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Old 01-06-2019, 04:50 PM   #1
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How to choose a piano?

Need recommendations.

Getting one for my kid who just started learning piano.

Preferably below 4k if possible.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:44 PM   #2
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Buy second hand and never buy first hand.

Given that your child is 4, waste of money to get a new one. Buying piano is worse than buying a car, once you buy it, it is rather hard to sell second.

If you have no parking space at home for a piano, might consider getting a weighted key electronic piano. At least, it is "portable" and you can move it around. If I have the chance again, I would have got an electronic piano with weighted keys.

https://www.singaporepianohub.com/si...7LETJBH5HarBOM

There is no necessity to spend $4k for a child starting out to learn piano. I spent more than that and I regretted it. Go recce all the piano shops and check out the type of tone you like for the piano. Some Japanese ones are different from the European ones. Even among the Japaneses piano, the Kawai sound is very different from the Yamaha.

Last, due to Singapore humidity condition, some piano need a heater inside the piano. Not required for an electronic piano.
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:06 PM   #3
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Buy second hand and never buy first hand.

Given that your child is 4, waste of money to get a new one. Buying piano is worse than buying a car, once you buy it, it is rather hard to sell second.

If you have no parking space at home for a piano, might consider getting a weighted key electronic piano. At least, it is "portable" and you can move it around. If I have the chance again, I would have got an electronic piano with weighted keys.

https://www.singaporepianohub.com/si...7LETJBH5HarBOM

There is no necessity to spend $4k for a child starting out to learn piano. I spent more than that and I regretted it. Go recce all the piano shops and check out the type of tone you like for the piano. Some Japanese ones are different from the European ones. Even among the Japaneses piano, the Kawai sound is very different from the Yamaha.

Last, due to Singapore humidity condition, some piano need a heater inside the piano. Not required for an electronic piano.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Not willing to spend so much on brand new piano. Second hand might be better option.

A weighted electronic piano does not have pedals right? I know at beginner level it is not used. When will they start using the pedal?
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:43 PM   #4
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Thanks for your suggestions.

Not willing to spend so much on brand new piano. Second hand might be better option.

A weighted electronic piano does not have pedals right? I know at beginner level it is not used. When will they start using the pedal?
Pedals? Start with sight reading first. If sight reading is poor, whats the point of having the pedals. To me, pedals is the last thing you should be worried about. Or if your child is tall enough to rest the heel on the ground when sitting on the piano chair.

TBH, if i could try again, I would prefer violin to piano. Why try violin? Absolutely no parking space. You can park the violin inside the cupboard. You can also bring along with you on holidays.

If your child wants to learn the volin, try the suzuki method. First song they play, will most likely be twinkle twinkle litte star.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:25 PM   #5
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Need recommendations.

Getting one for my kid who just started learning piano.

Preferably below 4k if possible.
My recommendations in red

Get a second hand one. I totally agree with "angy"

A little story about myself:
I have played the piano till grade 8 and going on to associate(diploma)
When my parents bought a first-hand piano for me and my bro while we were young, it stayed with me till I was grade 4/5 and wanted a change. My bro stopped at grade 4, due to lost interest.

So the piano was originally bought for hin as he's the "elder" bro, smarter(in studies) and will make the decision. Side note: i was always last in Pri sch class and he's always top 10.. so That piano was more suited for him then me. Our playing styles are totally different. (Explain more below)

With that being said, I can guarantee you that a kid will never know what he wants until he's at least 13/14 years old. I didnt like piano when i was young, I wanted to learn it cos my bro was getting more "affection" then me. But in the end, he lost interest while I excelled and continued.

So TRUST ME, I really didn't expect myself taking Olevel music, qualified as a student conductor and still playing the piano till this date.

Piano heater: Yeah ask the manufacturer, they should know more. But generally, only 1/2 brands that sellers bring in to Singapore that doesn't need them. It depends on where to wood comes from. A very long story and research if you're interested. But then again, if your child is really interested, he should research. NOT the parent. Knowing this or not, should not affect your decision as well. It doesnt matter in my opinion, Singapore is a humid place. Piano is not meant to be here. unless youre talking about a piano worth 10K or more, then yes every penny is worth on maintaining the quality of it. Heck even a controlled humidity room for the piano like esplanade. NOT IDEAL.

Pedals: It totally depend on your child's playing style and the pieces he/she/the teacher pick for your child to play.
IT IS NOT DEPENDING ON THE GRADE HE IS AT.

An ExampleGrade 8 piece in 2017 ABRSM)
Preleude and Fuge in D minor by JS Bach. If you use the pedals, I guarantee YOU WILL FAIL.

