Always try to buy the best piano you can afford and one which suits your musical and lifestyle requirements. However if you are a learner and just starting out, then a piano of reasonable quality would suffice. You neednot spend a fortune on the first piano you come across.

Listed below are some useful hints and tips to use as a guide when purchasing your first piano:-

* Check that wrest pins are tight to ensure that the piano stays in tune well.

* Ensure that the keys do not stick, rattle or squeak.

* Check that the keys repeat the same note , second and third time you press it.

It is important to be aware of certain things when buying a secondhand piano. In my opinion an upright/underdamper which is overstrung and has a modern type of action, is the best type to buy. An overdamper is a much older version and one which I personally would steer clear of. An overstrung piano is one where the bass strings are set at a diagonal across the pianos frame, running from top left to bottom right. Basically the longer the string the better the sound compared with the straight string piano (strings are set from top to bottom) and therefore shorter than the overstrung. The straight strung pianos are generally pre - 1930's and can bring with them problems.

Moving a Piano

You should treat your piano as a very valuable peice of furniture which should only be moved by a professional piano mover. Once moved the instrument needs to settle into the environment for at least three weeks.

If purchasing from abroad, where the climate is warmer, the following problems may be encountered: Loosening of wrest pins, pin block, cracks, splits in the soundboard, separation of glue joints and damaged felts. This
is the worst possible scenario but it is possible.