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Buying a piano

Acoustic or digital?

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#1 celloholic

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Posted 28 September 2019 - 11:54

My son wants to buy a second hand piano for his 7 year old son who is about to start lessons by the traditional method.  He himself learnt by the Suzuki method and played to grade 8 and his teacher used both an upright acoustic and a Clavinova so he has experience of both. He's asked my advice as to which he should go for.  In my head, a small modern Kemble like mine would be ideal (but I'm probably biased and I'm not parting with it yet!).  It's obviously a lot easier to transport a Clavinova, the price might be better, the care easier and I'm aware that, in this age, the versatility of a digital piano has a great appeal for young people but I'm slightly anxious that, once he discovers all the bells and whistles of the digital piano, he may be distracted from the job in hand.  Any advice welcome!


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#2 BadStrad

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Posted 28 September 2019 - 12:07

Worth thinking about where would the instrument be positioned? Unless your son's family live in a bungalow, the piano will most likely be in a "family" room. OK if they have a study/dining room/spare room, but not so good if piano practice is going to clash with other family activities (if there are siblings and TV/computer games/homework/etc in the same room). In which case a keyboard might be a better option.
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#3 hummingbird

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Posted 28 September 2019 - 16:45

I'd go for a digital under the circumstances:

1. He'd be able to practise with headphones if disturbing other family members or the neighbours might be a problem.

2. If not too big, he might be able to have it in his own room.

3. If sufficiently portable, it could be taken to play to grandparents etc.

4. The bells & whistles could perhaps be used as a carrot after he's done his practice.

5. It's a lot "cooler" to tell his schoolmates that he's got a keyboard with bells & whistles rather than a piano!


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#4 elemimele

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Posted 28 September 2019 - 18:28

Also, how confident do you feel about finding a reliable, decent-quality second-hand acoustic at a reasonable price, and transporting it successfully to its destination?


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#5 musicalmalc

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Posted 29 September 2019 - 11:08

If buying digital to start with, don't be tempted to spend a lot of money. Obviously electronic instruments do not hold their value like a decent quality acoustic would if cared for properly.

 

I would be tempted to look for a cheap s/h digital, there are dozens of bargains on the auction sites. Then consider upgrading to a decent acoustic in 2/3 years, just make sure the digital one has at least 2 pedals.

 

The other option if they can afford it is to go for something very popular on the resale market like a Yamaha U series upright. You can quite often find good examples of these through proper piano dealers (many advertise on the auction sites even if they are selling for a "fixed price"). Although this would be £3-4k, if looked after, you should get most or all of your money back if you ever sell it.
 

Also, if it is in a family room the ability to use headphones may not make any difference because there is an annoying clunk, clunk, clunk from the keys which is unavoidable and probably just if not more annoying to others.


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