How to choose your first piano

At Take it away, we recognise that buying a first piano is a big commitment, families or musicians may find it hard to know where to start. One of our piano retailers approached us with their guide for first-time piano buying, which we are happy to share with our audience here.

Clement Pianos in Nottingham, is now a third generation family business. Owners Mick and Andy Wilson, are both piano technicians, trained by some of the world’s finest makers. They have spent many years carefully selecting what they consider to be the ultimate instruments in each class and price category.

Inside Clement Pianos showroom

A piano makes a great first instrument for learning the foundations of music. Beginner pianists require an instrument with the same features that a more advanced player needs – there is no such thing as a beginner’s piano, so here is what Clement Pianos suggest you should look for when choosing your first piano:

Shop locally for tailored advice

Visit a shop and don’t be afraid to speak to staff. Try out a few different pianos, find what you like and get advice that addresses your needs and aspirations for yours or your child’s playing. You will receive as much technical information as you require. Build a relationship with the staff as they will help you when it comes to your piano’s maintenance and performance.


A shop that offers technical support is essential. A piano is a complex piece of mechanics that may require some adjustments and attention to maintain optimum performance. Most dealers will provide aftersales services within their area, but few will travel 100 miles to fix a squeaking pedal.

“It is always advisable to play the actual instrument you are going to purchase”


Acoustic pianos naturally deteriorate over the years. Strings will lose resonance, felts and leathers wear, which may affect the performance of the action. The structure may also change due to the strains upon it.

With these factors in mind, it’s best to choose a modern piano where possible. There are far fewer manufacturers than there used to be, and on the whole, the quality of construction is very good. Even new instruments of the same make and model, built at the same time will vary in performance so it is always advisable to play the actual instrument you are going to purchase.


The appearance of the piano is important if you want it to match its surroundings. A piano is a piece of furniture as well as a musical instrument so consider where it will be used, whether it needs to be moved, and how it fits in with your lifestyle.


Some pianos have a soft or warm, mellow sound while others can be bright or have a harder sound. Decide which you prefer, and which sounds suits the kind of music you’ll be playing.


This is how the piano feels to play. The touch can be light through to heavy and more or less responsive to your touch. Feel is important as it affects your timing and your playing style.

Piano teachers

Remember that finding the right teacher and choosing a good instrument makes learning and playing music fun, and no one gives up doing something they enjoy. Your retailer will often have many connections with local music teachers, so do ask them for recommendations.

More info

Find your nearest piano dealer by searching Take it away shops

Find a qualified piano teacher near you via The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) and ask in your local music shop.

About Clement Pianos:
See Clement Pianos‘ showroom, displaying some of the world’s most amazing models by Blüthner, Kawai, Haessler, Irmler plus many more well-known brands, and find out about available maintenance services.

Contact Mick and Andy on +44 (0)115 970 1106 or at