Should you get a grand, upright, or spinet piano?

This is a classic question, and choosing the right piano isn’t as simple as personal preference.  There are many factors to consider and they pretty much all impact each other.


Consider your piano’s final location in your home.  Think about floor space, wall space, and the impact on your home.  Some upright pianos are quite tall, and the curved shape of grand pianos won’t fit neatly into a corner.  Remember to consider the logistics of getting the piano into that spot, as well.  Pianos are heavy, and the bigger they are, the harder they are to move. 


This goes along with consideration of the final location.  Pianos are best located in a regular living space room, not in a basement, attic, or space where they won’t be seen and enjoyed.  Consider piano size and color as part of your interior design.  Black and wood tones are the most common colors, but they may also be white or colors, depending on the make and model.  Cabinet design may also be different, and there are a number of variations to choose from.


Sound is an important consideration because the acoustics of your instrument can change depending on the environment.  The same piano will sound slightly different from room to room.  Even the addition or removing of carpet, draperies, and even furniture can affect the sound.  In most acoustic spaces, I feel that larger pianos usually have bigger, better sound.  I usually recommend getting the largest piano that you are comfortable with.  


Budget is always a factor in choosing a piano.  Consider what financial investment you can work with.  Piano prices can vary wildly, depending on type, brand, model, and condition.

Personal notes  

As a technician who has seen and worked on many different pianos in many different locations, I have a couple personal observations.  Smaller pianos (spinets) can be more expensive to work on should they need repairs.  Different size pianos often have different feeling actions, which impacts the playing experience.  Play different styles of piano and see what feels best — in the end, choosing your piano style is a personal decision.