How Long Can A Piano Go Without Being Tuned?

How Long Can A Piano Go Without Being Tuned?

No matter what you purchase, taking care of it is a lifetime process. When a piece of equipment comes with a several year guarantee, the manufacturer assumes the item will be well maintained throughout its life. 

The piano is no different. Pianos can last decades, but only if they receive proper maintenance. Pianos aren’t a “buy them and leave them alone” kind of item. 

Instead, when you purchase a piano, it’s necessary to bring in a trained tuner to keep your piano in the best condition possible. 

The first tuning should be shortly after you bring the piano into your home. Place your piano in its final resting spot and wait three to four weeks. Then bring in a tuner. It’s important for your piano to have the chance to acclimate to its new surroundings. A piano breathes and settles in based on room conditions and temperatures. How Long Can A Piano Go Without Being Tuned?

No matter how old your piano is – whether you bought it new or used – the sound quality won’t hold forever. Even if you can’t hear the difference, the need still exists. The longer you wait between tunings, the more inflexible the tension of the strings will become. 

Tuners, in general, recommend tuning a piano at least twice per year. Spring and fall work well because that adjusts for the harshest of conditions during the coldest and warmest months of the year. A string’s tension is strongly connected to the temperatures of the surrounding area. 

Don’t think not playing the piano makes a difference. If you don’t regularly sit down and play, your piano is still impacted by other conditions. The temperatures still change. The wood, metal, and wiring are all still impacted. 

Normally, tuning takes one to several hours, depending on how well the piano has been kept. If you haven’t tuned your piano in years, it might take more than one tuning sessions in a row to allow the piano to stay in tune. It might even take repair of the internal parts to ensure a proper sound. Likewise, a new piano, or a piano that has recently been upgraded with new strings will require more tunings in the first year. This is to allow the tension to settle into its new surroundings, and adjust it to hold its sound. 

When was the last time you had your piano tuned?

Do Pianos Really Increase In Value?

Do Pianos Really Increase In Value?

When you buy a piano, a lot of things go through your mind. You probably think things like:

Am I getting the best piano for my money?

Will this piano be good enough for my child to learn on?

How do I know if I’m getting the best deal?

Yep, for a lot of new piano players, the thoughts center around the financial aspect of buying a piano. But most new piano players don’t think about the investment opportunities for purchasing a piano. Do Pianos Really Increase In Value?

When you purchase an acoustic piano, it can be an investment, and it’s possible it will appreciate in value over time. 

How? 

Acoustic pianos – especially grand pianos – are built to stand the test of time. Many grand piano brands – Steinway, Bosendorfer, Chickering, Kimball – are well known in the industry, and build such high quality instruments that you can often sell them for the same or more then you paid for them. Of course, you have to understand the piano you’re buying in the first place. And that’s where a reputable dealer can help. 

When it comes to selling on the open market, it can be every piano player for themselves. Because a lot of newbies don’t understand the marketplace, they often try to bargain their way into a good deal. Because there are so many “free” pianos listed in ads and online, it’s hard to compete. Teaching a newbie is difficult at best. 

But if you have questions about making the best purchase for today, one that will offer years of playability plus give you an investment opportunity for the future, it could be the best purchase you’ve made in a long time. 

Whether you’re looking for a new piano, want to invest in a great used piano, or just have questions about caring for the piano you already have, we’re here to help. Give us a call today. 

How To Creative An Effective Piano Room

How To Creative An Effective Piano Room

Looking for an ideal place in your home to practice the piano? Here are a few tips to create the perfect environment to make playing fun. 

Create the right atmosphere

When you design your home, you decorate for all kinds of occasions. You select colors that match your mood and style. You add accessories to show off your personality. The piano isn’t something you just throw into a room and have it set apart from the rest of your decor. Instead, decorate around it to make it blend and flow with the ambiance of the room. Add flowers nearby. Incorporate artwork or photographs to help it blend in. Be sure it’s well lit to make playing easier, and to show off your piano. 

Have the right tools nearby

As you progress with your lessons, you might be in need of a variety of tools. Music, pencils, highlighters, blank scorepads, paper, a metronome – keep it all close by. Many piano benches have storage built right in. You might also have a storage box or shelves in the room where all of your supplies are close at hand. Having to get up and find tools can detract from your real purpose; it’s easier if you have everything close by. How To Creative An Effective Piano Room

Have goals

What is your ultimate goal as a piano player? Do you wish to do it for enjoyment? Are you hoping to join a band? Do you want to play just for your own relaxation, or is your goal to play for an audience? If you want a room where people listen to your music, be sure to have comfortable seating that is clearly set up to listen to the music. You might even select a room that can change as you progress, including space to move from an upright to a baby grand. 

