Guide to Piano Moving

May 16, 2024 admin

Moving a piano is no ordinary task—it is a delicate art that requires precision, expertise, and a deep understanding of the instrument’s structure and fragility. Often, pianos are more than just furniture, with some being precious family heirlooms, so it is vital to conduct thorough research into how to move a piano successfully. Our comprehensive guide is here to help you safely move your instrument from one location to another. It has a step-by-step process and shows how to choose a professional piano removal company

Types of Piano

Moving your piano differs from moving any other piece of furniture. You must know your piano type and structure to perform a safe move. Although they vary, pianos are categorised into three main types: grand, upright, and digital. Learning how to move your piano requires a solid understanding of its composition; to do this, you must know which category it falls under.

Grand Piano

The grand piano is the largest of the three, renowned for its craftsmanship and resonant sound.  A grand piano is typically a centrepiece in any room, characterised by a distinct horizontal shape. You can differentiate a grand piano from others due to how it plays. You can play it faster and with better control than other piano types. Its standard length ranges from 4 ½ feet to 9 ½ feet.

Upright Piano

An upright piano is a compact and versatile instrument predominantly found in homes, schools, and small performance venues. Unlike grand pianos, upright pianos feature a vertical frame and strings. Despite their smaller footprint, upright pianos still deliver a rich sound, making them ideal for practising and teaching. Upright pianos range from around 110 to 140cm in height and about 155cm in width.

Digital Piano

A digital piano is a modern electronic instrument that replicates the sound and feel of an acoustic piano but uses sampled sounds and electronic amplification to produce its sound. Digital pianos are smaller than grand and upright ones, with a standard height of 85cm and a width of 135cm.

Step-By-Step Guide to Moving Your Piano

Step 1: Assess the Piano Size

By now, you should know which piano type you own. It is time to accurately measure its size. The dimensions are crucial for planning the transportation process, and precise measurements are key. You must measure the height, length, and width of the entire piano body to determine the type of transport you will need to relocate your piano. At this point, measuring any door frames that the piano must pass through is important to best plan a route.

Step 2: Gather Essential Equipment

Now that you have an accurate piano size, it is crucial to focus on gathering the essential equipment. 

Key equipment and tools include:

  • Piano moving dolly: A dolly is pivotal for transporting your piano safely and efficiently.
  • Protective blankets and straps: These secure the piano to prevent any damage during the move
  • Padding: To protect the piano and ensure it is secure during transportation
  • Lifting straps: Used for lifting and carrying a piano, they are indispensable for ensuring a smooth and safe relocation.

Step 3: Secure the Keyboard Lid

Securing the keyboard lid is one of the most crucial steps in the moving process. Proper lid-locking techniques are essential to prevent damage to the keys during the move. During transit, vibrations can cause unexpected lid movements, putting your keys at risk. It is crucial to minimise these risks by securing the lid properly and choosing a vehicle suited to piano transportation.

 Lid locking techniques include:

  • Lid cushioning: Foam or bubble wrap should be used to cushion the lid and protect against sudden movements
  • Secure locking: If your keyboard has a built-in locking mechanism, you should use this before removal. If one is not available, consider using an alternative method, such as sturdy straps or a lock specifically designed for pianos.

Throughout the moving process, regularly check that the lid is securely fastened for maximum protection.

Step 4: Protect Piano Pedals

Piano pedals demand the utmost care and attention to remain safe during removal. Pedal detachment procedures should be followed to safeguard the pedals. 

  1. Pedals should be carefully inspected for signs of wear and tear before removal.
  2. Recommended pedal polishing materials should be used to clean the pedals. This will provide a clearer visual of the pedal’s condition and make the detachment process easier.
  3. Carefully unfasten the pedal using a screwdriver. This must be carried out delicately to avoid damaging the mechanism.
  4. Wrap each pedal individually in bubble wrap and secure with tape for added security.

