Gifts For The Piano Enthusiast In Your Life

Gifts For The Piano Enthusiast In Your Life

Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? If you have a piano enthusiast in your life, there are a number of things they may enjoy. 

Metronome – These useful tools come in analog, electronic, or digital, each with a selection of characteristics. All can help your budding piano player play just a little more dramatically. 

Piano Apps – Why not combine their love of technology with their love of the piano? There are many piano apps you can gift your budding music star and have them continue to learn about something they love. 

Upgrading Technology – Do you have a community computer in your home? Maybe it’s time to upgrade and give your budding musician an upgrade in technology. Even today’s iPads or tablets offer a world of opportunity to a piano player. Pick the best technology for you. Gifts For The Piano Enthusiast In Your Life

Keyboard – Maybe it’s time to add another way to make music into your home. Sure, they’ll still love to sit down at your traditional acoustic piano for lessons. But a new high-quality keyboard can bring variety into their lives. 

Digital Pianos – Love the look and feel of a grand piano? How about going digital? With today’s options, you can have any combination you choose. 

Piano Bench – Not all benches are created equal. Is your piano bench the right height for your child? A growing child has changing needs and now might be the perfect time to invest in something that will make playing even easier. 

Upgrade Their Sheet Music – Playing the same old thing can become boring at best. What’s their favorite band or genre of music? Surprise them with new sheet music to challenge them in new ways. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

How A Tuning Fork Works

How A Tuning Fork Works

The tuning fork was invented back in the 1700s by an English musician, John Shore. Each note has a Hertz (Hz) or cycles per second of the sound wave made when the fork vibrates. 

Today’s standard pitch or concert pitch is a universal frequency, meaning all instruments are tuned to the same cycle. While the pitch today is A440 or C523.3, it has changed over the years, with the original tuning pitch at A423.5. When all instruments are tuned to the same frequency, it enables musicians to play music together in harmony, without clashing pitches. 

While pitch pipes or electronic tuning forks are occasionally used, a tuning fork is the most common way to bring everything into tune. How A Tuning Fork Works

Occasionally you’ll hear of someone having “perfect pitch.” That means they can hear a certain pitch and remember it without using a tuning fork or another kind of reference. While this ensures their instrument is in tune, they will also tell you that when they hear music played out of tune, the sound can be anything but great. 

A tuning fork works by a simple process. When struck, the two prongs of the tuning fork vibrate uniformly and produce a clean soundwave. The pitch of the soundwave is determined by the length of the prongs. The corresponding note of the instrument is matched to the sound created with the tuning fork. 

Tuning forks aren’t just used for music. They are also used in a variety of other industries, including science, medicine, and electronics. They are often used for hearing tests, and for vibration treatment. Computers often use them, vibrating thin slices of quartz crystal to keep the processor’s clocks ticking at the proper intervals. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

How To Clean Piano Keys The Right Way

How To Clean Piano Keys The Right Way

So your family just invested in a new piano – congratulations. How are you going to keep the keyboard looking and feeling brand new?

The keys are the one piece of the piano you touch every single time you sit down and play. Your fingers glide over the keys, touching not only the tops, but sometimes bumping into the sides as well. Even freshly washed hands can leave residue behind. Imagine what your child’s sticky fingers can do. 

Is there anything special you need to know about cleaning piano keys the right way?How To Clean Piano Keys The Right Way

Let’s start with the basics. 

You’ll need a soft cloth, water, and a gentle liquid soap. 

While you can use a soft dish towel or cotton cloth, we recommend microfiber. They are soft and can be thrown into the laundry to reuse. Next, mix a solution of liquid soap and water in a spray bottle. You can reuse one – just make sure there aren’t any harsh chemical or solvent residue. Give the bottle a quick shake to mix, and you’re ready to clean. 

The first rule is to never use water directly on the keys. Instead, lightly spray the cloth until it’s slightly damp. Then starting at one end of the keyboard and working a little at a time, slide the cloth across the keys applying a gentle pressure. You may need to repeat this a few times if a key has a stubborn spot. 

Avoid wiping across the keyboard – instead, work front to back on each key. Working sideways can push tiny particles of dust between the keys, which can cause more problems down the road. If too much dust builds up between, it can create what is known as “sticky keys” where they won’t go down when you press them, or won’t return up when you release them. 

Continue cleaning the piano keys in small groups from one side of the piano to the other. Once the tops of all the keys are clean, it’s time to look at the fronts. The small white squares in front can get dirty too. 

Clean the fronts in the same manner, with gentle bottom to top movements. This way you may pull any dust that may have settled low onto the key up and off into the cloth. Pushing the cloth down or sideways can move dust particles between the keys, contributing to “sticky keys”. 

