evened up the vote!)

pootlebug Thu 08-Jan-15 00:09:19

I would far rather play a pretty average piano (nowhere near £10-15k) thank digital one. Kind of the same way as I'd rather go for a run along the river than on a treadmill in the gym.
(I have two degrees in music, including one from a music college with piano as my instrument fwiw)

pootlebug Thu 08-Jan-15 00:10:11

Than a digital one, not thank digital one. Stupid phone

ChocPretzels Thu 08-Jan-15 00:15:24

Where are you OP? If you're anywhere near London I would recommend John Reid pianos. Big range and good service.

mrscumberbatch Thu 08-Jan-15 00:18:08

I quite like my digital piano. It was mine though- not a family item so when I was living in various student flats it came with me. (Which was lovely.)

It also meant that I could transport it to recording studios, play gigs etc

I'd love to have an acoustic but just not practical at the moment

BackforGood Thu 08-Jan-15 17:35:41

Thanks folks.
No, not near London. In Birmingham if anyone has any recommendations there ? smile

Ferguson Thu 08-Jan-15 21:04:26

I guess if you shop carefully for a second hand upright, and it is guaranteed etc, then if you find a suitable one, that could meet your needs. But an upright will need regular tuning, and may be sensitive to temperature, humidity etc.

Also, if and when you do buy, see what you can get 'thrown in' for free - stool, music etc.

I once advised a MNer on getting a digital piano, not realizing they were going to react to it almost immediately. They paid £600 plus £60 for the stool, which, had they haggled they might well have got included. Like buying a car, dealers are keen to make a sale, so beat them down if you can!

I don't personally know shops in Bham, but just found these:

BackforGood Thu 08-Jan-15 21:33:29

Thanks all! smile

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