How To Tell If a Used Piano is Good

How To Tell If a Used Piano is Good

If you’ve been playing the piano for a while or been renting a piano long enough, it’s possible you’ve decided it’s time to take the leap and purchase a used piano of your own. Whatever the reason, making the jump from piano renter to owner may generate some questions for you.

The first consideration you may have is whether a new or used piano is the way to go. Buying a used piano may seem to be a more affordable option, making the choice more appealing for individuals and families. It’s important to be aware, though, that buying a used piano also has some risks. To avoid buying a piano that is essentially worthless, you should do a little research beforehand to ensure the used piano you purchase is really a good deal.

What To Look For When Purchasing a Used Piano

The first consideration is the age of the piano. Unlike wine, pianos do not improve with age. The average lifespan of an acoustic piano is about 60 years. If the piano has been maintained well, you might get more, but the key is proper, regular maintenance. The longevity of digital pianos is much shorter, depending on the overall quality of the original construction.

Since maintenance is key (no pun intended), inquire if there are maintenance records available for you to know the level of care the piano has received. Don’t be shy about asking other questions such as if the piano has been moved before? How often was it played? Was it kept in a stable environment (humidity and temperature affect the sound and parts of a piano)?

You’ll also want to look for a quality brand when considering a used piano. Yamaha, Steinway and Sons and Kawai are just a few of the higher quality manufacturers, which may ensure a more secure used piano purchase. If you can find out the model and serial number, even better.

Never buy sight unseen. You want to try before you buy. If you don’t play the piano, yet, take along a friend who does. Play every key to be sure the sound is true. If you can peek inside the case that’s even better, so a knowledgeable person can inspect the moving parts you can’t see.

Finally, you’ll need to think about who’s going to move the piano to your location. Buying a used piano from a private individual usually means the buyer will be responsible.

Don’t let this information scare you away from purchasing a used piano. There are other sources for doing so that involve virtually no risk. has a wide array of used pianos for sale. Our website shows our current stock and is being frequently updated as new pianos become available to us.