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#2305922 - 07/23/14 12:25 PM Newbie Needs Help
DancerJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/14
Posts: 36
I am not only completely new to buying a piano, but also to playing the piano. Long story short, I finally want to do something about my dream to learn how to play the piano. Since I am good at learning something new on my own, I want to start to learn the piano on my own for a while. To be able to do that, I need a piano. But I have absolutely no idea where to start. First I was shocked how expensive pianos are. My budget is under $5K. I have been dreaming about playing the piano for decades. Once I start, I will not stop. So I don't want to start with a piano that will last only a few years. Where and how can I get a good piano that will help me become a true pianist? And what kind of piano would that be? I am in MD if it matters.

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#2305954 - 07/23/14 01:10 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: DancerJ]
musdan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1165
Hi Piano Jill - welcome to Piano World - we're a friendly group of music lovers.

The Piano Forum is a good place to post your question - you will get good advice on what to look for when looking for a piano.

Follow your dreams and if you can find a good teacher.

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#2305971 - 07/23/14 01:44 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: DancerJ]
briansaddleback Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/14
Posts: 220
Loc: Irvine CA
You got to have a true passion for piano and music. There will be days (maybe even a week or two) where you will have to put in hours of work and see no definite results. You just got to keep pounding it out , think things out differently at times, and have faith that the results will show eventually. This is reason why most people who say they want to learn, drop it after a month or two. They did not know it is 90% perspiration and grit. But the true piano learner finds enjoyment in that perspiration, while the others want to receive a quick payoff.
_________________________

Cloches a travers les feuilles
Minstrels

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#2305978 - 07/23/14 02:00 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: DancerJ]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1364
Loc: Reseda, California
Given your budget and that you're starting from scratch, I'd suggest a good weighted velocity sensitive digital with headphones. You can get one for about $2K, and bank the rest of your cash. Figure on adding an acoustic grand a year or two out, and keeping the digital for headphone practice. Every serious player should have both, but start with a digital, and try acoustics here and there whenever you get the opportunity. That way you'll know what you really want when you finally go for the acoustic.
_________________________
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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#2305998 - 07/23/14 02:34 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: DancerJ]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7605
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: PianoJill
Where and how can I get a good piano that will help me become a true pianist?

You cannot get one for $5 thousand, that's for certain.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2306009 - 07/23/14 02:59 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: Polyphonist]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 620
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: PianoJill
Where and how can I get a good piano that will help me become a true pianist?

You cannot get one for $5 thousand, that's for certain.


Don't mind Polyphonist smile.

What he is saying may be strictly true, in the sense that if you want to "go all the way" (whatever that means to you ... whether it's graduating from a conservatory, winning competitions, becoming a professional musician with regular gigs, or something else entirely), at some point you'll almost definitely want an instrument that costs significantly more than 5000 dollars. Mine cost me significantly more than that, and I am *almost* just as green behind the ears as you. But since I got my current instrument, I will tell anyone who can even remotely afford it to treat themselves to a grand piano (and not just any grand piano ... go to many stores, play as many pianos as you can, and pick the one that you're in love with).

That said, there are many people here currently making their living from piano (as teachers, accompanists, performers, etc.) who got started on instruments that they themselves now describe as "piles of firewood". By which I do not mean to say that you should not be discriminating in what you choose to get. A better piano will help keep you more motivated. But given your budget constraints, JohnSprung's advice strikes me as solid. Start with a digital (you'll need one regardless), and as your proficiency develops, try out as many acoustic pianos of different makes and models as you can. Your tastes will develop as you learn to play. Also, you can't *truly* make an informed piano choice until you can seriously play-test any and all instruments you're considering for purchase.

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#2306018 - 07/23/14 03:18 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: Saranoya]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7605
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Saranoya
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: PianoJill
Where and how can I get a good piano that will help me become a true pianist?

You cannot get one for $5 thousand, that's for certain.


Don't mind Polyphonist smile.

