Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Deciding a New or Used Piano

I'm in the process of getting a piano for my children (and myself). So, naturally I'm faced with a decision to make, whether to buy a new or used piano.

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 difference between now and 12 years back was mainly
  • 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.

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