Robert Estrin - piano expert
Visit Robert's Website: livingpiano.com

How to Measure Your Piano - Part 1

Learn how a piano gets measured

In the first video of a 2-part series, Robert tells you how to measure grand pianos. Despite measuring a piano is actually a pretty easy task, there are some details you may not know about "piano measuring." Enjoy this video!

Released on June 10, 2015

  
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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi, and welcome to LivingPianos.com and virtualsheetmusic.com. And today's question is, "How do you measure a piano?" You're going to need one of these. Now, this is a two-part series. Today, we're going to show how to measure a grand piano or a baby grand and next time, we'll show you how to measure upright pianos.

So when measuring a grand piano, what measurement are they talking about? Well, all pianos have pretty much the same width because of the 88 keys. There's a little variance, depending upon how large the cheek blocks are on either end of the keyboard. But they're all around five feet. So when measuring a grand piano or baby grand, it's the length. What length? The absolute full length from the end of the lid to the end of the keyslip.

Now, if you have two people, you should close your lid completely. Have one on one end, and have you on the other end measuring. But a little trick is you can, with a tape measure, measure a piano by yourself like this. Hook it on the end, and then this is the tricky part because where you stand will determine what number. If I stand here, the numbers go down and here the numbers go up. So try to be as centered as possible. Now, if you do this method, you'll want to add about an inch to the length because the lid overhangs the piano. And typically manufacturers do include the lid and the keyslip. It's absolutely the longest length of the piano.

So that's pretty much all there is to measuring a piano. As I said, the width can vary a little bit by. . . A concert grand might be slighter wider than five feet. But they're all pretty much close to five feet. I hope this has been helpful for you.

One other thing to consider is that most Asian pianos and European pianos are measured in metric system. So your Model 152 will usually be 152-centimeter piano, or around five feet. And that goes for all the different European and Asian models. The Americans go. . . This piano is a Model R Baldwin, which is five foot eight. And these are standard lengths for pianos.

Thanks so much for joining me. If you have any additional questions about how to measure pianos or unusual challenges, Robert@LivingPianos.com. I'll see you next time here on Living Pianos and virtualsheetmusic.com.
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wt on June 10, 2015 @10:55 pm PST
My 5'2 Baldwin has gathered dust on the inside. Is vacuuming best left to professionals or could I try doing it myself without damaging the strings? What do you recommend?
reply
Robert Estrin on June 11, 2015 @11:38 am PST
You can try blowing the vacuum in the piano to get some of the dust out. But it probably won't get all of it and it will make a mess. Piano technicians remove the action and have a tool for getting under the strings which will be your best course of action.
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