Robert Estrin - piano expert

Should You Start Learning on an Inexpensive Instrument?

Some insights on a common issue for beginning musicians

In this video, Robert helps you understand the best choice for beginners who want to learn music the best way.

Released on June 4, 2014

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi, this is Robert Estrin here at and with a question. Should you start your child on an inexpensive instrument and work your way up to something nicer? Great question. I get this question from people all the time.

The short answer is, you should try to get the best possible instrument for your child, even at the very beginning. It might be counter-intuitive. A lot of people say to me, "Well, what if they don't stay with it? I don't wanna be burdened with trying to sell some expensive piano." Well, sometimes if you don't put the investment in a good enough instrument or the best teacher, your child might not be interested and might give up, so it kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Try to commit to music lessons and if, like I say to people, if you don't feel committed, find something you are committed to, maybe gymnastics, or theater, or art, or something that you can really go for the long term because you wanna make it something that is part of their lives from a young age. Just like they do their homework and school, they should practice the piano. So you want to count on their success.

Now, can you start with a lesser instrument and work your way up? Absolutely. A good quality upright can be a suitable starting instrument, but realize, eventually you will have to graduate to at least a baby grand because the upright does not have as quick an action. I have a video on that topic that you might enjoy, as a matter of fact.

So get the best instrument you can afford. You will not regret it. Your child has a better chance of success, and a quality instrument is going to retain its value better if you ever have to sell it anyway.

Thanks for joining me, Robert Estrin, here at and
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Davy * VSM MEMBER * on June 6, 2014 @2:02 am PST
Once more thank you for your return.
Davy * VSM MEMBER * on June 4, 2014 @11:43 pm PST
Thank you for this return and these tips
I found a multitude of books on Bach fugues
Will you help me by giving references of books on Bach fugues that with which I could start working
In advance thank you
Robert - host, on June 5, 2014 @11:06 am PST
If this is your first foray into the counterpoint of Bach, I suggest starting with the Bach 2-part Inventions. These are brilliant, shorter compositions which offer the same kind of writing you find in fugues with less complexity and only 2 voices interweaving (instead of 3 or more as in fugues).
Davy * VSM MEMBER * on June 4, 2014 @10:18 am PST
I am very happy member for a few days
However I still have less than 10 months of piano practice
And my problem is that I would play the songs (Christmas Carols (all the collections, 1-3) arrangements for piano, voice or other instruments easy level
But I have trouble on the position of the 4 fingers simultaneously (two fingers left sides and right sides two fingers) so I was wondering if you could help me by providing the same issue with the number of simultaneous four fingers on all songs
This will allow me to have a good base and also a multitude of exercises to work
I'd be willing to pay if this is necessary for your work effort

In advance thank you
Robert - host, on June 4, 2014 @11:47 am PST
There is a wealth of piano repertoire that explores unique hand positions and finger patterns. As you progress, you will be able to expand to all sorts of music which expands your technique utilizing the weaker fingers. Bach fugues are particularly good pieces for this. However, you must work up to this level for it to be of value for you.
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