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Grand Piano And Upright Piano

More than 20 million people in US play the piano. Piano lesson remains one of the most popular private lesson children participate in. Interestingly enough, most people, including
piano owners know virtually nothing about how a piano works or how to go about buying one.
This site is designed to help you understand more about the structure of a grand piano as well as some of the selections and criteria one consider before investing in any piano.

Buying a piano
Before you decide to buy a piano, you should ask yourself the followings:

1. Proficiency
Depending on your proficiency level, you may want to urchase something that is slightly higher quality than you think you deserve. Avoid cheap and old used piano for your child's first piano. Reason is because you want the instrument to be a good investment and something of a good value and fun for your child to enjoy. I have had many parents told me that once they upgrade their piano from a basic keyboard to a better quality acoustic upright piano, the child instantly become interested in practicing piano. If an acoustic piano is beyond your buying abilities, you may consider a digital piano. Many manufacturer produce good quality digital piano at a reasonable price. Yamaha Clavinova, Technics, Rolands, and a few others brand names have improved significantly over years.

2. Space
A vertical piano is about 5 feet wide and around 2 feet deep. Also take into consideration the bench and room to sit at it. The height of the vertical is not an issue. Grand piano, varies in size can have 5-9 feet length.

3. Finance
No doubt this is the biggest factor preventing people from getting the piano they want. People are willing to spend 5000 USD to purchase a brand new wide screen TV and yet reluctant to buy a 3000 USD vertical piano. Understand that most piano retains its value quite well and also serves as a furniture. I recommend people saving money to get a better quality piano than settle for a poor quality piano. If one does not maintain the piano by tuning, one really should not own one. Grand piano overalls cost at least three times as much as an upright piano. Many Asian piano manufacturers produce baby grand piano in recent years to offset the price difference. Often, these baby grand piano are of poor value, they do not maintain their tone as well as other qualities over the years. I advise people to choose a higher quality upright piano than settle for a poor quality inexpensive baby grand piano.      

4. Grand piano vs upright piano
The decision primarily depend on the space and money you have. The action of a grand piano allows for faster repetition of notes and for better tones.  

Upright/Vertical Piano
Vertical piano comes in different sizes. The height of the vertical piano is measured from the floor to the top of the piano. They are four different types of vertical piano:

1. Fullsize upright - 48-60 inches
2. Studio - 43-47 inches
3. Console - 40-43 inches
4. Spinet - 36-39 inches

The size of a piano is the single most important factor influencing its tonal quality. The smaller the piano, the worse the tonal quality, especially in the lower bass.

Grand Piano
The length of a grand piano is measured from the very front of the keyboard to the very back of the piano.
Concert grand - 7-9 feet
Medium grand - 5 1/2-7 feet
Baby Grand - 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 feet

If money and space is not an issue, buy a grand piano that is at least 6 feet long or a vertical that is at least 48 inches tall. Do not even consider a baby grand that is less than 5 feet nor a vertical that is under 40 inches.

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©2006 Yoke Wong