Why Pianos Go Out Of Tune

Why Pianos Go Out Of Tune

The most common questions we have about piano playing is about the tuning process. 

Does my piano need tuning if no one is playing it?

Does my piano need tuning if we play it every day?

Does my piano need tuning on a regular basis?

Yes, yes, and yes. 

Pianos go out of tune for many different reasons. But if you own a piano, it will require tuning on a regular basis. Why Pianos Go Out Of Tune

The Strings Stretch

When a piano is new, each steel wire is put into place. It is tightened and designed to stretch as each note is played, popping back into place. Especially when it’s new, the strings haven’t adjusted to their new location. Very quickly they begin to stretch. And as they stretch, they sag, dropping in frequency even after just a few times played. This is why a dealer will suggest tuning multiple times the first year, to bring the strings into place where they are capable of staying in tune. 

Environmental Changes

Cold, heat, humidity and dryness all play an important part in the overall sound of a piano. Wood handles differently depending on the condition. The sound board must be free to vibrate to create the beautiful sound you come to expect from your piano. But imagine what happens if moisture gets into your piano? Or if warm air blows on it constantly from your heat vents? Even if your piano is never played, these conditions impact the overall quality of your piano. They will impact its playability with every change. 

Poor Tuning

Not every piano tuner has the same level of experience. Worse, some DIYers attempt to handle the job themselves. Piano tuning is a delicate and difficult task, one that takes professional tuners a lifetime to master. An inexperienced tuner can tighten and loosen a string much more than necessary. When this happens, it is impossible to leave an equalized string. Which means the string is not set and will quickly go out of tune once again. 

Normal Use

Even tuning from a top professional won’t last forever. With every strike of the key, the more a piano is played, the more likely it is that the tuning pin will turn slightly and pull the string out of tune once again. That’s why professional piano players or piano teachers will have their pianos adjusted several times per year. 

Moving

Any time a piano is moved, whether it’s across the room or across the country, the tension will be disturbed, changing the string dynamics. Not only is it impacted by “bouncing around”, but it can also be impacted by the change in environment. Imagine being moved from a temperate home to a cold moving truck and back into a home with new humidity levels. It has an impact. 

When was the last time you tuned your 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

Why Adult Piano Lessons Help With Aging

Why Adult Piano Lessons Help With Aging

Want to keep your brain young and healthy? Want to bring a little bit of fun into your life?

Consider piano lessons. 

Many people believe they reach an age where they no longer can try something new. Where their ability to learn new skills is too difficult a task to take on. It’s simply not true. The real problem lies in that most don’t want to go through the awkward first steps of struggling to bring something new into their lives. They don’t want to embarrass themselves in front of their peers. Why Adult Piano Lessons Help With Aging

But developing new skills is vitally important in maintaining cognitive strength. And there is no time limit to starting. 

Learning to play music helps to guard against cognitive decline, memory loss, and the loss of being able to distinguish consonants and spoken words. And it’s not just a child this helps. It helps the first time learner, no matter what age they begin. 

Musical training helps to create lasting neural pathways in the brain. Learning and practicing give a person motor control and coordination, as well as listening skills that can boost the brain’s capacity later in life. This impact has been measured through a study that shows professional musicians have significantly more gray matter than non-musicians. And because music requires both the left and right brain for processing, it stimulates many different parts of the brain in a variety of ways. 

Music also helps reduce the difficulty many older people have with discerning conversations in noisy situations. This skill is most likely derived from the preciseness required and developed during music training. Memorizing notes, playing tunes, and improvising throughout the process helps tie cognitive skills together. 

In order to keep your body fit as you age, exercise is an important skill to take on in a variety of ways. The same holds true with your brain. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. 

The damage done to cognitive function by age can be reduced by stimulating the mind and encouraging the brain to continue to work in new ways. How you do that is up to you. 

Learn piano today. 


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

Digital Piano: Mac or PC?

Digital Piano: Mac or PC?

People invest in a digital piano for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons we love them is because of the many built-in tools available for learning and making music. 

One of the questions we’re frequently asked is: How do you record actual sound of your keyboard onto your computer? There really isn’t a difference between Mac or PC; what software packages you prefer is up to you. What is important is to understand the connection process and how to make it a reality. Digital Piano: Mac or PC?

There is a difference between a MIDI connection from your keyboard and the process used to record sound. If you want to record the actual sound, a MIDI connection will not do the job. A MIDI interface will only transmit your performance data to software on your computer. This includes things like which notes you have played, or how loudly you play your music. 

