Brincat Pianos

Purchase Guide

What to look for when buying a Piano

Buying a piano is not something that is purchased without a specific need or use. Depending on the need, the purchase can be minimal, or expensive. Starting a child on piano lessons would require a less expensive 'upright' until they show a talent and desire to continue learning. However, a professional musician or concert pianist would look towards purchasing a high quality upright or grand piano, of better quality, touch and sound, and of course, considerably more expensive.

At Brincat’s Piano Centre all pianos can be traded 'up' as a need arises. The only time that there is a financial loss is when no one wants to continue playing.


1. Become familiar with various manufacturers, and the names and qualities of each make.

2. Play pieces on each of the Pianos as well as major and minor scales. Listen carefully to hear that each piano does have a slightly different tone. Some are mellow, brilliant, loud or soft. Each manufacturer produces a different tone regardless of style and a unique sound. Take into consideration the size, especially if your room is small.

    * The grand piano ranges in size from under five feet to twelve feet (a concert grand). A baby grand (a generic term for pianos around the 5' size), has a fast touch and is more responsive and powerful than an upright. However, some larger professional-quality uprights can have equal or better tone quality than many small grands. Grand pianos all have a horizontal action, and upright pianos have a vertical action that can be above or below the keys.

    * Uprights range in height from 36 to 51 inches. All of them require the same amount of floor space, about five feet by two feet. The largest of the uprights is the studio piano, which is 44 inches or taller. This is a type which is becoming quite popular. Uprights, 39 to 42 inches tall, are referred to as consoles. No longer built is the spinet which was 36-37 inches high. Manufacturers discontinued these because they were not a great sound and the action configuration was very inferior to consoles and studios. However you might find a used spinet or one in stock that may be good for the beginner and fit nicely into the room.

  1. 3.Bring an experienced pianist or your teacher with you when you are ready to buy; get their opinion about your choice of each piano. Listen to low, middle, and high notes. Ask about and learn to understand what makes a certain piano more desirable than another. Keep in mind however that your "experienced pianist" is going to recommend what they like, not necessarily what you like. Your taste and your budget are the most important elements.

4. Try out several pianos of each brand and model. Often, depending on the model and price range, there are surprising individual differences. One thing you will notice is how the keys feel when you press them down. Some are stiffer than others, and some are looser. This is called touch. You will want to find the piano feels good to your fingers and and sounds good to your ears.


Expect to buy the best piano you can afford and fit in your house. Or get a quality piano but do not buy the most expensive. A student starter piano will suffice, because you can always 'trade it up' for a better one if your child enjoys and wants to continue playing. Ask the salesman about our trade up policy.

Usually the first piano bought for a beginner is an upright. Do not expect it to have the touch or sound of a grand, but the tonal quality and sound will suffice and will encourage the beginner to learn and practice.

Even a very cheap used piano can be a great learning instrument if it plays well and sounds good and has been maintained well and tuned often.

If you're buying a piano for your child, make sure he or she gets to play it for a good length of time before you purchase it. Arrange with the showroom for your child to actually spend a practice period on the piano so that your child is happy and satisfied with it. If your child is unhappy with the piano, he or she will not want to practice on it, and you will have then spent your money on, essentially, a piece of furniture. (Once you've narrowed your choices down to 2 or 3 Pianos, make sure your child gets to test drive each one. When your child tells you the piano he or she prefers, take it into consideration! If children take part in the decision making, they feel more ownership of the piano and are more motivated to practice on it.)

Keep in mind that, if you are a professional, or an experienced musician, you might be listening to and looking at your piano for a long time so make sure it meets every one of your requirements and needs. Pianos depreciate very little over time. A used piano built ten years ago, and maintained well will still be worth almost as much as a comparable new piano.

The only maintenance that has to be taken care of, is to have the piano tuned on a regular basis.

  • Purchase Guide

  • Purchase Guide