Pedals more for Chopin/Debussy pieces, but can make do with Ravel or other jazz pieces in the lower grades. You wont learn the pedal till at least Grade 5 frankly. By grade 4/5 then buy a first-hand piano. if your child is really interested. Grade 7/8 might need to change again if he/she plans to further purse associate/licentiate.

My advice on the pedal(grain of salt) : See your child's character. Is he/she more emotionally or logical. If more emotional, as a teacher, i would pick something more feeling-ly which will require the pedal. BUT this is just a gauge. Some students is the opposite when they excel better in "form and structure" playing techniques.

Piano brand: Frankly get anything that fits within your budget. I personally dont like japanese brand ESPECIALLY Kawai. Yahama U3 Model is excellent and you cant go wrong with it. Beware of European brands tho, there are many who claim they are of "ELITE" history and heritage. Some are, some arnt.

Also remember to get at least the Exam Height 121CM. Some students are shocked by the difference in height/sound produced during exam. A higher height have longer strings, the bass are Richer(longer strings) The mids are more complete and highs are sparkle more(wider and larger sound board)
Exam rooms are sound proof. So imagine playing at home everyday for 6 hours (Asian parenting *wink). Suddenly in exam room, the piano tone is so much louder and richer, everything sounds so different, it adds on to the nervousness.
(Just kidding on the 6 hours everyday. Quality is always preferred over Quantity)

My recommendations for Economy piano brands:
Hailun
Kawai (k2,K3 models)
Boston (Dont really recommend this as the price is not worth for the price)

Performance Piano:
Schimmel (My preference for this category)
Seiler ED or JS Versions
Sauter


Elite ranges:
Bosendorfer (The best money can buy in my opinion)
Seiler SE models
C.Bechstein (Many copy of this brand with similar names BEWARE)


I'll try to keep watch this post if you require any more help.

P.S
I now own a Full Grand in a HDB (My family traded for a luscious classical performance every night for a tiny dinning table) . YES, im fortunate enough. Some HDB lifts arnt that accommodating. BEWARE

I have played thoroughly on Steinway & Sons (both upright and grand), Bossendorfer (upright only), Petrof (grands only), Hailun(both upright and grand), Schimmel(both grand and upright, tho not that good for our weather), Yamaha(both) and kawai(both).

If money and space wasn't an option Scimmel, Petrof concert grand or the Feurich would be my choice.

If money wasn't an option, with limited space, Bossendorfer, Yamaha or Schimmel would be my best bet.

Some brands I wouldn't touch no matter the situation:

Kawai Because of their kawai(patented) carbon stroke action. My fingers just screams NO with every depression. Some teacher swear by it. Def not me.

Steinway & Sons - Too overpriced. Too overrated. Unless you're talking about their million dollar Concert Grand. Their QC is good yes, but I always try before buying. And if i like it. I get THAT. Not wait few months for a new piece to come in. Every wood used, every workmanship and feeling of love by the craftsman into it is different. It's a piece of art. Unlike buying Apparels/Technology products, where we avoid display pieces like plague.

Boston - Because it is a subsidiary of Steinway & sons. (Im def biased on this opinion )
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:35 PM   #6
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Thanks for your suggestions.

Not willing to spend so much on brand new piano. Second hand might be better option.

A weighted electronic piano does not have pedals right? I know at beginner level it is not used. When will they start using the pedal?
Weighted Electronic Piano some does. Look out for Sustain pedal. Una corda Pdeal (left) is very rare unless you play "pp" or lower

Traditional upright Pianos only have 2 pedals. 3 Pedals are only for Grand Pianos. Where the middle is a sostenuto. Selective sustain, Google for better explanation.

The middle pedal for Upright pianos is a 20th century invention.
Engaging the middle pedal in an upright piano will enable a felt between the strings and keys. Lowering the volume Very useful for HDB where you can play at night without neighbor's complaining. Though the feel is very different and not recommended.

Get the Yamaha silent pianos instead if you wish to practice at night. Those are better then above mention, it's a normal stringed piano, but there is a sensor under the keys to register the keystroke and sends an audio signal via headphone jack. Worth the cost IMO.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:39 PM   #7
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Thx 4 the advice. I like Hailun. Have a H33p. The keys are fairly heavy, which is what I like. And nicely loud.
Apparently for diploma exams, most centres allow a choice of upright or grand
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:29 PM   #8
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Hi Emo_121, thanks for your very detailed advice.


My child just started going for piano lessons about a month ago and I have no idea how to choose a piano.

I'm not familiar with pianos so I don't quite understand alot of the terms you used.

