How To Move An Acoustic Piano

It will be quickly apparent to you that shifting a piano case not an easy task. If you have an acoustic piano such as an upright piano or grand piano, you should always take professional help of professional piano movers to move it. Never attempt to do this yourself or with your friends. We cannot emphasize how important this is. A piano should not be moved without the proper equipment and the experience of professional piano movers.

movin a piano

Professional piano movers come with the necessary equipment and the knowledge to move your piano.

Here is what is usually done to move your piano.

The grand piano is moved using two special pieces of equipment called a piano board and a dolly. A piano board is a long flat board that has lots of padding and several handles. The grand piano is flipped over on its side on the board and strapped to the board and dolly. The piano board holds your piano securely and cushions against any jerks and bumps. If the piano movers show up without a piano board, you shoud let them go and call new movers. An upright piano is moved by placing it on a flat dolly in an upright addition. Your piano dealer can recommend several good moving companies who specialize in piano moving.

How To Deal With Serious Piano & Keyboard Problems

There are times when the problems that arise with your keyboard are serious and need you to spend a great deal of money and take some strong decisions. Get the advice of at least two technicians before you decide to spend that money and whether it is worth salvaging your keyboard or not. Sometimes the problem with a digital keyboard such as the burning out does not warrant the repairs. In case of acoustic pianos, there is seldom a problem that requires you to do away with the entire instrument. Of course, if the soundboard of your piano breaks, then the piano becomes almost worthless. These are some of the serious faults that can arise with your keyboard and how you can deal with them.

The soundboard of your panel breaks or cracks

piano repair

The soundboard of a piano is a large polished board under or behind the strings. The soundboard is responsible for creating the resonance and amplifying the vibration from the strings that creates the signature piano sound.

This soundboard can break during a move performed by unqualified movers or it can break due to constant changes in humidity that causes the wood to swell and contract. The thing is that if the soundboard cracks or breaks, you might not notice the difference yourself. In fact you can continue playing the piano the way you have always. However, the resale value of your piano will be next to nothing. Have a piano technician check out the soundboard for you during each tune up.

You only hear a thump when you press an acoustic piano key.

There could be many reasons for this happening, some pointing to a simple fault where as another being a more serious one. Either the hammer, damper or both are not functioning properly. You may have to replace the mechanism for just one key or replace the entire set of keys and hammers. The first option is obviously much cheaper whereas the second one can raise quiet a bill from the piano technician. The simplest and easiest to fix fault could be a broken piano strings which can be usually fixed for under $15.

Your digital keyboard does not come on.

Once again, the reason why your keyboard is not switching on could be something very simple or something very expensive. First of all, check the electric connection to ensure that the electric outlet you are plugged into is working properly and not burnt out. You can do this by plugging something else into the same outlet and seeing if that functions. If there is nothing wrong with the power supply your keyboard may be dead. There may also be something wrong with the power transformer in your digital keyboard. One way to check it out is to put batteries in the keyboard if it is the kind that runs on battery power as well. If the keyboard switches on when you put batteries inside it, the problem may be relatively simple one that needs you to replace the power supply in your keyboard.

The LCD displays shows garbage.

If the words and letters on the front panel of your digital keyboard are a bunch of meaningless letters, some circuit inside may not be working probably. The keyboard still may continue to play or may not. Only a piano technician will be able to give you an estimate of the repairs required.

You spill liquid over your digital keyboard.

This can cause the entire circuit inside a digital keyboard to short-circuit. Immediately switch off the keyboard if you spill anything on it. Do not attempt to switch it on again. To minimize the damage, let it dry out and call up technical help and a technician to come and have a look at it before turning on the power. The technicians will be able to open up your keyboard and dry it out properly before switching on the power which may allow you to salvage the circuits inside. If you are fast enough in cutting out the power of a digital keyboard, you may avoid excessive damage since the liquid takes time to seep into all the places inside the keyboard.

You spill liquid on your acoustic piano

While nothing is going to short-circuit inside your acoustic piano, the wood, strings, hammers and even the keys can get damaged. Quickly get a cloth or an extremely absorbent cloth material and start sopping up liquid.

