Want To Extend The Life Of Your Piano? Do These 3 Things

Want To Extend The Life Of Your Piano? Do These 3 Things

If you’re a piano player, your piano is more than an instrument. It’s more than a piece of furniture sitting in your home. It’s a friend – one you take care of so it plays well every time you sit down at it. 

Have you ever walked into a home where the homeowners didn’t have the same belief? There are piles of paper on the edge. There are watermarks from drinks and glasses. You could draw a picture in the amount of dust accumulating. 

A piano requires regular maintenance to keep it in good working condition. While a technician can handle tuning, voicing, and other repair work, there are a few things you can do to keep your piano playable. 

No drinks … Ever

Let’s get the most obvious out of the way. If you’re going to practice for any length of time, having water nearby might be beneficial. Place a table nearby. Use a water bottle and set it on the floor. But never place a glass anywhere on the finish of your piano, especially near the keys. 

If liquid seeps in between the keys, it can quickly settle into the internal workings of the piano, and it may cause extensive damage. This can be a costly mistake. It can cause wood to warp. It can even allow mold or mildew to grow, depending on the amount of liquid spilled. Your best bet is to schedule an appointment with a technician as soon as possible and let them handle clean up. 

Pay attention to placement 

Wouldn’t your piano look perfect by the big plate glass windows, with a view that goes on forever just outside? 

While it sounds beautiful. It might not be the best choice for placement. It depends on the environment. Pianos don’t do well in a climate that changes regularly. Will it experience direct sunlight? Is it near drafts or breezes that could change the temperature quickly? 

Pianos enjoy a place inside your home with constant temperatures, and regulated humidity levels. Forty percent humidity is an ideal indoor climate. And be sure to place your piano away from vents and registers where it can receive a blast of conditioned air. Calm is better. 

What the keylid is for

If you’re not playing, keep the keylid shut. It makes sense and can be good advice … sometimes. 

In most cases, the keylid can protect dust and other particles from settling between the keys. It can prevent action issues and keep your piano playable for many years. 

However, it’s never a good idea to keep the keylid closed indefinitely. Keys need proper light and air circulation to stay in good working condition. If you leave the keylid closed for an extended period of time, it can encourage mold growth inside the piano, especially if it’s in a dark or humid room. 

Keep your piano healthy

The more you play your piano, the easier it will be to recognize potential problems. 

If you have any questions about its playability, give us a call. From a simple tuning to an extensive renovation, we have experience with all levels of piano care, and can help you make the right choice to suit your needs. 

What’s That Smell? Can You Remove Odor From A Piano?

What’s That Smell? Can You Remove Odor From A Piano?

You’ve just picked up a piano from a loved one. This piano has been in your family for generations. Now it’s your turn.

But when you bring it into your home, you instantly notice a smell. And all roads lead back to the piano. 

It’s musty. It smells bad. Is that even lingering cigarette odor? 

That’s the last thing you want inside your home. But what can you do? Can you remove odor from a piano? Will that damage the piano? 

Think of your piano as a cabinet housing the parts that create sound. It would be like closing the closet doors, hiding what’s inside. As you open it up, odor can be released. 

Is this a job you should tackle yourself?

The outside

Because the outside is similar to your furniture, there are ways you can clean it if the odor is coming from the wood. A white vinegar solution can effectively kill mildew and the odors that come from it. With a solution of one part vinegar and ten parts water, you can lightly wipe down every inch of the cabinet, being conscious not to get any part too wet. Lingering water and wood never mix. You can repeat if the odor is still noticeable. 

The inside

The inside of your piano is made up of over 12,000 individual parts. If any one of them is damaged, it can have a serious impact on the instrument’s functionality. This isn’t a job you should take on yourself. 

Still, you can look inside and see if there is a reason for the musty smell. You may find evidence of rodents or other small critters taking up residence inside. You may find old debris. If possible, you can remove it – just be aware that any disturbance of the mechanics of the piano are bound to have an impact. 

This can also be an indication that piano maintenance has been neglected. Without proper tuning regularly, the strings may not be in proper placement, may become rigid, and break. 

Renovation

This may be the time to consider renovating your piano. If it’s a family heirloom, your best course of action may be to meet with one of our professionals. We can evaluate the condition of your piano, and give you a better idea of the work involved to bring it back to playing condition. 

Have a problem with your piano? Give us a call today. 

Mistakes People Make When Cleaning Their Piano

Mistakes People Make When Cleaning Their Piano

When you get into cleaning mode, it’s easy to clean everything in your home in the same manner. 

Grab a rag and start dusting. 

Haul out the vacuum and lug it to every room in your home. 

Select your favorite bottle of cleaner and start cleaning. 

But before you head over to your piano, it’s important to stop and think twice about what you do. 

