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Joined: May 2011
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Frito Offline OP
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Took piano lessons as a child, didn't practice.
Now starting lessons again. And it's so hard. Getting the fingering right, the timing right, the dynamics right, the tone right, and on top of that getting the notes right!
My upright piano is perfectly adequate.
However, I love the sound of a fine piano.
Does it make sense to invest in a fine piano, if I am far from being a fine pianist?

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i think its the better way to learn so your hands get used to real keys and not the garbage keys made today.


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
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Yes.

Well, it depends really. If you are going to mortgage your house to buy it you might want to wait a few more days wink ... but, besides that, any house would be blessed by a fine piano. And your enjoyment of it should help spur you on.


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I'd wait, since you already have an adequate piano. You may want to make sure you can get to a level to where you can do the instrument justice. Contrary to the general consensus around here, there are some of us who are not meant to play the piano. Hopefully you will not be among us, you'll struggle for a while, then everything will just click for you and piano will become a lifelong hobby. Then go get your lifetime piano. Besides, at that point you'll have a better idea what you want.


Piano self teaching on and off from 2002-2008. Took piano instruction from Nov 2008- Feb 2011. Took guitar instruction Feb 2011-Jul 2013. Can't play either. Living, breathing proof some people aren't cut out to make music.
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You learn to play piano through practice. For almost everyone, that means so much practice that if you can't find enjoyment in that practice, you will not practice enough. A new piano could be the thing that makes practice more enjoyable. In my case I moved from a perfectly adequate digital piano to a very nice grand about 8 months ago. Looking back at my records, I have increased my practice time per day by about 50%. I'm also a poor player, currently in my fourth year of lessons, but I believe my rate of improvement has increased after buying the grand. Good luck on your decision.


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Based on what you've said about your practice habits I would say save your money until you get better. In the meantime you can use some of the money you are not spending on a new piano going to see live music and you can get to hear the beautiful sound of a fine piano that way.

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Hi Frito and welcome to PW.

First off, don't call yourself a 'lousy beginner.' All beginners are lousy, so that is already implied. smile

I think whether it makes sense or not, depends on a number of factors unique to you.

- Are you independently wealthy (you don't own Frito Lay, do you?) or a starving college student?
- Are you the type of person who quickly loses interest in new endeavors or do you typically stick to things for long periods of time?
- If you dropped $10K on a nice piano today, then decided 30 days from now, you were no longer interested, would that be devastating or no big deal?

In my view, whether it's a good idea to invest in an expensive piano now rests of your self-assessment the factors I just mentioned.

Few would argue that an expensive piano is a not a joy to play on, and while the idea seems alluring, as you said, the one you have is perfectly fine. No harm in waiting a few months, when you'll have a better feel as to whether you'll likely stick with it.



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would you consider using the purchase of a fine piano as a motivational tool? "if i'm still practicing a year from now, i'll by a fine piano.... if i can play a certain piece well, .... or some such goal


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As you do have a perfectly adequate practice piano, I wouldn't wait a few months, I'd wait a few years. By then you'll know if you're going to stick with it. It will also give you time to educate yourself about pianos. You don't want to rush into buying one in your relative state of inexperience, only to realize in a year or two that you prefer one that's brighter or darker or whatever.


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if you can afford it, why not? not everybody's a great driver but that doesn't stop them from buying expensive cars wink

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Originally Posted by Akira
Hi Frito and welcome to PW.

First off, don't call yourself a 'lousy beginner.' All beginners are lousy, so that is already implied. smile



You know, I really have to beg to differ. smile

We may not be stupendous pianists - (and I'm not claiming any particular brilliance for myself) - but there are many here who play extrememly well at beginner and intermediate levels. Smoothly, correctly, dynamically and with expression.

As for the OP's question - what is your motivation for getting a finer piano? I myself moved up from a DP to an acoustic (no insult to DP players - mine was not a great DP, so it WAS a move up!)... but I waited til I was sure that I was capable of learning the piano to some degree, and showed signs of being capable to improve further.

I think finances are obviously a big issue, as well as commitment and ability or potential ability.

Personally if I had a truly adequate piano - meaning one that I enjoyed playing even though it isn't a grand! - I would hesitate to get a new one without signs of progress. But that's me.


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I suppose it depends on how well you know yourself. I knew that if I paid a high amount (for a student budget) I would be more likely to enjoy it, gives me that motivation.

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Depends on your financial state, and what the market for used pianos is in your locality.

You have to balance the increased pleasure and motivation a good instrument will bring, against the money you stand to lose if you have to sell. The money part you can probably estimate by looking at used piano prices in your area, the motivation part is for you to assess smile

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I don't play that well, but I certainly love the sound of a fine piano. If it sounds good while you play, you will enjoy it much more, and therefore play much more. I would buy the nice piano. You only live once!

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I think you'd have to be a very bad pianist indeed, before a top-notch instrument wouldn't sound better for you. Even with my modest talents, the differences between instruments are striking. Sadly, however many times I might live, in this life I can't afford a Steinway, however good it would make me sound.

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There are good reasons for delaying the purchase of a fine piano, including one's own financial well-being; living arrangements not being conducive to a grand; uncertainty about how long one intends to stick with piano; etc. etc.

However, "being a beginner" is NOT a reason to delay purchasing a good piano. I bought my Mason after I had been playing only one year, and I don't regret it at all.

My advice would be to start a leisurely shopping experience. There is some merit to the argument that you will have a better idea of what sound/tone you prefer after playing for a while (and especially after trying all sorts of pianos out). But I think that's something you could be doing now. Read "The Piano Book", go visit all the piano stores within driving distance, and keep an eye on your local Craigslist. Don't buy the first piano you sit down at and like, and certainly don't pay asking price for it. wink

But assuming you can afford it, go ahead and start shopping. At this point in the recession, you are in a tremendous spot to pick up a bargain.

p.s. Welcome to the forum! smile

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If it sounds good while you play, you will enjoy it much more, and therefore play much more.


I agree with this. To my complete surprise, when I upgraded from a sad, tuneless spinet to a Yamaha upright, my practice went from 10 minutes a week to 1 hour a day. The shallow, soul-less notes of my former spinet were replaced with rich, heart breaking, sweet sounds. It totally changed my relationship to music.

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If you can afford it I don't think anybody has regretted buying a nice piano but plenty of people have regretted buying one that wasn't up to par.
I really don't think being a novice has much to do with it really.
I hardly have a "top of the line" piano now (Hailun 198) but it is much more than I thought I could ever have afforded and since going from my adequate upright to this grand my playing satisfaction and playing time has gone up DRAMATICALLY. Whereas with my upright I was just dabbling on occasion.
The purchase of this piano for me has made me much more serious about improving my skills and even though this purchase was the first time I really ever put myself into debt (although I paid it off within 6 months) I haven't regretted it for a second. I only regret now that I didn't go for the 7-footer.

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If you can afford it, why not. Just be careful. take your tuner and another experienced pianist to a dealer to ensure the fine piano is really a fine piano. Also your taste may change over time. But again, if money is no issue, you have no problem. Just trade your fine piano for another fine piano. I think you will enjoy the sound of a fine piano. According to my tuner, it's a beginner who needs a good piano.

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Does it make sense to invest in a fine piano, if I am far from being a fine pianist?


Of course! You yourself are your main audience so it should be as good as possible.


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