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Looking for a piano
#2984827 05/28/20 12:25 AM
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So, the piano I have is a keyboard and does not have all 88 keys like a normal piano. It also does not have weighted keys, so when I practice scales and go to a normal piano it is different and my fingers get caught because the keys don't go down as easy.

I want to either get a digital piano or a local acoustic piano. I need 88 keys and I want the keys to be weighted. I do have a piano tuner kit so tuning isn't a problem. I've found some free pianos in Facebook market place, but I'd have to move them which would probably require some money like $100ish and I'd also want to check them out ahead of time to make sure the piano doesn't suck too bad. I could also go to a place where I can buy used pianos for $450ish - $800ish. It would be delivered to my house without having to fuss with moving it and everything else. The third option is to get a digital piano. I saw one on facebook for $100. I don't know how authentic the sound would be or how much it would be like a regular piano.

I'd prefer to not spend too much money, but I also don't want to get a piano that sucks too much. Digital might be okay, but I don't know which ones are actually good. I guess the only thing that is really important is 88 keys and weighted keys, not sure if there is anything else I"m missing. Any help would be appreciated.

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Re: Looking for a piano
ThePenist #2984832 05/28/20 12:56 AM
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A couple of suggestions? I would go play the acoustic pianos in the store. Write down the brand and serial number of any you like and get any questions answered by posting in the piano forum.

Also ask your question about which digital to try on the digital piano forum. You will get lots of suggestions. Play all of the suggested digitals you can find.

There are advantages/preferences to both digitals and acoustics. Neither is a bad choice; you just need to buy what is best for you. Make this fun and take your time!


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Re: Looking for a piano
ThePenist #2984841 05/28/20 01:41 AM
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you could ask this question in the digital forum to get an answer on digital piano recommendations.

As for free or cheap acoustic pianos, it is not unusual for these pianos to have sat around, untouched and unregulated for 30 or more years. Even the price is no guide as people tend to overrate these pianos for sentimental rather than realistic reasons. So knowing what to look for is very important in that type of market. BTW I was given two pianos six years ago and ended up cutting both up for the tip, they were just not salvageable. However I did get an appreciation for the work that goes into a piano, and the many things that can go wrong.

For entry digital pianos check out this site and look through the different reviews and recommendations.


Following Trying to follow the Ling Ling 40 hour method

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Re: Looking for a piano
ThePenist #2984842 05/28/20 01:54 AM
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My opinion is that for a beginner you are best to go all or nothing if you are buying an acoustic. You might get lucky and pick up a good one for peanuts but the risk is high that you end up with something that needs a lot of work. And if it turns out to be a lemon you then have the problem of getting rid of it or spending a lot to fix it up.

I’d suggest that if you are even half serious about learning acoustic, don’t go lower budget than say a 1980s Yamaha U1 or equivalent in other brands.

If you don’t want to spend that much, get a proper digital piano no lower in the range than a Yamaha P-45 or Kawai / Casio equivalent. These will do for a 1st year beginner. You can always sell it 2nd hand for most of what you paid for it if / when you want to trade up to a good DP or acoustic.


Yamaha U1. Yamaha P-45. Yamaha RD-250 (a long time ago). smile
Re: Looking for a piano
ThePenist #2984843 05/28/20 01:57 AM
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First of all, read this: https://www.pianobuyer.com/piano-buying-basics/

I would forget about "free" pianos. These are usually in such a bad state that bringing them back to usefulness is not worth it and people just give them away for free to get rid of them.

You can ask the folks in the piano forum about acoustic pianos to make sure you get a good deal.

A lot of people (including myself) started on digital pianos and these are almost as good as a real acoustic piano. Make sure you have a look at the digital pianos forum .

Re: Looking for a piano
ThePenist #2984996 05/28/20 12:08 PM
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I agree with others that getting, even free, a used acoustic piano is not a very good idea except if you know someone who is quite expert in pianos.

You mention that you have a tuning kit... well, I wouldn't try to tune it myself if I were you! It is not easy and you can do more damage than anything.

About the digital piano, which model is it?
In a way, it is less risky because digital pianos require less maintenance than acoustic ones.
But as already said, the action of the keys is quite variable between brands and models.
The best is to try and see how you feel.