Few of the mishaps that seem serious actually aren’t that serious at all. Pedals falling off, strings breaking, headphone jack snapping off inside the unit and even keys sticking together can be problematic but they are not serious problems. As long as you do not attempt to make the repairs yourself, you will not magnify the problem. Call for professional help always to fix your expensive digital keyboard and acoustic piano.

How To Maintain a Digital Keyboard

Digital keyboards do not need tuning like acoustic pianos. If you manage to keep the keyboard clean, dust free, moisture free and avoid instances like excessive jerks and shocks, your keyboard should work fine for a long time.

digital keyboard maintainance

It is a fact that problems can arise with a digital keyboard as well, just like any other piece of electronic gadgetry. Even keyboards can develop faults. For this reason it is advisable to register your device with the company when you buy it. These days, the most common way of registering a device is to go on to the website of the manufacturer and fill out the registration form with the device serial number,usually found written somewhere on the body of the keyboard as well as on the receipt, along with your name, address, e-mail and phone number.

Do not be hesitant to do this thinking that you would be put in some sort of a mailing list. Registering your device allows you to access the technical support of the keyboard manufacturer and do things like speak with knowledgeable technical staff, send e-mails etc. Sometimes there is a registration card included with your keyboard which you can fill out and mail to the address provided.

Once you have registered your keyboard, whenever you have a problem you will find it easier to get in touch with the technical support which is usually free. Look for the technical support line for your instrument that has probably come with the manual or the registration card. There may be more than one support Center listed. Choose the one that is closest to where you live.

As already mentioned, digital keyboards can experience problems as well. Some of them are a result of normal wear and tear. For example, if a button or a knob does not seem to be working properly or appears to be stuck, do not try to fix it yourself with your own tools. Call a professional to deal with the problem. You may be able to call the dealer who sold you the instrument in the first place or ask the manufacturers for a dealer reference. The dealer can assess the damage and fix it for you in most cases at a minimal cost or no cost at all if it is under the contract that you had with him when you made the purchase. If your item is still under warranty, then the repairs will probably cost you nothing no matter how serious they are.

Never ever under any circumstances attempt to open the top of your keyboard. The most common reasons why many people do this is simply because they are impatient. If there is a problem, even though it seems like a simple one, opening your keyboard yourself will probably void your warranty automatically and more than likely damage your keyboard even further.

Always Use Professionals For Tuning and Maintaining Your Piano

Using professional help for general checkup and serious repairs

Learning how to play a piano is one thing and knowing how to repair or maintain one is quite another. Acoustic pianos need more maintenance and repair that requires the expertise of a qualified piano technician than digital keyboards.

Tuning acoustic keyboards

piano tuning

You will quickly discover that tuning the piano is different from other instruments like a guitar in the sense that you are not advised to try and do it yourself. Piano tuning is a relatively complicated process and only a qualified piano technician can do it properly. There are also several other parts inside that require maintenance and repairs which is not possible for you to do. So always call piano technician when it is time to tune your piano.

Piano technicians are skilled professionals with years of education and experience in doing their job. It can look like a simple enough process of tightening few screws but it is something that you will just not be able to manage yourself. Tuning the piano strings to the right pitch takes a great deal of experience and know-how. Specially if you stop to think about just how many strings that are inside the piano. All have to be tuned just right. Usually in an acoustic piano, specially the grand, there are three strings to every single key. Now perhaps you can imagine the magnanimity of the job of tuning a piano.

Another thing you should understand about your piano is that it is not going to suddenly go out of tune one-day. Loss of intonation is a gradual process that takes place over a long period of time. If you actually get to the point where you can noticeably make out that your piano is out of tune, you’re tuning has been probably much neglected and is long over due. Piano tuning should be done at least once and preferably twice a year. Generally the visit will take 2 to 3 hours and cost you between $75 and $150. This expense is well worth the cost because ignoring regular tuning on a piano can permanently put it out of tune.

If you decide to use the same technician again, they will put you down in their records and will contact you the next time you’re tuning is due to schedule an appointment.

Frequent tuning also ensures that the pitch of your piano does not drop. This is a condition that may be repairable but is problematic.