What he is saying may be strictly true, in the sense that if you want to "go all the way" (whatever that means to you ... whether it's graduating from a conservatory, winning competitions, becoming a professional musician with regular gigs, or something else entirely), at some point you'll almost definitely want an instrument that costs significantly more than 5000 dollars. Mine cost me significantly more than that...

Pianos are expensive - it's just a fact of life, and you get what you pay for. My current instrument put me out more than a hundred grand. I'm not saying a good instrument has to cost that much, but you cannot purchase even a good upright piano for less than many times the OP's maximum price. I've just found a Steinway upright available for purchase at $10,000, which appears to be new - I have no idea whether it's any good or not, but perhaps more options would open up to the OP if they could expand their budget.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2306022 - 07/23/14 03:23 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: Saranoya]
DancerJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/14
Posts: 36
Great advice. Thank you all.

But I am curious.
Originally Posted By: Saranoya

Start with a digital (you'll need one regardless)

Why did you say that?

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#2306023 - 07/23/14 03:32 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: DancerJ]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 620
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: PianoJill
Great advice. Thank you all.

But I am curious.
Originally Posted By: Saranoya

Start with a digital (you'll need one regardless)

Why did you say that?


I assume you have neighbours smile. Your neighbours probably won't appreciate it if, in order to get your daily practice in on top of whatever else you do in life, you find yourself having to play at ungodly hours (early in the morning, late at night, right when they're trying to put their baby to sleep, during their college-age daughter's mid-terms, ...). That's where a digital (which can be played with headphones) will come in very handy.

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#2306024 - 07/23/14 03:33 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: Saranoya]
DancerJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/14
Posts: 36
I see. Thank you for the followup.

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#2306054 - 07/23/14 04:33 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: DancerJ]
lean to tail Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/20/10
Posts: 37
Loc: Triop
Originally Posted By: PianoJill
I see. Thank you for the followup.


Check craigslist for people giving away pianos. I'm sure you could find a more than decent one that would be great for starting out on for the first few years and it'll be free. I got mine that way

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#2306061 - 07/23/14 04:47 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: lean to tail]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 620
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: lean to tail
Check craigslist for people giving away pianos. I'm sure you could find a more than decent one that would be great for starting out on for the first few years and it'll be free. I got mine that way


I'm sure that this is true. I'm also reasonably sure that the overwhelming majority of pianos one can get for free from Craigslist are the proverbial "piles of firewood" that I referred to earlier.

If someone is willing to give away their piano for no money, usually it's either because:

a) They don't truly care about it (which probably means it won't have been tuned and maintained regularly during the time that they owned it).

b) It cost a pittance when they themselves got it (which probably means it was already ancient and/or badly-maintained when it changed owners last).

c) The current owner knows that the piano will need a ton of work in order to make it playable, or

d) They just really need to get rid of this thing, fast, due to whatever personal circumstances are forcing them to move.

It's only in the latter case that you *might* get a really good deal out of this, in terms of ending up with a quality instrument free of charge. But even then, people who know what they have (i.e., a good piano) usually also know what to sell it for. If you just want to "try your hand at this" and are on a tight budget, then I suppose a "free if you come get it" Craigslist ad can be a Godsend. But the OP sounds pretty serious about this, and does have some money to spend.

If I were you, OP, I'd either get a new digital for about half the budget, and spend the next two years testing acoustics until I found the perfect one (as suggested before); or I'd get a quality second-hand upright, play-tested by a knowledgeable friend, and inspected before purchase by a qualified piano technician.

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#2306074 - 07/23/14 05:10 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: DancerJ]
fizikisto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 512
Loc: Hernando, MS
PianoJill,
I agree with the advice that given your budgetary constraints, a digital piano is likely the way to go. The technology of digital pianos has advanced tremendously over the years. They are really amazing now. Most casual listeners probably couldn't tell the difference between music played on an acoustic vs music played on a digital. They are that good.

If you go the digital route, you'll need to decide if you want to go with a console style (looks like an upright piano, generally) or a slab style (often called a stage piano -- it looks like, well a big slab and it may or may not have speakers built in depending on the model). The console models have the advantages of looking much nicer (like a real, acoustic piano) and usually have very nice speaker systems built in. The slab type generally have advantages of being very portable and taking up less room. Personally I prefer the slab style because I live in a small house and don't have a lot of room.

