Learning how to play the piano can be a joyous and uplifting experience. But for many, the idea of purchasing a piano is simply out of the question. But pianos don’t have to be expensive, massive furniture pieces.

An upright piano can fit neatly against the wall, and used pianos are often inexpensive. Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking that you can’t own a piano! This upright piano buyer guide will help you find the ideal option for your home.

Upright Piano Vs. Other Types of Pianos

The modern piano comes in many sizes and shapes. Understanding the differences between these various types is crucial to choosing the right piano for your home or business.

Classic Upright

The class upright piano is made of hardwood. They may also be called analog uprights due to a lack of electronic components. These pianos tend to be between four and five feet tall and about two or three feet in depth.

This relatively short stature and width make the upright one of the smartest options for small spaces. Still, analog options require occasional tuning and may be more difficult to repair than contemporary digital uprights.

Digital Upright

Digital upright pianos have become fantastically popular over the last several decades. These pianos can be just as compact as standard upright options, if not more so. They also require zero tunings and are easy to maintain. 


When most people think about pianos, they imagine a glossy, glamorous grand piano. This type of piano can be more than seven feet long and weigh over half a ton. While they’re often associated with opulence and style, they can be pricey.

A mid-range grand piano can cost as much as $30,000. Because these pianos take up more physical space, they also require regular dusting. The majority of grand pianos are analog, so tuning is a must. 

Still, if you’re eager to enjoy the style of a grand piano without paying the continued costs of maintenance, you could always opt for a digital model. 


A spinet piano is essentially a compact upright piano. While most spinet pianos look nearly identical to analog uprights, some may feature a grand piano design. Spinet pianos are almost always analog, so they should be tuned and maintained.

Best Upright Piano Brands

Choosing a quality piano can be tricky, especially if you’re familiar with the most-trusted piano brands. In general, you’ll want to look for a piano that is manufactured by:

  • Yamaha
  • Casio
  • Kawai
  • Mason & Hamlin
  • Steinway & Sons
  • Bechstein

Yamaha and Casio tend to dominate the digital market, while Mason & Hamlin and Steinway & Sons are known for their analog options. If you’re unsure what brand to invest in, it may help browse new and used uprights.

Some pianos stand the test of time, becoming a family heirloom passed down throughout the generations. Others may begin to show significant signs of wear and tear after only a few years.

By browsing and comparing new and used upright pianos, you can choose an option that satisfies your needs, preferences, and plans for the future. 

Used Vs. New Upright Pianos

The choice between buying a new or a used piano is a personal one. Your precise preferences, needs, and budget can help inform this decision.

That said, each option poses a few unique advantages and disadvantages. For example, if you’re purchasing a brand-new analog upright, you can ensure that it’s well-maintained and tuned for the duration of its life. But you’ll be spending more.

If you’re going to purchasing a used analog upright, you may need to put in extra work to help it sound and look better. Of course, if you choose a digital option, there’s less guesswork and potential for disaster. 

Features to Look for When Buying an Upright Piano

When you’re looking for a new upright piano, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the variety and depth of options. But there are a few features you can focus on to keep yourself moving in the right direction. 

For example, you’ll need to consider whether you’d like a digital or analog upright before you can begin browsing. You’ll also want to consider whether you need a piano with pedals, a well-known brand of piano, or a 61 or 81-key option.

Lastly, if you’re purchasing a used upright piano, you’ll want to double-check that it’s in excellent condition. Piano repairs can be costly and frustrating, so it’s crucial to evaluate your prospective piano before making your purchase.

Analog Vs. Digital

The very first question that you’ll want to ask yourself (then promptly answer) is: Should I get a digital or analog upright piano? Analog options are traditional, and they do imbibe a certain classical charm. But they can be a pain to maintain.

Digital upright pianos may be lighter, smaller, and just as capable as their analog counterparts. However, they lack the glossy wooden paneling and hefty weight that make analog options appealing to so many. Still, they don’t need to be tuned. 

Number of Keys

The standard upright piano is outfitted with 88 keys. However, some digital or compact models may only have 61 keys. While this difference isn’t likely to hinder beginners, it can be frustrating for intermediate or advanced players.


Most analog upright pianos (and some digital models) feature a series of foot pedals. These pedals can be used to dampen (soften) the sound of your playing, sustain certain notes, or sustain all of the notes you’re playing.

Individuals hoping to experience the most authentic piano-playing experience will want to opt for a model with pedals. Much of the sheet music written for piano incorporates these various pedals and their unique functions.


While this aspect may seem obvious, many buyers don’t listen closely to their prospective piano sounds. This can lead to a severe case of buyer’s remorse, particularly for those who purchase a used piano.

If you notice any buzzing coming from the piano after you’ve depressed a key or if the whole thing is very badly tuned, it may better to move on to an alternative option. 

Enjoy This Upright Piano Buyer Guide

There’s nothing quite as magical as gathering around the piano for a singalong or teaching a little one the art of playing music. With the right upright piano, you could fill your home with sounds of beautiful, delicate music.

Hopefully, this upright piano buyer guide has pointed you in the right direction. No matter what brand or model you invest in, it’s crucial to choose a piano that sounds great and is in excellent condition.

Do you need a high-quality upright piano? Contact us today! We’re happy to help.