Periodic checkup of your piano is advisable not just for the purpose of the tuning, but also to make sure that the other things under the hood are working just as well. When the piano technicians has a look at your piano, he can check the pins, the wires that are frayed or about to break, functioning of the pedals, condition of the keys, moisture buildup inside etc.

You can get recommendations for a good and qualified piano technician from friends, teachers, music stores, and music schools. You can check the recommendations against the member directories of the piano technicians Guild at www.PTG.ORG which includes a list of individuals who have donned the distinction of registered piano technician. Choosing a qualified and experienced piano technician to maintain your piano is important because a bad technician can actually ruin a piano further than maintain and repair it.

Whenever the piano technician comes over to tune your keyboard, ask them to look at the other parts of the piano as well such as the pedals, soundboard etc. Ask them to make you aware of any current or future potential problems. Even if an issue is not critical right now you might want to deal with it sometime in the future. This will give you an opportunity to plan for the repair financially as well as avoid excessive expense by nipping the problem in the bud.

How To Keep Your Piano & Keyboard Clean & Dustfree

Cleaning your piano and your keyboard is one of the steps you can take to ensure its functionality for a long time. Dust buildup in a digital keyboard can very often leads to a short-circuit inside. It can also cause the various knobs and buttons to stop working properly. Either of these faults can cost you much expense in repairing.

keeping piano clean

Dust buildup in an acoustic piano is not critical but should be avoided anyway.

One of the cardinal rules that you can set about keeping your piano and keyboard dust free is to prohibit anyone from eating or drinking around your keyboard. A spilled drink on a keyboard be it an acoustic piano or a digital one, can cause serious damage.

Liquid spilt on a digital keyboard can short-circuit the entire electronic gadgetry inside which may leave you with no option but to replace the entire unit.

Eating food around a keyboard has two side effects. Food particles have a way of getting in between keys and you will quickly notice that there is something stuck in between when you are playing your keyboard. Sometimes the food particles also make a slight sound when you press the key. The second aspect of not eating around your keyboard is that you invariably tend to touch the piano keys with stained fingers. This leaves marks on the keyboard which you have inevitably be cleaned as well.

Buy a dust cover for your piano and a digital keyboard and keep it covered when you are not using it.

The two simple cleaning instruments that you need to have to keep your keyboard and piano clear of dust are a feather duster and a small, medium bristle paintbrush. Dust the piano regularly with a feather duster and use the paint brush to get into smaller devices and grooves and especially between the keys. Press down each key and clean both the sides before moving onto the next one. The paint brush also comes in handy on cleaning digital keyboards because there are a lot of little buttons, knobs, sliders that require closer approach for cleaning. Always make sure you turn your keyboard off and clean it with a very dry, soft, lint free cloth when required. Do this at least once a month.

Be careful about what cleaning solvent you use on your piano or your keyboard. The wood finish of the grand piano can be ruined by using normal furniture polish. Ivory keys should be cleaned with a dry cloth or a cleaner made specially for this purpose. For most purposes, a cloth that is slightly damp with plain soap and water works well. However, always make it a point to ask the dealer what kind of cleaning products can be used with your piano.

Always use an old T-shirt or a lint free cloth instead of paper tissues. Paper towels can leave residual paper on your keyboard as the strands pull away from the tissue. Never spray cleaning liquid directly onto your instrument. This will just cause it to seep into the instrument and cause more damage than good. Spray on to the cloth and then wipe the instrument with it. Do not leave any access cleaning fluid on your keyboard or piano.

You can make a piano or a keyboard cleaning fluid at home quite easily. First ask your dealer though. Several times, when you buy a special cleaning liquid for your piano, you will realize that you are just buying some soap and plain water. If this is the case with your keyboard, you can make some at home by taking an empty spray bottle, cleaning it out thoroughly, adding a few squirts of liquid hand soap and filling it with water. Shake this mixture well before spraying on your cleaning cloth and wiping down your instrument.

