INSIDE THE PIANO

We will now open the lid. Having opened the lid you will now want to remove the front of the piano to examine the inside components. Simply look for the screws or latches at either end of the front panel. If you do not feel comfortable removing the front panel get a technician to assist you before you put yourself in an uncomfortable position.

THE 9 STEP CHECK

Now that the piano is open look for the following

  1. Rust and corrosion on the strings and pins.
  2. Look at the condition of the hammers, are they worn with deep cuts. This is a sign of a lot of usage.
    - Are there gaps between the hammers?
    - Are they loose and floppy?
    - Look at the leathers and felts, are they worn?
  3. Check the dampers for wear, if they are worn the piano may ring on, (the dampers are behind the action, and touch the string).
  4. Check for broken bridal straps, these help with the repeating of notes, (they are at the bottom front of the action)
  5. Check the keys for side play, the felts may be worn out making for uneven touch.
  6. Look down the keys for levelness. Keys that are uneven make for uneven playing.
  7. Remove the bottom board and look for rust, corrosion, dust and possibly mice nests, if it is an old piano, (to remove the bottom board the latch is under the keyboard).
  8. Check the bridge in the bottom of the piano for cracks. Cracked bridges create a lot of problems for pianos but can be fixed, (the strings go over top of the bridge).
  9. Check the pedals and make sure the matching rods work.

Having completed this 9 step check of the piano, you should now have a good idea of what kind of use or abuse the piano you wish to buy has received. If you find anything which looks irregular or you have any questions or doubts before you go any further you should contact a technician for further analysis.
This way the technician will be able to tell you if there is a serious problem and more importantly how much the problem is going to cost to repair.

After you have purchased a piano it is a good idea to have it tuned once a year, This keeps the pitch up and keeps the piano sounding lovely.