Purchasing an acoustic piano is will improve a student’s progress and enjoyment.
Below is some information to help you locate your piano.
DECIDE ON THE STYLE AND SIZE
- VERTICAL PIANOS (upright) have a variety of heights according to model but their widths are all 58”. Depth tends to slightly vary.
- Spinet 36” to 38” tall
- Console 40” to 43” tall
- Studio 45” to 48” tall
- Upright 50” to 60” tall
HORIZONTAL PIANOS lie flat and take up more space than a vertical piano.
- Petite Grand 4’ 5” to 4’ 10”
- Baby Grand 4’ 11” to 5’ 6”
- Medium Grand 5’ 7”
- Parlor Grand 5’ 9” to 6’ 1”
- Ballroom Grand 6’ 2” to 7’
- Concert Grand 9’
- Set a maximum price that you desire to spend. That could be as little as $200 to thousands.
- Factor in the cost of moving, repairs, tuning.
- If you are spending thousands of dollars for a piano, call a piano tuner and ask them to evaluate the piano for you. It will be worth the extra cost.
PURCHASE FROM A STORE:
Purchasing a new or used piano from a dealer or piano store, can give you confidence.
- Playground Music Store, in Mary Esther, FL
- Tadlock Piano in Calaway, FL
- Steinway Piano Gallery in Spanish Fort, AL
PURCHASE FROM A PRIVATE OWNER:
You will see many used pianos for sale. Models that I recommend are: Steinway, Yamaha, Kawai, Young Chang, Baldwin, Kimball.
- Pianos that are more than 50 years old, are too old (unless it is a Steinway). Antique pianos are not special, just old, worn out, and usually not able to be tuned to pitch or hold the tuning.
- There is a blue book of pianos which you can look up on line, or visit a piano store to get a feel for pricing. If you desire to have an appraisal done on a piano, you may contact a piano tuner before purchasing.
- There are a variety of on-line used places to search. Free piano ads can be a scam so be careful. The rule is: “if it is too good to be true, then it is”. Never pay for shipping ahead of time for a privately used piano.
What to look for:
- Get the manufacturer’s name, model number, and approximate age.
- The model number is usually inside the piano on the harp.
- Ask if the bench is included (should have a matching bench)
- Try every key on the piano (should be 88) to make sure they work
- Sticky keys are a sign of excessive humidity or damage
- Broken keys can be expensive to fix (make sure the one’s in the middle work well)
- Finish: Look for dents, scratches, broken legs (blemishes can signal mishandling)
- If several of the piano keys are chipped, that is a bad sign
- Look inside the piano (on a vertical piano, the cover below the keyboard opens down like a cabinet door). Rusted strings, broken strings, broken hammers, cracks in the backboard of a piano are not desirable. A cracked sound board means the piano can not be tuned. Use a flash light to see the cracks.
Moving A Piano:
- If you move it yourself be careful not to break the legs.
- If the piano has spindle like legs, do not pick the piano up by those legs or they will break, Do not roll them on the wheels on the spindles which can also cause breakage
- Studio and Upright pianos have stronger reinforced legs and are made to be rolled with larger rollers on the legs.
- It takes 3 strong persons to move a piano. Or call a moving company such as Big Foot Movers out of Crestview, FL.
- Factor in the cost of moving and repair into your offer for the piano.
Once moved, let your piano sit for 6 weeks before having it tuned.
- A piano should be tuned once a year to maintain its integrity and value.
- Practicing on an out of tune piano causes a student to develop a poor sense of pitch and hinders the student from finding the notes.