Choosing The Right Location For Your Piano

Finding a proper place to put the keyboard

When you buy a piano or a keyboard, the 1st order of the day is to take proper care of it. It does not matter if your keyboard is an expensive one on a relatively inexpensive one. If it is expensive, it is a precious and valued commodity. If it is inexpensive, I’m sure the reason you chose the model was to save money in the 1st place. Having something go wrong with your keyboard due to lack of proper care and maintenance can only result in loss of money.

good place to keep piano

The 1st thing that you should do to ensure proper care and maintenance of the keyboard is to find a proper place to put it. This place does not have to be the permanent place but it should meet all of the following criteria.

No direct sunlight.

Overexposure to sunlight through a window and can damage any kind of a keyboard over time. It can dry out and warp the wood of an acoustic piano. It can affect the sound and the overall appearance. In case of a digital keyboard, it can also damage the outer mold of the keyboard as well as cause problems in the internal circuitry. If your keyboard has an LCD screen, exposure to direct sunlight can damage it in just a few hours.

Controlled climate

Do not expose your keyboard to extremes of weather such as hot and cold. If you live in a place that gets really hot in the summer and very cold winter, try to put your keyboard in a room that is climate controlled for most part. Try to place the keyboard closer to an interior wall rather than an exterior. Another important climate conditions that’s affects both an acoustic piano and a digital keyboard is humidity. Lack of humidity, or excess humidity can affect the wood of your piano causing it to change shape and even twisting. This is not only cosmetically unpleasing but can also damage to sound. Humidity is also a culprit in shorting out the circuitry of a digital keyboard more often than not. If you live in a place that is close to the sea, you should ensure that excessive humidity does not erode, corrode or otherwise build up moisture inside your bitstream keyboard. I have seen entire keyboards get fried just by sitting in one place. In fact, one of the things you can do to ensure that the keyboard is not damaged by humidity in the air is to play it regularly every day. Having it just sit there were cause excessive moisture to build up over time and one they just shot out your circuits inside the keyboard. Strongly consider the use of a humidifier or humidifier if you live in a particularly dry all the excitement or wet climate.

Good ventilation

As far as digital keyboards are concerned, good ventilation helps keep the instrument cool when you are playing it. In case of acoustic pianos, good ventilation reduces the buildup of excess moisture. The moisture can affect the exterior wood of the piano and cause it to twist and change shape. Internally also there are several parts that should not have constant exposure to moisture. Good ventilation will help prevent this. As we have already mentioned, moisture buildup is the critical issue with digital keyboard as well. It can cause the internal circuits to short-circuit. This can be an expensive fault to repair. However, you should also not put your keyboard directly under an air conditioning unit or a heating duct. Just make sure that the area is well ventilated.

Keep The Keyboard Where It Will Be Safe

Keep your piano or the digital keyboard in place where it can be stable. Don’t keep it in a place where it may accidentally get knocked off its stand or people you bump into it on coming and going through the area.

Elbow room

Put your piano or your keyboard in an area where you can practice comfortably without feeling cramped. Give yourself enough space to get up easily and be able to stretch during your practice sessions.

Convenience and Accessibility

Keep your keyboard in a location which is easily accessible for practice. When the mood for practicing on your piano strikes you, you should not feel restricted or lazy in just getting to it. It should be close at hand and in a place that allows you to focus when you are practicing playing the piano. Another thing that you might want to take care of is to ensure that there are enough electrical outlets available. Running long extension cords is inconvenient, looks bad and can sometimes be more of a hazard in causing short-circuit. That said, it is advisable to plug in your digital keyboard not directly into the plug socket but use power strip with Spike protection or a constant voltage supply.

Well Lighted Area

Try and practice in a well lighted area. It makes it easier to see the black and white keys and reading music from the sheets is also much more possible. You can set the lamp on or near your keyboard.

Privacy of the location

While you need to have the piano in a place that allows you to focus and practice in relative privacy, you also need the location of the piano to be such so as not to disturb your neighbors. For example, the room right above your downstairs neighbor’s bedroom may not be a very good location to put your piano. Keep things in mind such as what time you are likely to practice. If you need to practice late at night and have an acoustic piano without the facility to plug in your own headphones, choose the room well away from the sleeping quarters of the rest of the family so that you do not disturb them or your neighbors.