Before songwriting was my full-time job, I used to tune pianos. One of the most common questions I still get asked from friends and family is “What do you think of this piano?” Usually the question is in an email or text along with a link to the piano on Craigslist.
The problem is you can’t know for sure unless you inspect it in person. I’ll happily ride along with friends and family, but I’ve always thought the process should be easier for everyone on a budget. Most can’t afford to bring along a technician. They want a starter piano for their kids. They want a vibey, cool-looking piano for their home or studio. Mainly, they want assurance their Saturday won’t be wasted hauling around a 600-pound piece of junk in a borrowed pickup truck.
I finally put together this guide. I’ve been meaning to for years. It solves most of the problems above for the price of a latte.
If you or someone you know is looking to buy a used piano, go here to learn how to determine its condition in under 15 minutes, even if you don’t know anything about pianos.