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? 

Good Used Pianos Near Me and Other Fallacies

Good Used Pianos Near Me and Other Fallacies

I saw an ad online the other day. It started out with: Wanted, good, used piano.

And I’m willing to bet she didn’t have any trouble finding one. Many people are trying to sell or give away old pianos that have been tucked away into the corners of their homes for years. 

Therein lies the problem. 

When you find someone willing to give away a piano or sell it to you very cheap, chances are it’s not a piano that’s been well taken care of. There are a lot of pianos out there that are in very poor condition.  Good Used Pianos Near Me and Other Fallacies

The problem is most people looking for pianos don’t have the knowledge or experience to understand the differences. Until it’s too late and you have one in poor working condition in your home. 

To find a solid piano, consider this:

Stay Away From Overused

When someone advertises a “great deal” or is willing to give it away if you pick it up, it’s a sign to stay away. These are the overused and neglected pianos. They are usually old uprights that are decades old and have very little life left in them without a major renovation. 

Set A Budget

Yes, to get a quality instrument that will allow you to create beautiful music, you’ll have to spend money. You’ll have two options: to lease or to buy. Leasing from a reputable dealer means you can try before you buy. It gives you a chance to get a higher quality instrument without investing in a piano until you’re ready to finalize your plans. 

Where To Buy

When purchasing a high-quality piano, you have two choices: from an individual or from a reputable dealer. With an individual, you get what you see. Depending on their business model, they have a low inventory and will only be able to sell you what they have in stock. With a dealer, it’s important to trust them to help you make a wise choice based on your needs. Find someone who has your best interest at heart. 

Consider The Future

For many new players, as they mature and grow in experience, they have the desire to upgrade to a better piano. If you buy today, will you be able to trade up to a new piano later? Will the piano be worth anything in five years? Ten? 

A reputable piano dealer can answer all of these questions and more. Are you ready to purchase a used piano today?

How To Hunt For A Good Used Piano

How To Hunt For A Good Used Piano

You can’t tell how good a piano is just by looking at it. You have to look inside. You have to listen to it.

Because many pianos may give the appearance they are in decent condition from the outside. The wood may be polished and sparkling. The keys may be shiny and ready to play. The outside is kept in good condition because that’s what the world sees.How To Hunt For A Good Used Piano

But when people stop playing the piano and begin ignoring them, they often don’t pay attention to the inside. They don’t dust the insides of the piano. They don’t tune it. They don’t repair it. And that’s what really matters when creating music.

What should you check for?

Play each note. Start at the left and strike each key – white and black – and listen to the tone. Listen for any buzzing or clicking sounds. Pay attention to any keys that stick or won’t create a sound.

Check all tuning pins to see if they have been set into the pinblock. If the pin is set into the pinblock, the string coil may be all the way against the plate, and no longer be able to hold a tune. If you notice any damage around the pins – water marks, moisture stains – it can indicate rust and corrosion, meaning the only way to continue to tune the piano is after a restoration process is completed.

Check both the bass and treble bridges for cracks along the pin line. If cracks exist, it needs restoring before it will produce quality sound. If the piano is a major manufacturer and has high value in the marketplace, it may be worth the process.

If you are looking at a grand piano, get underneath the piano and look across the soundboard for visible cracks. A small amount of pressure against each rib will ensure they are properly adhered to the soundboard and in working condition.

If you are looking at an upright piano, carefully remove the bottom cover to look inside at the soundboard. Inspect the bridge for cracks.

Lift the lid and play each note, one at a time. Watch the hammers in action to determine if the process is smooth and to determine if everything is functioning as it should. Make a note of any problems that will prohibit the piano from creating beautiful sound.

With so many pianos on the market today, it may seem easy to find one to learn on. Don’t be fooled and bring one into your home that is anything less than high quality. A high quality piano creates beautiful music. Anything less will be difficult to play, difficult to learn on, and not provide an experience that encourages growth and longevity.

What experiences have you had when looking for a good used piano?