Step 5: Correct Lifting Techniques

Proper body mechanics are essential when lifting heavy items such as pianos to avoid injury. Movers should keep a broad support base with feet shoulder-width apart and one foot slightly ahead. You must also bend at the hip and knees instead of the waist, keeping shoulders in line with the hips. 

Maintain a solid posture by keeping your back straight, chest out, and shoulders back. If you need to turn, you should move your feet rather than your torso. The weight of a piano should be evenly distributed from both ends, using legs to power the lift. Movers must communicate throughout the process to ensure they are on the same page. 

Moving a Grand Piano

There is a difference in how grand and upright pianos should be moved correctly. Grand pianos come with a top lid, so it is vital to lower it and use a lid-locking technique to secure it. The legs and pedals should be detached and secured separately in bubble wrap and tape. The keys and chords should then be wrapped with a sheet and fastened tightly with the straps. Then, the piano must be gently moved by a handful of movers across the room and into the removal vehicle.

Moving an Upright Piano

Due to its size and structure, moving an upright piano is much less strenuous than moving a grand piano. It is advisable to secure the keys and pedals, hoist the piano onto a piano-moving dolly, and ensure it is safely secured. Once the dolly is secure, the upright piano can easily be transported from the building to the removal vehicle.

Step 6: Secure the Piano in the Van

Once you have placed the piano in the removal van, it is essential to strap it down securely to prevent it from moving during transit. Securely pack the piano, leaving little room for movement in case there are any sharp turns or sudden jolts during transit. 

Step 7: Prepare the New Location

Before unloading the piano into its new home, it is essential to clear the pathway and prepare the floor to ensure it can withstand its weight without damage. Other furniture should be organised to give the movers an easy route to putting the piano in its desired location without any obstacles.

Step 8: Retune

After moving your piano, unloading it and reattaching its components, you must retune it to restore the sound quality that may have been impacted during the removal process. Retuning ensures that the sound and piano keys return to their original state. While some say you should retune immediately, others argue that pianos need up to a month to retune. Check the requirements for your piano.

Moving a Piano with a Professional Moving Company

Moving a piano is not a task that should be taken lightly. It is strongly recommended that you use a professional removal service. Most moving companies offer piano removal services tailored precisely to the delicate requirements of piano moving. 

Here is why you should recruit a professional piano moving company:

  1. Expertise: Removal companies specialising in piano moving services have extensive knowledge of different types of pianos and their structures. They have years of experience moving pianos from one location to another and can carry out the process safely and efficiently.
  2. Safety: Pianos are cumbersome instruments and should be handled by experts with care. Moving a piano when you are inexperienced can cause strain due to improper handling techniques. You are more likely to suffer an accident if you lift a piano with little experience.
  3. Equipment: Removal companies are equipped with the necessary equipment to move a piano safely. Using a removal company removes the pressure of purchasing the correct equipment and learning how to use it properly.
  4. Movers Insurance: Your removal company will offer movers insurance in their quotation to cover you if anything happens to your piano.

Piano Moving FAQs

Is it worth hiring a piano moving company to move my piano?

Only professional movers should move your piano. To minimise any chance of damage, those who wish to relocate their piano safely should opt for using a removal company rather than completing the move themselves.

How much does it cost to move a piano?

The cost of piano moving can vary depending on factors such as the type and size of the piano, the distance of the move, the accessibility of the location, and any other additional services required. Request a free quote to determine the exact cost of a piano move.

What should I look for in a professional piano moving company?

It is vital to select a piano moving company that you trust. You should investigate the following:

  • Experience: choose a company with a proven track record and testimonials of successful piano moves
  • Equipment: Ensure the company uses specialist equipment such as straps and dollies.
  • Insurance: Verify that the company is fully insured to protect against any damage or loss during the move.

Relocate Your Piano with Guardian Removals

At Guardian Removals, our experts have extensive knowledge and experience in relocating heavy instruments like pianos. We appreciate your piano’s value and strive to provide a safe, reliable, and secure service that ensures your piano reaches its new home in pristine condition. With decades of experience and a commitment to excellence, our dedicated team is here to support your piano relocation every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about our piano moving services.

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