Understand the instrument

Playing the piano is a lot more than plucking the notes and creating music. It also involves understanding the way the piano creates sounds and music. Think of it as a foreign language – you have to work to understand all the nuances of the language. In your music room, you might also wish to incorporate a sound system that allows you to hear the great artists of the world, both old and new. Don’t just listen for pleasure, dive in and pull different parts of the music out. Analyze what makes the artist and the performance really stand out. 

The more you listen, the deeper you get into the process, the better you’ll become. 

Playing the piano is a lifetime of learning and enjoyment. And if you enjoy the process every time you sit down to play, you’ll ensure it’s a process you enjoy for the rest of your life. 

Can An Old Piano Be Tuned?

Can An Old Piano Be Tuned?

What if your piano has been neglected for years? What if you move a family heirloom into your home, and you know just by striking a few keys that it’s been years since the last tuning?

Can an old piano be tuned? 

The answer is yes. In most cases, every piano can be tuned. The real question is how much the piano is worth. 

Some pianos have simply worn out. No matter how much you tune the piano, they will still sound tinny and worn. They may play the song in tune, but the voice is anything but high quality. Can An Old Piano Be Tuned?

Still, if a piano has been neglected for years, it can still be tuned to be playable. When pianos are tuned, they are adjusted to be brought up to concert pitch. This is also known as A440, or standard pitch. 

A concert pitch brings an instrument in tune with accompaniment. They are designed to be played together and sound good together too. 

However, if a piano has been neglected, it might not be able to be brought up to standard pitch. It may be brought up to be in tune with itself, but never back to concert pitch. 

Most manufacturers recommend that a piano is tuned once or twice every year, depending on the surrounding area. The more climate changes a piano endures, the more changes in household humidity, the more tunings it will require. 

It can also change depending on how often it’s played. A heavy handed pianist may throw the notes out of tune with every song she plays. 

Is there a best time of year to tune a piano? The answer is: it depends. 

Many tuners would recommend at the change of seasons. This is when the most significant changes in weather occur. It’s when your piano will deal with the biggest changes in humidity levels. 

Still others would recommend setting up tunings on a schedule. If you prefer certain months of the year, stick with them year after year. 

When was the last time your old piano was tuned?

Grand Piano Keyboard – Are There Differences?

Grand Piano Keyboard – Are There Differences?

If you’ve been thinking of investing in a piano for yourself or your child, it may be difficult to decide which is the perfect one to buy. 

As you advance in your piano playing abilities, the choices can remain difficult, especially when you’re ready for an upgrade. Should you invest in a grand piano? Or should you upgrade your keyboard to something better? 

There are clear differences between the two. And if you’ve played the piano for any length of time, you understand the complexities fairly well. With a digital keyboard, you have the option of making different sounds. With an acoustic piano, you can’t. Grand Piano Keyboard - Are There Differences?

But there are more subtle differences you should consider too. 

What music you want to create

Different pianists like to play different songs. If you haven’t honed in on your preferences, sticking with an acoustic can provide you with the basic skills. However, if you know you prefer jazz, pop, maybe a little rock, moving towards the digital piano may be right for you. The quickest way to become frustrated is not to have the right options for what you want to create. Listen to your gut and select the right instrument to create what you desire. 

What options you’ll need

No matter what type of music you want to play, keep in mind that it’s important to have certain characteristics on the final piano you select. Standard foot pedals are important to play certain songs. Weighted keys are imperative to building your skills as a well-versed pianist. If you have the desire to transfer your music and edit and create online, it’s important to have the right programs in place. Before you buy, be sure to sit down and tally a list to ensure you get the right selection for your needs. 

What maintenance level is important to you

With traditional pianos, tuning is an important part of upkeep. With digital keyboards, you’ll never have tuning needs to ensure a continuous quality sound. Yet digital presents its own problems; if you travel, how will you keep your keyboard safe from harm’s way? 

What are your living arrangements 

This is especially important if you are purchasing for a child. If your child wants to continue playing as they move to college, or rent an apartment on their own, a digital keyboard may offer them more convenience. If you want a grand piano to be on display in your forever home, an acoustic may be the wisest choice. 

There isn’t a right or wrong answer to finding the perfect piano for you. Grand piano? Keyboard? The choice is yours. 

