I find the process of buying a piano very similar to buying a car, if not more tedious.

Many parents fear their investment may not fetch a good buy or what they had invested, may turn into a white elephant hibernating in a corner of their homes. Here are some useful suggestions before buying a piano.

Draft to your need
Draft the details to your needs. Top of the list is your budget. This is because when buying a piano, you can go as cheap or expensive if you want to. Very often, with these instruments, you really get what you pay for. So give yourself a range of how much you are willing to put into it.

 
Space, Type and Brand
Next on the list is the space, type and the brand of the piano. Whether you choose an upright, grand or baby grand will depend on the type of use the piano will get. Most piano students start with an upright acoustic piano.

Recommendations
Ask for recommendations from your child’s piano teacher or experienced pianist friends. However, do bear in mind that most experienced music individuals have one or two of their favourite names which might not work for you, either in price, in touch or in tone. As such, it’s good to get some brands to begin your research with, but do try the piano personally for your very own preference.

Make notes and Compare
Visit several piano showrooms before making a final purchase. Also, make notes and compare from model to model, or from brand to brand. Bring music with you and play on each of the pianos, or bring a friend along to play.

Climate
Note the climate. Parents who lives in Asia but interested in European-built pianos should note that a difference in climate may affect the condition of the piano when they are delivered to you. Such conditions include a minor degree of the snapping of the strings or the expansion of the wood or piano keys. These minor defects may either appear immediately or overtime.
After Sales Services
Check the after sales services such as piano tunings, trade-in and resale values. Some music shops do offer a certain resale or trade-in values after a specific number of years of usage, which gives the parents a glimpse of how much their investments are worth should they need to sell it or trade-in a few years after purchase. Also check for the number of free piano tunings you are entitled to.

Take your time
Never buy in a rush. Take your time and browse through all possible sources before rushing to make a purchase. Buying in a rush may deprive you of some genuine great bargains or good buys. If you have many pianos to choose from, try playing each instrument only briefly to narrow down your choice to a manageable number. Then compare them two by two, or three by three.

A piano is, a huge hunk of wood filled with strings which, alongside with good maintenance, allow you to enjoy your instruments for years and years. So be sure to, diligently care, tune, service and polish your instrument on a regular basis. No food, drinks or dirty hands on the piano under any circumstances. Having any beverages in any container of any form on top of the piano is strictly prohibited. This is one gesture I cannot tolerate.


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~ Written by Boon Sin Ler