Fine Art Moving
Washington DC Piano Movers
How to Move Your Grand or Upright Piano
There is a beauty to a piano that few other musical instruments can boast, with grand pianos offering a sense of romance and upright pianos a party feeling. Regardless of which type of piano you own, there are always memories connected to yours – which is why having it moved can be such a stressful time. ‘How on earth’, you might think, ‘can anybody move my piano without damaging it?’
With experience and proper organisation, reputable movers can get your piano out of its current location and delivered to its new home without even a scratch. Here’s a quick guide to some of the techniques movers use to negotiate the more difficult twists and turns along the way.
Remember, there is a clear difference in shape and design between the grand piano and the upright piano. There can also be quite some difference in weight too. The upright looks box-shaped and sturdier, while the grand looks more delicate and awkward to move. These factors mean that moving one type of piano is a very different prospect to moving the other, and so the technique will not be the same.
Moving a Grand Piano
Grand pianos are generally between 4.5ft and 6ft in length and can weigh from 500lbs to around 800lbs. Some grands can go even longer than 6ft and can breach the 1000lbs mark, but these pianos are simply too heavy to even attempt to move yourself, and professionals should be hired for these. Grand pianos are placed on skid pads on their long sides, and then placed on the dolly. Its keyboard end is at the back and its legs and lyre are removed to make it easier to navigate it through narrow doorways.
Steps are the biggest problem for the move, with staircases indoors requiring the movers to literally carry the piano down the stairs. This is where an experienced moving crew shines as it is too easy for balance to be lost and disaster to strike.
Negotiating a smaller flight of steps, of three or four for example, is different. Here a ‘cheating’ technique is used, which basically means tipping and lifting the piano, using the steps, off the dolly and then moving the dolly down to the bottom. A grand has a longer flat side and so it is possible to ‘cheat’ more than one step. It can be slid on the skid board down as many as four steps but once again, balance is the key.
When your grand is eventually on the truck, it is pushed up the ramp with at least two men at the keyboard (back) end and one at lighter front end. It’s then taken off the dolly with the lid and keyboard facing the truck wall. It is then fastened securely with a triple belt tie.
Moving an Upright Piano
Upright pianos can weight up to 900lbs with smaller ones weighing around 500lbs and while they are less awkward in design, they are more cumbersome. You can mount an upright on a dolly in two ways, on its side or on its base. Both are perfectly safe as long as they are balanced evenly on the dolly. Legs don’t need to be removed but a cover is advisable to protect the instrument from scratching.
‘Cheating’ for one step means that the piano will be tipped off the dolly on its side, but end up on its base at the bottom of the step. The longer ‘cheat’ will see the length of the piano base span three or four steps, but it is tipped on its side and then replaced on the dolly on its side on the bottom step.
‘Cheating’ is called so because gravity is cheated and it is a major factor in negotiating a route involving steps. But the steps are also padded to protect the piano and ensure the safest move.
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Moving can be a very stressful event when you don’t plan ahead, so don’t waste more time and get started planning your move