You might want to post a question in the digital pianos section of this forum. You can get a lot of good advice there about what brands to consider. If I were going to get a console piano, I would look at the HP series from Roland, which has roland's new PHA-4 action which feels just amazing to play. For a lot of people, a digital piano is more than they need (to play something that sounds good, feels good and that they can enjoy and share with their family/friends). It indeed could be something to last many many years.

Another option is that a lot of music stores will let you rent digital or acoustic pianos for some months to try them out (and often let you apply a portion of your rent to the price should you decide to purchase it). So if you're unsure you might try something for a month or two just to see how it fits. )

Good Luck with your search!
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2306089 - 07/23/14 05:48 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: DancerJ]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5122
Even though my own piano is a digital, costing, coincidentally, just under $5000 when I bought it four years ago (yes, it's very expensive for a digital), I'm not sure that I'd recommend a digital for a beginner whose main interest is classical music, unless there are neighbor and/or space issues (like I have).

But as the OP has said she wants to learn on her own, I guess that classical music is not her priority, in which case I'd second others here who recommend a digital - with a budget of nearly $5K, almost all the top-tier digitals with excellent actions and realistic simulation of acoustic pianos in their touch-response are within her grasp, and there should be no need to upgrade for years and years, if at all. And of course, no need for regular tunings and regulation, therefore no further cost.

Regardless, I'd still recommend a good teacher, sooner rather than later. It's all too easy to develop bad technique and habits when learning to play on your own: piano playing is a very unnatural and highly technical activity, like skiing.......
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2306211 - 07/23/14 10:52 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: bennevis]
Brian Lucas Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 969
Originally Posted By: bennevis
I'm not sure that I'd recommend a digital for a beginner whose main interest is classical music, unless there are neighbor and/or space issues (like I have).

I echo this thought. People wanting to play only classical music fall into the "acoustic only" category. So if your goals are to play like a concert pianist, I'd stick with acoustics. However, for most people, technology has made digital a great option, especially when you factor in hooking it up to a computer for recording and using sampled sounds.

In fact, if your interests lie in multiple styles of music, and even multiple instruments (organ, for example), digital is definitely the way to go. A $5K budget is great for a digital. But whatever you end up getting, be sure you play it first. Both acoustic and digital pianos have a wide range of touch, velocity curves and their own specific issues. Try lots of options if you can. Make sure you're happy with the feel and sound of whatever you end up getting.
_________________________
-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
My Sight Reading eBook
My Music

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#2306234 - 07/23/14 11:50 PM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: DancerJ]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1969
Loc: Philadelphia area
Jill, To add to all that's been said so far, you could look into renting a piano to go along with your keyboard. Most reputable dealers offer rental program pianos as an affordable starting point. It could give you an opportunity to start playing and find which style of piano you like before making a purchase.

I'm a big fan of Keyboards for the obvious reasons of volume control and portability and I don't consider them toys or inferior instruments. I started playing on pianos and have no problem with switching back and forth between pianos and keyboards. You may be interested in the thread I was reading yesterday which discusses the difficulties of transitioning from only playing on a keyboard for a few years to playing a piano. I can't remember if it is here in the Adult Beginners Forum or in the Pianist Corner.

Most importantly, start playing!


Enjoy

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#2306268 - 07/24/14 02:12 AM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: DancerJ]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1314
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: PianoJill
. . . Once I start, I will not stop. So I don't want to start with a piano that will last only a few years. . . .


Why not?

My suggestion:

. . . Start with a piano that may only last you a few years.

. . . Don't pay too much for it, and don't consider it a
. . . "lifetime investment".

I vote with those who say:

. . . Get a good digital piano ($2000 will buy that),
. . . and use it until you know you need something better,
. . . and have more money to spend.

At that time, you may want to buy an acoustic piano. But -- unless you're _really_ talented, and work _really_ hard, and have a teacher -- it will probably take several years for you to reach that point.

Then, you'll have some understanding of what you _do_ need, and you'll be able to find it.

