What is the Difference Between a Grand Piano and a Baby Grand Piano

If you are interested in purchasing a piano, you may have noticed that there are many options to choose from. Sometimes, too many! Most buyers are unsure of differences between grand and baby grand pianos.

I know that this is a common cause of confusion, so I am hoping to clarify things. It is important to understand this before making a purchase so you end up with something that fits your particular needs.


Well, one of the main ways to tell the difference between these two options is to look at the size. If you want to get technical about it, a baby grand is really just a variation of a traditional grand.

That actually confused me a bit, so I should probably be more clear. A grand piano comes in a range of sizes, which are classified with different names, and baby grand is one of them.

Here are all of the sizes of grand piano that are available, in order from smallest to largest:

  • Petite Grand (4’5″-4’10”)
  • Baby Grand (4’11”-5’6″)
  • Medium Grand (5’6″-5’8″)
  • Professional Grand (6′)
  • Parlor (6’3″-6’10”)
  • Semiconcert (7′-8′)
  • Concert Grand (9′-10′)

Essentially, if you are hoping to buy a grand piano, it is a good idea to consider the space you have available before determining which size is best. This will help a lot when you head into a store since asking for a “grand piano” would be like walking into a bakery and asking for bread; you will need to be specific.

Tone Differences

While there are some people who cannot distinguish the tonal differences between small and large pianos, others are able to notice subtleties. Personally, I could not listen to a piece and know which type of piano is being played, but I’ll bet you my teacher can!

The sound that comes from a piano depends on the length of the strings and the soundboard. Since these parts are not the same size universally, there is certainly a difference. Larger models tend to have a tone that is more full and balanced.

With that being said, as long as you purchase a medium grand or larger, the tone variation should not be very noticeable.

The Cost

When it comes to choosing a grand piano, the final purchase decision is likely to be made based on the affordability of the unit in question. Those who have an unlimited cash flow will usually go for the largest available. But those with more modest budgets should opt for one of the smaller options.

Keep in mind that trying to buy a used piano in order to save money is sometimes a fruitless idea. New and used units tend to cost about the same since they have a fairly long life.

Wrapping Up

Now that you have a little more insight into the differences between grand and baby grand pianos, only you can decide which one belongs on your shopping list. Hopefully, you have more than enough information for you to make a decision that you will be more than happy with.

Do you have experience playing grand pianos or baby grands? Tell me what you think the main differences are and which you prefer!

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