Frequently, parents choose an upright piano for a first piano; they range in height from 36 to 51 inches. Buying from a piano store—or even just looking at pianos there—is worthwhile because you can try out many kinds of pianos at once to see what appeals to you. By the way, no piano should ever be placed on an outside wall of the house because dampness is lethal to a piano.
Some of the best brands of pianos are Steinway or Steinway & Sons (the “Cadillac” of pianos), Baldwin, Wurlitzer, Chickering, Yamaha, Kawai, Samick, Bechstein, Ibich, Pleyel, Gaveau, Kemble, Chappel, Petrof, and Scholze.
Digital pianos with weighted keys give a similar feel to playing an acoustic piano and are a much better choice than those that are not weighted.
Buying a piano is an important decision because a good piano should last you many years and can provide unlimited pleasure. Author of Tennessee Literary Luminaries: From Cormac McCarthy to Robert Penn Warren (The History Press, 2013) Sue Freeman Culverhouse has been a freelance writer for the past 36 years. She moved to Springfield, Tennessee in 2003 with her sculptor husband, Bill a retired attorney.
Sue teaches music and writing at Watauga Elementary School in Ridgetop, Tennessee to approximately 500 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. There are some useful questions to ask when buying a second-hand upright grand piano from a private seller. If the answer is that it is no longer played, then ask when it was last played and how often.
Pianos need to be tuned at least every 6 months on a regular schedule, regardless of whether or not they are actually being played.
Pianos should ideally be stored in a dry, well-ventilated room at a consistent temperature (ideally around 20 degrees Celsius).
A piano which has been played by a committed pianist, even a serious amateur, is likely to have been well looked-after. The piano has been a popular instrument for many years and can be used to play many sorts of music. However, there are also an increasing number of adults who either took lessons as a child and want to revisit music making after a hiatus or have never really played but have always wanted to. Based out of Hamamatsu, Japan, Kawai distributes acoustic and digital pianos in over 80 countries. Germany is one of the most celebrated countries in the world for piano building and the award winning Grotrian is among the most prestigious pianos from that country. For many years Sherman Clay Pianos was the Steinway and Sons dealership in Portland, Oregon. By doing these things – even years before formal music lessons – you can cultivate an internal motivation and desire to learn within them, making future music instruction much more likely to be successful and enjoyable. My wife, who is also a fine musician, and I were watching a little piece on TV about famous, French-Chinese classical cellist, Yo-Yo Ma.
Pianos can provide you and your family with enjoyment and beautiful music for many years with only a moderate amount of attention.
A piano can last as long as 40 years and can be as expensive a purchase as an automobile if you buy top quality.
Many parents realize the importance of early training if a child is to become an accomplished musician.
It is critical if you are going to choose this method to take someone who is knowledgeable about pianos with you. The tone of a piano—even that of instruments of the same brand and style—is very individual. Ivory keys can be cleaned by using a damp cloth (not dripping because you don’t want any water to go between the keys) and solid white toothpaste (on the white keys only). A digital piano usually comes with the sounds of many other instruments programmed into its database. Digital pianos can also come in a grand piano case and they are from several hundred to thousands of dollars. Beginning in 1976, she published magazines articles in Americana, Historic Preservation, American Horticulturist, Flower and Garden, The Albemarle Magazine, and many others.


