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Should you buy a used piano? Pros and Cons

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The value of a piano depends on many factors. Sometimes you can get a great deal by buying a used piano and you may even like it better than a new one.

Here are some pros and cons to buying a used piano.

Pros:
-The sound of a quality piano ages well. If you can get a quality piano that has been kept well, it should have a nice tone rather than a contrasting tone that can happen with newer poorly made pianos.
-You could get a great piano for a great price! Some people are in such a rush to sell their piano that they will sell it for a low price to ensure it sells quickly. This can be great because you could be getting a nearly new piano for a fraction of the cost.
-Piano history can be mysterious and be a great conversation starter. Pianos can last upwards of 60 years if properly maintained and think about what a great history that could have!
-They won?t break the bank. This is a given but used instruments are cheaper than new ones. Remember that if a deal seems too good to be true, that it probably is. Keep an eye out for signs of piano damage before purchasing.

Cons:
-Cheap used pianos may be cheaply made or poorly maintained. Not everyone knows how to take care of a piano and they may not know what they are selling. Just because the instrument looks nice on the outside, there could be interior damage rendering it useless.
-While the piano may be cheap, the repairs might not be. Beware when purchasing a used piano of the repair costs that go along with it. When buying any piano, you should always have it tuned and checked out by a piano technician, which can be very pricey.
-Older pianos may not have a lot of life left in them. Older pianos have been through a lot in their lifetime: frequent moves, infrequent tunings, climate changes etc. All of these things can increase the amount of stress on a piano shortening its lifespan.

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Avoid Being Ripped off by a Piano Salesperson

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People become salespeople for a reason; they are persuasive. A good salesperson will be able to get you to buy something that you don?t really need or pay more for something cheap or damages. Piano salespeople are no different than regular salespeople; they want to make the most profit off their piano in the least amount of time.

Here are a few things to watch out for when buying a piano.

1. They don?t let you inspect the piano thoroughly. You should always be able to play and inspect a piano before you buy it! Some people will use tricky ways to try to get you to not inspect the piano. If there are heavy things on the lid or they say they just put a fresh coat of polish on the instrument, be wary. Let them know you will come back when you can further inspect the piano, or if you get a bad feeling about the instrument, don?t waste your time with it. If you are unable to inspect the piano, that?s because the salesperson does not want you to.

2. They tell you they have other offers or that you have to make a decision immediately. This is a common trick used by salespeople across the board. They try to pressure you into buying the piano right away so you don?t have time to shop around or thoroughly inspect the instrument. A piano will most likely cost you thousands of dollars, so you don?t want to make a rushed decision and miss out on the best deal.

3. They make it difficult for you to say ?no.? Everyone has dealt with a salesperson that makes it uncomfortable for you to walk away from the sale. They will try to pressure you into buying this instrument whether or not it?s right for you. If a salesperson tries to guilt you into buying their piano by telling you of their financial troubles or trying to become your best friend so you feel bad saying no to the purchase, they might be trying to con you into the sale.

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Signs of a Damaged Piano

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Exterior piano damage may be a sign that there is interior damage as well. If a piano has not been taken care of on the outside, there is a good chance that the interior was not properly cared for. Exterior piano damage not only lowers the aesthetic value, but also may be an indicator of serious interior damage.

Here are some exterior things to look at when considering a used piano.

1. Cracks in the finish. Cracks in the finish are usually a sign of damage caused by humidity. As you probably know, pianos should be kept away from high humidity and fluctuating temperatures! If weather damage has affected the exterior of a piano, you can bet there will be interior damage as well. Make sure and check all sides of the piano for cracks or discoloration.
2. Chipped or crooked keys. The keys on a piano are what get used the most. They can handle quite a bit of wear and tear, but pianos can last decades if properly cared for. A piano whose keys are showing signs of aging mean the piano probably does not have many years left in it or it was not properly cared for in the first place.
3. Keys that don?t play proper sound. Pianos will be out of tune; that?s normal and fixable, but there are some abnormal signs to look out for. Notes that do not hold their length, keys that make no sound at all, keys that sound like two notes playing at once and buzzing sounds when striking a key. You should always test a couple notes before purchasing a piano.

