Selecting The Perfect Grand Piano For Your Home

Selecting The Perfect Grand Piano For Your Home

Whether you’ve been playing the piano for a lifetime, or have a strong desire to start something new, nothing can compare to owning a grand piano. Yet selecting the perfect grand piano for your home is a big decision. With so many brands and styles on the market, how do you know which one to choose?

Here at Coltharp Piano World, we’ve helped thousands of customers select the right piano for their needs. Finding the right piano is a personal process, but we’ve found there are a few basic things to consider before honing in on your final decision. 

Select The Right Size

It’s easy to get a little overwhelmed by the options when you come in and view our selection. What looks good on the showroom floor might not be the best choice for your home. Grand pianos come in many different sizes:

Small Grand – up to 5 feet

Baby Grand – 5 to 5 ½ feet

Medium Grand – 5’6” to 5’9”

Parlor or Living Room Grand – 5’10” to 6’1”

Semi-Concert or Ballroom Grand – 6’2” to 7 feet

Concert Grand – anything larger than 7 feet

The best size for your home depends on how much space you have for the final piano. 

Select The Right Color

While sound may be everything when purchasing a piano, looks are also important to ensure it fits the style of your home. Color creates mood and aesthetics, and can be considered as traditional, modern, or eclectic. Want a polished classical ebony piano? Or may new age painted to match your interior? There’s a piano for you. You’ll find different woods, including:

  • Mahogany
  • Rosewood
  • Oak
  • Walnut
  • Cherry
  • Maple

Choose satin or polished finishes. Or create your own. 

Select The Right Tone

The size of the grand piano and the soundboard and string length is what ultimately determines the tonal quality of the instrument. The larger the soundboard, the longer the strings, the greater the volume and tonal quality. If sound quality is your utmost priority, move towards the largest piano size possible for your room dimensions. 

Ultimately, sound is determined by size and craftsmanship, so it’s best to spend ample time researching the right manufacturer for your desires. We can help you determine with sound blends well with your expectations, and ensure you make the right purchase for your home. 

What’s the perfect grand piano for your home? With many different makes and models on the market, it can be a difficult decision. If you’re creating a music room in your home, let us help you finalize your decision. 

Arranging Your Living Room Around A Grand Piano

Arranging Your Living Room Around A Grand Piano

A grand piano doesn’t just sit idly by in your room. It makes the room.

When people make an investment in a grand piano, it’s likely to be one of the most expensive pieces of furniture in the room. It isn’t something you want to squeeze into a corner; you want to put it on display. But arranging the rest of the living room furniture around the piano may seem like a daunting task. It’s not something you can easily move from place to place. There’s a better way instead.Arranging Your Living Room Around A Grand Piano

Create A Floor Plan
Before you ever touch a piece of furniture, draw it to scale first. With a piece of graph paper, draw your room to scale, including doorways and windows. Then start experimenting with various layouts without having to move a single piece. You can create scale outlines of all furniture you wish to remain in the room, cut them out and play with the layout. Ensure all doors can open without blocking them. Also be aware of vents to ensure you don’t place the piano too near a stream of air.

The Piano
If you don’t have your piano yet, experiment with different sizes and the best location. From the front to the back, a baby grand piano measures 5 feet or under, a boudoir grand piano measures 5 to 7 feet, and a concert grand is around 9 feet. Make sure whatever size you choose has plenty of room to move around it, as it will likely be the centerpiece of the room. A smaller grand with plenty of space will look more impressive than one that is crowded into the room.

While a piano may look attractive against a window, never expose a piano to direct sunlight. This will cause fading and can affect the value. Also, avoid placing it too close to outside walls as this may expose the piano to varying temperature changes. Never place it too close to any heat source as the flow of air can dry out your piano.

The grand piano has a hinged lid that opens to one side to let the sound out. The open side of the lid should face the seating area, or at least into the center of the room. Never place seating on the other side as this will impact sound quality. If the room is large, consider creating a dedicated seating area exclusively for the piano.

What grand piano is the right size for your home?

12 Fun Facts About Pianos

12 Fun Facts About Pianos

1. The piano is known as the King of instruments for a variety of reasons. First, it’s the only instrument that covers the full spectrum of any instrument in the orchestra, from the lowest notes of the double bassoon to the highest notes of the piccolo. Next, it has the ability to play both the melody and the accompaniment at the same time. Finally, it’s the largest musical instrument (excluding the pipe organ) and most versatile in creating music.