Don't fool yourself into thinking that -- by magic -- a wonderful piano will make you into a wonderful pianist. There's a lot of musical knowledge to master, and a lot of technique to get under your fingers. For most of that, in the early stages, a DP will work as well as an acoustic.

. Charles

PS -- bias -- in a similar situation, I bought a Casio PX-350. It did what I needed it to do. _I'm_ the limiting factor in how well I play.


Edited by Charles Cohen (07/24/14 02:13 AM)

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#2306309 - 07/24/14 06:14 AM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: DancerJ]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1587
Loc: Australia
I have been learning for 20 months now and bought a Yamaha P105 at the start. I have since tried more expensive DP's and none of them thrill me. While the piano was cheap I did get a little bored of the on board sound and upgraded into VST software and recently bought a very nice pair of monitor speakers. So far this would have cost $1,500AU (USD probably not much different given the exchange rate). I am not planning on changing any time soon and I could well imagine getting another few years out of this set up. I know now I will always have a digital (to be considerate to my wife)but I hope to have a good acoustic one day.

In all of the time I spend at the piano very little time is spent playing a complete piece just for pleasure. Much of the time is spent in practice, scales, exercises, sight reading, and learning small sections heavily repeated. I don't need a great piano to do all of those things, in fact I think it would be a waste of a good instrument. If I continue on my current improvement trajectory one I will need a good acoustic but when that time comes it will have to be the very best I can afford (might have to put a kidney on ebay).

Another thing to consider is how often to you go away? Like many before me once I started playing I never want to miss a day. I only go away a couple of times a year but when I do my P105 comes with me even if I only get five minutes a day it is enough of a fix.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2306328 - 07/24/14 08:10 AM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: DancerJ]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11929
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: PianoJill
I am not only completely new to buying a piano, but also to playing the piano. Long story short, I finally want to do something about my dream to learn how to play the piano. Since I am good at learning something new on my own, I want to start to learn the piano on my own for a while. To be able to do that, I need a piano. But I have absolutely no idea where to start. First I was shocked how expensive pianos are. My budget is under $5K. I have been dreaming about playing the piano for decades. Once I start, I will not stop. So I don't want to start with a piano that will last only a few years. Where and how can I get a good piano that will help me become a true pianist? And what kind of piano would that be? I am in MD if it matters.


There are a lot of things you say here which are common misconceptions that beginners have that I'd like to address:

1) You have had a lifelong dream of learning to play piano, which is great. Why do you think you would be able to teach yourself better than a good teacher can? You admit you know nothing about piano, so how can you teach yourself? What you will do is read books and watch videos and try to play, and in the process learn bad habits that will make playing more difficult for you. When you do finally seek out help, that teacher will have to take you way back to the beginning and start you over with a proper technique. You will waste time.

2) I agree you should always get the best piano you can afford. Seeing as how your budget does not allow for a good grand piano (any grand less than 5'5" is probably not worth investing in), many digital pianos rival the feeling of grand pianos and might be worthwhile to look into.

3) Chances are you will want to change pianos at some point. That is perfectly normal. As you learn you will develop your own desires in what kind of piano you want - heavy or light action, bright or warm sound, etc. So don't expect that you will just buy one piano and that will last you, unless you can afford a larger grand piano.

Here's my suggestion: spend $2-3k on a good digital. I highly recommend the Kawai MP11, which I believe has a very good grand piano-feeling action. The sound on digitals will all fall short, however. Test out Rolands and Yamahas in that price range as well. Feel free to jump over to the Digital Piano forum for more recommendations.

Since the MP11 does not have a cabinet, you will want to buy a stand and bench and speakers for it. After all is said and done, you'll be looking at $3k total for it. That leaves you with $2k to pay for piano lessons. I'm not sure what the going rate is in MD, but let's say it's $60/hr. If you can take 45 minute lessons once/week, your $2k would give you about 10 months worth of lessons. I think that is going to be your best investment.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2306329 - 07/24/14 08:14 AM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: Brian Lucas]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 668
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: Brian Lucas

I echo this thought. People wanting to play only classical music fall into the "acoustic only" category. So if your goals are to play like a concert pianist, I'd stick with acoustics.

