For many, a small pipe organ is a valuable tool for study and practice for becoming a proficient organist. Many professionals will seek the purchase of a small pipe organ for various reasons. Though offering a smaller palette of tone color than an electronic instrument (which may have many stops), a pipe organ offers a greater array of personal integrity in the sounds than an electronic instrument. Pipe organs are breathing instruments and, like a human voice, are affected by temperature, humidity and the random variations of the wind itself. This is an important factor to avoid tonal fatigue for the many hours the organist will spend during practice.
Two options are available for the practice organ: tracker action or electric action. The space, budget and needs of the artist will help determine this. Tracker action demands a much higher level of technical proficiency for artistic playing, but it offers a limited number of stops. Because of this, many performers prefer a tracker to keep their technique sharply honed. For an organist who is looking for a more tonally flexible instrument to aid the process of learning the music, an electric action pipe organ may be better suited. Trackers require a concentrated space for installation. Electric action pipe organs will allow the pipes and the console to be placed in two locations. The easy part of a small practice instrument is that the decision process is often less complex because the end user is usually the purchaser.