Remember that any external piano damage could be a sign of more serious internal issues. Odds are if the piano was not cared for on the outside, it was not cared for on the inside either. If you?re unsure about what to look for when purchasing a piano, bring a friend along who knows more about the instrument than you.

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When to Buy a Used Musical Instrument

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Parents of musical students know that buying a new musical instrument is quite an investment.

Pianos can cost upwards of $10,000, guitarists will easily spend $500 on the guitar alone (not to mention equipment and upkeep). So when should you buy a used instrument rather than a brand new one?

It may be tough to know when to buy the used trombone instead of buying the used one from your neighbor. Children often get very excited about a new hobby and are convinced they will stick with it forever and become a famous orchestra member. It becomes difficult as well when required school band classes force parents to go out and buy the instrument their child is assigned to play. When I was in school, I desperately wanted to play the saxophone (like my mom played), but instead I was assigned the flute. My parents knew I did not want to play this instrument, but I had no choice. This is a common occurrence in schools where some instruments are more sought after than other. So what is a parent to do when their child has to learn an instrument that they are not particularly interested in? This is definitely a good time to buy a used instrument. If you know your child will only play this instrument for a year and then switch, it?s probably not the wisest to purchase a brand new instrument.

Some parents might argue that giving a sub-par instrument to a child to learn is setting them up for failure. Parents typically have a good idea about whether or not their child can/will stick with an instrument. A good way to test out the water is to rent an instrument. You can typically rent instruments from local stores (or possibly even your child?s school) to see if your child warms to the instrument. If they still hate their instrument, don?t purchase it?find a used instrument to get them through the year and then once they decide what instrument is their true passion, then you can shell out the big bucks for that instrument.

The best way to ensure that your children succeed with any instrument is to sign them up with private lessons! Children who are progressing at learning an instrument will be more apt to continue with that instrument.

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10 Reasons to Give a Musical Instrument as a Gift

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An Instrument makes the perfect gift!

Having trouble deciding on a gift for someone this Holiday season?? Give them a musical instrument!? Many people are interested in learning an instrument but either do not have that instrument or just haven?t taken the steps to begin learning to play.

Here are some reasons why a musical instrument could make the perfect gift.

 

1.? Cost. Buying a used instrument or music lessons for someone is not as expensive as you may think.? A used instrument could be the perfect way to turn someone on to music so they will want to invest in a higher quality instrument.? Click here for some tips about buying used instruments.

2.? Bonding. You?ll often hear that someone comes from a ?musical family? and that?s because people bond over shared interests.? Families that can play or learn instruments together will naturally bond over the shared interest.

3.? Depression. Studies show that music affects people?s moods.? Keep your family?s spirits up by giving them music lessons.

4.? Age. It?s a myth that you have to learn to play instruments while you?re young.? While it may be easier to retain information at a young age, adults have the discipline and attention span necessary for learning an instrument.? You?re never too old to learn to play an instrument.

5.? Caroling. Do you have friends or family that love to go Christmas caroling?? This year, get them music lessons so they will be the talk of the town with their vocal talent.

6.? Nostalgia. Many people have a certain instrument they associate with their childhood.? Whether they loved listening to jazz or their grandpa played the guitar, they probably have some pastime that involves music.? The gift of memories could be the perfect gift this year.

7.? Regret. Odds are if you know people that do not play an instrument, they wish they did.? Make those regrets a thing of the past by giving them an instrument for Christmas this year.

8.? Stress. Music and playing an instrument are shown to fight off stress.? Music is often associated with relaxation.? If you know someone who gets stressed out easily, give him/her an instrument and watch the stress melt away.

9.? Value. All gifts have a different value to the receiver.? While your kids might request certain gifts within this year?s fad, an instrument could be the gift they didn?t know they wanted.? The gift of music is one that lasts a lifetime.

10.? Want. Give someone an instrument for Christmas because they asked for it and they want it.? It may seem like a big investment, but if people want to learn an instrument, they will.

This year, give someone the gift of music by giving them an instrument.

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Always Ask a Piano Salesperson These Questions!

