Author Topic: Mustachian Piano purchase and playing  (Read 1426 times)

marz1982

  • Bristles
  • **
  • Posts: 67
Mustachian Piano purchase and playing
« on: April 08, 2013, 07:51:13 pm »
I need some down to earth advice about piano playing and purchasing.  I had some lessons as a kid, and I learned to play in a very basic fashion (learning a song by reading sheet music and memorizing it, until I could play it well by heart).  At the time I had an old 2nd hand keyboard that I got for peanuts, which was a brilliant purchase as a teenager.

I absolutely loved playing that keyboard, even though it was frustrating learning songs.  I want to learn how to play more naturally (Either by playing by ear, or learning how to read music and play on-the-fly).  I love the sound of an acoustic piano, but I'm not sure how painful it would be to buy, transport and maintain a good quality 2nd hand (of course) piano.  So I was looking into digital pianos, and boy are those expensive!  But they sound beautiful (to my untrained ear).

So my considerations so far:
1) Digital vs Acoustic vs Electronic - How much should I spend on a 2nd hand piano, and should I go for digital, acoustic or a cheaper keyboard?  I do want the variable note on a keyboard ( pressing key harder makes it louder, not sure what that's called), but I don't need the variable feel because I've never played on a normal keyboard so I don't know what I'm missing out on. :)  I consider the sustain pedal an absolute must.  Can I get this on a good quality Keyboard?

2) Price vs quality - I don't want to buy an expensive item, and find I lose interest in a few months to a year.  That's what happened to my previous keyboard - collected dust after a year or so of playing!  So I don't want to spend a ton of money (or I'll buy something that I can resell for a decent price).  However I don't want to go super-cheap, and not enjoy the keyboard/piano enough to be inspired to play.

3) Space - I currently have a spare bedroom to put this in, but we're renting and looking to move into a smaller place since it's far to big for us.  A smaller keyboard would be easier to move around.

4) Maintenance - Acoustic piano requires maintenance/tuning that I should be able to do myself since I have a good ear, will just need to learn how.  Not sure what option there is for fixing a digital piano that's bit the dust?

What is the most mustachian piano options?

Are there any decent electronic keyboards with a good sound?






Paul der Krake

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 782
  • Age: 1338
  • Location: North Carolina
    • Mustachian Monthly
Re: Mustachian Piano purchase and playing
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 08:10:56 pm »
The most mustachian option is getting one of those bad boys:
http://www.pianoadoption.com

Locate a good one, rent a U-Haul for the day, grab a couple buddies and voila, you have a piano for under $100 and a few beers.
Mustachian Monthly, news that matter.

Russ

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1351
  • Age: 23
  • Location: Madison, WI
    • AROUSE OSU
Re: Mustachian Piano purchase and playing
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 09:05:14 pm »
Ooh that's a nice site Paul. We've picked up a piano and two electric organs for free on Craigslist over the past few years . A friend with a truck and a few beers and you have a piano. When we moved houses the piano went to Goodwill and an organ went with us, although I probably won't take it with me next time I move. Addressing your concerns:

1. I don't know much about digital pianos but there are some very nice ones out there. Buy used of course if you decide to go that route.

2. Our free organ works perfectly and is super fun to play. The piano had a key or two that didn't work quite right, but we went for the first one we saw. If you were a little more picky I'm sure you'll find a good one. A cheap digital could definitely be un-fun though.

3. A free piano is free. If you don't get too attached to it just give it away when you move

4. Acoustic piano tuning is harder than it looks, but I'm sure you could do a good enough job. Or if not you can always pay someone to fix your mistakes. Digital would be just like trouble shooting any electronic device, time to pull out the multimeter and soldering iron, assuming it's worth the trouble to repair.

marz1982

  • Bristles
  • **
  • Posts: 67
Re: Mustachian Piano purchase and playing
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2013, 01:57:19 am »
Thanks for the free piano suggestion, looking into some local leads for this. 

There's a drop-dead gorgeous piano for $1 on auction... will have to see if I can grab it for under $100.  The auction mentions rust on the wire, but that it currently plays perfectly.  They're getting rid of it as they are moving.  Rust on wire - is that a potentially big problem?
It's a Romhidt grand piano - "Looks great but wiring inside has rusted due to beachside location. Plays well now but will need work for tuning in future".

