I have to make a similar decision 12 years back when I started to learn classical guitar.
After all these years of experience, I thought the experience will help me in deciding and even sometime along the way, I have preached to buy the best classical guitar you can afford.
But, here am I, facing the same decision again, I simply cannot help but to consider all the options again.
This time round, the difficulty is the same, if not more difficult.
My primary consideration is
- a good instrument will help and maintain the student interest
- a beginner cannot determine what is the best tone for herself
- budget constraint
- the instrument cost this time round is higher
- I am having a tighter budget this time
- Probably, after many years of playing the guitar, there is a strong urge to start with a good instrument
So, you can see the contradiction here.
After some thoughts, I think it is probably best for me to start with a 42" (or longer) used piano.
The reason for using 42" as a guide is a thought I have after reading the different classification of piano mentioned in Larry Fine's book, The Piano Book.
I do like to have a 43" as a base, but found that the price range is substantially different for that 1", thus, I thought I might not want to restrict myself to 43" and above only.
The only concern of getting a used is the condition. Thus, hopefully, after 12 years of listening, playing and choosing guitars, I can do a relatively acceptable job with the help of a piano technician.