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A piano is a great instrument to invest in if you’re truly interested in learning it.

 

If you don?t know a whole lot about pianos or buying pianos, here are a few questions to ask the salesperson that will tell you a lot about the piano you?re buying.

 

How long since the piano was last tuned?
This is an important question to ask because problems can arise if a piano has gone too long without tuning.? If you purchase a piano that has not been tuned in over a year, be prepared to pay for repairs.

Has it had any serious issues or repairs?

Be sure to ask if the instrumebnt has had any previous problems, special tunings or serious repairs.? Always consider the piano?s ago when asking these questions.? A 40-year-old piano has probably had some work done and might play just fine.? A 10-year-old piano that has had serious repairs done is suspicious and something to watch out for.? If you purchase a beat-up piano, be prepared to pay for repairs and upkeep.

How long has the piano been in its current environment?
Pianos are sensitive to temperature and light; take note of where the it is currently being housed and find out where else it had been before.? A consistent, stable environment out of direct light and humidity is the best place for a piano.? Be cautious if it has ever been housed in a less than desirable climate.

How has the piano been cleaned and maintained?
Pianos are delicate instruments that need to be cleaned with care; otherwise they can suffer interior and exterior damage.? If your buying a used piano, ask how the piano has been cleaned in the past.? If any harsh chemicals have been used on the piano, it could have internal damage.

Who is responsible for moving?
Most piano retailers will help you make arrangements to move the piano.? If you?re buying from a private seller, you will most likely be responsible for moving the piano yourself.? If you have to move the piano yourself, it is important to hire professions to make sure your new piano is not damaged.

For more information about pianos and piano lessons, contact Lesson Match!

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Moving a Piano

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While a piano may seem like another piece of furniture easily moved from one room to another with some force, it is not.? The piano is a delicate instrument and if damaged can result in hundreds to thousands of dollars in repair.? Here are a few things to consider before moving your piano.

Room to room
Before moving a piano from one room to another, really decide if it needs to be moved.? Pianos weigh hundreds of pounds and are not easy to move.? Think about when you?re moving the couch (typically about 100lbs.) and something happens and you accidentally drop the couch.? No big deal right?? Now think about the same thing happening when moving a piano (300-1,500lbs.).? Piano legs are the most likely thing to get damaged and can be high cost to get fixed.? A simple drop of the piano can result in external and internal damage.? Instead of planning on moving the piano, really think about where you?re going to put it before it arrives.? Pianos should be placed in a room where there are little or no drafts, directly out of sunlight to avoid discoloration and in a place where humidity is low because high humidity can cause your piano to go out of tune faster.? If you have to move the piano to a different room, make sure you have plenty of strong people to help you.

New house
Obviously if you?re moving to a new house then you?ll need to move the piano, but consider hiring a professional piano mover.? Professional piano movers have moved pianos before and know how to do so successfully without damaging your piano.? Moving a piano a long distance without the help professionals can result in damage that costs thousands of dollars to repair (usually it?s cheaper to buy a new piano than to have it rebuilt).? Hiring a professional may cost a little money now, but it will save you lots of money down the road if you damage your piano.

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Buying a Keyboard Instead of a Piano

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A piano is an expensive instrument to invest in; luckily there are other options.? A keyboard can be used for piano lessons, but there are a few things you need to know before going out and buying a cheap keyboard.

88 Weighted Keys
In order to take piano lessons on a keyboard, the keyboard needs to have 88 weighted keys.? A cheap keyboard will usually be half-sized and not suitable for piano lessons, as you?ll run out of keys.? Always make sure a keyboard has 88 keys.? The keys also need to be weighted so it feels like a piano when you?re playing.? If the keys are not weighted and touch sensitive then you won?t be able to make louder and softer sounds like you can on a piano.

Price
Keyboards are going to cost considerably less than a new piano, but still plan on spending at least $500-$1,000.? Cheap keyboards typically have less than 88 keys and they are not weighted or touch sensitive; essentially they are useless for serious piano lessons.? Buying a new instrument can be an investment, but if you would like to give your child a real shot at learning the piano, you need to spend a little bit of money.

