What You Might Not Know About Pianos

What You Might Not Know About Pianos

Are you in the market for a new piano? Buying one is different than other purchases you make for your home. 

Take a kitchen appliance, for instance. Let’s say your dishwasher breaks, and you need a new one. You do a little research, find out what separates the makes and the brands, and then start picking out features that mean the most to you. Want a quiet dishwasher? Want one with multiple cycles for different loads? You can find several that will do the job quite nicely. What You Might Not Know About Pianos

When you bring it home and install it, the dishwasher works as promised. And it will continue to do so week after week, month after month, year after year. As long as it is well maintained, it will continue to the job similarly over and over again. 

That’s where the error occurs when people start shopping for a piano. 

A piano is a piano, right? But that assumption isn’t accurate. 

Because a piano is a living, breathing entity. It has a personality. It presents itself differently on any given day. 

Maybe it’s because the piano has around 12,000 working parts in it. Maybe it’s because so many different things affect how a piano works and sounds. 

Change the temperature in a room, and a piano can go flat or sharp.

When the air becomes dry, the sound can become brittle. 

Add a little humidity, and the sound can become muffled. 

But for most people, they don’t realize this when they start the search for a piano. 

Some people buy a piano sight unseen. When they load it up and take it home, is it any wonder it doesn’t sound quite right?

And if the sound isn’t there, why would you want to play it every day?

If you are in the market for a piano, get in and play it. Tap the keys. Play a scale. Tinker out a melody. And listen. 

Does it sound right to you? Do you connect with it? Can you see yourself making music together for years to come?

Only if the answer is yes is it time to buy. 


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

Learning The Lingo Of Buying A Piano

Learning The Lingo Of Buying A Piano

New to piano? Just like any industry, there are a lot of terms you have to learn. When you head into a piano dealer for the very first time, you’re likely to hear words like soundboard and action. What do they mean? And how important are they when making your final selection?Learning The Lingo Of Buying A Piano

The Back
The back of a vertical piano has five or six vertical posts that serve as stays against the frame. These posts provide added strength to resist the pull of the strings inside. These posts should be sturdy enough to provide adequate support in proportion to the piano.

Soundboard
Across the back of the piano is a soundboard, which translates the vibrations of the strings into the tone of the piano. The soundboard is one of the most vital parts of the piano. The soundboard is what conducts the sound. So it’s important it’s sturdy and straight and made of top quality materials.

Plate
The plate is a piece of cast iron bolted to the back of the frame. It holds one end of the string and provides the support for almost 20 tons of pressure from the pull of the strings.

Bridges
The treble and bass bridges are made of long, hard maple wood and are attached to the soundboard, transferring the vibrations of the string connecting the two.

Action
The working section of the piano is the action. The action contains around 7,500 parts, all taking a role in the act of creating music. Grand pianos have horizontal action, while upright pianos have vertical action. This is the process of sending the hammers against the strings when the keys are struck.

Hammers
Piano hammers are formed by felt being molded into a wooden hammer under tremendous pressure. Hammers are often referred to by weight, such as a 12 pound hammer. This refers to the weight of the sheets of felt that were used in the process.

Keys
Each key is balanced by a center pin and bushed with fine wool to silence it and provide proper clearance in the key bed. The keys are not made of ivory, instead, are molded plastic and designed not to crack or yellow. The black keys are made from similar material.

Pedals
Most pianos have three pedals. The sustaining or damper pedal on the right dampers the strings so that the tone is sustained after the keys are released. The una corda pedal mutes the tone by shortening the distance the hammers travel by shifting the action. The sostenuto is optional, not on every piano. It is used to sustain select tones at the pianist’s discretion.


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

Buying A Piano With A Reconditioned Piano Action

Buying A Piano With A Reconditioned Piano Action

Considering a used piano? Depending on its age, there’s a good chance the piano will have a reconditioned piano action.

For some people, that might send up a few red flags. What is an action? Will a reconditioned action stand the test of time?Buying A Piano With A Reconditioned Piano Action

When you purchase a piano, it’s often with the thought that it will be in your home for generations. After all, pianos are known to be one of the most classic pieces of furniture we bring into our homes. But what many don’t know is that it takes more than regular tune-ups to keep a piano in good working condition.

Pianos are made from materials that wear down over time. They need repair, replacing, adjusting, cleaning and maintenance on a regular basis to keep them in optimal playing condition.

There are two kinds of piano actions: upright actions and grand actions.

Upright actions contain the hammers, the whippen assemblies, and the dampers. Each is mounted to a series of rails that holds them in proper alignment to the strings and the keys so that when a note is played, the energy is properly distributed throughout the mechanism and sound is produced. In general, upright actions are fairly easy to remove for repairs, the exception being with spinets or player pianos.

Upright actions are simpler than their grand action counterparts.

