SG Piano Music Agency

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Inspection of The Piano

Before buying the piano, it is also important to inspect the material and other elements of the piano to ensure it is in good working condition.

There are various parts of the piano, which are essential to check as they play a part in the sound and the tone quality of the piano, and they also determine how durable the piano will be in terms of its lifespan.

1) Inspection of the Piano keys

Piano keys are essential part of the Piano as they are the keys that pianists are going to press to play music. Any broken or damaged key will ruin the music being played.

Left: Leveled Keys. Right: Unleveled Keys

How to inspect the Piano keys?

  • Make sure they are leveled at the same height from one end to another. Unleveled keys are considered broken keys.
  • Test how far the keys can go down when being pushed. They normally should go down about 3/8" before it becomes tiring to play the piano.
  • Play every key lightly to test if every note produces a sound.
  • Hear the tune of the notes when you play the keys to see if the tune is consistent from one end to another. Playing the same note in 3 or 4 different octaves at the same time helps to check the tuning consistency.

2) Inspection of the inside of the piano

It is vital to check the inside of the piano as the quality of the inside of the piano affects the sound and tone quality of the music produced.

How to inspect the inside of the piano?

  • Check the wooden part of the keys to check that there are no stains or chips. The chips might be a sign that there are mice in the piano. The wooden part is shown in the image below.

  • Also look out for missing or damaged strings.
  • Feel the hammers in the piano. They should not be too hard and dry, as it will cause the sound produced to be thin and hard. Look out for worn out hammers too. Hammers are shown in the image below:

  • Notice the groove depth; Groove depth more than 1/8" deep cannot be reshaped too successfully.
  • Check the hammers if there are holes in the felt. Holes are normally caused by insects, which will eat the hammers and the felt. This is common when the piano is not played for a long time.
  • Check the bridle straps (as shown below), which are narrow strips of woven material, to see if any strap is broken. Broken strap will cause the hammer’s catcher to loosen, causing the note to sound wrongly.

3) Inspection of the bottom of the Piano

How to inspect bottom of the piano?

  • Make sure that pedals can move freely without noise.
  • Check the Bass Bridge (as shown below) to see if there are any cracks around the pins. Big cracks normally impact the tone quality and the tune, and might also affect other important parts of the piano.

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