Stand and Bench
Keyboards are nice because they?re portable and can be played anywhere.? However, if you?re taking piano lessons, a keyboard stand and a bench are musts!? The bench and stand create the feel of a real piano.? If a student is playing the keyboard while sitting on their bed, they will develop poor posture.

Headphones
One major advantage of buying a keyboard over a piano is the ability to use headphones.? If you live in an apartment and are worried about piano lessons because of the noise, a keyboard is a great way to go.? Digital keyboards allow you to plug in headphones so only the player can hear the sounds being made.? This is also great if you have multiple children taking different music lessons; they can all practice at the same time without disturbing each other.

Space
Pianos take up a lot of space, even the vertical pianos.? Keyboards are small and portable so if you have a limited amount of space you can still take piano lessons.

Bells and Whistles
If you?re buying a keyboard for piano lessons, do not waste your money buying a keyboard with a bunch of buttons and sound recorders.? Those add-ons can add hundreds of dollars to your price and are not necessary for regular piano lessons.

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Buying a Beginner Guitar

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Acoustic, electric, bass?there are so many different types of guitars to choose from.? So, how do you know which guitar is right for you?

Acoustic Guitar
Acoustic guitars are the most hassle free guitars to learn on because they don?t require any additional equipment.? This also makes them cheaper than electric guitars.? Acoustic guitars are very portable so you can practice just about anywhere.? The drawback with these guitars is that they?re harder to play.? This is because the strings are thicker and take more force to make a solid connection with the fret board.? The upside of this is that it increases your finger strength so you can play longer.

Electric Guitar
Electric guitars are usually easier for people to learn because the strings are thinner which makes it easier to get a solid connection with the fretboard.? This makes a difference because you only need half the force to push down the string and make a solid connection with the fret board, which is a struggle for many beginning guitarists.? Electric guitars require more equipment than acoustic guitars, which can get expensive.

**It is important to remember, when buying either type of guitar, not to just buy the cheapest one.? Cheap guitars may seem like a good idea if you’re not sure you want to invest in a guitar, but odds are if you buy a cheap guitar you’ll hate the instrument.? Cheap guitars hinder learning and practice and often give the player a bad taste for the instrument.? You don’t have to spend thousands on a beginner guitar, about $150 should get you a decent acoustic guitar, but don’t skimp.? A decent guitar could mean the difference between sticking with guitar lessons and quitting.

In the end, the most important thing to consider is which guitar you enjoy playing the most.? The sales associate in a music store may give you a really great pitch about why you should start with an acoustic guitar, but if you?re more interested in the sound of an electric, then go with the electric guitar.? Always test the guitars in the music store before investing in one to see which guitar feels the best for you.

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Tips for Buying Used Musical Instruments

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Buying a full priced instrument can be a big investment, especially if you?re not completely sure you want to learn the instrument.? There are tons of musical instruments out there and chances are you won?t like the first instrument you pick up.? Buying used instruments can be a great way to save money, however, there are a few risks involved in purchasing a used instrument.

Be aware of who and where you?re buying the instrument. If you?re buying an instrument at a garage sale, see if you can talk to the owner of the instrument and find out why they are selling it or how long it was used.? If you?re buying a used instrument online, be sure to read some customer reviews or make sure they have a good customer satisfaction rating.? Try to ask as many questions as possible from the person you?re buying the instrument from.

Bring along a friend who knows a lot about music/musical instruments.
A musician would be able to help you determine the overall condition of the instrument.? He/she would also know what types of questions to ask the seller.

Make sure you?re getting your money?s worth. Before buying a used instrument, make sure what you?re paying for the instrument is worth it.? Find out how much that particular instrument sells for brand new, or how much others are selling it for used.

Spend some time looking at the instrument. If an instrument has significant external damage, chances are it will have some internal damage as well.?? With some instruments, like the keyboard, you should play the instrument before purchasing.? Both examining the external condition and playing the instrument can tell you a lot about the instrument.

Don?t be in a hurry! Spend some time looking into different options.? Learn to tell the difference between broken instruments and used instruments that are nearly new.? Taking your time will also allow you to ensure you?re getting a good quality used instrument for a decent price.

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