This post is aimed to give you some initial guidance if you or your child would like to start piano lessons but you don’t own a piano or other keyboard. So a major purchase is looming!
There’s no doubt that a proper acoustic piano, in good condition, offers a quality and subtlety of sound that no electronic instrument can match. But it is normally the most expensive option. Even if you manage to find a bargain second-hand piano, a decent one is likely to be over £1000.
The next best option is a digital piano, some of which have a high degree of touch sensitivity. Prices for feasible digital pianos can be under £400, but better quality models cost considerably more than that. If your piano practice is likely to disturb your neighbours, the facility to use headphones gives an electronic instrument a considerable advantage.
If you type in ‘acoustic or digital piano’ on the internet, you will see some useful and objective articles to help you in your choice. A particularly helpful one is: www.pianobuyer.com/spring11/11.html
At the budget end of the market there are all kinds of other keyboards, often with limited touch sensitivity but with plenty of buttons and gadgets. These can be fun and stimulating, but they are not the best vehicle for the more serious student. You should definitely avoid any keyboard which has less than the standard 88 keys, or where the keys are narrower than those on a normal acoustic or digital piano.
The current range and choice of digital pianos and electronic keyboards can be truly bewildering. The most informative article I have found on this subject is at: www.tuition.ridgwick.com
Here’s another very useful website: www.ukpianos.co.uk
Your decision as to which instrument to buy is a highly important one, and I will be very happy to help, as I have done with other students and friends, often saving them substantial amounts of money and hassle.