Whether you’re a hobbyist or an aspiring musician on a budget, your first piano is no small investment. Even a small, beginner-level one can set you back several hundred dollars, at least if you’re after a certain level of quality. But rather than sacrifice performance and go for a cheap piano, you could rent one instead—it’s just as affordable, more low-maintenance, and offers a wider range of options.
You can usually rent a piano from music shops or rental agencies (which are usually associated with the former). One thing you’ll notice with rental shops is their large selection of pianos, often larger than the typical store’s brand-new range. You’ll find consoles, grand pianos, baby grands, and even digital pianos and keyboards. Of course, you can test them beforehand and see which one works best for you.
Another advantage to renting a piano besides the large selection is that it doesn’t require any serious commitment. If you’re a beginner and just want to see if you like it, there’s no point spending thousands of dollars on what may end up being an unwieldy piece of furniture. You can keep it as long or as little as you want, or even keep renting while you save up for your own. Or if you decide you’d rather play baseball, you can turn it back in with no strings attached.
Most piano rentals work on a monthly basis, meaning they charge a flat fee every month. These range from $30 for a beginner-level piano to $150 for a grand, usually with moving fees and periodic tuning added to the cost. If you’ve been playing for a while and expect to buy your own eventually, try looking for a rent-to-own deal—these allow you to rent the piano until you’ve paid enough to cover the cost of the instrument, at which point it becomes yours. The only risk with this arrangement is that you risk losing money if you change your mind midway, and may even have to pay penalties.
Start looking for piano rentals in your area. Even if you find better rates online, dealing with people face to face is a lot safer—at the very least you’ll know where to go for repairs or refunds if necessary. You may need to undergo a credit check and place a deposit. Once that’s done, all you have to do is choose your instrument and start making music!