Choosing Your Piano
The first thing to say is to be very cautious about a free piano, or one going cheap on an auction site. Unless you have it thoroughly checked by a good tuner/technician - you are very likely to end up with a piano that is very old, tired, and of a poor standard. It may even have been condemned by a tuner as untunable or beyond economic repair, and after going to the trouble and expense of moving it that's the last thing you want.
Even a beginner needs a piano that plays well
And don't be taken in by "attractive casework"; as the majority of what many people call "pretty" pianos are very low-quality instruments. Even a beginner (perhaps especially a beginner) needs a piano that plays well, has a pleasing tone and responsive touch - or they will never progress beyond being a beginner. The problem is of course that one does not want to spend a lot if, for whatever reason, the interest in playing is short-lived. This is why we offer a rental scheme.
What would be a good make to go for?
There are several thousands of different makes of piano and even with the best makes there are good and bad examples - so this is an almost impossible question to answer! It is worth looking at the websites of reputable piano dealers and seeing the names that they stock - a good dealer won't be trying to sell a bad piano. But it's not necessarily the best plan to settle on the most common make that you might see, as there are many alternatives offering equally good or better value.
Old or Modern?
Many people prefer an older style piano, and if chosen carefully they can be very pleasing to play - as well as to look at. Older pianos have invariably developed more "character" but need to have been well maintained, or thoroughly and expertly restored if they are to give good service.
Modern pianos, by which we mean built in the last 40 years or so (unlike cars or electronic equipment!), can be an excellent choice as they are more able to withstand the centrally heated conditions of most homes. However you must still be careful as there are many modern pianos which were very poorly designed and made, and some may have had a lot of use (or even abuse) which could mean an expensive overhaul.
Typical 1980's upright
Modern Secondhand or Brand New?
There is a wide range of new pianos available of varying quality, but as ever it is still broadly true that "you get what you pay for". We consider that, at present, no brand new pianos below £2500 are of a standard that we would recommend.
Similarly, there are many modern used pianos on the market and their quality and condition vary tremendously. The better-known brands of English, European and Japanese piano are certainly worth considering. There are many secondhand pianos available imported from the far east, by makers such as Yamaha and Kawai which offer good value for money - if chosen carefully. More of this on our Yamaha page.
See, hear and play before making any decision
As always it is vital to see, hear and play an instrument before making any decision, and a good reputable dealer will give help, without being pushy, and give a good guarantee.
We select our pianos carefully and restore and repair with the aim of providing instruments with good tone and touch, and all our work is fully guaranteed. One of the things we consider is the 'piano action'.
The 'action' of a piano (the mechanism of keys, hammers and dampers) consists of over 5000 separate parts. Each note has 50-60 individual pieces of wood, felt, leather, metal (and maybe some plastic or even carbon fibre!) - which is a lot to go wrong! It's perhaps surprising that once set up correctly, and well looked after, they are very stable and reliable. But if neglected or abused there can be some very expensive repairs and adjustments to be done.
You are welcome to come and try the selection of pianos we have in stock. Be assured we do not believe in pressured selling - we will give you as much (or as little!) time and assistance as you want. We are enthusiastic about offering good quality pianos to enable you to make music and will be very happy to give any advice you may need to help you choose a suitable instrument.
If you have any queries or comments, please contact us - we will be happy to help.