The Buyer's Guide to pianos for beginners
We pick out 10 of the most suited pianos for beginners - all ranging in price, size, and style - to help you pick the best one for your learning.
So, you've decided to start learning the piano. Welcome to the club! It's all very exciting; you've got your beginner's music, you may have a piano teacher, but now you're on the lookout for your own piano. It's a difficult decision for any pianist given that there is so much to choose from. Before you jump ahead and make a purchase, there are a number of things that you need to consider and, lucky for you, we've condensed everything you'll need to know into this one article.
4 things to consider
1. Price - Pianos are an investment. They will unfortunately take a chunk out of your pocket but will last a lifeftime if you look after them. The less expensive models in this list do still have a lengthy life span however. So, regardless of what model you can afford, you'll be getting quality. Our top 10 list below starts from the least expensive, and works its way up to the most expensive for your benefit.
2. Age of player - Are you yourself looking for a piano? Is it for a young child? A grown adult? Knowing this will help you narrow down your search, as smaller pianos will be more suitable to younger players.
3. Size of piano - Carrying on from above, smaller pianos are more suitable for younger players. They need to be able to sit at the piano whilst still being able to touch the ground with their feet! Likewise, if you are buying for an adult, perhaps yourself, you will want to look a some full-sized pianos. Baby grand pianos can be suitable for adults too.
4. Digital or acoustic? - Digital pianos are mostly cheaper than acoustic pianos. Both have features that are well suited to beginners: Digital pianos are great for those that want to explore multiple sounds and effects in their learning process, whilst acoustic pianos are great for those who need to focus on the absolute basics, with no other distractions.
What makes a suitable piano for a beginner?
- Ease of use
- Ability to use expression
- Great sound
- Simple layout
- Fairly priced
*The list is organised from least expensive, to most expensive*
1. Janod Confetti Wooden Grand Piano // £83.49 ($111.84) // Acoustic // Suitable for very young players
The earlier they start learning, the better! Most suitable for children between 3 and 8 years old, this polkadot-themed wooden grand piano will give them a great introduction into the world of music. With just 18 keys, it will keep the early learning process simple and easy to understand.
Its lightweight structure also makes it a safe purchase for children.
2. Roland Go Piano // £249 ($333) // Digital // Suitable for teenagers
With 61 keys, this digital piano is the perfect size for teenagers as it's not a full-sized piano. Its features include full-size keys, a built in metronome to help with
the progression of your skills, similarly weighted keys compared to acoustic pianos, and a built in headphone port to allow you to practise anywhere without disturbing others.
It's lightweight, portable and ideal for student pianists who need to take their practise everywhere they go.
3. Casio CDP-130 Stage Piano // £299 ($400) // Digital // Suitable for student and adult beginners
For an extra £50, you can purchase this 88-note digital piano, which is perfect for students and adults given it is full sized. It's a brilliant choice for beginners as it achieves a realistic piano feel and tone whilst maintaining portability. Its features include a headphone port for silent practise, the inclusion of a sustain pedal and music stand, reverb and chorus effects for added performance value, and more complex features for you to discover as you progress.
4. Roland FP-30 // £529 ($708) // Digital // Suitable for student and adult beginners
The Roland FP-30 is fast becoming a benchmark for high-quality portable pianos. It ticks all the boxes for a beginner pianist requiring a natural weighted key action, with exceptional sound and a portable lightweight frame. Whilst this is mainly suitable for adults given its full-sized frame, it's also a great piano for children and young teenagers who are developing their skills very quickly.
The FP-30 has a progressively weighted key action with an ivory feel, a premium key-feel compared to pianos in the same class. The combination of this responsive key action, with the vast tonal range of the sound engine, results in a highly expressive piano. A brilliant choice for beginners who are excelling quickly and need an upgrade! Despite it being a full-sized piano, it will give young players a chance to get used to a bigger instrument at an early age.
5. GDP-100 Digital Grand Piano by Gear4Music // £949 ($1271) // Digital // Suitable for beginners with a higher budget
A beautiful piano, the GDP-100 combines style and practicality for the home or stage environment. If you work from home, or spend a lot of time at home, this grand piano could be very ideal for you. Its features include 88 weighted, touch responsive keys, a multitrack recorder to save your performances, and 16 high definition instrument voices for you to experiment with.
It also includes 55 play-along songs to help build your technique as a beginner.
6. Casio PX-560MBE // £1,129 ($1,512) // Digital // Suitable for teenagers and adults
The PX-560MBE represents the jewel in the crown of the new Casio collection. With a colour-touch interface that allows you to explore the piano's full complement of tones and sounds, it's the perfect piano for not just a beginner pianist, but a beginner composer. The Hex Layer feature allows you to work with six sample layers at any given time. These can be layered, split, or velocity switched, to allow you to compose your own bespoke music.
7. Kawai CA78 // £2,559 ($3,428) // Digital // Suitable for all beginners
Suitable for any aged beginner with a larger budget, this Kawai digital piano is as close to an acoustic piano as you could possible get; and it's cheaper! This brand new Concert Artist Series CA78 reflects decades of experience in crafting acoustic grand pianos. It has extended, fully wooden keys. Wood is unique in its ability to absorb energy and to flex slightly when compressed, enabling the key to meet the felt keybed with a natural stop rather than a disconcerting halt. What's fantastic and unique about this model is that its digital functions include lesson and finger exercises, which is ideal for beginners.
8. Yamaha U1 // £8,994 ($12,047) // Acoustic // Suitable for beginners of all ages
As we get towards the top end of the price range, the quality of these pianos is rising. This Yamah U1 is polished to perfection and features the latest advances in materials and construction.
The world's top pianists often use Yamaha, including this model, yet it's so simple and easy to play. There's no fuss about the U1, making it perfect for first timers.
9. Yamaha GB1 Grand Piano // £9,639 ($12,911) // Suitable for beginners with a larger budget
This piano represents exceptional value for money. The no-compromise approach to materials and levels of craftsmanship is evident in the classically elegant cabinet with soft fall lid, available in gleaming polished ebony, white, or a range of beautiful wood finishes.
Its features also include 3 pedals (soft, sostenuto, and damper), and an upgraded frame for better consistency of tone.
10. August Förster 116E // £14,220 ($19,048) // Suitable for all beginners
The final piano on this list is the might August Förster 116E: a brilliantly built upright piano which can withold its quality for years. This model uses strong iron frames and adds special back-posts for perfect tuning stability.
The fact that only 300 of these are made per year shows just how much the manufacturers value this piano. Its size means it can slot effortlessly into your house. Another no-fuss piano this one; ideal for beginners.
Hopefully this article has aided you in narrowing down your search! If you are still unsure, head over to our piano buyer's guide by clicking here.