Pianos have delicate wood and lacquer finishes. Their keyboards are connected to many parts that can warp or be destroyed with certain chemicals or solutions. Water is not a piano’s friend. 

Still, you want your piano as clean as possible. When people sit down, they touch the keys. That means germs could easily move from one to another. 

Start every session by washing your hands. That takes away germs, dirt, food, or other contaminants before you touch the keys. There’s nothing wrong with making it your number one requirement before anyone takes a seat at the piano. 

When you do clean, leave your sprays in the closet. Use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe away the dust. If you need a deeper clean, consider a diluted solution of a neutral detergent instead of reaching for a bottle. 

For those tiny corners where dust may settle, you can take a cotton swab and carefully remove the dirt. 

Your piano may shine in the light; it’s only natural to want to use a furniture polish and enhance the sine. But most chemical cleaners will have the reverse effect. Those polishes can dry the wood out, dull the shine overall. That can lead to cracks in the wood, and reduce the sound quality of your piano. 

If you have questions about how to keep your piano clean, give us a call. 

Buy Used or Rent Your First Piano, Which Is Right For You?

Buy Used or Rent Your First Piano, Which Is Right For You?

You’re ready to expand your child’s skills. You’ve decided to enroll them in piano lessons. 

The first order of business is buying the necessary equipment. But where should you go? What should you get? Should you buy a used piano, or rent your first piano instead? 

Those are tough questions for parents who have decided to give the gift of music to their kids. Especially when you do a quick search online and find pianos can cost tens of thousands of dollars. 

Before you rethink your purchase, remember music is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. It’s a skill they can take and use for life. There is also scientific proof it raises their test scores, makes them better learners, and creates a happier, more stress-free life. 

But first, you have to decide: buy used or rent your first piano?

Pianos come in all shapes and sizes. If you go traditional, you’ll find acoustic pianos come in upright or grand. Want something smaller? Digital and electronic pianos are available for your use. 

As a newbie, your best course of action before you make a decision is to ask a lot of questions. Don’t walk into your local big box store and purchase a keyboard in the toy section. That will never give your child the resources they need to play beautifully and enjoy what they’re doing. 

Instead, talk with someone who’s been in the industry for years. They can give you a better idea about what each type of piano can offer you. Higher price isn’t always better. It’s about knowing your goals and needs, and matching those up with the right piano. 

Renting is often the right choice for a beginner who isn’t sure about playing and isn’t ready to commit to something bigger. This is a great way to get to know the instrument and further your knowledge in piano playing, so that you can make a better choice down the road. 

Buying used can also be a great choice. Just be sure you know where the piano is coming from, and how well it plays. If it’s been sitting in your grandmother’s garage for the past fifty years, it’s been neglected and won’t provide high quality sound. The tonal quality will be off, and it will be noticeable as your child plays. Nothing can be more frustrating than playing a song that just doesn’t sound right. It can even cause your child to lose interest, and say no to continuing on with music lessons. 

Visit with one of our staff, and we’ll show you how to select the right piano for your needs. We can also show you a series of used pianos, and find one that fits within your budget. A quality piano will be a welcome addition to your home for years to come.

Should You Sell or Trade Your Piano?

Should You Sell or Trade Your Piano?

When you look back at 2020, it’s easy to see the chaos. But a lot of good came out of it too. 

Did you slow down and spend more time with your family? Did you make hard decisions about the activities you participate in? 

Instead of spending time in the car moving from one place to the next, we’ve learned that being still can also be good. Which is why many families are finding music once again. 

While the sale of pianos may have been dropping in recent years, with a pandemic in place, the numbers have turned around. With more time on their hands, many parents see the benefits of putting their kids in piano lessons, and many more are taking it up themselves. 

Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to start playing. With nothing more than a Youtube video, you can start tinkering out music immediately. Of course, that can lead to bad habits, so many progress into starting up lessons in one form or another. With the internet, you can find any type of training you desire – your teacher can be halfway around the world. You can discover just how fun it is to sit down at the piano you’ve had in your home for years, and start playing once again. 

But just as quickly, you might discover this isn’t the piano for you. It was your mom’s – or grandmother’s – and it just doesn’t suit your needs. 

Should you sell or trade your piano? Does it have any value?

That depends. 

Thanks to manufacturing techniques and globalization, pianos have been mass produced for years – decades even. Some pianos are worth more than others simply by the way they were built. You can quickly determine value by looking at the name – a Steinway may have, unheard of names may not. 

You should also ask yourself why you’re selling your piano in the first place. Is it difficult to play? Will it stay in tune? Does it fit in with your decor? 

The very reasons you’re thinking of trading in your piano may also be what holds others back from purchasing it. If a piano will take work to make it playable again, it’s often better for the buyer to start with a better piano to begin with. 

Still, it never hurts to look at your options. 

We can also help you with that. We often purchase used pianos, and help you trade up to a better one. 