If you want to record your actual sound – the music you produce by playing the keyboard – you need to connect the line out from your keyboard to your Mac or PC. 

The way you do that depends on your budget. 

The easiest and least expensive way is to connect an audio cable from the audio output on the keyboard to the mic port on the computer. If your computer or iPad doesn’t have a mic port, you can buy an external sound adapter that has a separate headphone and mic port and connect this to your USB port. While not the highest quality way to connect, it is the easiest and gets the job done. 

 A more cost effective and reasonable quality sound solution is to invest in a linelink, or an out-USB interface that bypasses your existing soundcard and outputs studio quality audio directly to your computer. A y-cable converter allows left and right stereo sound to be sent from your keyboard and produce a higher quality sound to record. 

The best approach would be to create a high quality professional recording studio using a professional audio interface. You can find all-in-one home recording studio packages that connect your keyboard to your computer, giving your freedom to record a variety of inputs, from vocal and maybe guitar. Most complete systems will pack everything – audio interface, microphone and headphones all in one box. They all come with their own software packages as well. 


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

Why It Matters If Your Piano Is In Tune

Why It Matters If Your Piano Is In Tune

Have you ever attended a concert performed by an orchestra? Before it begins, one person will provide a note to tune to. Then the rest of the members take the time to ensure their instruments are in perfect balance. 

Can you tell the difference between an out of tune instrument with one that is in tune? It depends upon your musical ability. 

We walk before we learn to run. We start out with 101 classes in college before we progress to 400 level coursework. We don’t start out as experts at anything we choose to do. We must start at the beginning, learning the fine details as we go along. Only after we experience different levels do we start to understand the nuances within a niche. And that’s what makes all the difference. Why It Matters If Your Piano Is In Tune

Take a bottle of wine, for instance. Place an award winning bottle next to a boxed wine from your supermarket. Is there a difference? Of course. But to someone untrained in the nuances of wine tasting, they may not understand these finer points. They may purchase the box solely based on price. They may purchase it because they lack the knowledge of what makes a Merlot different from a Pinot Noir. Or what the difference is from a table wine from one more refined. 

If you want to learn more about wine, you have to study wine. That means trying different grapes from different regions. Learning about perfect growing conditions. Understanding what wines are paired best with different types of foods. 

Over time, your skills are refined. You understand the differences and quickly can tell one from another. You can pick out what makes one better than the other. 

That same experience is found within music. That’s why the musicians will all tune to the same note before a performance. It’s also why every musician invests in the highest quality instrument to give them the results they are looking for. 

Because as our knowledge grows, our senses improve. And the more aware we become, the better our experiences become. 

We perceive music on a deeper level, and the experience attained from the performance becomes inspiring in more ways than we might have previously appreciated. 

Sure, a child can play just about any keyboard or piano you put in front of them, no matter what condition it’s in. But to have a child begin to hear and feel the difference, perceive music on a deeper level, and very quickly improve their levels of understanding, quality is everything. 

Are you going to trust that to a free piano you found on Craigslist?


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 Be A Better Piano Player

How To Be A Better Piano Player

What do great musicians have in common? They all practice on a regular basis.

Becoming a better piano player isn’t about going into competition with other in the field; it’s about going into competition with yourself. What can you do to improve? What can you do to take your playing piano skills to the next level?How To Be A Better Piano Player

Piano playing can be a lot of fun when you feel there are no limits to what you can achieve. The better pianist you become, the more enjoyable it will be. And these few things may help you improve your technique.

Learn Music Theory
People approach playing the piano because they have the desire to create beautiful music. But like every other art, there are many different dimensions to become proficient and excel. Music theory allows you to be able to see the music in different ways. You can recognize key signatures better, recognize and form chords that connect and work together, learn about chord progressions. By learning the theory behind music, it will help you go from tinkering around with music to actually understanding why things work the way they do and how to apply things to work together.

Go Classical
Most new students today want to play the piano to be able to play their favorite songs. And usually that has more to do with wanting to play Maroon 5 or Ed Sheeran than it does Bach or Beethoven. But Bach and Beethoven are considered all-time greats for a reason. Classical music is very demanding and can steer you into huge improvements in your technical abilities. Classical music can help you build a solid foundation with your piano playing skills. While you don’t have to make it an everyday occurrence, introducing classical music into your regular training can make you even better when you do pick up your favorites.

