Father and son playing baby grand piano

Baby grand pianos are a smaller version of a traditional grand piano. They are typically 5’ to 5′ 7” in length (from the tail to the keyboard). High-quality baby grand pianos, such as the popular Yamaha C1X hold their value extremely well, especially with care and regular maintenance.

Many clients consider a baby grand piano if they love the look of the grand piano but don’t have space for a full-sized grand. The soundboards of a baby grand piano also tend to be longer than traditional upright pianos, giving them a better sound quality than many vertical piano options.

What to Consider When Buying a Baby Grand Piano

Choosing a quality baby grand piano is about more than just esthetics. Considering things like tone, playability, and value can ensure your new piano lasts and is a purchase you are happy with for years to come.

Determine Your Piano Budget

The first thing to consider when shopping for a baby grand piano is your piano budget. Having a budget in mind allows you to go in to a piano store knowing what you’re able to spend on a new piano. It can also determine whether a new or used baby grand piano will be the best purchase for you. If you have a tight budget, you may be interested in our blog about how to afford a piano on a budget.

The cost of a new baby grand piano typically starts around $13,000, while a used baby grand piano can be as low as $4,000. The benefit of purchasing a piano, especially if it’s a high-quality brand such as Yamaha, Bösendorfer, Steinway, or Kawai, is that the piano will hold its value for a long time. If you purchase new, you can expect the piano to last 50-70 years in most cases. For used pianos, as long as they are well-maintained, you can typically get several years or even decades out of them before their components wear down.

Explore Different Sizes of Baby Grand Pianos

The rule of thumb with buying the best piano possible is to purchase a quality brand with the longest soundboard you can afford (and place in your home). For instance, a 5′ Yamaha GB1K Baby Grand will have a lesser sound than that of a Yamaha GC1 5’3″ Baby Grand, which has an additional 3″ of soundboard to produce a more resonant tone. Even within a single brand, you can find variations, such as comparing the 5’3″ Yamaha GC1 to the 5’3″ Yamaha C1X, the quality of which emulates the iconic CFX concert grand piano. With this in mind, you’ll often find better sound from a larger used baby grand piano of a quality brand than a brand new, smaller baby grand piano. After you determine your budget, it’s wise to play a range of baby grand pianos, used and new, to get a feel for the sound and resonance you enjoy best. More experienced piano players are more likely to be pickier about the piano sound than beginner piano players–if you’re not confident in your musical ear, it can help to bring along a friend or family member who has experience with pianos.

Consider Financing Options

Don’t take the sticker price at face-value when shopping for a new baby grand piano. There are usually financing deals or trade-in options that can save you some extra money. If you work with a reputable piano dealer, they’re likely to be upfront with these options, but it never hurts to ask. A little extra savings can help you get a higher-quality piano that you’ll likely be happier with for the longer term.

Play a Variety of Demo Songs

If you’re an experienced piano player, you probably already have a checklist of how you’d like your piano to play. For instance, if you’re an expressive player, the nuanced responsiveness of the piano keys will make a huge difference in whether you enjoy playing your new baby grand piano or are disappointed each time you sit down. If you like classical performance pieces, you may be looking for a piano with a brighter tone, or if you like more moody modern dramatic pieces, you may be looking for a sound that is deeper and more resonant. The best advice when shopping for a new piano is to play many pianos and to play a few different song styles to really get a feel for how the piano feels and sounds. If you’re still new to playing the piano (or are shy about playing in front of others), your piano salesperson will have a full repertoire of demo songs they will happily play for you.

Don’t Forget Maintenance

To maintain its value, regular maintenance like tuning, dusting, and polishing is a necessity for your baby grand piano. The national average for a piano tuning is relatively inexpensive, costing between $100-$200 and is recommended annually. Keeping the strings, hammers, and soundboard clear of dust and keeping keys clean and polished will help hold the performance ability of the piano components, thereby increasing the long-term value of the instrument.

Final Thoughts

Cost-effective, space-saving, and with minimal sound compromise, a baby grand piano is a great addition to any home. If you’d like more information about a specific baby grand piano model or would like help finding the right piano for your family, please reach out! Our piano experts are happy to help.

*This article was originally published in March 2022 but has since been updated for content, quality, and accuracy.

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