It starts with a phone call. Are you ready to invest in a better piano for your family this year?

I Have a New Piano … Now What?

I Have a New Piano … Now What?

Buying the new piano is the easy part.

It’s what comes next that trips people up. Especially right here in the heart of a pandemic. You’re stuck at home. You want to play. But where do you go from here?

Maybe you can’t get out and go to your local community center to sign up for group lessons. Maybe the neighbor who everyone recommends is no longer giving lessons.

What’s next?

The good news is there are plenty of options to help you learn piano now.

Hire a piano teacher

Maybe your local piano teacher is no longer teaching, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find many who are. Just like other business models that have transferred their services online, you’ll find many piano teachers have done the same.

Instead of traveling to a home or music store, you can work one on one with a piano teacher from the comfort of your home. Head to Zoom or your piano teacher’s preferred program and you’ll get individual instruction from someone who can help you perfect your skills.

If you don’t know someone in your community offering piano lessons, do a quick Google search. You won’t have to rely on who is in your community – you can find someone who meets your requirements from anywhere in the world. This is also a good tip if you’re perfecting your skills, and looking for a particular type of instructor.

Online piano teaching

What if you could learn the piano from one of your favorite musicians? There’s an app for that.

This is a way to make learning fun. Using technology, you can work your way through a variety of lessons, pick songs from your favorite artist, and learn from some of the best in the business. If Harry Connick Jr was helping you improve your skills, would you play along?

Luckily, we’re at a point in history where this is possible. Playgroundsessions.com is a program produced by music legend Quincy Jones, with a little help from some famous friends. You choose what you want to learn, and have the option for going as fast or as slow as you desire.

What’s next?

If you have a new piano, your next step is to take action. Choose the perfect method of learning for your needs.

If you haven’t invested in a new piano yet, we can help. No matter what level of piano you’re looking for, we have the perfect piano for you. Give us a call today.

Why The Piano Is Still An Important Part of Every Home

2020 has changed our lifestyles in so many ways. We’re living in a before/after world. 

Before, we came and went to activities freely. We overbooked and stayed busy night and day. 

After, we’re more conscious about what fills our days. Without the ability to go places, we pay attention to everything we do. 

We’re asking questions like never before. 

Is this something I really want to do?

And in a lot of cases, that’s bringing us back to the simple things in life. 

Like playing the piano. 

There used to be a time when every home had a piano. It would often take center stage in the main living area. People would gather around it to be entertained. Kids would learn how to play from a very young age. 

There are benefits to that. 

Playing the piano as a child teaches many things. It helps with the brain’s development, increases language skills, creates a more active brain with better memory skills, and helps control stress and anxiety. It gives kids a confidence boost and makes them a better team player. 

More students that move on to medical school have a background in music than in any other major. 

It helps in all aspects of life. What’s more, it’s a skill that a person will hold onto for life. 

Before, when parents were busy running every day of the week, encouraging children to stick with piano lessons was difficult at best. That’s changing. 

As you create an environment that centers on less stress in your home, maybe it’s time to get back to the simpler things in life. Things that matter most. 

Maybe it’s time to invest in a piano, one that will take center stage in your family room. One that will become a bigger part of your life. 

There are many ways to learn to play – try an app, or a Zoom lesson with a pro, or use a digital system to invent your own music. 

Investing in a piano today is one of the best gifts you can give your family. 

How Long Will My Piano Last?

How Long Will My Piano Last?

Everything in your home has a lifespan, a certain number of years it will function and provide you with service. Dishwashers last up to ten years. Water heaters work eight to twelve years. But how long will a piano last? 

You often hear of a piano being passed down from one generation to the next. Can it really last years, decades at a time? 

The good news is if you’re thinking about bringing a piano into your life, the short answer is: yes. 

Of course, there are a number of factors that go into predicting the longevity of your piano. If you’re thinking of investing in a piano this year, and want it to be a part of your life for years to come, pay attention to these variables.

Quality

Let’s start with the most obvious. Quality matters. If you’ve done any research on pianos in the past, chances are you’ve come across certain brands and manufacturers that are at the top of the list. They’ve stood the test of time because they pay attention to quality. You would never expect a quickly made, lower quality piano to be able to last for 100 years. Yet many brand names are built with that idea in mind. Talk it over with one of our sales associates, and you’ll quickly learn the difference between the two, and what’s most important in your search for the right piano. 

Location

It doesn’t matter what quality of piano you purchase if you place it in the wrong environment. Think the best piano in the world could survive in a cold basement where moisture and humidity eat away at the finish day after day? A piano is made up of thousands of tiny parts that come together to create a playable instrument. A piano that is well maintained and exists in moderate conditions will last much longer than one that isn’t. 

Amount of use

A piano is designed to be played. However, it will wear down with higher than expected use. If you teach music and the piano is in constant use, it may need more maintenance than one inside a home.

