How to Move a Piano:

Moving a Studio or Large Upright Piano

  1. Image titled Move a Piano Step 5
    Know your piano. One the most common types of piano today is the upright piano. These pianos are both normally 58 inches (147.3 cm) wide, and despite their differences, both the full vertical and the smaller studio upright can be moved using essentially the same method.
    • The smaller "studio" uprights usually weigh between 400 and 600 pounds.
    • The monstrous "full vertical" or large upright piano can weigh as much as half a ton.
    • A studio piano's center of gravity is also lower than a large upright's, as it is about 4 feet (1.2 m) tall as opposed to a large upright's roughly 5-foot height.
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    Plan your route. Begin by clearing a path to your destination and measuring all entrances to ensure that the piano will fit through them.
    • Have your moving truck open with the ramp deployed, if you are moving the piano onto the truck.
    • Try to get one person per 100 pounds of estimated weight to help you move your piano.
    • Ensure that every member of your piano moving grew is wearing rugged leather work gloves, and if at all possible, thick weightlifting support belts to help prevent back strain.
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    Prepare the piano. Unlike a spinet, these larger upright piano models are too top-heavy and bulky to reasonably move without tilting them onto a wide dolly. After you have locked the piano down and wrapped it in blankets and tape, move the dolly to one end of the piano and, with the help of your crew, gently lean it back onto the dolly.
    • As many people as possible should be at the dolly end of the piano, to support its weight as it tips back, and along the sides of the piano to keep it on an even keel. This is an especially important point to remember with large upright pianos, since they tend to be quite top-heavy.
    • Don't let gravity do any of your work for you; ease the piano gently using manpower from beginning to end.
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    Move the piano. With your crew supporting the weight of the piano according to its center of gravity, lead it slowly by the dolly to its destination.
    • If the piano is too high on the dolly to move through a doorway, it will have to be lifted and scooted slowly through the door a few inches at a time. Once it is through the doorway, be sure it is settled firmly on the dolly before continuing to move it.
    • The proper way to lift any object is to squat, maintain a straight back, and lift with your legs. Be sure everyone who is helping you move knows to lift this way.
    • If the piano feels out of balance at any time, yell “Stop!” and instruct everyone to gently set the piano down. Make any required adjustments to the position of the dolly or your crew and try again.


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