5 Signs Your Piano Needs Refurbishing

5 Signs Your Piano Needs Refurbishing

Some projects are perfect for the do it yourselfer. Some projects aren’t.

Changing the color of the walls of your family room is a perfect do it yourself project; grab a bucket of paint and go. But when it comes to refurbishing the piano that takes center stage in your family room, it’s best left to the hands of a true professional.5 Signs Your Piano Needs Refurbishing

Start with the keys

The easiest place to start when checking the condition of a piano is with the keys. The keys should be played one at a time listening to them closely. The tuning may be off, meaning you might not hear a quality pitch as we walk from note to note. Listen beyond for buzzing sounds or harsh multi-tones even when you’re pressing just one key. Also pay attention if a key creates no sound at all, which could be a sign of further internal damage.

Test the pedals

When you press down on a pedal and find it non-responsive, it can be an indication of a bigger problem. Many people ignore the pedals, with little intention of using them in the first place. Check them anyway as it can be an indication of larger problems inside.

Inspect the hammers for wear

Each hammer within the piano is covered in felt. Timbre is achieved when the hammerhead felt strikes the strings and produces the desired note. Worn felt reduces both timbre and tone. Make sure felt is intact and wood does not show through. Also keep in mind that felt is attached to the hammers through pressure, not through glue. In many cases it can be easy to spot a do it yourself attempt to improve the quality, which can actually work against you.

Examine the bridge and pinblock

The bridge is the wooden piece between the soundboard and the hammers. It helps keep the piano in tune. This wooden piece should not be out of position, warped or cracked. The pinblock holds each string ensemble in place with tuning pins. Likewise, the pinblock must not be cracked or warped, and the tuning pins should be tight. Piano strings are attached in groups of two or three, and if the pinblock is damaged, the piano will remain out of tune. If you see signs of rust anywhere, it probably is a result of water damage and may be beyond repair.

Inspect the soundboard

The soundboard is the foundation of the piano. If the soundboard is cracked, warped or damaged, the rods will not move correctly, and the hammers and felts will work improperly, producing the wrong sound or no sound at all.

One of the worse sounds for people to hear is an incorrect note on a piano. But that is not a true indication of a problem with a piano. If damage is at a minimal, and the note is merely out of tune, piano refurbishing can be an easy process. It may be as simple as tuning and replacing a few worn parts. The only way to determine for sure the true potential of the piano in question is to start by having a professional evaluate the piano.

Have questions? Give us a call 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