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Thinking about Buying a Piano?

Maybe you have been thinking about buying a piano so your kids can take piano lessons, or maybe you want one for yourself. But the price tags are way out of your budget! Consider buying an electric piano.

Electric pianos are now available that sound just like real pianos, and are available in all price ranges.

I took piano lessons for many years when I was younger and wanted to be able to play again. But we really couldn't afford to buy a real piano, at least not one of a real high quality. So we checked into electric pianos - and I was thrilled about what we found out! Many are available that sound and function just like real pianos!

Before we bought ours, I took some time and read everything I could find about them to make sure we would get one that met our needs. Below are some of the advantages of an electric piano over an acoustic one and some of the features that you will want to check into before buying one.

Advantages of Electric Pianos over Acoustic Pianos

1 - They don't need to be tuned! The price of pianos are pretty high as it is, but don't forget the extra cost of owning one - getting it tuned once or twice a year! The cost of getting a piano tuned varies, but can be quite high.

2 - Most all come with headphone jacks! If your house is pretty open, like ours, or for whatever reason you don't want to have to hear a piano being played all the time, the headphones are great! Maybe you have a TV in the same room as the piano. Without headphones, both the piano player and the person watching TV can get irritated pretty quickly! You can even play when your kids are in bed asleep and it will never wake then up - what a great way to spend sometime for yourself! Great for apartment living too!

3 - Built in Metronomes. Most electric pianos have these too!

4 - Lighter weight! While the better electric pianos can be quite heavy, they are still not as heavy as acoustic pianos, so they can be moved much easier.

Features to consider when buying an Electric Piano

1 - The number of keys. Many come now with 88 keys, the same as on a standard piano. If you are buying one for a young child who is just learning, you may not even need one with all 88 keys, but for serious playing you will want all 88.

2 - Graded Hammer keys. This involves having keys
that are weighted so that they feel the same as on a real piano. Also, the better models, if you press down on the key harder, the sound is louder, and softer if you press softer - just like on a real piano!

3 - Pedals. Many today come with 3 pedals on the bottom just like acoustic pianos. Some only come with one, others with none at all. For serious players, you will want one with 3 pedals. But for kids just starting out, you could buy a cheaper one with no pedals to save some money until you know if your kid will stick with it or not!

4 - 32/64/128 note polyphony. This is often one of the features mentioned when different models are advertised. Ours has 64 note polyphony, and that is just fine for us. 128 just isn't necessary for most purposes, and 32 note polyphony may be fine for your needs too.

5 - Many come with a cover that slides down to cover the keys just like on an acoustic piano. This isn't necessary, but is a nice touch if you want one that looks more like a real piano, or you have a really dusty house!

6 - Midi compatibility - This was not an important feature to me, but may be to some people. With this you can hook up the piano to a computer to record music, etc.

The Piano we Bought

We ended up getting a Yamaha YDP223. Since I had taken piano lessons before and wanted one that would function as a real piano. I liked this one because it had 3 pedals, looked like an acoustic piano - even has the sliding cover - and has graded hammer keys. I also like the headphones option. Extras that I didn't expect to come with it include a book with 50 great, classical piano pieces in it. Each of these songs are also recorded on the piano and can be played back at different tempos. You can even silence either the right or left hand parts to hear one more clearly or to play along with it!

For people just starting out, you may not need one this nice, one of the lower end ones may fit your needs. At least for a while, until you really need something better.

Overall, I'm extremely happy with the choice we made - of course I'd still love to be able to have a nice grand piano someday - but that will be way out of our budget for a long, long time!

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