With grand piano actions, they also have action parts mounted to a series of rails that can be removed for service and reconditioning. The noticeable difference is that the hammers are oriented differently in the case. The grand action’s whippen assemble has a repetition lever which allows a note to fully reset before the key has risen back to its resting position. This allows for better repetition of the note than on an upright.

With years of playing and settling, these parts wear out. Leather and felt pieces lose their effectiveness, and allow alignment and adjustment to fall out of place. When the felt hammers strike the strings and aren’t in proper working condition, damage begins to occur. And as one part wears and falls apart, it impacts all around it.

Reconditioning the action simply brings it back into working order with the proper materials to match the piano’s needs. New leather, felt, wire and even wood is introduced to match what’s already there.

If a piano action has been reconditioned, the difference will be in having a clean, well-functioning action that will make your playing enjoyable 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

5 Things To Ask Before Buying A Previously Owned Piano

5 Things To Ask Before Buying A Previously Owned Piano

Buying a piano is a major decision. And one of the first factors you’ll have to consider is whether to buy new or used.

A previously owned piano can be a good investment… if you know what questions to ask before writing out the check.5 Things To Ask Before Buying A Previously Owned Piano

Why are you selling the piano?
Have you ever noticed people will give you all kinds of information if you ask? If you’re approaching a third part or private seller, take the time to ask why they’ve decided to sell. Inspecting it can often lead you to make a false assumption that a piano is in good shape. But when you ask, private parties will often provide lots of stories about a piano’s past. Some might sell because they need the money. Some might sell because no one in the home can play, it was simply an antique passed down. In both cases, their response may clue you in that they don’t know how to take care of a piano either. Pianos need regular maintenance, and if it’s been sitting there for years, it may require a lot of tuning and restoration to make it playable.

Was a maintenance schedule followed?
Every piano, no matter if it’s played on a regular basis or not, needs regular tuning. Skipping tuning will affect the sound quality, so it’s crucial to check if a tuning schedule was followed. If tuning has been completed, you can also inquire who performed the tuning. DIY methods rarely work, as tuning is a difficult process that is learned over time. Experienced professionals are always best.

Who plays the piano?
Did the owner purchase the piano from a friend to provide piano lessons to a small child? Or did a professional musician play it on a regular basis? The more advanced the player, the better guarantee you’ll have that the piano is quality and was well taken care of.

How often has the piano been moved?
If the piano has been moved on a frequent basis, it could be a sign that it has received potential damage during a move. If a piano has moved several times, check to see if any restoration work has been completed.

What is the asking price?
While many people will lead and create their ads with the price they desire, asking again can reveal how serious they are. Never purchase on the spot. Instead, make sure you do your own research. If you find equal comparisons are much higher, it could be a sign the owner is hiding something. If they are willing to negotiate for a quick sale, there more than likely is something wrong.

Pianos are a major investment. Selecting a high quality piano can give you years of enjoyment, provide you with a musical instrument you’ll be proud to play. Do your homework and make sure you have the right piano for your home. And if we can help, just ask.


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

The Elements Of Teaching Piano: From Buying A Piano To Teaching Students

The Elements Of Teaching Piano: From Buying A Piano To Teaching Students

Teaching piano involves a variety of things. Yes, it starts by knowing how to play the piano; a good teacher has to be good at playing. But a good piano doesn’t necessarily have to be a concert pianist. A good teacher must appreciate and enjoy the challenges of helping their students learn how to master the piano. They have to be able to give their students an appreciation and love of the instrument.The Elements Of Teaching Piano: From Buying A Piano To Teaching Students

In most cases, when a parent looks to find a piano teacher for their child, they have a few goals in mind. They rarely say “I would like my child to become a concert pianist”. Instead, they simply want to give their child the benefits of having a deeper appreciation for music, for the arts, and a way of relaxing after a long day of activities.

The most obvious place to start is with purchasing a piano. In order to give your students every advantage of loving to play and loving to learn, the quality they play on has to be top notch. Why do you play the piano you do? What qualities do you look for in a piano? Many students and their parents will look to you for guidance in selecting their own piano.

From there, every music teacher has a different approach to teaching, depending on the style and methods they learned with. To appreciate music, a student must learn a variety of things.

  • Keyboard and Fingering – simple exercises can help students learn keys and patterns. This is where scales become valuable. It helps a student learn majors and minors and how they sound when played together.
  • Music Reading – a good method book can help a student sightread music. Care should be taken so a student doesn’t switch to memorization or playing by ear, and truly learns to read music.
  • Learning and Memorization – playing the piano well means practicing again and again. There is a skill to memorization; teachers can help them develop the skill and use it for concerts and recitals.
  • Music Theory – usually for more advanced students that are thinking of making music a career, theory can help develop an appreciation for developing their own music. It can help reinforce music and playing, things they should already love.

