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How to Move a Piano Safely

10/07/2024

Moving a piano can be a task and a half, not only to physically shift it but also to not hurt yourself or damage the instrument. Digital pianos are slightly easier to manoeuvre than their acoustic counterparts, but they still require careful handling. 

Whether it’s digital or acoustic, moving a piano yourself comes with its pros and cons. Not hiring an external removal company will save you money, but you may have the hassle of getting a team of people to help you. In this article, we’ll teach you how to move a piano and give you our top tips for getting the job done safely and efficiently.   

In a hurry? 

Long story short, here are the steps to moving a piano:

 

  1. Prepare the piano – this can be done by disassembling the piano as much as possible and ensuring all parts are carefully wrapped
  2. Measure doors and hallways – create a calculated route to ensure the piano will fit through any doors or hallways 
  3. Use a dolly or moving blankets for transport – now your route is planned, transport your piano with devices such as a dolly and moving blankets 
  4. Set down the piano – if you’re moving an acoustic piano, this needs to be set down for four to six weeks before it requires tuning 

How to move a piano  

1. Prepare the piano  

To prepare a piano for moving, start by disassembling it if possible. For digital pianos, remove the piano from the base and disassemble any music stands or attachments.  Remove the legs, pedals, and music stand. Gather a team of two or three helpers for lifting and carrying and make a note of the distance and obstacles you’ll encounter.

If disassembly isn’t feasible, wrap the piano in moving blankets; secure the legs and remove and protect the lid separately. You should also ensure that all parts are well-padded to prevent damage and use straps to secure the piano during transport, keeping it upright and stable. 


2. Measure doors and hallways

Now that your piano is prepared, you need to plan your route, and in doing so, you also need to measure all doorways, hallways, and staircases you may pass. Measure the piano’s dimensions and compare them with the spaces.

Ensure there’s sufficient clearance, accounting for the piano’s height, width, and depth. Remove any obstacles, like rugs or furniture, that could impede the path. If doorways are too narrow, consider removing doors temporarily. 


3. Consult a professional (if needed)

A professional is usually only needed for moving acoustic pianos. They have the experience and equipment to handle the move with care, but if you want to save money – that’s what our DIY guide is here for!


4. Use a dolly and moving blankets

To move a piano using a dolly and moving blankets, start by wrapping the piano in thick moving blankets to prevent scratches and damage. Secure the blankets with tape or straps. Use a sturdy dolly (a platform with wheels) to transport the piano. Carefully lift the piano onto the dolly, ensuring it’s balanced.

For digital pianos, it’s best to move the piano into the standard upright position where possible. If placed on its side, the key action could move out of place and internal sensors could then have issues picking up correct movement. Secure the piano to the dolly with straps to keep it stable. Move slowly and cautiously, especially over thresholds and uneven surfaces, to prevent tipping or slipping. 


5. Set down the piano

When you’ve reached the chosen location of your piano, it’s time for you to lift the piano from the dolly or reassemble your digital instrument. If it’s an acoustic piano, you should let it settle for four to six weeks before tuning. This settling period lets the piano acclimate to its new environment, including temperature and humidity changes, which can affect its internal components.

The piano should be placed on a stable foundation away from direct sunlight, drafts, and heat sources. 

 

Kawai piano in white

Is it safe to move a piano yourself?

Moving a piano by yourself has advantages and disadvantages. The primary advantage is cost savings, as hiring professionals can be expensive. Additionally, you have control over every aspect of the move, ensuring that you can take your time and handle the piano with the utmost care.

However, the cons include the risk of injury, potential damage to the piano and property, and the need for special equipment and sufficient manpower.  

On the other hand, using professional piano movers comes with significant benefits. They have expertise and experience, which ensure the piano is moved safely and efficiently. Professionals also have the right equipment and know how to navigate tight spaces and stairs. The major con is the cost, which can be substantial, and sometimes scheduling constraints. 

When moving an acoustic piano, extra care is needed due to its weight, size, and delicate components like strings and the soundboard. It’s essential to let it settle for four to six weeks before tuning.

Digital pianos, however, are generally lighter and more compact, making them easier to move. 

What other options can make the process easier? 

Musisca Pair Of Glide Digital Piano CastorsUsing castors to move your piano can make the process significantly easier and more efficient. Castors are wheels attached to the base of the piano, allowing it to be rolled rather than lifted. This minimizes the risk of injury and damage to both the instrument and your property.

When installing castors, ensure they are heavy-duty and designed specifically for pianos to support the instrument’s weight and maintain stability. 

Locking castors are ideal, as they prevent unwanted movement once the piano is in place. To move the piano, first clear the path of any obstacles and ensure the flooring can handle the weight and movement.  

Gently push the piano, avoiding sudden movements or forceful pushing to prevent tipping. It’s good to have at least one helper to guide and support the piano during the move. Castors also make it easier to position the piano accurately within a room, allowing for minor adjustments without the need for additional lifting.  

While castors provide convenience, it’s essential to periodically check them for wear and tear, ensuring they remain in good condition as well as double-checking the maximum weight the castors are capable of supporting your piano.

Overall, castors offer a practical solution for moving pianos, enhancing mobility and reducing the physical effort required. 

The Musisca Pair Of Glide Digital Piano Castors, available at Gear4music, are an excellent choice. These castors feature unbreakable solid steel construction, capable of supporting up to 150kg, ensuring stability and durability. They also include rubber shoes to keep the piano in position during play, and a high-quality powder-coated finish to protect both the piano base and flooring.

Locking mechanisms provide additional security, preventing unwanted movement. 

FAQs 

How do I move a piano by myself?

To move a piano by yourself, gather a team of strong helpers, measure doorways and hallways, and use moving blankets for protection. Secure the piano on a sturdy dolly and use straps to keep it stable. Move slowly and carefully to avoid injuries and damage to the piano or property. 


Can you move a piano without piano movers?

Yes, you can move a piano without professional movers, but it requires careful planning and strong helpers. Use moving blankets and a sturdy dolly for transport, and measure all doorways and hallways. Secure the piano with straps and move slowly to avoid damage or injury. 


How should an upright piano be moved? 

To move an upright piano, wrap it in moving blankets to prevent scratches. Use a dolly and secure the piano with straps. Ask some people to help you, measure doorways and hallways, and move slowly and carefully to avoid damage or injury. Keep the piano upright during the move. 

Final thoughts 

Moving a piano safely requires meticulous planning, adequate manpower, and the right equipment. However, knowing how to move a piano and all the tips and tricks to make it easier can be the difference between a stressful move and an easy one! 

 

Digital Marketing Apprentice

Laura is a Content Writer with 15 years of drumming experience. Laura's musical tastes range from Led Zeppelin to Phoebe Bridgers.

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