Consider a Keyboard for a Beginner
If you are on the fence about buying a piano, we recommend starting out with a small keyboard for your lessons until there is some progress made. This is unless you really know you want a piano for the furniture aspect as much as for the instrument itself.
Beginning on an inexpensive keyboard works fine for the beginner. In the last five to ten years, the technology has progressed to the point that even a $200 keyboard found at Costco or Target will work just fine for beginning lessons. They will usually come with a simple pedal, which will be your sustain pedal, though that isn’t even needed in the beginning. These less expensive keyboards will not likely have the same 88 key range that a piano has, or larger digital pianos, but that is also not needed at this stage.
If you get into the $800 to $1500 range, you can find digital pianos which are closer the look and feel of a piano. The keys are weighted, so they feel more like a piano, and they sit directly on the floor, rather than a cheap stand. They seem more like furniture.
If you are sure you want a real piano, there are limitless options. New pianos can be very expensive, but modest uprights can be found affordably. The sound of an upright is smaller and less impressive, and the argument could be made that a nicer digital keyboard would be a better choice if you are going for a big grand piano sound. This is entirely subjective, however.
Used pianos can be very risky. A well taken care of piano is a great find, but an old piano will often need hammers, strings and wood work. This will often add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the cost. Buying a used piano from a dealer will usually have these things taken care of, but ask about the history and any work that has been done since they took it in.
We would personally prefer a used Yamaha or Steinway to a new “budget” brand piano, but then that is just an opinion as well.
There are countless resources online, and we are working to provide some additional links for your convenience.