Buyer's Guide

What to Look For When Buying a Piano

Due to our vast experience in dealing with new and used pianos, please feel free to contact us for help and advice on choosing the perfect piano for you:

028 9581 0310 or 07763 751 581

Thinking of Buying a Piano?

Prior to buying a piano – new or used, it is wise to undergo some preparation in order to ensure you purchase a piano that is appropriate for your needs. You may know what you would like the piano look like (i.e. colour and style of casework), however The Piano Doctor would recommend that you primarily visit a trusted dealer and play some of the instruments. This will allow you to feel the difference in ‘touch’ of various pianos, and also hear the differences in musical tone.

Should I Buy From a Piano Dealer?

Purchasing a piano from a dealer is the safest and most reliable option. When you buy from a dealer they will usually include a warranty with all new and reconditioned pianos. With reputable dealers, you can be more certain that the piano will be regulated and tuned prior to collection or delivery. Some dealers will provide a free tuning once it has been delivered to your home. You should be aware that when buying a brand new piano, it will be necessary to have it tuned at least 3 times during the first year as the new strings stretch and settle.

Identifying Common Problems with Pianos

When you come across a problem with your piano, it can be difficult to determine whether or not the problem is major or not. For example, a buzzing or rattling sound could be due to a major issue with the sound board (the ‘amplifier’ of the piano), or it could simply be a small hinge in the lid or an ornament sat on top of the piano. The seriousness of some problems is easier to determine; sticky keys are quite a common problem, however are not usually a major cause for concern. To identify problems, play the piano and take note of things like tuning, buzzes or rattles, sticking keys, etc. If you notice a problem, contact The Piano Doctor to discuss the solution.

Buying a Used Piano

If you decide to purchase a piano through a private sale, it is worth considering having a qualified piano technician check it out prior to parting with any money, if you have concerns about it. Mark or Connor at ‘The Piano Doctor Ltd’ can carry out an assessment on a potential purchase throughout Northern Ireland. *
Unfortunately, due to last minute cancellations in the past, we have had to apply a £30 for assessments in the Co. Antrim/Co. Down areas (higher fees may apply for pianos further afield). However, this fee will then be deducted from any bill, should you subsequently decide to have repairs carried out. **


* subject to scheduling and appointment times
** Applies to repair work only – tuning is NOT a repair, it is part of the (at least) 6-monthly service your piano should receive.