That being said, I would prefer to get a traditional upright piano rather than an electronic one.

To summarize it all, would you recommend getting a Yamaha U3, Kawai K2/K3 (even though you said you wouldn't touch this brand?), Schimmel?

I've personally never heard of Hailun to be honest.

Is this new in the market? I'm completely clueless about pianos..
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:39 PM   #9
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Pedals? Start with sight reading first. If sight reading is poor, whats the point of having the pedals. To me, pedals is the last thing you should be worried about. Or if your child is tall enough to rest the heel on the ground when sitting on the piano chair.

TBH, if i could try again, I would prefer violin to piano. Why try violin? Absolutely no parking space. You can park the violin inside the cupboard. You can also bring along with you on holidays.

If your child wants to learn the volin, try the suzuki method. First song they play, will most likely be twinkle twinkle litte star.
Hi Angy,

I did ask my girl if she wanted to play the violin instead cos it won't take up space and also cheaper to get a basic one.

However, she was adamant on playing the piano and has been bugging me for months.

She's a late starter at 8 years old ( I had wanted to enrol her for piano lessons much earlier when she was 3 but she wasn't keen back then).

Now, all of a sudden she has a change of heart and wants to play the piano. I thought it was just a phase cos her friends in school were all playing piano during recess time in the music room and I thought she just wanted to fit in.

Fast forward a few months, and she still continued bugging me about enrolling her for piano lessons and I finally relented.

Now, I'm just afraid that she would give up months down the road, hence I'm looking to get a second hand piano that won't cost more than 4k until I know she is really serious about playing the piano.

I've also heard you could rent a piano, I may try that option as well for a start.

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Old 03-06-2019, 09:37 AM   #10
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To summarize it all, would you recommend getting a Yamaha U3, Kawai K2/K3 (even though you said you wouldn't touch this brand?), Schimmel?
Yeah this seems alright. I would go for Schimmel if you can. They are crazily good and lasts for pretty long with the right care.


I've personally never heard of Hailun to be honest.

Is this new in the market? I'm completely clueless about pianos..
Hailun is a chinese brand/company. I used to think chinese products are lacking of quality and wont be built to last. But i was wrong.

A short history about them is:
The hailun boss went to austria(cant really remember which country to be exact) to learn piano making. Came back to china started up Wendy and Lung piano company. Bring budget piano to the masses in china. But the company didnt really see much growth. Wendy & Lung has Average pianos and average built.

So he started another company Hailun. Same boss, different factory, different manufacturing practice. The only difference between Hailun and Wendy&lungis that:
Hailun used traditional methods to make their pianos. Traditional as in methods that were proved success, EG: Reener action. Which is why i bought hailun.
The wood they used are cured using the traditional method as well. Cant remember the how many days outside how many days in oven, the sales person should have better clue on it.
The used the same heat forming method for grand pianos as well.

So with that, Hailun was formed. He sent many samples abroad to conservatories for sample(FREE) as many people dont believe china products. I think SOTA is using Hailun grands, if im not wrong.

So after sending those FREE samples and not getting any feedback, risking of closing down soon, Feurich Piano had a deal with them. Feurich Pianos are to be Manufactured by Hailun. Feurich is a very good brand. So from then on, Hailun caught the eyes of many till this day.

I have the Hailun 178 Grand. It is using the same sound board as schimmel, and traditional Rener action.

Tho I wouldnt recommend Hailun for beginner, unless you know what you are looking for. Mine was an exceptional piece where its specifically made. Their QC is not consistent and you gotta try it out yourself

Some are below average, some are way above average. When you do get your hands on the way above average hailun, you may have as well found a gold mine.
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Old 03-06-2019, 09:39 AM   #11
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Thx 4 the advice. I like Hailun. Have a H33p. The keys are fairly heavy, which is what I like. And nicely loud.
Apparently for diploma exams, most centres allow a choice of upright or grand
Great to hear!

Yeah, I feel upright pianos the speed is not there. Many times the piano cannot keep up. so I usually pick a grand.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:49 AM   #12
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where is a good place to post 2nd hand pianos for sale?

I have a Yahama U1E(made in japan) that has been with me for a long long time
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Old 03-06-2019, 02:28 PM   #13
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Carousell or thepiano.sg are the usual places to sell old pianos. Market isnít great though.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:54 PM   #14
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Thanks Emo_121 for the information!

You are very knowledgeable. Are you a piano teacher?
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:46 AM   #15
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Thanks Emo_121 for the information!

You are very knowledgeable. Are you a piano teacher?
I was. Used to be.
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