Heather

  • Bristles
  • **
  • Posts: 77
Re: Mustachian Piano purchase and playing
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2013, 11:25:38 am »
Learning to tune a piano yourself sounds like a very fun project.
For my part, I settled on a Casio Privia PX150, bought new.  I watched for used digital pianos for months but didn't see what I wanted: 88 keys, light enough to move around myself, pleasing sound.   I justified the new purchase with the realization that these are electronics items, so the sound quality is likely to be much better with each generation. 
I'm very happy with the keyboard, and the action is piano-like, so I can play other real pianos when I visit other peoples houses.  It isn't a real piano,  but it is always perfectly in tune, and I can play it with headphones on.


GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1501
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Mustachian Piano purchase and playing
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 01:23:43 pm »
Around here people give away a few pianos a month to anyone who can take them.  If you're interested in an upright, you can probably get one for the cost of a rental vehicle and getting a couple people to help you move it.

A440

  • Bristles
  • **
  • Posts: 67
Re: Mustachian Piano purchase and playing
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 12:14:15 am »
My parents rebuilt a baby grand, with no prior experience and a book from the library.  They are probably harder to find for free, but in some ways easier to work on because things are more spread out. 

The free upright is a good plan. 

We also wanted a piano, but decided to get a Yamaha Clavinova.  Our model has weighted keys and pedals.  Ours was $250, but I had been following eBay and craigslist for awhile, and feel fairly confident that we could at least get our money back.

marz1982

  • Bristles
  • **
  • Posts: 67
Re: Mustachian Piano purchase and playing
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 12:13:49 am »
Thanks for the suggestions.  I was thinking about it last night, and looks like a keyboard or digital piano would be a better fit for us.  The advantage of headphones in our small house is pretty high.  As much as DH says he doesn't mind, he'll be right next to the "piano room" listening to me plinking and plonking until I learn.

Also size.... and if I need to pay for re-tuning that's going to be a yearly cost. 

I assume a well-kept digital piano should last for at least 5 years if not more, and if I grow bored it will be very easy to resell after a year.

But I've resolved to wait a month and see if I'm still keen in May :)

marz1982

  • Bristles
  • **
  • Posts: 67
Re: Mustachian Piano purchase and playing
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2013, 12:20:36 am »
We also wanted a piano, but decided to get a Yamaha Clavinova.  Our model has weighted keys and pedals.  Ours was $250, but I had been following eBay and craigslist for awhile, and feel fairly confident that we could at least get our money back.

That sounds like a great deal - the best I can find right now is a Casio Privia PX-300 for $427 and a Roland 3000s currently on $150 (buy-now price at $1500).  Will just wait and see what comes up for auction.

DoubleDown

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 734
Re: Mustachian Piano purchase and playing
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2013, 11:03:14 am »
I think you'll be very satisfied with a quality digital piano or synthesizer, particularly in your smaller space. While of course not perfect or the exact same as an acoustic piano, the quality and depth of some of the digital instruments is pretty amazing (to me at least). You'll likely get far more than 5 years out of it if you treat it decently. Many are around for decades, and of course they never need tuning. Maybe it's just me, but I really dislike the sound of almost every upright piano, and would choose a digital instrument unless I could get a grand or baby grand piano.

Definitely go with the full size, velocity-sensitive, and weighted keys if you can, and try to get all 88 keys rather than the shorter keyboards. I put an instrument like this in the "buy it for life" category -- it's worth spending a bit more on a quality item that you will value and use for a long time. I sometimes try out the various models at Guitar Center or similar places where you can get a good feel for the instruments.

lilacorchid

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
  • Location: Central Canada
Re: Mustachian Piano purchase and playing
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 12:42:57 pm »
I bought an apartment sized piano a few years back, and then sold it recently. When I listed it there were 300 other pianos for sale/free on kijiji. I honestly didn't think it would sell. People give away uprights because they are huge and cost a mint to move (if you hire someone). And any piano need to be tuned once you get it home. I might get the small sized piano if I decide to play again, but I would never take a free full sized. You may need to tune it more than once a year depending on what your climate is like or if it's next to a window or on an outside wall.

From what you are saying, I think you are right when you talk about a keyboard. You can always sell it an upgrade later if you turn out to love your piano!

velocistar237

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1034
  • Location: Metro Boston
Re: Mustachian Piano purchase and playing
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2013, 01:55:09 pm »
The Yamaha P-series is pretty good. I see some Craigslist listings near me for under $400.

We bought a nicer digital piano with stuck keys for $650 and then fixed the stuck keys.