If you’re ready to inspire your kids for a lifetime love of music, introduce them to the art of piano playing 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

Buying A Piano To Get Kids Ready For School

Buying A Piano To Get Kids Ready For School

Its summer time. Time for vacations, sleeping in, and lazy days at the pool with nothing much to do.

Yet even in your down time, it may be time to think about your child’s future.

From a very early age, kids are attracted to music. They start dancing to it before they can walk. They hum a tune before they can talk. Even the toys geared towards the youngest of children are focused in around the concept of music. Music is a part of our society, and when you turn the tables and allow a child to make music as well, something magical happens.Buying A Piano To Get Kids Ready For School

Kids are busy these days. No matter how old your child is, chances are you’ve started running them here and there for a host of activities. Swimming lessons. Birthday parties. Soccer practice. When will you fit piano lessons in? And why should you? Is it worth it? What will it do for your kids?

Actually, its one of the best gifts you can give your kids.

Playing the piano stimulates the mind, helps with creativity, gives them self confidence, reduces stress, gives them a lifelong skill, and can improve their performance not just in the elementary years, but all the way through college and beyond. They do not need to become a professional musician to gain all the benefits piano has to offer. They can gain just as much from playing at the skill level that allows personal enjoyment and to play recreationally whenever they have a chance.

Are you convinced? If so, you’ll soon be facing the next hurdle: buying a piano. And for many people this is the most confusing stage of all.

For many people, when they look to playing the piano, dollar signs begin flashing before their eyes. Should you really invest in a new piano when you aren’t even sure how long your child will play?

If your child starts on a soccer team, would you let them play without the proper shoes, or an old ball that was flat? Of course not. They wouldn’t be able to kick properly, and without the proper shoes, would run the risk of injury. And in order to love the game and learn skills to make them a better player, having the proper equipment makes all the difference.

The same applies to learning to play a piano. Yes, you could pound out a tune on a child’s piano you pick up at the discount store for $20, but would they learn quality music with that tinny sound? Would they enjoy it?

The only way to learn a skill and enjoy what you’re doing is to have the proper equipment during the process. And it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You don’t have to buy a brand new piano your first time out. Instead, come in and see what we have to offer

Pianos come in all shapes and sizes. They come in digital and acoustical formats. You can find new, used and restored.

Whatever your budget, whatever your needs, there is a right choice for you.

And when you ask a professional with decades of experience in the art of piano, you’ll get sound advice and peace of mind that comes from knowing you are buying the best quality instrument at your price range, one that will give your child the best opportunity at learning a lifelong skill.

That’s all that really matters.


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

Guide To Piano Brands

Guide To Piano Brands

Ready to buy a piano for your home? Like many consumer products, its not as easy as choosing the first one you see. There are many brands on the market, each offering its own quality and innovation.

But if you are new to the piano world, how do you know which brand to choose? Is there a noticeable difference? Is there a difference that you or the person who will be playing the piano will notice?

Many people dream of owning a Steinway piano. They sit in some of the greatest concert halls across the world. But in no way is that the only piano manufacturer out there.Guide To Piano Brands

  • Wm. Knabe & Co.
  • Baldwin
  • Chickering
  • Samick
  • Kohler & Campbell
  • Kimball
  • Pramberger
  • Remington
  • Wurlitzer
  • Seiler
  • Conover Cable
  • Niemeyer

Before you get caught up in the brand, ask yourself what type of piano you would most use first. You can choose a digital piano or an acoustic piano. With acoustic pianos, you can have an upright or a grand.

With all piano choices, your two most important factors will be sound and space.

Grand pianos take up the most space, and will need a fairly large square footage for its final resting spot. Uprights are meant to be placed by a wall and will take much less square footage than its grand counterpart.

If you have even less space, a digital piano gives you flexibility of being able to move your piano in an easier fashion.

Sound will ultimately depend on the style of piano chosen, and the quality of the manufacturing process.

Each of the brands provides its own quality and can provide you with years of enjoyment. By choosing a reputable dealer with many different styles, brands and selections, you can quickly learn what the difference is, and narrow your choices to select the perfect piano for you and your family. We welcome you to our store 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

7 Tips To Buying A Piano From A Reputable Dealer

7 Tips To Buying A Piano From A Reputable Dealer

If you have decided that you want to learn how to play the piano or that you want your child to learn, the first step in the process is you will have to buy the actual piano.

7 Tips To Buying A Piano From A Reputable DealerBuying a piano may sound easy enough – classified ads are often a go-to source for people searching for affordable, used instruments. However, a piano is different than a used flute or clarinet. A piano is an investment and should be treated as such.

Here are 7 tips for buying a piano.

