Today we will talk about how to choose a piano, if you do not have any special knowledge in this area, find out what you need to look at, and what can be left without attention. Speech here will go exclusively about the choice of an acoustic piano (not digital).
Of course, the most rational option is to consult with a specialist tuner who understands the mechanics of the piano and can easily mentally analyze the tool that you have looked after yourself. Moreover, tuners can often tell you who can buy the best piano for a modest fee.
But, as a rule, customizers are such highly demanded specialists that it is almost impossible to find them free (usually even in a big city, good customizers can be counted on fingers, and in a small town or village there may not be any). Also, for help in choosing an instrument, you can turn to a pianist-teacher from a music school who, having assessed the piano according to some of his criteria, will be able to say whether this instrument is suitable for you or not.
If there is no one to ask about this problem, you will have to choose the piano yourself. And it's okay if you are not an expert in this business, and have never even studied at a music school. There are criteria by which you, without having a musical education or tuning skills, will most likely determine the suitability of an instrument for further exploitation. Speech here, certainly, goes about second-hand tools, in occasion of new there will be several words later.
First of all, let's dispel some preconceptions. In the announcements of the sale of the piano, the following characteristics are most often written: good sound, tuned, brown, brand name, antique, with candelabra, etc. All of this kind of characteristics except, perhaps, the brand is complete nonsense, so they simply do not need to be taken into account, even if the best piano gets upset during transportation and “good sound” is not a permanent phenomenon and the concept is multi-valued . We will evaluate the piano right on the spot and this is what you need to pay attention to.
Appearance - the initial indicator: if the tool looks unattractive and sloppy, then the child will not like it (and children should love their things). In addition, by appearance, it is possible to determine the content environment and conditions in which the piano was located. For example, if a veneer is peeled off, it means that the tool was first subjected to overwetting, and then drying. According to this criterion, there is even nothing more to say: like it - look further, no - go to the next one.
Listen to the sound
The piano timbre should be pleasant, not annoying. What to do? And here's what: we listen to each note, pressing all the white and black keys one after another on the keyboard from left to right, and evaluate the sound quality. If there are defects such as knocking instead of sound, the sound is very different in volume, or the sound of some keys is very short (I do not mean upper case on the right side of the keyboard), then it does not make sense to continue the inspection. If two keys give the sound of the same pitch or if one key gives a combination of two different sounds, then you should be alert and continue the inspection (here you need to understand the reasons).
If, in general, the sound is too sonorous, jarring and loud - this is not very pleasant to hear (a bad sound averts children from activities and acts as annoyingly on the psyche, as, for example, the buzz of a mosquito). If the timbre of the instrument is soft and deaf - this is good, ideal - when the haze of the sound is combined with its moderate volume (not too quiet and not too loud).
Test the keyboard
Once again we will sort through all the keys in a row, now in order to check for the same depth they sink, they don’t sink (i.e., they get stuck) if individual keys and if they don’t tap the keys on the bottom of the keyboard. If the key is not pressed at all - this problem is easily eliminated in the mechanics, but it is worth guarding. Rate the ease of the keyboard - it should not be too tight (for beginners pianists such keyboards are dangerous) and too easy (which indicates the wear of structural parts).
Look at the keyboard from the top and from the side - the surface of all keys should be located on the same plane, if some keys protrude above this plane or, on the contrary, are slightly lower relative to this level, then this is bad, but completely fixable.
Inspect the piano inside
It is necessary to remove the upper and lower shields and keyboard cover. From the inside, the piano looks like this:
The keys that we see outside are, in fact, just levers for the message of movement to the hammers, which in turn pass the beat to the string - the source of the sound. The most important components of the internal structure of the piano are the module with mechanics (hammers and all that is with them), strings and a metal frame ("harp in a coffin"), pegs, on which strings and a wooden resonator deck are drawn.
Deca-resonator and mechanics
First we inspect the deck-resonator - a special board made of coniferous wood. If it has cracks (cracks are below) - the piano is no good (will rattle). Next, go to the mechanics. Professional tuners understand the mechanics, but you can check whether the felt and cloth covers are eaten away by moths and the hammers are not loosened (manually swing each hammer). Hammers, like keys, the piano has only 88 (sometimes 85) and, if more than 10-12 pieces are loose, then it is likely that all fasteners in mechanics are weak and some parts fall out (everything can be tightened, but where is the guarantee , what in a week new will not shake?).
Then you should go through all the keys in a row again, making sure that each hammer moves in isolation and does not touch the next one. If it does, it is also a sign of weakened mechanics and evidence that the piano has not been tuned for a long time. The hammer should bounce off the string immediately after the impact, the sound must disappear immediately as soon as you release the key (at this moment its silencer, the so-called damper, is lowered onto the string). Here, perhaps, is all that you can check for yourself in mechanics, without having a clue about its operation and device, which I will not describe in this article.
Immediately check the set of strings, and if any of the strings are not enough, you should ask the owner where she went. How to find out that there are not enough strings? It is very simple - because of the too large gap between the strings and the cleaving cleared. In addition, if the string on the stick is fixed in an unusual way (for example, not a twist, but an eyelet), then this speaks of string breakages in the past (sometimes breakages can be detected by the number of strings in the choir (i.e., a group of 3 strings) - when there are not three, but only two, obliquely stretched).
If the piano lacks at least two strings or there are obvious traces of past cliffs, then such a piano should never be bought, since most of the remaining thin strings can crumble over the next year.
Next, inspect the pegs, which are attached to the strings. It is clear that turning the pegs (this is done using the tuning key), we adjust the pitch of each string. The pegs are needed in order to fix the string in such a way that it produces an absolutely definite sound during vibrations. And if the pegs badly fix the tension of the strings, then the piano as a whole does not work (that is, it is almost useless to tune it).
Of course, you are unlikely to see directly staggering or falling out pegs (and sometimes it comes to that). This is natural, because pegs are fastened in a wooden beam, and the tree can crack and deform. The nests into which the pegs are inserted may simply expand over time (suppose the old instrument was tuned in its "life" a hundred times). If you look at the pegs, you see that one or two of the general bank have unusual sizes (larger than all the others), if some of the pegs are skewed, or if you notice that something else is inserted into the nest except the peg , some kind of wrap for capping), then run away from such a piano - it has already died.
Well, perhaps everything is more than enough to buy a decent tool from the hands. To this you can add another check of the work of the right and left pedals, however, their functionality is quite simple to restore if something is wrong.
Let's summarize the post "How to choose a piano." So, here's what you need to pay attention to:
- satisfactory and aesthetic appearance;
- pleasant timbre of sound and absence of sound defects;
- evenness and performance of the keyboard;
- absence of cracks in the cavity resonator;
- state of mechanics (equipment and performance);
- String equipment and efficiency pegs.
Now, you can turn the information from this article into installations that will guide you in practice. Look at the site more often to find out something else interesting. If you want new articles to come straight to your inbox, sign up for updates (fill out the form at the top of the page to do this). Below, under the article, you will find the social networking buttons, clicking on them, you can send the announcement of this article to your pages - share this article with your friends!