Piano Basics

How to choose the perfect piano bench cushion

Posted by Sarah Czarnecki on

How to choose the perfect piano bench cushion

Choosing the right bench cushion can make you feel a bit like The Princess and the Pea. There are tons of piano seating options to choose from, but if you don't know what you're looking for, they can all seem too large, too thin, too fancy, too.. orange.  But that's what makes bench cushion shopping great. There are enough options out there, that there's the perfect pad for everyone. And once you have found the ideal seat, you'll want to spend more time actually playing your piano! Because the right piano bench pad makes all the difference. We're not just talking about aesthetics -- the...

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How to Find Your Piano's Serial Number

Posted by Sarah Czarnecki on

With trees, you know to count the rings. Horses, check their teeth. But how can you tell the age of your piano? Finding your piano's serial number is the quickest and most reliable way to determine its age and, combined with the brand and condition, estimate a ballpark resale value. You may need it for insurance purposes, too. Ah, but that little code can be tricky! Pianos have hundreds of models and thousands of parts -- and each brand does things a little differently. So put on your detective hat, because we're going to find your piano's serial number, wherever it's...

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Are my piano keytops real ivory?

Posted by Sarah Czarnecki on

When you sit down at your antique piano, you may ask yourself, “Are these ivories real ivory? And if they are, what should I do with them? Can I sell real ivory? Am I even allowed to own it?” Here’s how to determine the real thing and what you can do with them. These are real ivory original keytops from an antique piano.  Real ivory was immensely popular because it’s naturally beautiful. Ivory has a delicate grain, reduces slipping, and lasts for centuries. It’s usually made from elephant tusks, which are made of keratin. Yep, that’s the same stuff as...

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Determining Piano Sizes

Posted by Sarah Czarnecki on

Pianos come in a variety of sizes and names for each type.  Essentially, there are two types of pianos: vertical (also known as an upright piano or horizontal) or grand pianos.  The sizes listed are commonly followed but there is some flexibility in the length. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons   Measuring Your Piano You should be able to determine at a glance whether your piano is a grand or some type of upright, but when identifying your piano's size and variety, it's important to measure correctly.   Grand pianos are measured in length from the front of the keys all the way to...

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What are piano caster cups and why are they important?

Posted by Sarah Czarnecki on

Pianos are heavy! Even the smallest spinets weigh hundreds of pounds and gorgeous grands are upwards of a thousand. With all this weight focused on narrow legs, flooring can become damaged.  Whether your piano is perched on a rug, hardwood, or tile floor, the weight may be denting the surface and compromising the integrity of your flooring. Worse, if the piano is moved or bumped, the feet can scratch and gouge the surfaces. Thankfully, shallow wood dishes called caster cups do a great job of reducing the potential damage. Making a small investment in good-quality caster cups goes a long...

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