This is completely untrue. As I have discovered over the past 11 months, my skills have progressed much more quickly since we acquired an acoustic instrument. The action is better, I have more control over small passages, and it sounds eons better.

There are good reasons for starting with a digital piano; my wife and I did the same thing. Our choice to upgrade to an acoustic instrument had NOTHING to do with our choice of music or potential aspirations.


Edited by BrianDX (07/24/14 08:25 AM)
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"

2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
Current: Diabelli - Allegretto; Schein - Allemande


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#2306336 - 07/24/14 08:23 AM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: DancerJ]
MandyD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 107
Loc: Australia
I had the same dilemma as you Jill, we had an old German upright (ornamental firewood) but I was looking at getting a newer piano for both my daughter and myself (both beginners), and yes I did have my heart set on an acoustic. It was only after some suggestions about going digital from this forum that I started researching digital pianos and have since bought one. I couldn't be happier. When I am doing my boring repetitive scales over and over again I am not annoying the crud out of my neighbours because I can turn it down or put headphones on. My 8 year old daughter wont get off it and she loves being able to record what she has just played and play it back again. She can also put the headphones on which saves my sanity from having to listen to Skipping Frogs or Ode to Joy for the upteenth million time lol. Another deciding factor is that my house has heaps of stairs to the entrance which would be a nightmare to get an acoustic up. One day down the track (when I win Tattslotto) I hope to get that expensive grand piano but until then we will keep practicing and learning on the digital and getting lessons with our teachers acoustic. I will say that in the short time we have had the digital I have seen a noted difference in my daughters and my own playing. Me because I'm not so self conscious about playing and people listening in, and my daughter because she is actually getting on it and playing.


Edited by MandyD (07/24/14 08:27 AM)
_________________________

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#2306337 - 07/24/14 08:24 AM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: Morodiene]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 668
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
There are a lot of things you say here which are common misconceptions that beginners have that I'd like to address:

1) You have had a lifelong dream of learning to play piano, which is great. Why do you think you would be able to teach yourself better than a good teacher can? You admit you know nothing about piano, so how can you teach yourself? What you will do is read books and watch videos and try to play, and in the process learn bad habits that will make playing more difficult for you. When you do finally seek out help, that teacher will have to take you way back to the beginning and start you over with a proper technique. You will waste time.

2) I agree you should always get the best piano you can afford. Seeing as how your budget does not allow for a good grand piano (any grand less than 5'5" is probably not worth investing in), many digital pianos rival the feeling of grand pianos and might be worthwhile to look into.

3) Chances are you will want to change pianos at some point. That is perfectly normal. As you learn you will develop your own desires in what kind of piano you want - heavy or light action, bright or warm sound, etc. So don't expect that you will just buy one piano and that will last you, unless you can afford a larger grand piano.

Here's my suggestion: spend $2-3k on a good digital. I highly recommend the Kawai MP11, which I believe has a very good grand piano-feeling action. The sound on digitals will all fall short, however. Test out Rolands and Yamahas in that price range as well. Feel free to jump over to the Digital Piano forum for more recommendations.

Since the MP11 does not have a cabinet, you will want to buy a stand and bench and speakers for it. After all is said and done, you'll be looking at $3k total for it. That leaves you with $2k to pay for piano lessons. I'm not sure what the going rate is in MD, but let's say it's $60/hr. If you can take 45 minute lessons once/week, your $2k would give you about 10 months worth of lessons. I think that is going to be your best investment.

Morodien you are dead on with your comments here, every one of them.

The only thing I would add is that in our case it only took about six months for our $2.5K Kawai CN34 to start hindering our progress. There were nuiances of the pieces we were learning that were just not happening when we look our lessons on our teacher's Yamaha C3. Also, because of the different feel of the Yamaha's action, it would take 5-10 minutes almost every week to get "used" to the feel of her piano before I could get down to real business.

That is why I thought that if PianoJill could find a really nice used acoustic upright in the $3K range, this transition from a "starter" piano to her final ultimate instrument could be postponed a bit longer, especially if the ergonomics of her house did not require headphone capabilities.

