What to look for when buying a piano?

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

Have you developed an interest in Pianos recently? Or are you considering buying one for your child? It can be a daunting task given the myriad options available in the market. It leaves one wondering what some of the features are that should be paid attention to.

Do not worry, you have come to the right place because we here at pianoboomers.com we make sure that we give our readers not only the best advice but also simplify the process as much. In this article, we are going to list down what to look for when buying a piano online.

The factors described below are in order depending on their importance. However, you can choose what to focus on and what to ignore based on what’s available near you and your personal preference.

1. Your skill levels

First of all, know what your skill level is and then screen out pianos that don’t match your skill level.

For example, if you don’t know the basics of playing the piano, it would be a big mistake to buy one that is made for the professionals. Not only would it be expensive, but its abundance of buttons on the control panel will overwhelm beginners.

Similarly, if you’re an intermediate or a professional player you need a piano that can match your skill level.

2. Budget and brand

While this may sound obvious, it does help in eliminating options that are outside of one's range. For example, if your budget is £200, there is no use in inquiring about a £1200 Yamaha, and as much as we tell our followers to consider more than just a brand name, a high-end brand such as Yamaha will always be better than a low-cost Williams.

So, leave out options that are way out of your range but don’t lose hope of finding a good one within yours. We will soon be writing an article on the best budget-friendly pianos, so keep reading our blog.

The most expensive ones and usually the best ones are Kawai and Yamaha followed by less expensive brand providing outstanding value such as Roland, Korg and lastly Casio.

You might even find cheaper brands, but to help you avoid regret, we suggest you buy only from our recommended ones. Markets are filled with cheap pianos that have no value. In case, we haven’t reviewed a specific model, let us know and we might do a review for you.

3. Sound

What is a musical instrument without a sound, right? Well, in the race to make pianos as affordable as possible some manufacturers compromise on the quality of the sound. Some keyboards can sound like toys and are no good for improving one's skill nor for playing in Infront of an audience.

Modern digital pianos were made to replicate the sounds of acoustic pianos as well as other instruments whilst being affordable, lightweight, and portable.

To avoid buying such a piano, make sure the sound is as close to that of an acoustic one. If you can’t play and test for yourself, follow our blog as we review each piano and share our recommended ones.

4. Key Sensitivity

Keys sensitivity is just as important as sound quality. Acoustic pianos have weighted keys due to the hammer in them, but digital pianos do not necessarily need any hammer. Therefore, they contain light keys but the problem with this is that it doesn’t train one to become a top performer. Non-weighted keys are only good for small children but if one wants to become a better player, weighted keys are the way to go.

A good piano will also have graded keys meaning that the lighter notes will require a heavier touch and as you move on to the higher notes the resistance decreases. This is also done to replicate the feeling of an acoustic piano. It’s a plus feature to have in a digital piano because it allows one to train as if he is playing a real piano.

Furthermore, a higher-end keyboard will have strong and ivory feel keys while cheaper ones will have feeble keys that have a plasticky feeling to them. While this may be difficult when you’re buying a piano online, but you can consult articles such as these on our blog to know about the keys of a particular keyboard.

5. Polyphony

This is one of the most commonly ignored features when buying a piano and it ends up limiting our composing capacity as we progress. A polyphone is simply the number of tones a digital piano can play simultaneously. You’ll find a cheaper keyboard with only a 32-note polyphone but as you go up the price ladder it can even reach 256 note polyphone and sometimes even more than that.

For piano learners, a 128-note polyphony or even a 64-note polyphony will suffice.

6. Portability

The main advantage that digital pianos have over acoustic ones is that they are portable, lightweight, and compact. You can carry your keyboard in a bag while an acoustic piano requires two or more people to carry it around. More so, if you want to buy a digital keyboard for your kid, buy a lightweight one so that he/she can carry it to their piano lessons daily all on their own.

7. Maintenance

Maintenance is one of the most overlooked features when it comes to buying a piano. It should be considered before purchasing because it can cost you a lot later. Acoustic pianos are made from mostly wood with a little bit of metal while digital pianos are made from different varieties of plastic combined with small quantities of metal.

Wood is susceptible to moisture and therefore loses its shape due to the changing weathers as well as the change in the room temperature. On the contrary, plastic is not affected by moisture or change of weather. Conclusively, you must keep this in mind before pulling the trigger.

Also, acoustic pianos require tuning, at least once every season if not soon which can get quite burdensome for those in a tight budget. On the other hand, digital pianos do not require any kind of tuning at all.

Another thing regarding the maintenance of pianos is that acoustic pianos have a higher maintenance cost and digital pianos have a lower. The Non-portability of acoustic pianos further adds to the pain. This is why more and more people are choosing digital pianos for piano lessons rather than acoustic ones.


So, these are all the things we believe one should look for when buying a piano online. Although there can be other things as well such as the size and quality of the speaker, the navigation, and the various modes that are provided in the latest keyboards, they are however not as important for beginners like the ones we have listed above.

To know more keep following our blog and if you have something to say about this article, let us know about it in the comment box down below.