If you have a new piano, the keys are made out of plastic, and you shouldn’t have any problems cleaning them. However, if your piano is old and still has ivory keys, you may want to use a light-colored cloth to avoid discoloration. Ivory can potentially absorb dye from dark or bright cleaning cloth. Otherwise, the cleaning solution from above will work just fine. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

What Group Piano Is and Isn’t

What Group Piano Is and Isn’t

Did you have music in your life? It was far more commonplace a few decades ago then it is in today’s classrooms. 

A lot of us grew up with a piano in the living or family room. An equal amount of us grew up playing an instrument in the band or orchestra in school. It was a popular activity, one many of us carried with us from elementary to junior and senior high school. 

Looking back, what did you enjoy most about playing in the school band? Chances are it was the group interaction. It wasn’t just you making music; your friends were all there too. You played together and stayed together as you moved from one grade to the next. What Group Piano Is and Isn’t

That’s what group piano is. It’s social. It’s a dynamic way to learn the piano where kids develop their keyboard skills while sitting with their peers who encourage and support one another. By being a part of a group, it has the potential to generate enthusiasm and motivation that could otherwise be lost from being isolated and alone. 

If you’ve ever walked in on a group lesson before, you’ll discover one thing: it’s loud. Imagine multiple people hammering out the same song as they go along. Sometimes they’re together – sometimes they’re not. But as they play they listen, which helps them develop a better sense of rhythm and tempo. In the same way you used your fellow band members to listen and keep you up to speed, that’s what group piano is all about. It’s about a little friendly competition to keep them on track. And best of all, they’re having fun. 

Playing together also fosters the right conditions for problem solving. 

In order to change it up, piano teachers often give students homework to “compose” things on their own. When you do this as a group, interesting things can happen. If you give them a chance together, they can generate many possible ways of exploring a concept. This means the teacher is merely a facilitator with the students discovering direction all on their own. They push each other. They play together. They critically look at the situation and help move each other forward. 

And should we say: this is learning at its best!

Because at the end of the day, it’s all about helping your kids become the best they can be. And if that means introducing critical thinking skills and making the discovery process even more enjoyable, imagine what piano playing could do for their self-esteem. 

Group piano – it may be just the thing your child needs. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

How A Piano Is Made

How A Piano Is Made

The piano is one of the best known and most loved musical instruments. It also has the broadest range of any instrument, meaning music for all other instruments can be composed on it. You’ll often find the piano played solo. But when combined with any other instrument, including voice, you’ll find it creates pleasing harmony.

Technically speaking, the piano is also one of the most complex instruments. With over 2,500 parts, a lot of work goes into keeping a piano in playing condition. 

The piano is a stringed instrument organized into one of five general areas: the case, the soundboard, the iron plate, the strings, and the action. How A Piano Is Made

The case has many structural parts. It’s the case that protects the inner-workings of the piano. It’s also the part of the piano that connects the legs and the pedals, the rim and the keybed.  A lot goes into production to ensure the casing is perfect for creating sound. Wood must be seasoned until it meets a specific moisture content to hold its contour. It must also be sanded, stained, and glazed properly to ensure sound properties meet certain qualifications. 

The cast iron plate is installed over the soundboard and pinblock to provide strength and to anchor the strings under tension. It is made from molten iron poured into specially created match plates designed specifically for the piano being created. 

A piano has 220 to 240 strings attached to hitch pins along the curved cast iron plate. It uses tuning pins to connect and vary the sound. Piano string isn’t string at all. Instead, it is made in specialized mills and consists of carbon steel wire. You’ll find the bass strings also wrapped in copper winding to add weight and thickness to the steel core strings, so they vibrate more slowly and produce longer, deeper sounds. 

The piano action is the most complicated part of the process. It includes the keys, hammers, and action that creates the sound as the keys are struck. The keys balance and pivot on a set of rails that are covered with felt to prevent noise. Guide pins are inserted to help with balance. The keys are covered with black or white plastic. The voice depends on the quality of the hammers. Many materials are used in this process depending on the manufacturer, which today’s processes includes a premium wool felt. 

A piano is usually named depending on its size. Grand pianos come in concert, baby and smaller apartment size. The vertical comes with five standard sizes recognized in the industry: spinet, consolette, console, studio, and professional. 

Our current modern day pianos haven’t changed much in the past century as far as appearance, but they continue to be refined based on today’s technology. You’ll find better materials, more refined processes, and smoother finishes are a standard in everything produced today. 

Ultimately, it comes down to sound. Stop by today to hear the difference in today’s modern piano. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Do You Know What’s Inside That Piano?

Do You Know What’s Inside That Piano?

If you’ve decided to purchase a piano, you’ve probably started the process by doing a little homework. That’s probably what’s brought you to this site here. 

As a piano dealer with decades of experience, you’ll find a wealth of information for what to look for when you’re buying either a new or used piano. 