What If You Just Want A Cheap Piano?

What If You Just Want A Cheap Piano?

So you’ve decided you want to give your child the gift of music. You want to start them on piano lessons as soon as you find the right instrument. 

Congratulations on your decision. No other activity can give your child what musicality can. When a child learns piano, they are learning a lot more than how to play a tune. They’re improving their language skills. They’re becoming better students. They’re even finding a natural way to reduce stress and be more at peace with the world. That’s something we all could use a little more of, right?

What If You Just Want A Cheap Piano?Now that you want your child to learn the piano, it’s time to find the right instrument. If you’ve searched at all, you might be a little shocked at the difference in prices. Even for used pianos, you can find everything from “free” to shockingly expensive, depending on which site you search. What’s more, you might have even pulled up two pianos that look the same – same make, same model, and yet the pricing varies greatly. How can this be?

Buying a used piano is a lot like buying a car. If you want a particular make and model, you can find a lot of them online. Even the pictures can make it a bit deceiving. Let’s take a 1965 Ford Mustang as an example. 

Do a search and you can find one for a few hundred dollars. In the same results, you’ll see many with a lot more zeros tacked onto the price tag too. What’s the difference?

The difference is in the love and care it’s received over the years. One will have better everything: paint, interior, exterior, engine, tires, wheels, transmission, etc. One will have more love. The other won’t. And you’ll be able to see it in the looks and the way it sounds. 

The same applies to the piano. Of course, you can find pianos for cheap. Maybe even free. But when you bring them home, they won’t play quite right, the notes will sound a little funny. Even if the piano case has been shined up for the sale, you’ll probably find it loses its shine quickly. And the notes … They stick. They are way out of tune. And you might find some of them don’t make music at all. 

Then comes your real cost when you call in a professional to start the repairs. Suddenly your good deal doesn’t look quite so good. 

You can keep looking. Occasionally, someone will find the diamond in the rough. That one in a million piano that’s been hiding in a home for years, well loved and well taken care of. They’re ready to let it go for various reasons, and you happen to be at the right place at the right time. 

There are always lottery winners in our society. 

Or you can spend your time with a professional who will ensure you get the right piano for your needs. One that will play well, last for years, and fit well within your budget. 

How can we help you?

Digital Piano Accessories You Should Consider

Digital Piano Accessories You Should Consider

Are you investing in a digital piano for your home? You may also wish to consider a few accessories to make your piano playing a little easier. 

A Stand

One of the reasons many people prefer digital pianos is because of their flexibility to move wherever you desire. You can set them up and take them down in a flash; it makes them a perfect instrument for smaller homes. But you can’t play your piano well if you try and set it up on a table. Having the perfect stand will help you play it in a way that’s convenient for you. Will you sit or stand while you play? Is your child growing, needing different heights over the next few years? Be sure to select a stand that offers flexibility for your changing needs. 

Digital Piano Accessories You Should ConsiderA Bench

For most pianists, they prefer to sit while practicing. Having a piano bench with adjustable heights gives you greater flexibility for where you play. Be sure the bench is strong enough to help you feel stable while you move throughout your practice routine. It should also support you so your shoulders or back don’t feel stressed while playing. 

Headphones

If you have a busy household, it can often be a challenge to find the time for practice. Digital pianos are a step ahead of their acoustic counterparts in that you can plug-in headphones and practice in “silence” at any time. It’s great for the pianist to focus in on their music, while the rest of your household can concentrate their attention on their own endeavors. 

Piano Pedal

While beginners might not practice using the pedals right away, they will quickly develop their ability and need the pedals for proper technique. Be sure the pedals won’t slide around on the floor once they are attached. You should also look for models that provide easy connection to whatever piano you choose. 

Music Stands

Be sure to select a music stand that offers flexibility. With today’s technology, many play directly from a computer screen or a tablet. Be sure your screen is at proper height to avoid strain. You’ll find a wide variety of options, from music rests that attach to your piano stand, to tabletop options that allow for different heights. This may be something you adjust over time depending on your needs. 

Are you considering purchasing a digital piano? Stop by and we’ll help you select the right options for your needs. And have you playing your new digital piano in no time. 

How Does This Heat Wave Impact Your Piano?

How Does This Heat Wave Impact Your Piano?

Piano maintenance is important to keep your instrument in the highest quality throughout the year. 

If you’ve had your piano for any length of time, you understand that how well your piano plays and sounds depends on a variety of factors. 

