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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Buying a Second-hand Piano

Buying a second-hand piano is a daunting prospect for someone who has limited funds and just wants a piano so their child can learn to play.

Choosing from an array of pianos is bewildering unless there is a structure to your decision-making process. Some people really do just want a piano as a piece of good-looking classic furniture. Whether or not it has any value as a useable piano would be very low down in their list of considerations. I suspect that if you are reading this, you are more serious about a piano's usability.

Without some idea of what to look for and what to avoid, the likely outcome of a piano-hunt is disappointment. Or, put differently, it is extremely hard to buy a good piano cheaply. 

If funds are limited, above all else, avoid being taken in by what just looks good. Descriptions can be pure phantasy - those desperate to sell an old and weary piano will not be very up-front about the fact that half the keys do not work, that the piano will not hold its tune… Think about an estate agent's classic play with words as they go about persuading punters to buy a house. With pianos, the stakes are nowhere near as high, but even so, you can ill-afford to waste your time and money on a heavy and monumental mistake! 

If you can take someone you know to be better informed than yourself, so much the better, but you are the one who has to live with it, you have to make the final choice. Few 'friends' really want to be saddled with a sense of guilt if eventually, there is trouble with your piano.

If possible, professional advice is always a help. Impartial help, if you can find it, will save truck-loads of stress and worry. But if you are still on your own, focus on what the piano sounds like and how it plays. Be fussy and firm in your convictions. Happy hunting!

The Piano World

© Steve Burden

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