Last updated: August 19, 2021

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The melodious and beautiful notes of a piano can relax, content and even make many people cry. It is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding musical instruments and today we will show you all about it and its wonders. You will also get to know the best pianos on the market.

A piano is one of the most versatile instruments, you can find it playing for a jazz band, driving a symphony or mixing more recent rhythms. While it involves a technique, for many a complex one, it is totally worth it. However, choosing the best one for you isn't easy, so we'll help you.

Let us be your companion when it comes to shopping. Here you will find the best product reviews, because we do it with you in mind. Here you will find detailed information, news, advantages and disadvantages of the product and its variants, all to ensure an exceptional purchasing criteria.




Summary

  • The piano is one of the most popular and technically difficult musical instruments, using its string percussion to provide the most exquisite melodies and compositions in the world of music. The piano is considered an improved version of the harpsichord and the harpsichord.
  • There are three types of piano and each has characteristics that make them unique. The first is the classical and elegant grand piano. The second is a smaller version of the grand piano with vertical strings, the upright piano. And finally there is the modern version, the electronic piano.
  • Need to know which piano to buy for your activity and budget? Use its functions, its manufacturing materials, its number of keys and your technical level to find out. These are the purchasing factors that will allow you to buy the right one for you.

The best Piano: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about the piano

The buying guide section is where you will find out about every detail of the product you are looking to buy, in this case pianos. You will learn about the advantages and disadvantages, and even the different types of pianos, so don't wait any longer!

Playing piano since childhood improves cognitive, emotional and physical characteristics. (Photo: Dmytro Vietrov / 123RF)

What is a piano and what are its advantages?

We call a piano a percussion harmonic musical instrument, although it is also considered a stringed instrument because of its percussive strings. This instrument is used in different musical genres such as classical music, jazz, rock, even pop. In addition to being very popular, it is considered to be very difficult to play.

The classical piano uses a system of strings and hammers to produce sound. When the pianist presses a key, this activates a hammer that strikes a string in tension, when this tension is modified, the string emits a sound that can go from low to high-pitched.

Nowadays, the invention of the electronic piano has made it possible to create models that facilitate the learning of this instrument. This not only helped children and beginners to have an instrument adapted to them, as it was more economical, sales increased considerably.

Advantages
  • Allows to play all types of music
  • Does not need accompaniment to provide a great melodic quality
  • There are different types and sizes
  • Improves cognitive abilities
Disadvantages
  • They are expensive
  • They require a complex technique and a greater commitment
  • Classical pianos need professional maintenance

Grand, upright or electronic piano - what should you pay attention to?

There are three cool piano variants, and to buy the one that best suits your needs you need to know about them. They have similarities but also big differences, which in the end are what will make you choose between one type or the other.

Grand. The grand piano is the classic piano that has a large soundboard with strings, this lid can be opened to have a sound without interventions or barriers. It is the one with the best sound quality and a great amount of nuances, at the same time it is the most expensive of all, and how expensive it is!

Grand pianos are considered luxury instruments, to which many of their manufacturers add elegant details ranging from bronze to gold. In addition to impeccable workmanship in marquetry, painting and veneering.

Wall-mounted. If the strings of the grand piano were horizontal, this piano, also called upright piano, has them vertical. This piano is cheaper than the grand pianos and has a good quality sound. In addition to saving weight, you will save a lot of space.

Like the grand piano, some upright pianos are made by their manufacturers with great ornamental details and a good paint and coating. This variant does not usually have a raised top like the grand piano.

Electronic. The electronic piano or keyboard is an instrument invented in the 20th century that emits sounds similar to the piano, the difference is that in this variant the sound is made with electronic synthesis. It can reproduce the sound of different instruments and sometimes incorporates rhythms and songs.

Nowadays, these pianos have LCD screens where you can see the staff, as well as USB and MIDI ports to connect your instrument to an electronic device such as a tablet or computer.

Grand Wall Electronic
Sound system Horizontal string percussion Upright string percussion Electronic
Synthesis Superior Good Medium
Size 130 to 260 cm 90 to 150 cm 50 to 140 cm

How to care for your piano

If you are buying a grand or upright piano, you will need to maintain it from time to time to ensure that it lasts for many years. Here we will show you how to keep it clean from the outside to the inside, bearing in mind that the inside requires technical knowledge.

Furniture. Cleaning the furniture or the shell of a piano is quite simple, for this we can use a wood polish. This product will not only give it a brighter appearance, it will also protect it from dust. To spread it, try to choose a soft cloth.

Keyboard. For the keys you can use warm water with a few drops of soap, but make sure it is a neutral soap that does not contain strong chemicals that can be abrasive. Dampen the cloth in the water and carefully wipe each of the keys.

Hardware. Whether they are copper, silver or wrought iron, you can use a metal polish. It will make them look much shinier and sometimes protects them from rust. Doing this is vital if your piano is in contact with the breeze or there are nearby advantages that can bring in dust and liquids.

Tuning. Piano tuning is similar to guitar tuning, but on a larger scale. You must tighten or loosen the strings that are wound on the tuning pegs. Doing it twice a year will be enough and if you don't know how to do it, it is better to call in an expert.

