I have a friend who’s against going to a therapist so much, even though she needs it to treat her depression. She kept on saying, “That’s a waste of money; I’ll get better without that.” What she wanted to do instead was buy a grand piano and learn how to play it. Thinking that it’s better than nothing, her parents decided to get her one. After all, some studies have shown that music therapy can be excellent when it comes to dealing with mental health issues.
What everyone realized, however, is that buying a grand piano is no easy feat. You cannot merely go for the first one you will lay your eyes on because you may end up wanting to return it. Nevertheless, you should not visit a store without any knowledge about the instrument because the staff may point you straight to the most expensive one.
Below are a few ideas you should take note of, for that reason.
Knowing The Grand Piano Family
Grand piano is like a woman not only because of its curves but also because of its ability to produce “children” over time. Some of the members of its brood are the baby, medium, and concert grand pianos.
It is quite easy to distinguish one grand piano from the others since their sizes, usefulness, and affordability can be classified through their names. The baby grand is one of the smallest grand pianos ever made and is often ranging from sizes 4 feet 11 inches to 5 feet 4 inches. The medium grand’s length is around 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 9 inches while the concert grand is about 9 feet lengthwise.
Beginners usually opt for baby grand piano because it is considerably less pricey than the others and is more convenient for those who do not have a spacious vacant area in their home. It has long been known, on the other hand, that the perfect size and the string length of a medium grand have enticed the music schools and some pianists to use it in their practice rooms instead of the bigger pianos. After all, the latter can take up more space, and the smaller ones have shorter string ranges.
Lastly, the concert grand piano is most suited for performance ballrooms and other concert scenes. For one, its overwhelming sound projection can fill a huge venue. Also, its size can easily eat up a normal-sized stage.
The different sizes of grand pianos certainly fit the needs of every pianist and pianist-wannabes alike.
Asian Or European?
There’s also a debate about whether you should buy an instrument from Asia or Europe. From what we’ve gathered, you have to look for these three things:
Asians are more advanced in incorporating science in their industrial process. It should not come as a too big of a surprise to hear about the addition of plastic parts like ABS styran in their pianos. Such materials make them more inexpensive and more long-lasting since they cannot be affected by any weather conditions. Also, from what people who have purchased a Yamaha grand piano have been saying about it, this brand has “touch response” keys, so the pianists can definitely enjoy playing it.
The Europeans, although they now seem to begin to think in a liberal manner, are still sticking to the tradition of only using hard and/or softwood for their pianos. It is a good thing too, of course, because it means that they are preserving the old ways.
Even if European piano makers are not exactly fans of mass production and modernization, the quality of the hardwoods that they are using and the consistency in the sounds that their pianos are producing are both excellent. That’s the reason why we can say that their price range is of the right amounts. Owners of European pianos only get a problem, however, when they move to a tropical country because that’s when these pianos need high maintenance. Otherwise, the instrument will not survive from the new atmospheric condition.
The Asian pianos, on the other hand, do not have that kind of problem since the woods used for them are already from tropical areas. Unfortunately, the sound quality isn’t consistent because it tends to sound rusty after some time.
Hands down, Asian grand pianos like Yamaha or Kawai cost a lot lesser than the European ones such as Fazioli and Bosendorfer. The most apparent cause is that the former are usually made out of lighter materials and probably pieced together by technology while the latter make use of full hardwoods and are done manually by exceptional craftsmen.
If a depressed loved one says that they want to try something instead of regular psychotherapy, let them do that. You may think that seeing a therapist is the only way for them to get better, but any mental health professional will agree with the troubled individual. After all, it entails that they’re actively looking for ways to improve.
So, considering it’s learning how to play the piano that they want to try, remember everything mentioned above. Good luck!