Frequently asked questions

Questions regarding pianos, learning to play etc.......
Being specialists in our field, we get asked a wide and diverse number of questions regarding pianos, and learning how to play the piano. We have detailed a few of the most common queries below, together with our responses, and where applicable, our advice.
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I have a Six year old daughter who has just started piano lessons and needs an instrument. What options are avilable to me ?

While we would be delighted if you came in and spent thousands of pounds with us on a beautiful piano, at this stage it is not necessary. Although it is certainly true that a well maintained high quality piano should last a lifetime, one should bear in mind that it houses a very complex mechanical action involving over 600 moving parts. It is therefore VERY important that these parts are in good working order, as they are very costly (and in a lot of cases impossible) to repair or replace. The term beginners piano normally refers to an older pre-war instrument, housing an older straight strung/overdamper action. The vast majority of these instruments no longer hold their tuning, will have sticking/missing notes and hammers and will have a poor sustain (honky-tonk sound). Although a lot of these pianos can look very beautiful on the outside, it is important to realise that they are essentially worthless as instruments. In a lot of cases, these pianos are only advertised for sale so as to avoid the costly collection and disposal charges by piano removal companies.

A lot of teachers tell us that one of the main reasons that children stop learning is that they try to replicate what they learn on their teachers instrument, cannot due to the inferiority of the their home piano, get frustrated and lose interest.

With our unique Hire with Option to Buy service, you can hire a good piano for as little as £30 per month with the option of having 100% of your hire fees refunded if you choose to buy the instrument within six months. You are also by no means obliged to choose your hire piano, and can instead select an instrument from our extensive showroom stock

I do not play the piano. How do I know what I am buying ? Should I bring my teacher or a local piano tuner?

Being a three generation family business (and rather fanatical), we are always very happy to give general and unbiased advice about our pianos, pianos people own, have seen advertised, or are looking to sell. Unlike smaller 'one man' dealerships, we are lucky that we not only have the knowledge and expertise of over half a dozen skilled technicians under our employ, but also sales staff who are graduates of music conservatoires and current music teachers and professionals. Although it is vital to rely on the knowledge of a technician, it is also very important to be able to hear by demonstration, (of you are not already a player), the nuances and tonal qualities that different manufacturers can offer. We pride ourselves in having one of the largest selections of grand and upright pianos in the UK, offering makers such as Bechstein, Yamaha, Kemble, Petrof, Steinway, Waldstein, Pleyel, Weinbach to name but a few

Should I buy or rent an acoustic or digital piano?

Although digital pianos are getting better and better at replicating the action and sound of an acoustic piano, most would agree that nothing beats the quality of tone, projection and touch of a real piano. However, these instruments do certainly have advantages; they can be played using headphones, never need tuning and are much more portable. You can also connect them to your computer and use sequencing and notation software. As the action of these instruments is simulated and not mechanical, a lot of players find digital pianos rather unforgiving. Ironically, this has made them very popular with concert performers as practice instruments.
We stock a large selection of Yamaha Digital pianos and keyboards, and can give expert advice on the many options available on these instruments. Unlike certain box shift internet companies, we ALWAYS use dedicated piano movers and properly assemble the instruments prior to delivery.

I notice you have your own brand of piano. What can you tell me about it ?

Our Markson upright pianos have recently been getting very good press; most recently winning ‘Best Buy’ in the Sunday Mail magazine. Although we do not manufacture the instrument ourselves, we have been in the business a long time and have literally scoured the earth looking for a suitable piano manufacturer at the right price. Both our M110T and larger DV123 models house high quality German and Japanese parts and are very well made. We decided not to brand these instruments using fictitious or old long-gone German names as we are confident that these instruments speak for themselves and can only enhance our reputation.

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