Woman playing piano

Do I need to purchase a piano before I can begin lessons?

Yes, access to an instrument is necessary. Regular practice at home between lessons is the only key to success.

However, until you’ve tried playing for a little while, I don’t recommend spending too much money! A second-hand piano will be fine at first, as long as the action is in good working order and the strings are all present.

It’s always sensible to take a piano tuner with you, to check over any instrument that you’re considering buying.

You could also explore the option of renting: for a small monthly fee, you can enjoy the use of a very nice instrument. Plus, rental charges are often deducted from the purchase price should you decide to keep the piano.

Grand piano
Chris Venables Pianos

Choosing your piano in the Dorset area

An acoustic piano

This is the ideal option as the tone, touch and feel of a good quality acoustic piano cannot be matched by other keyboard instruments.

The disadvantages of acoustic pianos are:

  • They can be expensive
  • They take up a lot of space
  • They can be heavy and difficult to move
  • They require regular tuning  

    A digital piano

    The most important features to look for are weighted keys, a good tone, pedals and a full size (88-note) keyboard.

    Although good quality digital pianos don’t have the tone, feel and touch of good acoustic instruments, they have several advantages:

    • They cost much less (but may lose value more quickly as newer, upgraded digitals continually become available)
    • They take up less space and are easier to move
    • They do not require regular tuning or maintenance
    • The volume can easily be adjusted for quiet practice or it can be played with headphones
    • Additional features may include a recording facility, built in metronome, and additional voices such as organ, harpsichord, strings, etc.
    • Some digital pianos can also play back midi files downloaded from the internet  

    An electronic keyboard

    Although these instruments produce many different sounds and have built-in drum rhythms, they do not have the full length keyboard, pedals or weighted keys which are essential requirements for piano playing. However, if you are uncertain about whether you or your child will enjoy learning to play the piano, or will be able to find enough time to practise regularly, an electronic keyboard may be an initial option.

    An electronic keyboard is acceptable for the first six months or so, but after this time you will need to consider purchasing a piano because you will be gradually learning techniques that are not possible on an electronic keyboard.

    Share by: