Robert Estrin - piano expert

When is it Time for a New Piano?

An interesting question with an even more interesting answer...

In this video, Robert tackles a seldomly-asked question in the piano world... when is it time for a new piano?

Released on February 12, 2014

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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, I'm Robert Estrin here at and We have a viewer question from David, who asks, "When is it the time to get a new piano?" Well, this is actually a complex question that has a couple of different viewpoints we're going to get into. There, for one thing, is the piano itself, whether it needs work, and the other part is the level of the player. So we're going to discuss both of these, so that maybe it can help you to decide if it's time for you to get a new piano.

Well, let's say you have a piano that's been neglected, and you're getting into playing more, and you realize that it has some weaknesses. Well, you have to really look and see, what is this instrument? You don't want to throw good money after bad. Sometimes, if you have a cheap Asian production piano that's getting older and has problems, if you put too much money into it, you might find you're still not going to get satisfying results and it might be time to consider getting a higher-line instrument.

The other thing I talked about is the level of the player. The fact of the matter is, if you're more than an intermediate player, you're going to need to transition at some point, if you have an upright, to at least a baby grand. Now, a more serious player would want to have even a larger instrument than a baby grand because of the way the tone develops. And the action of a larger grand actually has longer keys, not the part you see, but behind the fallboard. So there is a different feel, particularly when you get to six, seven, and nine-foot pianos.

So it's twofold. One, the condition of the piano you have currently. If it requires a lot of work, you might want to consult your piano technician to see, is it worthwhile putting money into that instrument? Otherwise, maybe you should be looking for another piano. And the second is the level you're playing, is it achieved, and if the piano is keeping up with you. Uprights have slower actions. You may need the speed of at least a baby grand or even a larger instrument as you become more advanced.

Thanks for the great question, and I'll see you next time here on and
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Mcpeters moonga on July 6, 2022 @2:26 pm PST
It's spectacular
Maria jose penteado cuoco on November 21, 2016 @5:16 pm PST
thanks for the good advices you give .I like very much Reading and [ouvir] you.forgive me I dont remember the word in english.I´am brasilien.
Robert - host, on July 7, 2022 @6:42 am PST
So Glad you enjoy!
Eddie on November 16, 2016 @2:04 am PST
Is it harder to play a nine foot grand than a standard upright ? If so, that could be a problem for a pianist used to practicing on an upright at home when faced with having to give a performance on a nine foot monster.
Robert Estrin - host, on November 16, 2016 @10:57 am PST
It is always easier to go to a smaller piano than you are used to. Ideally, you should have time to play on a regular basis on at least a baby grand piano and ideally a semi-concert or concert grand piano.

There are many benefits to playing on grand pianos compared to uprights. Here are some resources for you:
Lee Post * VSM MEMBER * on March 21, 2014 @7:18 pm PST
I'm very glad you suggested consulting a piano technician. They are the ones that should know what can be done for your piano - to bring it up to its best level at a price that is reasonable. If the cost exceeds the value of the instrument, it may be time to up-grade to a better instrument. However, if the piano has sentimental value - that may be reason to invest in it. Consult your technician offen. They can help make your playing experience much more enjoyable.
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