Moving a upright piano

bottlenecker

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3 guys can do it if they've done it before. I paid $400 to have mine moved. They were the cheapest, and not specifically piano movers, but they knew what they were doing. They wrapped it and strapped it, and wore harnesses.
There's a reason old pianos are "free". Moving and tuning costs more than a lot of people are willing to spend.
 

bottlenecker

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you can buy a really nice digital piano with weighted keys, MIDI and other accoutrements.

They all sound like a recording coming out of speakers. I've played stage pianos in the past because venues don't have pianos anymore, so what can you do? But I would never want a digital furniture piano thing in my home. They just don't sound good enough to take up the space.
 

MarkieMark

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From experience:
Short answer is NO!

Many have pointed out the reasons.
First one being you literally can't give them away. At least here. Even very nice ones.
Correct answers include the fact the lighter ones are very heavy.
Assume four guys to move with no stairs. Double that with stairs and BTW there is no way to get four guys around an upright piano on most stairways...

The last one I moved, (When I was much younger) went twenty feet, a 3" drop out the doorway to a patio, where it was "deconstructed" into scrap and firewood.

No!
If the friendship is worth it, offer to contribute to a moving service.
 

Skyhook

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Texting a buddy yesterday and he goes hey can you help me go get a upright piano this weekend. I was visiting my grandma and she has a smaller one in her living room. I thought let me see how heavy this one is…. I can’t pick it up or budge it by myself. I never realized they were that damn heavy and looked it up. The average upright weighs 500-800 pounds.

I think he has the impression that we were gonna take the hour plus drive and toss it in the back of my truck and mosey on.

This thing is free and after some homework this keeps smelling like a bad idea to me.

How fragile are these things?

Looks like you have to have it tuned after you move it? Once, maybe twice?

If something gets broken it’s probably expensive or not worth fixing?

This thing needs moved out of somebody’s house, there is some stairs involved getting it out, odds are we will have to deal with stairs to get it in his house unless it goes in the basement.

This smell like a bad idea to you?
Not reading the other replies beforehand. Replying to OP.
If you're aiming to keep the piano and your friendship intact;
then shell out for professional piano movers. You do not want to do this yourself!
Tuning then... yep. After a move it's gonna need a tuning.
Pretty much also if you push it from one end of the room to another then
it's gonna need a tuning again.
 

cometazzi

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They all sound like a recording coming out of speakers. I've played stage pianos in the past because venues don't have pianos anymore, so what can you do? But I would never want a digital furniture piano thing in my home. They just don't sound good enough to take up the space.

Fair enough. Me having that M3 completely ruined me on any electronic representation of tonewheel organs.

There's other stuff like feeling the vibrations through the keys as you play. One of the things I miss about my M3 is the smell when it warmed up.

So yeah, I get that. But I still won't help ANYONE move a piano!
 

Twofingerlou

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I told him this afternoon all the cons of the free piano after moving it. The fact he really needs a piano dolly and more help. The fact it would be better to just buy a decent electric piano for a few hundred bucks.

Long story short he said the wife was set on it but was having trouble finding more help. Plus the lady might have somebody else lined out.

I’ll just act like I forgot any of that conversation ever happened.
 

Marc Morfei

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Twice in my life I owned real pianos, and both times I was extremely happy to be rid of them.

As for tuning, yes of course it will need to be tuned. But as this is a guitar forum I will say tuning a piano is not hard. It is exactly like tuning a guitar, except is has a zillion strings and takes forever. I bought a tuning kit on eBay for like $40, and then it just takes patience.

So save money on tuning and pay the movers.
 

effzee

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I've done it three times, my daughter's piano. Up two flights of stairs one time, and up one flight flight of stairs two times. It's actually doable, not that difficult, but definitely not fun. There's a technique involved which I can't really describe here, because I can only think of it when I'm actually doing the job. You don't have to be King Kong to move a piano. I mean, it would help, but mere humans have been moving these things around for centuries.

The biggest pita is that you'll most definitely have to get it tuned afterwards.

Edit: I shouldn't have said that it's not difficult. These things come in a huge variety of weight class. Ours is on the smaller end of the scale, I'm sure, but still heavy and nothing like easy to move
 
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bender66

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"Experienced" piano mover here. A truck with a lift is a must. Plenty of casters, straps, blankets, etc. All common sense stuff including multiple bodies.

I almost made the mistake of grabbing a free piano while I was moving out of town. Got my uhaul over to the residence, moved it out on my skateboards down the sidewalk to the truck and waited for a friend. I'm glad he waffled because I came to my senses and put it back. The owner understood and exclaimed at least she got to clean behind it. It sat in that spot for 20+yrs. I bet it's still there.
 

bottlenecker

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Fair enough. Me having that M3 completely ruined me on any electronic representation of tonewheel organs.

There's other stuff like feeling the vibrations through the keys as you play. One of the things I miss about my M3 is the smell when it warmed up.

So yeah, I get that. But I still won't help ANYONE move a piano!

Exactly! A tonewheel hammond is electronic to begin with, and there's still nothing like the real thing.

There have been a lot of bad sounding acoustic pianos made in the last 70 years or so, but if you get any piano with some charm to it's sound, it really is something special to listen to a big wood soundboard amplify real strings in the air around your ears. Speakers don't do it.
 

effzee

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Ah ok. There was no mention of moving it down stairs, so I figured you were just going up, up, up!
Oh, you're right, yes, the trips up the stairs actually started with trips down other stairs! And you know what, now I'm thinking about it, going down isn't any easier than going up 😖 and it's more dangerous.
 




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