12 Fun Facts About Pianos2. One of the most famous pianos is a Steinway. Steinway & Sons was started in 1853 by Engelhard Steinweg and his three sons – who later Americanized his name to Henry Steinway as a way to compete in the American marketplace. There are currently six Steinways in the Smithsonian collection.

3. The average medium size piano has around 230 strings, with each string having about 165 pounds of tension. That means when you add up all the strings, the combined pull of the strings would equal around 18 tons. (If you add up the string tension in a concert grand piano, it would be closer to 30 tons.)

4. The term “tickle the ivories” refers to playing the ivory keys of the piano. However, piano keys have not been made out of ivory since the 1950’s, and today are made out of plastic.

5. During the past 100 years, over 5,000 brands of pianos have been available in the marketplace. And because of their longevity, most of these brands are still on display in homes, museums, or other locations throughout the world.

6. The first practical piano with a hammer mechanism and the capability of being played softly and loudly was built in 1700 in Italy by Martolomeo Cristofori. Cristofori never focused on the piano, instead preferring to put his attention on building harpsichords. His original name was “gravicembalo col piano e forte”, or harpsichord loud and soft. It was later shortened to “pianoforte”, and finally piano.

7. The term grand piano was first used in 1777.

8. A grand piano action is faster than a vertical (spinet, upright or console) because it has a repetition lever, which allows the pianist to repeat a note when its only half way up. A vertical action requires letting the key return all the way up before the hammer action can be reset again.

9. The worlds largest piano in a Challen Concert Grand. Its 11 feet long, has a total string tension of over 30 tons and weighs more than a ton.

10. A typical keyboard has 88 notes, with the first note being A and the last note being C. The exact middle of the keyboard is not middle C. Instead, it’s the space between E and F above the middle C.

11. Although a piano is a string instrument, the are considered percussion instruments and are placed in that section of a symphony orchestra.

12. A new piano should be tuned four times a year, with a shift to twice per year after that.

Learn more about Memphis Pianos.

What You Should Know About Buying A Grand Piano

When you decide to buy a grand piano, its as much a decision about the sound that comes out of it as the look that will fill your home.

A grand piano will sound different than other pianos you may choose – an important point if you place value in your music. Not only will the instrument produce different sounds because of its design, it also needs more room in your home. And with more room brings more opportunity for the sound to travel.

A grand piano also takes up a considerably more room than other types. It can’t be tucked into a corner or aligned along a wall. Instead, it takes center stage, no matter if your room is small or large.

Your first step will be deciding on a new or used piano. Both have their pros and cons. In either aspect, focus in on the brand. A reputable piano dealer can always answer all your questions, no matter how large or small, and provide you with a wealth of information on where your choices come from and their benefits.

As with any product, a brand name can tell you a lot about the instrument itself and how well its manufactured. If you look at the auto industry, you understand that in the Ford line, a Fiesta is at the low end while a Mustang Shelby would be at the high end. The same works in piano branding. Some lines are meant to be affordable; some break all the rules and offer you the best quality available. Look to the brand name as a beginning point to making your final selection – good names include Pramberger, Samick, Kohler & Campbell, Knabe, and Seiler.

Withing the Grand Piano industry, you will often hear them referred to by size – Baby Grand, Parlor Grand, and Concert Grand for example. What makes a Grand Piano move from one category to another is its size. The larger the piano, the bigger the soundboard, the longer the bass strings, the stronger and richer the tone.

If you decide to buy a used piano, your questions may be more in-depth. How old is the piano? Where did it come from? How good of shape is it in? Has it had major work? Buying from a reputable piano dealer, however, does have its advantages. When you buy it at an estate sale, you have no idea its condition – in many cases neither do the sellers. But by buying from us, you know its been completely restored and given our quality seal of approval. Meaning you can trust your used grand piano will give you quality entertainment for years.

While you are buying a Memphis Grand Piano for its musical qualities, that doesn’t mean you can’t focus in on the little details as well. What color fits best with your décor? What style do you prefer? What does the bench look like?

A grand piano is an investment that can last for decades. And the best place to start is to come in and take a look around. We understand this can be a major decision – let us help you ask the right questions, and find the perfect piano for your home.