Expert Advice For Choosing A Piano

The Price You Should Expect To Pay For A Used Piano

Buying A Piano Online

Buying A Child’s First Piano

What Wood Is Best For Making A Piano

Do You Know What’s Inside That Piano?We know how confusing it all can be. What makes a one manufacturer different from another? How can you find a good used piano? What makes each piano different? And more importantly, whose advice should you trust? 

Some people will have you believe that a piano is a piano – they are all about the same no matter where they come from. Not so. Some will tell you there isn’t much difference in sound from one piano to another. Not true. 

In fact, it’s easy to compare how well a piano is built no matter where it’s assembled. It’s not just the sound; it’s the way they are made. Open up every piano you are considering and take a look at what’s inside. 

The soundboard – a great piano will be made of spruce (the most common wood used in piano production) with continuous parallel grain. Look for consistency in both the grain and the color. 

The plate gap – for the soundboard to work efficiently, it needs to move freely. A good piano will float the plate gap between the frame and the soundboard to allow that freedom of movement. 

The frame – on an upright, look for a solid wood frame construction with backposts that reinforce the plate. 

The bass bridge – the shape of the bridge will tell you the quality of construction. A curved bass bridge is designed to connect with the sweet spot of each string, whereas a straight bass bridge will muddy the lower notes. 

The action – each action should be consistent and made of similar wood. If you see grain differences and spots on the wood, it can change the voice and the sound. 

The differences matter in both the sound quality and longevity. Don’t rely on a salesperson telling you it’s a great piano. Do a little investigation to determine its quality on your own. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

2 Things To Look For When Buying A Good Digital Piano

2 Things To Look For When Buying A Good Digital Piano

In today’s world, sometimes it makes sense to invest in a digital piano rather than an acoustic. They take up less space than traditional pianos. They require less regular maintenance. And if you’re ready to combine your piano playing with online editing, mixing, and sharing, it’s the best choice around. 

Still, not all digital pianos are created equally. To ensure you don’t purchase a digital piano you’ll be sorry to own almost as quickly as you bring it home, look for two important things. 

2 Things To Look For When Buying A Good Digital PianoThe Piano Sample

Digital pianos don’t create sound by connecting the keys to strings via an action mechanism. Instead, digital pianos create sound by playing back recordings – called samples – of a real acoustic piano. The better quality of the recordings, the higher quality of the piano being recorded, the more the digital piano will create a realistic sound. 

With both acoustic and digital pianos, it’s important to play every note and hear the sound being produced. Start at the bottom and work your way up, paying special attention to the lower notes on the keyboard. Strike a note on an acoustic. Hear how it bursts with energy in the beginning and gradually fades? Now do the same with the digital. Is the sound similar? The lower notes are usually a dead giveaway with more quality of sound. 

The Action

It’s not just the sound that’s important. It’s also the quality of the hammer action. 

When you press down on a key, it’s the back of the key moving up that is making the sound. Each key is weighted for feeling because each of the 88 keys has a different hammer size. The hammer strikes the strings to create sound, with hammers varying from largest to smallest as the notes move from lowest to highest. 

This hammer action is what makes a piano feel like a piano. That’s also where digital pianos have lacked over time. Fortunately today, some manufacturers are getting very close with the feeling. And that’s where you should spend your time – make sure the “feeling” is there to ensure your skills in piano playing cross over between playing both acoustic and digital. 

How do you find a progressive hammer action? A reputable dealer will show you the way. If you’re doing your homework online, just look at what a manufacturer calls the process. A great one will list it as progressive hammer action. The rest will cover it up with phrases like “weighted keys” or “responsive action.” 

What questions do you have about purchasing a digital piano?


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

How To Care For Your Digital Grand Piano  

Digital grand pianos aren’t much different from digital pianos when it comes to care and maintenance. They don’t need tuning, which is one of the most appealing factors when people are deciding between digital and acoustic.

But like any instrument, to keep it in great working condition, it takes a little maintenance along the way.

You can do that right from the moment you decide on its home. Where will you place it in your home to ensure it will remain in top working condition? Avoid placing it in a location where it will be impacted by direct sunlight. Also, avoid registers and vents as too much heat isn’t safe for your piano either.

You should also avoid using your piano as a piece of furniture. Never place drinks or food on the finish. Spills and crumbs can harm the finish, and if they get inside your piano, they can ruin the integrity of the tone and voice.

The keyboard should be cleaned on a regular basis – just not with cleaning solutions or water. Your digital grand piano is sensitive to a variety of things: dust, dirt, chemicals, to name just a few. Instead, take a dry clean cloth and wipe the keys clean. If you do have smudges or smears that need additional work, consider using a soft cloth sprayed with water, then rub gently ensuring no water trace remains.

Digital pianos also need to be plugged in. Make sure that the outlet you will be using is in proper condition. Your digital piano is a highly sensitive piece of electronics. Consider using surge protection to ensure it isn’t destroyed. When not in use, unplug the instrument for further protection. Don’t unplug it before you turn it off.