Calibration. The delicate system of hammers - strings of the piano needs to be balanced at least once every two years so that the sensitivity to the touch is correct. Even the adjustment of the pedals should be part of the calibration. Come on, give your instrument some love!

Purchasing criteria

When it comes to pianos, it is very important to know every aspect of the instrument before you buy it, especially because of how expensive it can be. In order for you to purchase the one that best suits you, you should be aware of the following purchasing factors.

  • Uses
  • Materials of construction
  • Number of keys
  • Pianist level

Uses

Music is the language of the soul and many people buy a piano to let the soul speak. We all have a reason for buying this instrument and depending on this reason we may choose one model or another. Therefore, one of the purchasing factors is precisely the use.

Learning to play: Do you like music, especially the sound of the piano? It is normal that you want to learn to play it if you are so passionate about it. One of the reasons for buying pianos is to master them. You can start with grand and upright pianos, although we recommend an electronic piano, which is cheaper.

Electronic mixes. New musical genres allow the incursion of electronic pianos to create new mixes. If you want to do this, you can buy one that has a USB connection and where you can save all the progress of your creation.

Individual concerts. If you have experience with your instrument and you are so good that you play individual concerts, you will definitely prefer to have a grand or upright piano. They provide a higher quality sound. The same goes if you own a hall or theatre where musicians perform.

Band. A band of friends needs a star pianist. Why not give it a try? No matter what genre of music, it's best in these cases to buy an electronic piano that you can take with you wherever your band is performing. I can't imagine you carrying a grand to a trendy bar.

Decoration: Have you ever seen a piano sitting in a corner or being the centre of attention? Interestingly, sometimes people don't buy a piano to play it, but to be part of the decoration of a place, especially bars and hotels. Grand and wall pianos make a big impact.

Manufacturing materials

The best finish, top quality materials and impeccable workmanship are the things that ensure that an instrument will sound good and last over time. Therefore, a very important purchasing factor is the materials of manufacture.

Wood. The star material in the world of pianos is wood. In the best pianos, the frame, the percussion mechanism and the exterior veneer are made of different types of wood. From maple, oak, spruce, fir, walnut to lime, pear and others. The wood is only used for the tailboard and backboard types.

Steel. The skeleton of the piano or the frame of its skeleton is made of a strong material first and foremost, steel. It is steel that keeps all the parts in place and ensures that nothing disturbs the balance of the instrument.

Wire. Piano strings are made of steel wire or, in some cases, covered with copper wire for better tension and resistance. Don't be fooled, piano strings are not simple nylon.

Plastic. Electronic pianos, which are the most recent ones, use plastics with different densities to make the body and keys of the instrument. Of course, it is a much cheaper material and on a smaller scale, resulting in a very cheap product.

Exotic materials. Some grand and upright pianos have exotic materials that complement or magnify their creation. Wrought iron for the corners, ivory for the keys, gold and silver for some ornamental details.

Number of keys

As you may have noticed in our ranking section, not all pianos come with the same number of keys. But this has been the case for a few years now, in order to facilitate transport and learning for children. Before making a purchase, check the number of keys the piano comes with.

Pianos have octaves that represent the notes of the musical scale, starting with C, then D - E - E - F - G - G - A - B - B - and ending with C again. Pianos contain different octaves of a major or minor key.

49 keys. The smallest pianos, which should only be used by children, have 49 keys, which means that they have 4 octaves (the last C is repeated, so only 7 white keys and 5 black keys are counted in an octave, up to the last C, which is the closing key). Buy them for beginner use or as a toy.

61 keys. If you are a teenager or adult looking to learn to play the piano, a 61-key instrument would be ideal. In this instrument you will have 5 octaves so although you won't play all the piano compositions, it is a good way to start and then make the leap to a bigger one.

76 keys. If you want to get serious about playing this instrument or if you are in a band, we recommend you to buy the 76 keys piano. This has about 6 octaves and can give you a great tonality.

88 keys. This is the lottery number for pianos and this is the number of keys on a professional and official piano. So, if you're at that level you'd better buy it with its 7 octaves and get the most out of it.

Pianist level

The level of your piano playing ability has a great influence on the choice of a piano, and it can also limit your use of the instrument. We decided that because of this, it is necessary that the level of the pianist is a factor in the purchase.

Beginner. If you know absolutely nothing about playing the piano or are just getting familiar with the instrument, we recommend that you choose a piano with few keys such as the 49 (for children) or 61 (for teenagers and adults). Here you will have enough octaves to understand the pianoforte system.

Intermediate. As you acquire better skill and technique, leaving behind your beginner level, you will need to look for an instrument that can give you more freedom and at the same time challenge you. We recommend a 76-key piano for this. Use it for concerts, parties, with your friends or to create amazing music.

Expert. Beethoven took a spiritual journey and landed on you, you're a star and your fingers go faster than you can read this. As a professional pianist you will need an instrument just like you, a classic 88-key piano, where you will relive with every touch the greatest compositions ever made on it.

(Featured image photo: Andreas Schindl / 123RF)

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