  1. Always buy from a reputable dealer. You can use the Internet, as well as word of mouth, to find a reliable, dependable dealer that only sells quality instruments. Pianos must be maintained for quality – do you really want to buy a piano that has been stored in someone’s garage for a decade?
  2. You get what you pay for, so if you go cheap on your piano, you will wind up with just that – a cheap piano. Cheap pianos do not have the same sound quality as higher quality, more expensive pianos. And while that may not seem like a big deal to a beginning child who is just starting out, if they can’t pick up tones during practice, they may get frustrated and choose to quit. Quality matters.
  3. Avoid online shopping. This is a piano, not a purse. Such a large instrument and investment should not be purchased online. You need the chance to see and hear the piano before you purchase it. It is also important to note that you never know exactly whom you are dealing with over the Internet.
  4. Quality materials create quality pianos. Choose a trusted, reputable brand name when shopping for your piano to ensure that you receive a quality instrument.
  5. Consider the design of the piano before you purchase. Grand pianos produce some of the finest, richest tones, but you may not have room for such a large piano in your home. Upright pianos are the next best option.
  6. When you choose the brand name for your piano, make sure you choose one that backs up their craftsmanship. This goes beyond the actual building of the piano and includes partnering with reputable dealers and tuners to ensure that your piano stays in great shape.
  7. If ever in doubt, contact an expert. Utilize the Internet to find someone who knows about pianos and can advise you on your purchase.

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

Tips For Buying A Piano In Memphis Tennessee

Tips For Buying A Piano In Memphis Tennessee

You’ve been wanting to buy a piano for a while now, but you don’t know where you should begin looking for one. How do you find the perfect piano for your home? Should you jump online and buy a used one from a classified site? Or should you find a piano dealer – someone right here in Memphis, Tennessee to help you make the perfect selection?

In the case of buying a piano, a piano dealer can help you in not only making the perfect purchase, but also providing you with a whole lot more. Here are some things you should consider when looking for a piano dealer who can help you:Tips For Buying A Piano In Memphis Tennessee

  1. It is helpful to go with a piano dealer who is local and can answer any questions that you might have about pianos. By contacting someone local, you will be able to get help both by phone and in person. You should be able to feel confident when buying a piano, and having a dealer who has great customer service in multiple ways will take the time to answer any questions you might have.

  2. Look for a piano dealer who has a huge selection of pianos, both used and new. Everyone’s needs and budget for buying a piano are different. Don’t settle for something that you might not be happy with in the long term just because you only saw a limited number of options and didn’t know what else was out there. Being able to test out many different pianos in person will allow you to choose the piano that best suits your needs and budget.

  3. Go to a piano dealer who is experienced in the piano world in a variety of ways. We have been around since 1960, so you can trust that we are experienced and knowledgeable about the pianos that we sell. In going to someone who is experienced, you can also benefit in other areas –as well as selling pianos, we also are knowledgeable in restoring, tuning, and moving pianos.

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

Differences Between an Acoustic Piano and a Digital Piano

Differences Between an Acoustic Piano and a Digital Piano

Thinking of buying a piano? You’ve probably come across one of the very first questions a piano dealer will ask you – would you like an acoustic piano or a digital piano? And if you’re new to the piano world, that very first question may leave you confused. What’s the difference?

Differences Between an Acoustic Piano and a Digital Piano

  • Acoustic pianos work by felt-covered mallets hitting strings within their insides. Digital pianos work through a sound chip and speakers, so when their keys are struck, they replicate what a piano sounds like. Some digital piano models have features that will allow you to change the instrument sounds like (for instance, an organ or drums instead of a piano). Because the technology used to make digital pianos can be made smaller without sacrificing the sound of the instrument like an acoustic piano, digital pianos are smaller and lighter.

  • Digital pianos may be able to better serve the needs of a select number of people. For one, their size may be a better match for those who enjoy playing but are either short on space or move around a lot. Also, digital pianos are useful if you want to record music on the computer or plug in headphones to play privately.

  • Acoustic pianos have significantly more range of tone than digital pianos, as you are interacting with actual strings rather than something emulating the sound of strings. Therefore, you will be able to put in a lot more emotion and depth into your music on an acoustic piano. Because of this, more advanced piano players may find digital pianos limiting after a while.

  • Digital pianos don’t function exactly like an acoustic piano, and making a transition later on from digital to acoustic may be difficult, especially for beginning players. For one, some less expensive digital pianos don’t have the same weighted key feel as an acoustic piano would, instead feeling light and plastic. For another, some digital pianos lack the full eight octaves that acoustic pianos have, which can limit the range of music that you can play.

  • Acoustic pianos have a longer-lasting value. Anything electronic, whether it’s a computer, phone, or piano, has a time limit on it; it will one day become outdated and overshadowed by better technology. This will also make it difficult to sell if you want to get a new piano later on. Acoustic pianos that are well-maintained keep their value and won’t become obsolete.

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