Which style of piano is right for you?
Upright vs. Grand piano, that is the question. Or at least one question that we hear often. Buying an instrument, especially one as large as a piano is a decision that shouldn’t be made in a snap. And deciding which style of piano to go with is one of the first steps in choosing the instrument that is right for you and your lifestyle. The last thing you want is to run out and buy an instrument that simply will not work with what you need and where you live. So here are a few things to look at when deciding which direction to go.
Pianos take up room. In the case of a concert grand piano, a lot of room. Although it would be amazing to have a 9′ Steinway Model D in your home, it might not fit in your living room. [Although it is more common to see large Steinways in homes than some would think.] Just fitting it into your space isn’t the only thing to think about. Room acoustics and where you will have to eventually place the piano is also something to consider. (If possible, it is best to have the pianist facing into the room.) If you are in a small space, a good quality premium upright piano might be the choice for you. (We offer the complete line of Kawai Upright pianos, including the very popular K-Series of Professional Uprights.) Very small grands are a possibility as well. However some pianists prefer to purchase an upright piano and then save up for a larger or higher quality grand when they eventually expand into a larger home.
Also if you live in an apartment complex or near others, a digital piano that can use headphones may be your best option. However that is another topic for another time.
2: Will I be using this instrument ‘forever’?
A piano can be a very sizable financial investment for any person or family. That is why many budding pianists purchase an upright piano as almost a ‘stepping stone’ toward a high quality grand. Instead of spending a good bit of cash on a lower quality, smaller grand piano that you may be stuck with for a while, this allows you to save up to purchase a higher quality ‘forever’ piano in the future. Another benefit of this approach, is that many higher quality upright pianos actually have a better tone and feel then a cheaper/smaller grand piano. Remember to always plan ahead when thinking of which instrument is right for you!
3: The Cost
A brand new Steinway Model D Concert Grand costs well over 160,000 dollars. Cost is and always will be a factor when deciding which type of piano you will purchase. There are some options though. A restored vintage Steinway piano is many times a more affordable option and many concert pianists prefer the tone and feel of these older ‘golden age’ instruments as well. As mentioned before, a high quality upright piano or high quality smaller grand (such as the Kawai we retail) can be an affordable and better sounding option then many low quality ‘entry level’ grand pianos. Many times the companies that produce these pianos put more effort into the looks of the cabinet than how they function as a musical instrument.
4: It doesn’t matter.
But it does matter at the same time. Remember that a piano is in essence a tool. It is YOU the pianist that elevates and brings music out of it. Yes, you should strive to purchase and maintain the highest quality piano that you can afford. However remember that in the end, it is you and the music you play that will eventually bring the piano to life. Practice hard and bring the most out of any instrument that you end up utilizing whether that be an upright or grand piano.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding this or any other piano topic.
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