Buying a piano

With so many piano manufacturers and retailers in operation, choosing a piano that best suits your needs can be a daunting process.

How to choose a piano

Like buying a car, the first step is to consider your needs and constraints to determine what sort of instrument you are going to buy: upright, baby grand, grand or digtial.

Some things to consider in this process include:

Once you have worked out your needs and constraints, go to a piano showroom to try out different instruments. Buying an instrument is a very personal choice, so ‘test drive’ as many as you can before you part with any money. Always try to play (or have someone else play, if you are not a pianist) the exact instrument that you are buying rather than just buying the same model, since they can vary hugely in terms of ‘feel’. A good piano can be passed down for generations, so as long as it suitable for your needs and within budget, use your instinct.

Piano makes

There are hundreds of different manufacturers to choose from, but the golden rule of playing an instrument before you buy always applies. Remember that although a piano made by a well-known manufacturer will probably be more expensive, it will also hold its value much better than cheaper instruments, so will be easier to re-sell. On top of which, parts for repair will be easier to come by and a quality instrument is always more rewarding to play than a badly-made one.

Some of the best-known manufacturers include:

For a more comprehensive list, visit

Piano shops

Make sure that you visit at least one piano dealer before buying a piano. They generally have very knowledgeable staff who will be able to answer any questions that you may have as well as recommending local piano movers, tuners and repair shops. Be aware that some dealers have exclusive deals with certain manufacturers, so try to visit one with as wide a range of instruments as possible. If you don’t play yourself, try to bring a friend who does, who will be able to give you an insight into what each instrument is like from a musician’s point of view. has a comprehensive list of UK shops.