Hunting For a Good Used Piano

Hunting For a Good Used Piano

When you’re in the market for a used piano, it may seem like they are available everywhere. Search online, head to Craigslist, or even look at the bulletin at your local coffee shop, and you may find several used pianos to consider. 

How do you know you’ve found a good used piano?

You won’t be able to determine its playability by looking at it in a picture. Stand in front of it, or walk around it – you still can’t tell if it works well. 

The only way to ensure you find a good used piano is to dig in and really see how it works. 

What to bring

Whether you’ve played the piano before or not, it’s important to determine if it is in good working condition. To do that, you’ll need to bring several things with you to help you evaluate the condition. 

  • A flashlight – for peering underneath the lid
  • A notepad and a pen – for taking notes about the quality
  • Time – spend time getting to know the piano before you move forward

What to check

While you may wish to invest in a piano that works well with your decor, more important is to ensure it sounds good to your ear. 

People play the piano because they love the sound it makes. If you don’t like the music it creates, you’re less likely to want to play it. 

As you’re hunting for a good used piano, pay attention to these aspects of the piano. 

The keyboard – sit down and play every note. Even if you’ve never played the piano before, you’ll recognize if it doesn’t sound right. Start at the left and play each note, including the black keys. Do you hear any buzzing or clicking noises? Are there keys that won’t play? Does it sound out of tune to your ear? 

The brand of piano – while there are many high-quality piano brands in the world today, you can learn a lot about a piano just by doing a quick search for the brand. Note the reputation of the builder. Are they still in business? What reviews can you find online? 

Use your flashlight and get under the lid – maintenance can truly be revealed with a little light under the lid. Check on the tuning pins attached to the pinblock. Are the piano strings properly attached? How do they appear? If you see rust or corrosion, or even a heavy accumulation of dust, it can be a clue that this used piano wasn’t well cared for. 

Check the soundboard for any cracks – this could be the cause of any annoying buzzing you hear when you play. A cracked soundboard will require extensive renovation to restore it to proper working condition. 

Recheck each piano note with the lid open – you can also replay every note and watch how the hammers hit each string. What you couldn’t hear while testing for a sound the first time through may be more visible as you watch the action from within. 

Sit down and play – or have someone with you who can play even a simple song. Does it sound good to your ear? Do you enjoy the music it makes? The biggest part of wanting to play comes from enjoying the music you create. If it doesn’t sound quite right to your ear, it’s best to look for another piano that does. 

Trusting a piano dealer with your used piano purchase means you’ll also gain the knowledge and professionalism of the person you’re working with. They will answer every question, and show you the differences between makes and brands. Their ultimate goal is to ensure you get the instrument perfect for your enjoyment. 

How can we help you purchase the right used piano for you?