Sue has one daughter,  Susan Leigh Miller who teaches poetry and creative writing at Rutgers University. She also publishes a literary magazine each year; all work in the magazine is written and illustrated by the students. In addition to being a versatile instrument in its own right, it is also popular for accompanying singers and dancers. These are horizontally-strung pianos, such as grand pianos, and vertically-strung pianos, known as upright pianos. There are many reasons for this but by far the biggest is the fact that even though the piano can produce the most delicate of tones, there is about 20 tons of string tension in action behind the scenes. Part of the reason for this premium is that buying a brand new piano from a reputable seller carries an implicit guarantee that the instrument has been well looked-after. They will help you to judge both the original quality of the instrument and how well it has been looked after. If the instrument has been played regularly but is for sale due to a change in circumstances, then it is more likely to have been looked after than one which has, literally, been gathering dust. The piano may sound right after an amateur attempt, but they may have inadvertently caused internal damage.
Be very wary of pianos which have been stored in unused rooms, or even worse; storage facilities. This is less likely to be true of instruments used by people who were forced to take piano lessons to satisfy their parents or to meet the requirements for academic courses in their main instrument, for example.
These days, however, many of the best bargains are found on the Internet and in particular on eBay. Buying a quality upright piano is an investment which will provide a great deal of pleasure to its owner. I have frequently made the observation that in all the many years that I have worked in music stores I have never heard one single adult complain that taking music lessons was a waste of time when they were a child. That equates to approximately 2800 employee s worldwide and regular annual sales of $1 billion dollars. The Sherman Clay company, at it’s peak, had eleven stores (mostly in the western states) and was the largest piano chain in the world.
This was a couple years ago when he had just completed a bluegrass album with some of the greatest bluegrass musicians in the world. Unfortunately, they often receive virtually no consideration when it comes to care and maintenance.
On the other hand, most parents, unless they are pianists themselves, rarely understand the complexity of buying a piano.
Very few children start out practicing at home on a grand piano unless there is already one in the family. If you buy a traditional acoustic piano, you need to commit to having the piano tuned without fail at least every six months.
Try out many pianos until you are satisfied that you are making the choice that is right for you.
As it is a big instrument, buying a decent upright grand piano requires an upfront financial investment. Instruments which are strung horizontally can use much longer strings and also have a longer soundboard. Some business sellers offer a selection of second-hand pianos, the quality of which is effectively guaranteed by them.
A knowledgeable seller will at least ensure that the piano is appropriately covered and kept in tune.
It is very risky to buy an out of tune piano, since the fact that it is out of tune could hide serious internal problems.
With this in mind, it may be worthwhile to ask for a quote from a piano-moving company before taking a final decision as to whether or not to bid. With that in mind, it can be helpful to ask the seller for a link to a sound file or a video of the instrument being played.
The music might be so good (classical, jazz, blues) that you may be fooled into thinking that it is coming from a stereo or sound system but turn into the courtyard at the museum and you will see a young man or woman in street clothes playing passionately on a colorfully decorated old piano.


On the other hand, if I’ve heard one – I’ve heard fifty adults say that they wished they had learned to play as a child or wished that they had taken their musical education more seriously when they had the chance. You can imagine that switching over to play bluegrass was quite a genre bender for him but the music was interesting and enjoyable. Given the cost to repair or replace one of these beauties, I found it important to review some high points of proper piano care.
Plastic keys can be cleaned with a mild solution of vinegar and water, making sure no water goes between the keys.
This means they can produce much richer, fuller, more balanced tones than their vertically-strung counterparts. Another key issue is that modern pianos are built to withstand the rigours of central heating, whereas older ones were not.
There are also many second-hand instruments for sale by private sellers which are in excellent condition and being sold for completely legitimate reasons. It is also recommended to ask the seller explicitly if there is parking for the mover outside their home and if there are any issues with the location of the piano which might cause difficulties when moving it, as these may increase the price of the move). Although instruments with a good voice may still have internal damage which will become apparent over time, eBay rules require sellers to disclose all relevant information about the item they are selling.
Welcome to Portland and welcome to the work of Megan McGeorge, visionary and founder of Piano. In an interview, he waxed on enthusiastically about how much fun it was to work with these musicians and how nice they were to him personally. Older pianos ranging from 36 to 37 inches high, called spinets, are no longer built because of their inferior sound quality; it is still possible to buy one of these (used, of course) pianos, however, for a beginner. Unfortunately, even the smallest horizontally-strung pianos are far too big for the average modern house and are also very expensive to buy, to move, and to insure. If looking at an older piano which has been restored, it is important to find out specifics about what was done, when and by whom, since the term restoration is very broad. Ideally the seller should provide the paperwork relating to the original purchase as well as a clear explanation of why it is for sale. If buying a new second-hand piano, ita€™s important to enquire about this, if the piano has no warranty, check why not.
This means that regardless of whether the instrument is being sold by a business or by a private seller, buyers can rest assured that the item description is accurate. Upright pianos can be listed as New, New Other, Manufacturer Refurbished, Seller Refurbished, or Used. If these pins are allowed to remain in an “out of tune” position for years, they most likely will not hold tuning well even after they are tuned repeatedly. It is also worth remembering that, at the end of the day, there is a limit to what restorers can do. When there are problems, usually these can be resolved by the buyer and seller communicating directly, but if not, buyers can contact eBay for assistance.
Upright grand pianos are usually listed alongside standard uprights and can be identified from the description.
If you know someone who tunes pianos, you should take this person along when you are looking at used pianos—even if you have to pay the person (and that’s only fair!) for his experience. Of course he had to light it on fire, but I can guarantee that the audience was watching that piano more than Jerry Lee. The small sum you pay the “expert” may save you hundreds of dollars and prevent your buying a faulty instrument. Although they can not quite match the sound quality of the horizontally-strung pianos, they can still have excellent voices which age well.
Upright grand pianos are the largest of the upright pianos and therefore can use the longest strings, giving the best sound.



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