Advice on Buying a Used Piano

Advice on Buying a Used Piano

When parents decide to sign up their child for piano lessons, they are faced with several decisions. The first being based around buying an instrument. 

  • Is buying a used piano okay, or do we need to invest in new? 
  • Will my child quickly lose interest in playing the piano?
  • A piano is a piano. They can start to learn on anything; can’t we just upgrade when they show interest? 

Of course, many parents wind up selecting a piano that doesn’t motivate their child to take action. And their interest in music wanes. 


If a piano is too old, doesn’t play well, or doesn’t provide the proper resources for a child to learn with, it becomes useless to a child. But a child can’t express this. They don’t understand what’s wrong. They just know their playing isn’t satisfying, they can’t achieve the results their teacher is looking for, 

For these reasons, we recommend learning all you can about a piano before you buy. 

Buying a used piano doesn’t have to be difficult. Your child can do quite well by learning on a used instrument. The key is in what you buy. 

Yes, you can find used instruments on Craigslist. You might even be able to find them for free. 

But if you do a little investigation, their story is often something like this. You call up the owner and they say:

“It was my mother’s. I’ve had it in the basement for a couple of decades. It’s in good condition. Nobody’s played it for years. But the finish still shines.”

The finish isn’t what matters. It’s the internal workings that create a piano worth playing. And if it’s been sitting there that long, untouched, chances are the wood and strings and other components aren’t in their best condition. They’ve slowly degraded over time. 

Without proper tuning, it won’t sound its best. And there’s a chance it can never return to its proper sound. 

Is that what your child will be learning on?