Take Lessons
Every professional has a coach in their lives. And many professionals have multiple coaches for different things. While you may have no desire to turn professional with your piano playing abilities, there is something to be said for having a coach. Lessons can help you overcome what’s holding you back, even if you have no idea what that thing might be. Because we all reach certain levels in our lives and can’t move forward until we learn what’s holding us back. That’s what a teacher can do for your piano skills. They can guide you from where you are today and help you get to a place of improvement. And they can do that in many different ways. With goals and deadlines in place, you’ll have a new lease on a skill you choose to improve at. And if you’re really serious about playing and want to improve, this could be the best investment you make in yourself.

How could you become a better piano player?


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 Need A Better Keyboard?

Do You Need A Better Keyboard?

Did you purchase a simple keyboard for your child to determine if they enjoy playing the piano before you invested more? Are you debating if now is the time to upgrade and purchase a better keyboard?

Many people start out as simple as possible. Before investing a lot of money into a piano, they prefer to get a few lessons under their belt before taking the next step. But practicing on a piano that is less than perfect can actually take away your ability and drive to move forward with your lesson plans. It can take away your goals and desires.Do You Need A Better Keyboard?

There are two primary reasons to upgrade and buy a better keyboard than what you’re working with now.

1. Your keyboard is old and worn out
Unless you have a professional keyboard, chances are your current keyboard may not be performing up to par. Beginning and mid-range keyboards are designed to last a few years at most. The more play and activity you give it, the faster it will wear out. Look for cracked cables and cords, or a faded or striated appearance. You can also listen to the music – is it starting to sound hollow or buzzy? Old keyboards aren’t designed to have repair work and last for years of time. At some point, it’s time to purchase a new one.

2. Your keyboard no longer fits your musical goals
If you’ve been playing for any length of time, chances are your ability has improved significantly. New piano players grow quickly in the first few months of training. And the more you learn, the more you’ll appreciate a better instrument. You should also take into consideration what your future goals are. If your child loves music and anticipates playing piano for years, now may be the perfect time to step into an acoustic piano. If your child has envisioned creating their own band, a keyboard with better action and a more piano-like feel will give them flexibility in both what they learn and how they transport it from place to place.

Evaluating your needs and determining the best choice for your situation can leave you feeling stuck and unsure. Stop by and allow us to help you to evaluate your needs and show you different opportunities that can meet your 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

Piano Careers: Becoming A Music Therapist

Piano Careers: Becoming A Music Therapist

There’s something special about music. It relaxes us. It motivates us. It inspires us. It can take us instantly back to a place and time in the past. 

Every culture has a unique connection to music. Every person has a life interwoven with the music that has been introduced into their lives. From the time we’re tiny infants, we associate music with some of the best times of our lives. Piano Careers: Becoming A Music Therapist

  • Like a young mother singing softly to her infant.
  • A group of teenagers bonding over a song.
  • A bride and groom dancing and creating a memory.

That’s why music therapy is a growing field. This type of therapy can be used to help an individual that suffer from mental or physical ailments or disorders. All levels of musical experience are incorporated into music therapy, from listening to playing to writing. Music therapy has been found to help with illnesses and disorders such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Grief
  • PTSD
  • Cognitive issues
  • Autism
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia
  • Heart disease
  • Seizure disorders
  • And more.

Music affects feelings and emotions. Listening to certain songs, for example, can bring a person back to a time and a place they remember fondly. And when you listen to the right song, it can have subtle effects on our bodies. For instance, the right music can temporarily lower blood pressure and heart rate. It’s also been found to cause the brain to release less cortisol, a hormone that has been dubbed the “stress hormone.”

Music therapists often start out their careers with a love of music. They’ve developed strong music skills early on, and music therapy is a great way to continue learning more about how it impacts our lives. Most start their careers with a degree in music therapy, though many branch out and grow with master’s degrees as well. 

Have you considered starting your child on the path to success with music? Piano lessons are a gift that can keep on giving for many years to come. 


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

Digital Piano: Is There A Difference Between Beginner, Intermediate And Advanced Playing Needs?

Digital Piano: Is There A Difference Between Beginner, Intermediate And Advanced Playing Needs?

As a piano dealer, one of the most common questions we receive is “How do I buy a good piano for a beginner?” Do a quick search online, and you’ll find the same question holds true. 

Because when you’re new to an industry, starting up a new hobby, you want to learn what you can before investing in the right equipment. Buying something you’ll outgrow quickly is never a good tactic. Digital Piano: Is There A Difference Between Beginner, Intermediate And Advanced Playing Needs?