Maintenance

One of the biggest factors in keeping your piano in good working condition is to provide regular maintenance throughout its life. Pianos require regular tuning to ensure the strings receive consistent pressure. If you move your piano, ensure it’s moved by professionals who understand how to move it carefully and avoid damaging the inner workings. Be sure your piano is placed in an area with proper climate control, with just the right amount of humidity to keep it working at its best. 

On average, you can expect a piano to last for 50 to 100 years. Of course, that depends on all the factors we’ve listed above. 

If you’re ready to bring music into your home, we can help you find the perfect piano. 

How To Clean and Polish Your Piano Finish

How To Clean and Polish Your Piano Finish

Your piano is a delicate balance between looks and sound. And while your piano might sit next to a table, armoire, or even curio cabinet, you can’t clean it in the same fashion. 

Different finishes require different levels of care. What’s the best way to clean and polish your piano?

Satin Finishes 

For some people, a piano with a satin finish is the only way to go. You’ll notice a satin finished piano anywhere in the room. It reflects light easily, and is usually finished with a lacquer, polyester, or some other finish that gives it its unique shine. 

To achieve this look, multiple layers of finish are rubbed into the wood. Between each layer, the finish is lightly sanded before the next layer is applied. By the time the final coat is laid into place, the high-gloss sheen gives it its signature look. 

What gives it its shine also makes it difficult to clean. Oils from fingerprints are easily trapped and are not easily removed. If you rub the finish the wrong way, you’ll be able to see the cleaning trails in the shine. 

To keep this finish looking its best, less is more. Never use water on the finish. However, you can use a dry-damp microfiber cloth with back and forth motion to wipe it down. Avoid waxes, petroleum-based products, cleaning products you get from your favorite big box store, and any product with ammonia. These products will all strip the finish and cause it to dull. 

High-gloss Finishes

A high-gloss finish will reflect both light and images, and is usually created using a polyester material. It combines synthetic resins that harden during curing, and create a hardness that’s durable. 

One of the main reasons this stands out over satin finishes because it’s easier to maintain. More traditional cleaning products may not hurt the finish, but they can lead to an uneven appearance. It’s a good idea to keep your cleaning methods simple, using a mild solution to clean up messy spots. Microfiber clothes are an easy way to clean messes and fingerprints from the finish. 

Open-pore Finishes

If you opt for a natural wood veneer instead of an ebony finish, you might have an open-pore finish. They are created in similar fashion to other furniture you keep in your home, such as tables or headboards. They are created by sanding the wood to a smooth finish, then applying a sealer and a coat or two of lacquer to seal in the wood. 

If you own a piano with this type of finish, you can care for it similarly to your other furniture items made out of similar materials. Just be sure to stick with natural materials, as product containing things like paraffin waxes can leave a sticky residue on the finish. Avoid spraying any product near any of the working parts, such as the keyboard or turning pins or strings, as this could damage and corrode the materials. 

What do you do to clean and polish your piano? 

What To Know About Piano Prices

What To Know About Piano Prices

When most families decide to bring a piano into their lives, hoping the kids love and value being able to make music, their first stop on their journey is to try and find a good deal on a piano. 

Yet piano prices can be difficult to assess. After all, how do you compare what you’ll pay from a dealer with the “deal” you find on Craigslist, which is essentially getting the piano for free? 

Why should you pay when you can haul one away for no more cost than finding a truck and committing an hour or so of your time?

First, let’s talk about piano dealers. 

When a piano dealer opens up a retail shop, it’s usually as a small business. They have a love for all things musical, and have chosen to share their joy of creating songs by helping others choose the right instrument. 

A piano dealer obviously has to set the prices high enough to cover costs. But you’re also paying for:

Skill – they have access to know and understand dozens of piano brands, and have selected quality ones they think their customers will love. 

Knowledge – they’ve been around pianos for years – decades – and know what to look for when making a purchase. They can quickly assess your needs and help you make the right choice for what you want in a piano. 

Guarantees – the dealer has thoroughly evaluated every piano they sell, ensuring you get a high quality instrument. If for some reason it has problems during the warranty period, you’re covered. 

Deals – a dealer also knows how to find the best deals. If you’re looking for a particular piano, they can help you find it. They can help you find the diamond in the rough. They can set you up with a rental to determine how well piano fits into your life. They can help you trade up to a better piano when you’re ready. 

Remember, piano prices aren’t just about the piano. It’s about the other services that go along with it. 

Does the piano come with a bench, or will you have to buy one? 

What level of customer service comes with both pre and post sale?

How comfortable are you you’re making a good choice, one that will help you and your kids truly find the love of creating music? 

If you want to give your kids the gift of music, you have to choose the appropriate tools to help them along. 

We can help. Stop by today and compare many different pianos we have in stock. We’ll help you choose the right piano for your needs.