  • How often you tune it
  • Where it resides in your home
  • The environment it sits in

Of course, you can’t control how hot or cold it gets outside, any more than you can control how much humidity or dryness of the outside air. But the more you work at controlling the environment your piano sits in, the better condition your piano will remain. How Does This Heat Wave Impact Your Piano?

Wood changes depending on the conditions. If it sits in dry conditions for long periods of time, it dries out and risks cracking. If it sits in moist conditions, it runs the risk of warping or mildewing. Pianos are primarily made out of wood, which means it can be influenced heavily by the conditions around it. 

It’s not just the piano case; the soundboard is equally at risk. This is where the strings are attached and vibrate to produce sound. If the wood expands, it can cause internal damage to your piano. And that will leave behind repercussions for overall sound. 

Be conscious of where you place your piano. 

  • Keep your room properly temperature controlled
  • Avoid direct sunlight
  • Avoid placing near a fireplace
  • Avoid placing near vents and registers

If your piano hasn’t had proper maintenance, now is the time. It’s good to schedule a maintenance visit at the change of seasons, to ensure severe heat or cold haven’t impacted the sound of your piano. 

Is your piano in the best spot in your home for avoiding severe temperature differences? 

How Technology Is Improving The Piano

How Technology Is Improving The Piano

When you look at an acoustic piano, very little has changed over the past century. Piano are still  a cherished, classical instruments, proudly displayed in homes all over the world. 

 When most parents decide to introduce music into their children’s lives, pianos are almost always one of the top choices. 

But like everything, pianos are changing. Technology is impacting the way we play and the instruments we play music with. 

How Technology Is Improving The PianoWireless technology adds the benefit to the smart pianos to connect other devices including computers and tablets. This means you can control what you play and how you play it no matter where you are in the world. 

It starts with teaching. There are a variety of products and apps that are  helpful and allow you to learn everything from hand placement to musicality. They help you be a better player, and can help you become the writer and conductor of your own music. 

With Internet connections, you no longer have to visit a teacher locally. Hop online, and you can connect with an instructor anywhere in the world. They can teach you via Facetime and help control lessons through a variety of resources. To help guide your playing progress, smart piano provide lights to assist your next move.

Of course, programs extend beyond helping you play. They make becoming a songwriter and sharing your music easier than ever before. Smart pianos make connectivity just a touch of a button away, and once your music is edited just the way you like it, it’s easy to share with the world. 

There are programs available for every age, every level, and every interest. In an age where people spend hours online with their favorite video games, why not make learning music just as easy. Piano playing is a skill that lasts a lifetime, stimulates creativity and boosts your brain power. 

Whether you’re young or old, there’s a creative way of using today’s technology in helping you become the best piano player possible. 

Does Your Child Need A Better Piano

Does Your Child Need A Better Piano

Where did you get the piano currently sitting in your home? Is it in good working condition? Does it allow your child to practice in the best way possible?

Pianos are a complex instrument. And without regular maintenance, many things can go wrong. 

Take, for instance, a sticky key. Let’s say one of the most common keys on your piano sticks when you press it down. The only way to get it to return to its upright position is to gently tap under the key and push it back up. Does Your Child Need A Better PianoIt’s not difficult. It doesn’t take force. But it does need a tap to get it to rise back to its original position. That process can build in your child’s practice and performance. It can become ingrained in the way she plays. So much so that she’ll tap the key on every piano she plays. 

Of course, there are many other things that can impact your child’s performance. There are a wide range of things that if not repaired, can impact not only her ability to play, but her desire as well. 

When a child practices the piano, the goal is to establish good playing habits and to let them have a positive musical experience. The instrument they play every day should be able to respond to both. The piano should be in tune so that your child can develop an accurate sense of pitch. If the piano is out of tune, it won’t sound good at all. Which means the experience won’t be where it needs to be to keep her playing. 

Do you have an acoustic piano? 

Some older pianos are beyond repair. A qualified technician can give you an idea of how much it will cost to make the repairs. But if you’ve owned it for years without tuning it regularly, or have found it for free or low cost on a Craigslist ad, it might be in poor condition and not able to provide the proper piano playing experience. 

It’s okay to purchase electronic or digital piano as well. For some families, moving to the digital world just makes sense. 

If your older acoustic piano can’t be fixed, it’s time to consider a new piano. If you’re using a keyboard with less than the standard 88 keys, look to move into something full sized. The quality of your piano makes the experience that much more enjoyable for you and for her. And it gives her the chance to develop a lifelong skill she’ll enjoy.