Piano and Keyboard Recommendations For Every Budget

So you want to start piano lessons, and you need an instrument. Where do you start? Should you buy a $150,000 Bosendorfer or a $350 Casio keyboard? Everyone’s needs and goals are different, and while this blog can’t possibly cover every piano in existence, it does provide helpful ideas.

If you’d like to speak with us about piano lessons in New York City at our studio, or if you’d like us to visit your home or meet online, please get in touch. We’d be happy to hear from you.

Firstly: A Quick TLDR Guide

Acoustic Piano Brands to Consider:

Steinway is a luxury brand and the world’s most recognized name in pianos. These have good resale value and a truly unique playing experience.

Bosendorfer and Bluthner are two brands that are higher end than Steinway. Consider these as priceless heirlooms if you bring one into your homeYamaha is the best value on the market. They have a beautiful sound and great action, and they aren’t as expensive as the European brands listed above.

Kawai is perfectly fine. It’s a budget-friendly option, and their newer models are excellent.
Baldwin and Boston: These pianos are okay, and you can get them pretty cheap on the secondary market

Young Chang: They are affordable.If you aren’t recording or playing for four hours a day, they are passable. Many dealerships are pushing Young Chang pianos these days, for better or worse.

Digital Piano Brands to Consider

If you’re after value and a good playing experience, just get a Yamaha. The Clavinova line, N3X digital hybrid, whatever – don’t think too hard about it!

Casio makes very affordable digital keyboards that are still decent quality.

Korg, Roland and Nord make great digital keyboards for rock bands, pop musicians, recording artists and other tech-savvy musicians.

Acoustic Piano Recommendations

Steinway Model S: The High-End User-Friendly Piano

Steinway pianos have long been the gold standard in the world of acoustic pianos, and the Model S is a fantastic instrument. Part of its popularity is the fact that the Model S is a baby grand piano that fits comfortably in most homes. Priced around $70,000 new and $25K used, it’s an investment for serious musicians who want a good playing quality and an instrument that will last a lifetime.

Yamaha CX Series: The Best Value

The Yamaha CX Series offers excellentserious students. In fact, Yamaha claims that the CX is the “world’s most recorded piano.” Yamaha’s reputation makes this series a reliable choice for anyone looking for a professional-grade piano at a more accessible price point. You can also find pre-owned Yamahas for less money, and if you’re willing to spend some money on refurbishing it, you can get an even better deal.

Budget-Friendly Baldwin and Kawai Models

Baldwin and Kawai pianos provide good options for those on a tighter budget. Baldwinrich has a sound, and while the action isn’t as smooth as a Yamaha or as intense as a Steinway, it offers upright models starting around $4,000. Kawai also provides high-quality pianos at similar prices. You can find many of these pianos on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and so forth.

Young Chang Pianos For Casual Piano Learners

Young Chang pianos are perfect for casual learners and families. These pianos offer good sound quality and build at a more affordable price, starting around $3,000 for upright models. They are often recommended for students and hobbyists who need a reliable piano without the higher cost associated with more prestigious brands.

Yamaha U Series: Our Upright Piano Recommendation

The Yamaha U Series upright pianos are our top recommendation for students who don’t have the space or budget for a grand piano. These pianos, priced between $10,000 and $15,000, are known for their beautiful sound and professional action. It’s the world’s best-selling upright after all. The U Series offers a resonant tone typically found in grand pianos, so they are ideal for serious students and professional musicians.

Digital/Electric Piano Recommendations

Clavinova: The World’s Most Popular Digital Piano

Yamaha’s Clavinova series is the world’s most popular digital piano, and for good reason. These digital pianos combine advanced technology with high-quality sound sampling and touch, making them a favorite among both beginners and professionals. Priced between $2,000 and $8,000, Clavinovas feature weighted keys and realistic-feeling pedals, mimicking the experience of playing an acoustic piano. The digital capabilities, including recording functions and connectivity with music apps, add extra layers of versatility and enjoyment.

Casio Offers Budget-Friendly Electric Keyboards

Casio is well-known for its budget-friendly electric keyboards, offering excellent value for money. Starting at around $200, Casio keyboards are perfect for beginners and casual players. Despite their low price, Casio keyboards often feature weighted keys and a range of built-in sounds and rhythms, making them versatile and fun to play. The portability and affordability of Casio keyboards make them a great choice for those who want a quality instrument without a significant investment.

Yamaha’s Digital Hybrids Are a Fascinating Alternative

Yamaha’s digital hybrid pianos, such as the AvantGrand series, offer a fascinating alternative to traditional acoustic pianos. These instruments combine the action of an acoustic piano with digital sound technology, providing a unique playing experience. Priced between $10,000 and $20,000, Yamaha’s digital hybrids feature real wooden keys and advanced sound sampling to replicate the feel and sound of a grand piano.

Get in Touch If You Would Like More Recommendations

Whether you’re looking for an acoustic piano or a digital/electric keyboard, there’s a wide range of options available to suit every budget. If you’d like to take piano lessons in the Upper East Side or visit us for piano lessons in the Upper West Side, we’d love to work with you. We help beginner and advanced pianists, and kids, teens and adults are welcome.