10 Top Mistakes Make By People When They Buy A Piano

At MyPianoMalaysia, we believe that interacting with musical instruments profoundly enhances people’s lives. Our goal is to help people find the perfect used piano. For this reason, we have gathered a list of typical errors often made when buying a piano for the first time. We strongly suggest going through this list to steer clear of these frequent mistakes.

Top Mistakes Make By People When They Buy A Piano

1) They are not sure if they really want to learn or play the piano

If you are to ask people if they want to learn to play the piano themselves or their children, they most certainly will answer, “Yes, of course”. And most people will leave it like that and soon forget about it. Sometimes they may take action by signing their children for a month of lesson from the cheapest tutor. They may even follow-up by buying a cheap keyboard. What they do not understand that the cheap keyboard may sound nice and loud but it does not have the real feel and response to a real piano. This will hamper the learning process.

After a month or so the child may lost interest and all the money spent on the keyboard and lesson wasted. Learning the piano is a lifelong commitment so we discourage parents from buying the piano if they are not sure of investing the time and the money to learn. You have to decide and stick to your decision if you want to learn the piano and be good at it.

To avoid this mistake, you can assess first if your child is ready for piano lessons. If he or she is, your child demonstrates some key indicators. These include mental, emotional and physical readiness. There is no definite age that tells your child is ready, though some may show interest as early as the age of 3. One good sign is when he can tell between the left and right hand and if he is ready to sit still for at least 15 minutes.

It also helps if he can already read and count. The most important thing is that they are emotionally ready, which you can tell if your child shows interest in playing the piano. For instance, you can try by observing if they like playing electronic keyboard.

2) They do not know the cost of moving and maintaining a piano

The service of professional piano movers is expensive. It cost roughly RM220-RM440 to move an upright piano and the cost increases if stairs and distance are factored in. Moving it to another state will cost lots more. Moving a grand piano will cost twice as much as it will involve more manpower and logistic. The legs and pedals need to remove before moving and more equipment is also needed to ensure its safety. Now you may be thinking of moving the piano yourself or engage a house mover to do the job. But before you do that let me show you the cost if anything goes wrong. For every dent on your piano will cost RM150 to repair and if you are unlucky a broken iron frame or pin block will render you piano unrepairable. You may even cause injuries to yourself or your team members.

Pianos need to be tuned after ever move as the change in temperature and humidity and the move itself will cost the piano to go out of tune. Even when the piano needs to be tuned at least twice a year to keep it in tip-top condition. You must never ever skimp on tuning and servicing. A piano that has not been regularly tuned will have a hard time keeping in tune later on. In the end, you may pay more in the future.

3) They skimp on the piano lesson or the quality of the piano

This is almost similar to point 1. You must have two rights. If you skimp on one, you will render the other worthless. Sometimes we have people who buy expensive grand, uprights or digital pianos. But they are not taking proper music lessons. Some will just learn from YouTube and try to teach themselves and some will just buy books or ask friends to teach them. We will usually refer them to a teacher, who is willing to give them a trial home piano lesson. Here they will see that they really need proper coaching. If not the piano will just be a piece of expensive furniture and at best gathering dust. Sometimes the opposite occurs. They engaged an expensive tutor but skimp on the instruments. In most cases, they will end up not continuing because they find the music boring or what they used to hear. The inexpensive instruments just could not live up to expectations. You will find that you will lose the motivation to learn as you cannot improve your skill on a sub-standard instrument.

4) Playing on “Grandma’s” piano

This is actually a good thing as a family heirloom piano is put to good use. They are sometimes of good quality and music as some say run in the family. But often, they may be severe problems with this piano as they may be very old and had not been maintained properly. If the piano is not tuned to the correct pitch due to old strings, the player may develop a bad ear. The keys and touch may be uneven resulting in poor playing. Sometimes a player may unconsciously compensate in touch to even out the uneven action. This severely affects the sound and learning experience.

5) Too shy to ask for teachers’ advice

Teaches are there as a source of information and guidance. They will also know what is best for the student as they too want the students to progress. Before buying a piano it’s best to ask for the teacher’s advice. She will know which instrument is suitable for the student’s level of skill. Having a poor or unsuitable will put the teacher’s reputation at stake as learning will be slow or haphazard which is not the teacher’s fault.

You can consult the teacher you have in mind to teach your child piano lessons. She is likely to have the best idea on the right piano to buy that will be most suitable for your child’s skill level and your budget.

6) Buying used piano with critical flaws.

Similar to points 2 and 4, you do not know the importance of a good deal. You may think you have landed a good deal but in fact, there is a critical flaw in the used piano. In other words a lemon. Critical flaws are tuning instability, action issues, soundboard and bridge issues. You would have it moved to your house and get a tuner to tune it only to discover it is junk. Then you have to get someone to dispose of it. All these will set you back by a few thousand dollars. Don’t be Penny wise and Pound foolish.

7) Parents not on the same page

Every so often we see run-in between the parents. Communication is the key to success. One parent may know the benefits of learning music but the other half does not believe in it. When the parents are not on the same page nobody wins. The child will be left to make his own decision and without the encouragement of the parents, they will not be able to be successful in their musical path. Teachers and music stores can play their part in convincing the parents to let their children choose the musical path.

Apart from determining your child’s readiness, you must also be ready to provide the support your child needs once he starts playing the instrument. Your interest in the instrument is also helpful for your child’s progress.

8) Putting music lesson on-hold

We have often heard stories of regrets that they did not take the plunge when their children were interested to learn music. They could not decide whether to let them take up music. Time and opportunity just fly pass them. Before you know it, they have grown up and are too busy to take up this wonderful musical journey. Do it now and you will not regret it in the future.

9) Too hurry to buy a piano

They will make the same mistake as 2,3,5,6 and 7. Money and time spent ending with bad memories. You need to take your time and ask for advice from music teachers or music stores. Do not make a decision in a hurry. Investing in a piano is a lifelong investment as the piano can last for a generation. Making a hasty decision and live to regret it. Consider the sound, the type of piano, upright or grand, acoustic or digital, the list goes on.

10) Spending too much or too little on a piano

For example, buying a six-year-old beginner a 9 foot grand piano would be an overkill. Buying a keyboard with unweighted keys will set you back as a musician. The key to success is to understand your skill level is at. If you aren’t sure which piano is suitable for you, the best option is to ask your music teacher for advice. They’ll be able to assist you in the process of purchasing the piano.

In conclusion

Purchasing a piano can be overwhelming as there are many options available. To avoid making mistakes when purchasing a piano, feel free to reach out to our team so that we can guide you on which piano is suitable for you.

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