Are you considering getting a piano for you or your kids? Maybe learning to play piano yourself? Before you dive into actually learning piano, the first thing you need to do is actually get the instrument. And that leads us to the question we're here to answer - just how much does a piano cost?
One of the things to consider when getting a piano is that it's more than just the cost of the piano itself. You'll need to move it and tune it.
And pianos also range dramatically in price. So how do you know you're getting a good one?
We'll cover all of this along with:
When it comes to buying a new piano, you have two options: buying a new one or getting a used piano. Both have their pros and cons so let's go into each of them.
New pianos are, of course, in excellent shape. There will be no sticky keys, notes that don't make a sound or terrible tuning. You'll have a piano in pristine condition and it will most likely sound amazing and play that way too.
Prices for new pianos range from $3,000 to over $100,000, depending on the brand, size, and quality. Quality does matter with pianos so you probably wouldn't want to purchase the cheapest brand new piano. You'd be better off purchasing a used piano of higher quality than a lower end new piano.
Used pianos are an excellent option for just about anyone. If I were to get a new piano, I would search for a used piano first. Just as with anything else, there are great pianos that are used and terrible ones. Some sound terrible and haven't been taken care of well. You'll have a hard time making it sound any better.
Prices can range from FREE (or the cost of moving it) to $10000 or $12000 as a general high end mark. There will be more expensive used pianos, for example, a grand piano, but these are outliers.
One of the great things about looking for a used piano is that there are often people who own them that are down sizing or getting older and need to find a new home for their piano. They often don't care about selling it, they just need it gone. So it is possible to find a good piano for very little money.
Just be careful because the same thing goes for pianos in rough shape. You can also get one of these for free but will then be stuck dealing with it later on when you want to move it on.
It is possible to get a very nice used piano and for a reasonable amount of money.
Chances are, you'll be able to find a pretty nice piano in your area. And prices will be all over the place. So, I'd recommend starting with a budget in mind and have a look at pianos in that price range.
It's not unreasonable to start under $1000. I have taught piano on a piano that cost me $700 and it was fine.
If you don't find what you're looking for, then up your price a bit.
The best place to buy a brand new piano is from a music store. There, you can play it and see if you like how it feels.
Used pianos can be found all sorts of places. You also want to be able to play it and see if you like the action and how the keys feel to play. Some will be really stiff, others won't, so try it out first.
Where to look for a used piano:
If the piano isn't perfect, you might also want to know things like how to clean piano keys and what it'll look like if it's been done wrong.
One of the big differences you'll see in price is with the type of piano and also the brand.
Upright pianos are a more common type of piano but grands and baby grands are more desirable sometimes. If you're not sure which type of piano you'd like, check out the Baby Grand Piano vs. Upright article.
Grand pianos and baby grand pianos will be much more expensive than upright pianos. Where it might be a deal to get an upright piano for under $1000, it'll be a deal to get a grand or baby grand piano under $10000.
Brand will also play a role in price. There are great piano brands to watch for and they include:
You can see a longer list of antique piano brands here.
Moving a piano is something best left for specialists and the cost will vary. It might cost $200 to $800 to move a piano.
Factors that influence this cost are:
Can you move a piano yourself? Or how do you find good piano movers? There are answers to those question plus how much a piano mover costs here.
A piano will need to be tuned after moving and this is the last main expense you'll have unless you need extra accessories like a piano light, piano bench and metronome.
The cost of tuning can vary depending on factors such as location, the complexity of the tuning required, and the technician's experience. On average, expect to pay between $100 and $300 for a standard piano tuning. If the piano hasn't been tuned in a long time or is severely out of tune, additional services such as pitch raising may be necessary, which will add to the cost.
More resources on tuning:
Piano Tuning Cost - Country by Country
When we factor everything in we have:
New piano: $3000 - $100000
Used piano: Free - $12000
Piano moving: $200 -$800
Piano tuning: $100 - $300
So, how much does a piano cost? Minimum you'll be paying is $300 but I think a realistic amount is more likely to be $1500.
With all of these expenses, it is be worth considering an electric piano. Even a keyboard and stand. In fact, the last 2 pianos I have bought were digital pianos. The first one wasn't great but the second was a Yamaha and I teach piano on this. It's pretty good.
I should say that I do own an upright but it lives in another country far away. I would prefer to play that any day over the digital one. As I say in this acoustic vs digital piano article, acoustic pianos are more satisfying to play.
With electric or digital pianos, you don't need a piano mover or a piano tuner. They won't last as long, the electrics could corrupt but are also less expensive. These range from $500 to $5000 depending on brand and features. The more like a piano it is, the more expensive it is unless you're counting extra features like midi.
Keyboards are also an affordable option and great for beginners. I'd recommend getting a good one if you go this route and you can check out the ones I recommend here.
Will you start the search for a new or used piano? Learn the cost of moving or tuning it? Research some keyboards or digital pianos?
If you know how much you'd like to spend, that'll take a good way into the direction that's right for you. And happy piano shopping!
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