Hints for buying a secondhand piano

Buying a secondhand piano

I have seen some amazing pianos in my travels; from the piano left in a garden all winter to an instrument infested with vermin.  Here are a few things to look out for:

  1. Always buy an iron frame piano.
  2. Does the casework make a good first impression?
  3. Do all the notes work?
  4. Is the piano reasonably in tune. If it has some really "twangy" notes this suggests there are major problems with the tuning pins.
  5. The best sort of pianos are overstrung/under-damped models.  However, straight strung Bechsteins are really excellent.
  6. Are there any cracks in the soundboard/wrestplank?
  7. Is the piano on pitch? Has the piano been in a hot environment?
  8. Does it smell? This suggests damp, mould or worse.
  9. Look under the keys if possible. Can you see signs of woodworm?
  10. Ask a piano expert to look at a piano with you. It can save you a great deal of money. 
  11. Ask for the history of the instrument.

I am happy to advise.