If you notice any part of your piano is damaged, don’t use it until it can be evaluated and updated. Using it in damaged condition can cause further damage.

Just like acoustic grand pianos, digital grand pianos are highly sensitive instruments. Don’t try and take on any kind of repair yourself. A highly trained piano technician with experience in digital technology will ensure your repair is handled properly, keeping your digital piano working safely and providing you with the highest quality sound.


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Creating The Perfect Piano Room

Creating The Perfect Piano Room

A piano isn’t like a chair you can tuck into the corner of a room. A piano commands attention. It often becomes the focal point of the room. 

But where do you put it in your home? How do you design a room around a piano? 

Room temperature matters – Place your piano in a spot in your home where consistent humidity and temperature are in place. The less extreme conditions the better. Extreme temperatures and humidity can damage your piano over time. Creating The Perfect Piano Room

Design around the piano – Especially in small rooms, your piano may be the largest piece of furniture in the room. And if it’s going to be a large part of your life, is accessibility is key. The look also becomes important if it will be on center stage. Select the right piano that blends in with your design theme. Personalize the wall around it to reflect a sense of who you are. Don’t select a sleek, black gloss piano if your home is light and airy. Keep with the colors and upholstery congruent throughout. 

Keep it in the living space – It’s easy to tuck a piano into a dark corner where little thought has gone into the room. But what are the chances are it will be played? A piano is always better when it’s on display in a room you use on a frequent basis. Be mindful that you’ll have the chance to play it and won’t be overwhelmed by activities of other family members. But if you can have it become a part of your lifestyle, all the better. 

Use it to add more life to a room – Pianos – especially uprights – can be used in many ways. You can place it at the end of a long room to make it look wider, or build it into a wall unit to conserve space. You can use it as an accent in a large hallway, or put it on display in a room dedicated to music. 

Create a scene – Music is a large part of our lives, which is why many choose to have a room dedicated to the experience. What helps inspire you to bring music to life? A stage in a symphony hall? Playing to a large audience? Serenity and peacefulness in abundance? Use your ideas to create a scene that will help you want to play more. 

Balance – Never throw a piano against a window because it’s the only place in the room. Or put it in the corner so it’s out of the way. The first rule of interior design is balance. Start with the architectural details and incorporate the piano into your decor. They can be used to balance rooms where window or fireplace placement isn’t centered. Or even to divide a large room into different functionalities. 

Modernize it – If you’ve inherited a piano or have a hand me down from past generations, it may not fit with your modern style. There are many ways to bring it up to modern times.  Try adding accents that make it feel like it fits in your space. It may be time for a little renovation – a new finish may do the trick. 

A piano can bring joy into your life if you create the right ambiance around it. 

Do you have a piano in your home? How do you make it a part of your space?


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

What’s The Easiest And Safest Way To Move Your Piano?

What’s The Easiest And Safest Way To Move Your Piano?

Sometimes the easiest way to spruce up your home is to rearrange the furniture. And while that’s easy with a chair or a coach, it becomes much more difficult with a piano. Inspiration is the easy part – moving the piano into place is considerably more work. 

Not only is it risky for your piano, but can be dangerous for you as well. You’ll want to hire a professional piano moving company if you are going between tight spaces or moving it to another floor in your home. But if your location is only a few feet away, we have some advice for your more.What’s The Easiest And Safest Way To Move Your Piano?

Prepare the path

The very first step is to determine the final resting spot for your piano. Make sure you have a clear path with nothing to block the path from beginning to end. If it has a lid, close it. This is especially important to ensure your fingertips aren’t injured in the move. 

Make sure there aren’t any rugs that can get in the way, pieces of furniture that can bump or block your path, or cords that can cause tripping hazards. Measure every crucial detail, including doorways and spaces you’ll have to travel through. 

In some cases, grand pianos can be easier to move as they often have wheels to get it to where you desire. While wood flooring can be easy, be especially careful on carpets, where the wheels can stick and be difficult to budge. It may be simpler to remove the legs rather than put them at risk for damage. Upright pianos may be easier to handle, but they can be top heavy and more prone to falling sideways. 

Gather your tools

Pianos are the bulkiest, heaviest pieces of furniture in your home. This is especially true with pianos that do not have wheels. A dolly can help make the move easier. You’ll need several people on all sides of the piano as it travels from place to place. 

Depending on how complicated your move is, you may also wish to invest in moving pads and straps. Be sure to strap down the lid to prevent it from being damaged, or from hurting you during the moving process. Blankets and pads will protect your walls from being scuffed and your piano from having exterior damage. 

It’s better to be over prepared and have too many tools on hand rather than putting your piano or your health at risk. 

And if it’s something you can’t handle, give us a call. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172