And in there lies the problem. If you purchase a good digital piano as a beginner, how long will it last? Will you outgrow the digital piano in just a few short months? 

That could impact your budget big time. Which is why it may be necessary to add more questions as you search for the right piano. Instead of just asking:

  • What’s the best digital piano to buy for a beginner?

Follow it up with:

  • What the best digital piano that will allow me to grow from a beginner to an intermediate or advanced piano player too?

The difference between pianos will provide you with more opportunity not only for playability, but also for sound and function. 

People transition to higher digital piano levels because they have progressed into further understanding of music. They’ve moved beyond basic note letters, chords and compositions and most likely have more general knowledge of music theory. More advanced pianos have a wider range of rhythms and tones, along with more functionality and connectivity options for other platforms. 

By asking the question early in your search process, you can quickly learn what items make the biggest difference. It can also help you choose when to upgrade your requirements to choose a digital piano that can accommodate many of your needs. Possibly for years to come. 

What digital piano is right for you?


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

All Children Are Musical

All Children Are Musical

From the time we’re born, music is an important part of our lives. From birth, our parents rock us to sleep, hum or sing softly to us as we sleep. 

Then as we age, we become more attracted to the rhythm of the beat. If a small child hears a song, they can rock and sway to the beat, flex their legs and arms as if dancing. They can even start singing themselves, especially if mom or dad is clapping along. All Children Are Musical

We emphasize music right from the beginning because it’s important in our culture. We incorporate music into just about everything we do. We wake up to it. We sing in the shower. We use it during our happiest moments – a bride and grooming their first dance together. We use it to cheer us up when things go wrong. 

And that starts right from the beginning. All children are musical; it depends on how much they are pushed as to how far they will go. 

There are two ways we incorporate music into our lives – we think music, or we practice it. 

We all become great at thinking music as we age. Can you start singing a song from when you were growing up? From preschool on, we hear songs, and they become ingrained in our lives. They transport us back to prior time periods. They trigger memories almost instantly. 

Practicing means actively getting involved in the process. For some, that might mean dance. For others, it might mean developing your voice or picking up an instrument. 

For small children, it can be as simple as clapping their hands together, marching to a beat, or picking up a spoon and hitting it on a pan. They “feel” the rhythm, and the more they practice it, the better they become. 

This expressive behavior can be encouraged as they develop, and deepened through music lessons that give them more structure to the concepts of music. 

Would your child benefit from learning the 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

7 Reasons Music Is Good For Our Brains  

7 Reasons Music Is Good For Our Brains  

Want to keep your brain healthy? Step away from the television. It’s even a good idea to turn the radio down. 

Researchers are still discovering all the ways music enriches our brains, but the impact is undeniable. We know now that music plays a big part in helping our brains stay healthy and connected. We’re developing therapies and enrichment classes around music because of the differences it makes in people’s lives. 7 Reasons Music Is Good For Our Brains  

It’s not just listening to it; it’s playing it. Taking an active role in making music. 

Playing the piano offers something for everybody. You can play whether you’re 5 or 95. It’s a form of enjoyment that lasts for life. Need a reason to bring the piano in your life right now?

Right Brain, Left Brain

Studies now show that when a person is involved in making music, the white matter between the brain’s two hemispheres increases. This means greater communication between the two sides, which can mean faster communication and a greater approach to problem-solving skills. 

2.Brain Function

More white matter also makes a person better at making decisions, processing and retaining information as you learn it. It can keep you on course when having to change based on mental demands. 

3. Speech Processing

Understanding the parts of music can also help you understand verbal communication on a stronger level. Both music and speech rely on the same neural pathways for processing, which means you may become sharper at language skills including reading. 

4. Memory

Making music helps increase your brain function, including the ability to remember. It allows you to store and use information for recall, which can translate to other activities and help improve your retention overall. 

5. Focus On Emotions

Tuning an instrument and learning how it works with other instruments can put you more in tune with subtle emotional cues of those around you. It can help fine tune your relationship skills. 

6. Increases Motor Skills

Playing an instrument requires stellar hand-eye-ear coordination. It can help musicians at all ages complete complicated tasks throughout life. 

7. Slows Brain Aging

Studies are showing that the more music you bring into your life, the more adaptable your brain is to the aging process. Speech improvements are made and stick with you for life. Even those who haven’t studied music for ten years or more still remembered more sensory information, including auditory, visual and tactile data. Studying music helps. 

What would learning to play the piano do for your life?


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