We understand that buying a piano when you are new to the instrument is not a trivial process. The piano market is full of confusing terminology and lots of different products for different types of people.
Do I want a piano or a keyboard? What are weighted keys? How will I get the piano to my house? Take a look at our first-time buyers’ guide below for answers to the most common piano buying questions!
What kind of piano do I want?
At Andertons, we sell digital pianos (home/stage pianos), keyboards and synthesizers. The days where an acoustic piano was the only authentic type of piano are long gone. In fact, a digital piano offers everything that an acoustic piano does with less hassle and more convenience. The benefits of digital pianos are so clear that, for a first instrument at least, it’s often hard to justify the trouble of an acoustic!
Let us quickly take you through the main different types of piano and keyboard instruments we sell – so you can familiarise yourself with the basic terms:
Digital Pianos (AKA Home Pianos)
Designed to closely emulate acoustic pianos, and stylistically suited to use in the home, a digital home piano is often the right choice for those who want to focus on learning the piano for the first time. Whether it’s Beethoven or Dave Brubeck that you like, a digital piano will get you started on a musical instrument journey made by the all of the world’s best-known pianists.
Almost all digital home pianos have some kind of “weighted” or “hammer action” keys. All this means is that the instrument is designed to ‘feel’ like an acoustic piano where, when you press a key, the feel of the mechanism that makes the hammer strike the string inside the piano is mechanically replicated within the digital piano’s keyboard. Rather than pressing a generic “button” like on your TV remote, you feel like you are pressing an acoustic piano key.
We distinguish between stage pianos and home pianos. As you can probably tell, both are digital pianos but they are designed for different environments…
Pianos are heavy things! Acoustic pianos are not an instrument you want to take to The Dog and Duck for an open mic night! Stage pianos are digital pianos that are designed to be transported and used at gigs. They often have all of the features of a digital home piano, but the casing is more portable and more suited to the stage. They can be disassembled and bagged-up for easy transport.
Of course, just because something is designed for use on stage, doesn’t mean you can’t use it at home too! Some people consider pianos to be “part of the furniture”, but if it’s versatility you’re after, maybe a stage piano is right for you.
As well as the aforementioned brands, Clavia’s Nord stage pianos also deserve a mention in this category. You might have seen their famous red pianos gracing stages at gigs and on TV.
Keyboards & Synthesizers
As much as they look like pianos, keyboards & synths are very different beasts to an instrument that one might call a ‘piano’. For now, it’s best to consider these as instruments with a huge amount of versatility when it comes to producing different kinds of sounds.
They emulate the sounds of all sorts of instruments (including pianos), and are also great learning tools if you cannot afford, or do not have space for a piano yet. However, it’s important to note that most are not designed to feel like pianos – so moving from a keyboard to a piano will be an additional learning curve.
If you’re still not sure which is right for you – a keyboard or a piano – do contact us by phone or email for some more advice.
How much will it cost?
Good question. Well, like any instrument… how much have you got to play with?! Piano & keyboards manufacturers make instruments that are affordable for all levels from sub £100 keyboards to multi-thousand-pound digital grand pianos. In truth – features like weighted keys are costly to make, so “digital pianos” tend to be a bit more expensive than “keyboards” which have less-refined keys. However, with digital pianos starting at around £400, manufacturers have come on a long way from the days where a piano was an instrument that was solely for the rich.
Now that you’re familiar with the different types of pianos, browse our online store and use the price, category & brand filters to narrow down your search to suit your use and budget.
What about delivery? Surely a piano won’t fit in my car!
Another amazing thing about the digital piano market is how much progress the big names like Roland and Yamaha have come on solving this issue. An acoustic piano is bulky, probably at least 100 kilos, and you can’t take it apart. Digital pianos mostly range from 20-70kgs and are normally packed in multiple boxes. They are easily assembled at home with no specialist skills required.
For most of our digital pianos, they will fit into an estate or saloon car, or if you prefer we can deliver (for free within most of the UK) with a courier like UPS. Please note that someone will need to be present at home who can take the piano into your property.
Some digital pianos ARE still heavy; they are wood after all, and the higher end ones have mechanics in them for the most authentic key action. This applies only to a small number of the largest pianos. For local customers, we can arrange “man on a van” delivery for these pianos, however for deliveries further afield you may need to arrange your own transport. On our website, you will see a message on the pages for extra-heavy pianos warning you that delivery needs to be arranged before ordering.
Andertons Guildford Piano Store
Within its huge musical superstore, Andertons has a dedicated piano department with keyboards and pianos out on display, ready to sit down and try.
There are piano experts in store every day to guide you, and there is no pressure to buy – just come in, look, try and speak to our friendly staff!
If you cant get down to our store and you have further questions, feel free to give us a ring on 01483 456777 or email email@example.com