Although many people can play the piano, very few know anything about it’s mechanism or how to care for such a complicated and sensitive instrument which has between 8,000 and 12,000 parts. Picking out a piano that is just right for you or your child can be confusing. There are many different types to chose from and there are approximately 9,000 brands in the US alone!
Beware of freebies! There is a reason people give away their old pianos! Picking out a piano is like picking out a car. If someone gave you an old car that has been sitting around, unused for years, you would have a mechanic inspect it first to see if it’s safe and sound. At least, it would need a tune up, and you wouldn’t be surprised if you had to put a thousand dollars into it first.
Now you may get lucky and end up with a wonderful piano for you and your family to enjoy, but here are just a few things that could be wrong with a used piano:
1.) Plate – May be cracked or broken which cripples the piano musically and renders it useless. Avoid!
2.) Sounding Board – May be cracked or worse yet, may have lost it’s crown to become tonally deficient. Avoid!
3.) Ribs – May be broken or pulled away from the soundboard. Avoid!
4.) Bridges – May have lost proper bearing, be broken, split or cracked. Avoid!
5.) Tuning Pins – May be loose, may have been previously pounded, may require oversized pins, may require a new pin block. Avoid!
6.) Pin Block – May be split and is very costly to repair. Since the splits are concealed, experienced judgment is required. Avoid!
7.) Bass Strings – May be tired and tubby, totally devoid of tone, requiring replacement or at least a good twisting, in hopes of bringing some tone back.
8.) Piano Wires – May be rusty and brittle and will most likely break during tuning. For any real tuning to be done, these will probably need to be replaced.
9.) Action – May be literally worn out, rendering piano useless. Thousands of tiny parts will have to be replaced and re-bushing may also be required. A complete regulation of the action requires much time of an expert and is expensive when properly done.
10.) Hammers – May be worn out and will at least require filing or may have been improperly filed or over-filed, requiring replacement, another costly repair.
11.) Trap Work – The internal leverage controls of the expression pedals may need complete overhauling.
12.) Tuning – Pitch may have dropped, requiring a pitch-raising. If the piano has been recently moved, or stored for long periods, expect to have it tuned several times before it becomes stable.
13.) Refinishing – Many people learn the hard way, that refinishing a piano is not a do-it-yourself project. You will have to leave this to a skilled craftsman, another added expense.
14.) Top Lids – On a Grand Piano may not be properly attached and could come crashing down, injuring anyone in the way.
15.) Legs – On a Grand Piano may barely be attached to the tremendous body it is holding up, a potentially dangerous situation! Never go underneath a piano if you don’t know how stable it is.
16.) Casters – May be missing, causing the piano to not be movable within your home, and causing the bottom to either be wobbly, or completely laying on the floor, making the pedals un-usable.
17.) Roaches / Mice – May have made a home in the piano for years, causing urine, feces and remains to build up inside the piano. True stories!
AVOID BUYING A LEMON! ALWAYS USE A PROFESSIONAL PIANO TECHNICIAN TO ASSESS ANY USED PIANO!
ALSO, ALWAYS USE A PROFESSIONAL PIANO MOVER TO AVOID INJURY TO YOURSELF AND OTHERS AS WELL AS TO YOUR HOME AND YOUR PIANO!
CALL FORT GREENE MUSIC SCENE TODAY! (718) 643 2817