It will be different compared to an acoustic piano, for sure.
The sound though can be quite realistic.
When I hear the piano sound I get from my cheap MIDI keyboard plugged into my iPhone, it is quite impressive. Ok, not like a real piano, but if you are beginning, it will be fine, really.

And I agree that it is perfectly fine to learn on a digital piano.
On a keyboard without weighted keys, I agree with you that it is not a great idea.
Except if you buy one with weighted keys.


Digital pianos or good keyboards are much less trouble than an acoustic piano.
I say that even I love acoustic pianos. But they are much more fragile, heavy, expensive, etc...

By the way, a new digital piano for $800 could be a good start. The quality is improving so much with time.


In the end, it depends on what you want to do on the piano, which music you want to play, if you want to create and record music, or "just" play songs for your own pleasure.


I wrote an article about choosing the right digital piano or keyboard on my blog if you want.

I don't know if I am allowed to put links here directly and I don't want to spam the forum, but you will find my website in my signature.

Hope this helps!


Your home to start playing the piano and keyboards:
https://www.guide2music.com
Re: Looking for a piano
ThePenist #2985008 05/28/20 12:47 PM
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To the OP, you didn't say how long you've been playing or what kind of music you play, but in terms of what you would need/want in a digital, at least one pedal would be good (the sustain pedal).

I second the comment about not tuning the piano yourself. if you have an acoustic piano you got for free, the concern that you might damage it isn't really an issue.

But you'll probably be starting with a piano that's already out of tune. And if you've never tuned a piano before, it's incredibly complex (nothing like tuning a guitar etc.)

So you may end up with a project rather than an instrument. Great if that's what you want, a project that you'll spend hours tinkering with and that may never be fully in tune (remember, there's a reason they give those pianos away for free).

But if what you really want is a good instrument to play, without spending a lot of money, then I suggest you try to get a good quality digital piano. You may be able to find something used that will give you more buying power.

If you can, I would recommend you go to a Guitar Ctr type store and play a few digitals so you can learn about the instrument. Then start searching on FB marketplace and CL and eventually you'll probably fine something quite good for about a fourth of its value. IOW aim to buy a $2000 digital for $500, and you'll end up with a very good instrument.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Looking for a piano
ThePenist #2985061 05/28/20 03:08 PM
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I think your expectations are quite unrealistic.
Free acoustic pianos are usually just a garbage. And tuning a piano, especially an old one, is not an easy thing to do. Most probably you will not be able to do it by yourself properly.

My advice for you is to buy Roland FP-30.

Re: Looking for a piano
ThePenist #2985515 05/29/20 04:47 PM
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The piano I grew up with was a Grinnell Bros piano made in Detroit. It is 38 inches high so I'm assuming that means it is a spinet piano. I have tuned it a few times. Last time I used software called Entropy Piano Tuner and it sounded the best it probably has in years. Maybe it sounds weird, but I actually like spending several hours tuning a piano.

I've done some more research and it seems a lot of the free pianos are spinet pianos, which isn't a problem, but I think I'd like to get something nice. You all said to steer away from free pianos and I'm going to do that.

I found a piano on Facebook for $1,900. It is a Yamaha P22, with dimensions 59 x 24 x 45, and made of walnut. Looks like a pretty good deal. I suppose I could check it out, to make sure there aren't any recently replaced strings or other red flags. The ad says it is in excellent condition (of course they could be lying), the pictures do make it look nice though.

Last edited by ThePenist; 05/29/20 04:49 PM.
Re: Looking for a piano
ThePenist #2985554 05/29/20 06:56 PM
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I don't think recently replaced strings are necessarily a red flag. You should definitely play it before buying(how else could you determine if you like the tone and touch?) and have a piano tech inspect it for any problems. You should also find the build year.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 05/29/20 07:00 PM.
Re: Looking for a piano
ThePenist #2985558 05/29/20 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ThePenist
[...] The ad says it is in excellent condition (of course they could be lying ...

Or, like so many owners of pianos, they just may have no idea of the piano's actual condition

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Looking for a piano
ThePenist #2985567 05/29/20 07:29 PM
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Yes, that’s the problem really. Many people will only look at the state of the case / cabinet, which might well be very good. They might overlook the fact that inside is a highly complicated machine with lots of small moving parts that can wear out and get out of adjustment.


Yamaha U1. Yamaha P-45. Yamaha RD-250 (a long time ago). smile

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