Here is how I would sum up my question to you: Assuming that an acoustic piano is possible in her home both in terms of space and volume control, if she could buy either a quality digital piano or a used acoustic upright in excellent condition for the same money, as a professional teacher are there any reasons to still recommend the DP?


Edited by BrianDX (07/24/14 08:50 AM)
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"

2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
Current: Diabelli - Allegretto; Schein - Allemande


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#2306350 - 07/24/14 08:48 AM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: BrianDX]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11929
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
There are a lot of things you say here which are common misconceptions that beginners have that I'd like to address:

1) You have had a lifelong dream of learning to play piano, which is great. Why do you think you would be able to teach yourself better than a good teacher can? You admit you know nothing about piano, so how can you teach yourself? What you will do is read books and watch videos and try to play, and in the process learn bad habits that will make playing more difficult for you. When you do finally seek out help, that teacher will have to take you way back to the beginning and start you over with a proper technique. You will waste time.

2) I agree you should always get the best piano you can afford. Seeing as how your budget does not allow for a good grand piano (any grand less than 5'5" is probably not worth investing in), many digital pianos rival the feeling of grand pianos and might be worthwhile to look into.

3) Chances are you will want to change pianos at some point. That is perfectly normal. As you learn you will develop your own desires in what kind of piano you want - heavy or light action, bright or warm sound, etc. So don't expect that you will just buy one piano and that will last you, unless you can afford a larger grand piano.

Here's my suggestion: spend $2-3k on a good digital. I highly recommend the Kawai MP11, which I believe has a very good grand piano-feeling action. The sound on digitals will all fall short, however. Test out Rolands and Yamahas in that price range as well. Feel free to jump over to the Digital Piano forum for more recommendations.

Since the MP11 does not have a cabinet, you will want to buy a stand and bench and speakers for it. After all is said and done, you'll be looking at $3k total for it. That leaves you with $2k to pay for piano lessons. I'm not sure what the going rate is in MD, but let's say it's $60/hr. If you can take 45 minute lessons once/week, your $2k would give you about 10 months worth of lessons. I think that is going to be your best investment.

Morodien you are dead on with your comments here, every one of them.

The only thing I would add is that in our case it only took about six months for our $2.5K Kawai CN34 to start hindering our progress. There were nuiances of the pieces we were learning that were just not happening when we look our lessons on our teacher's Yamaha C3. Also, because of the different feel of the Yamaha's action, it would take 5-10 minutes almost every week to get "used" to the feel of her piano before I could get down to real business.

That is why I thought that if she could find a really nice used acoustic upright in the $3K range, this transition from a "starter" piano to her final ultimate instrument could be postponed a bit longer, especially if the ergonomics of her house did not require headphone capabilities.


In order to really get a good upright, though, she'd have to spend more than $3k I think. And I do believe that a digital in that price range would rival the action of a grand, vs. an upright. In the end, and upright action is still upright action, which is very different from a grand action, and you miss out on lots of nuances.

So we can agree, the ideal is a grand piano (and the bigger, the better), but digitals these days can take you quite far. You will always have an adjustment to a different piano that takes 5-10 minutes. Even between good acoustic grands.
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#2306376 - 07/24/14 09:21 AM Re: Newbie Needs Help [Re: Morodiene]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 668
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
[In order to really get a good upright, though, she'd have to spend more than $3k I think. And I do believe that a digital in that price range would rival the action of a grand, vs. an upright. In the end, and upright action is still upright action, which is very different from a grand action, and you miss out on lots of nuances.

Before we bought our Kawai CN34 I did a lot of research, and everything told me that for under $2500 this was the DP to get. When we first started playing it, we were both quite happy with the action. It was much better than a family member's Yamaha around the same price.

However, having said all that, the Kawai's action wasn't even close to the feel of the C3. Maybe we made the wrong choice, and there are DPs out there in that price range that do rival a grand action. It's just that in our case, this wasn't true.


Edited by BrianDX (07/24/14 09:21 AM)
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