Buying a Grand Piano – Helpful tips

The Grand Piano - photo by Zach Klein

Interested in buying a grand piano? Then take heed — one piano does not fit all! Here’s the skinny on what you need to know and why you need to know it.

It’s hard to resist the beauty of this musical instrument and upon first sight, it has a unique way of stirring the strong impulse to buy one. Aside from the cost factor, there are a lot of things that must be considered before you pull out that check book or credit card because pianos are as unique as the people who play them.

This article will describe some of the most common types with a special emphasis on grand.

Vertical or Upright Pianos

Vertical or upright pianos differs from a grand piano in both design and height. There are typically four different types of upright pianos and these are the instruments that are most commonly seen in schools and churches. They can be as tall as 60 inches, yet the exact height of an upright piano determines its specific type.

Spinet pianos are the shortest of the bunch standing at only 36 inches tall. The taller upright pianos that are 40 inches or taller are the console  (40 inches), studio (45 inches), and professional pianos (48 inches).

The Grand Piano

On average, this kind of piano has about ten thousand moving parts inside — each lending to the rich sound that its so famous for. Their unique shapes lend to their beauty while their sizes help define the meaning behind their “grand” essence.

Take note however, that not all of them are immense.

The baby grand piano for example is usually no longer than six feet. But the concert grand (the longest of all) can be nine feet long or more!

The longer it is, the more deep and rich the sound — in particular the sound of the bass tones.

It’s quite easy to recognize one of these instruments because they traditionally follow a conventional design: a curved right side and a straight left side. This gives the piano its “wing” shape.

Recommended Makers

If we were to pick the brands of the best grands in the world, we’d probably have to choose Steinway. They set the bar for almost every other manufacturer worldwide, but their costs match their quality.

My second choice would be Baldwin. Baldwin pianos are very popular however American pianos shouldn’t be ignored due to their solid quality and construction. The problem with American made pianos is that they’re frequently more expensive than foreign-made pianos!

One thing is for sure, and that is the sound generated from a grand piano differs from country to country. An American-made instrument will sound different from an instrument made in Germany or Japan for example, so you’re well advised to experiment before investing.

Posted by Tania Gleaves

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