a GRAND Birthday Surprise!
We recently received a call from a gentleman by the name of Rod from Sacramento. Rod was looking for a piano for his wife for a special day. But, this wasn’t just any special day, this was her birthday! Sondra and Rod have been together for over 16 years, and I guess you could say that they had celebrated just a couple of birthdays together in that time. But, this year, Rod wanted to not only come up with a gift that was special, but also a gift that he knew Sondra would use for years to come. Sondra had been taking piano lessons and practicing piano on a small keyboard, purchased from a local electronics shop. From her experience playing on a real piano as a child, Sondra knew that the touch and feel of the piano, versus a keyboard, was simply different and believed it hindered her ability to progress at the rate she expected. Rod, being the attentive and caring husband that he is, decided to do something about it. Rod found AAA Piano on the internet, and through a series of phone calls and emails with advice from AAA Piano owner, Steve Stokes, Rod found a piano in Roseville. We did an piano assessment in the seller's home, before Rod purchased the piano, and we agreed it would be, the perfect grand surprise for Sondra. A grand piano! And, that was the best part. Rod decided to make all this piano purchasing business a surprise and kept it a secret until we walked up to their front door at their home in Sacramento, with a baby grand piano, and...made a wonderfully grand entrance. Happy Birthday!
We helped rearrange some furniture and moved the grand piano into the perfect place in their home, and once we completed the piano tuning, we celebrated with Rod & Sondra’s family and ate some amazing cheesecake.
In the piano business, it’s surprises like these that make the day grand!
Creating smoother travel between the piano key assembly & key bed
The una corda pedal (or, "the soft pedal") on a grand piano, is used to move the entire key assembly ("action assembly") to the right of the piano, allowing the piano hammers to hit the piano strings in a different position than at the resting position, causing a more muted or "softer" sound. For example, with the una corda pedal depressed, the hammer on a single string note will hit on a softer part of the hammer, if the hammer is voiced properly. As well, with the una corda piano pedal depressed, on a bi-chord note, the hammer should only hit one of the two piano strings and on a tri-chord note, the hammer should only hit on two of the three piano strings, causing less sound during each strike of the hammer against the piano strings. Sometimes, the area between the action assembly and the key bed on a grand piano, which is the area directly beneath the piano keys, will have rough terrain, which causes friction, as well as undesirable noises when the una corda pedal is depressed.
During this repair, we first remove the piano fallboard. Then, we remove the cheek blocks and then the entire action assembly from the grand piano. Once the action assembly has been removed, we use 400 to 600 grit sandpaper to sand down the bottom of the action assembly in all areas where the action assembly regularly meets the key bed. As well, we use 400 to 600 grit sandpaper to sand down the key bed, where the action assembly rests and travels upon, while in the piano. Once we have finished sanding down those areas, we simply vacuum the dust created by the sanding process and then add teflon powder to any area where the action assembly rests and travels in the key bed once the una corda pedal is depressed. We then reset the action, cheek blocks, key slip and piano fallboard. Once complete, we test the progress by depressing the una corda pedal to compare the difference in movement and travel from before we began the repair process. The piano's action assembly should move much easier and smoother as a result.
In the following video, piano technician, Joel Lane, is in one our piano storage & repair buildings and shows us how he creates smoother travel between the grand piano's action assembly and the piano key bed, allowing for cleaner and softer movement when depressing the una corda pedal.
We often move pianos with a crane
Piano moving can be tricky when dealing with tight corners, flights & flights of stairs, new construction or simply just no possible way...in these cases, we often move pianos with crane service.
Here in the Sacramento area and in many other parts of Northern California, we offer piano hoisting with crane service, when the situation calls for it. On average, we do a piano crane move at least once a month and we are very skilled and experienced with the process of piano moving via crane.
In this video, our customer had a piano in his living room that he wanted in an upstairs area of the home where there was no other way in than a crane. The tight turn in the stairway didn't allow for a traditional piano move and he almost gave up on the idea until we offered another way in: move the piano with a crane! And so it happened...and in place of the piano in his living room, we moved his grand piano out of piano storage and into his living room, taking up the adjacent space where the upright piano hoisted by the crane lived at one time...
Whether you have an upright piano or a grand piano, pianos often have brass parts that become weathered or tarnished due to age, temperature and humidity changes and/or pet urine. Some of these brass parts include brass plated piano hinges and screws, solid brass piano casters, brass piano pedals and pedal rods, brass piano leg ferrules, brass piano knobs and more...
While either in our El Dorado Hills Piano Storage and Piano Repair shop or during one of our Piano Moves in the Sacramento area, we often see that the brass on the pedals, pedal rods and the casters (piano wheels) have become tarnished over the years. Unfortunately, this tarnish on your piano's brass parts, not only looks unsightly, but the tarnish will also begin to make some of these parts seize up, preventing movement and adding undesirable squeaking noises, especially in the pedals.
As a part of our piano refurbishing service, we offer complete restoration of these parts and they are often in better shape and will stay cleaner longer after we finish our process, than when the piano was first built. We are often able to get the brass parts on the piano smoother than when the piano was first built, which creates an environment that is less likely to allow tarnish to build up in the future. One of the processes we use is bead blasting, which is a process of cleaning with very fine pieces of glass through a high pressure system. Once the bead blasting of the piano parts are complete, we will then go through a process of cleaning and lubrication with compressed air and a dry teflon lubricant.
If your brass piano parts are well tarnished, we suggest using our cleaning service first and then maintaining the cleanliness with a product like Brasso. Or, if the brass parts of your piano have a minimal amount of tarnish, try cleaning up the brass on your own piano, with "brasso" or "flitz" and a soft cloth. You could either remove the pieces and clean them or clean them in place. While cleaning in place, be careful not to allow any of the cleaning compound to touch the adjacent parts of the piano, as it may leave an undesirable residue. For example, if you are cleaning the brass piano pedals, it is easy to get the cleaning compound on the felt around the pedal housing. We suggest either using painters tape, paper or cardboard to mask off the areas around the pedals, for the neatest result.
Q&A With AAA Piano & David Taylor:
(Joel @ AAA Piano) How long have you been a music instructor and what do you teach?
(David Taylor) I've been teaching music for the past 7 years. I started teaching in Placerville, and have since moved to Sacramento. I teach classical piano and also Voice (jazz, pop, rock, and musical theatre). In addition to my private studio, I also work as a musical director for theatre. I've MD'd for Granite Bay High School, El Dorado High School, Capital Stage, Sacramento Theatre Company, Green Valley Theatre, and Missouri Street Theatre.
(Joel @ AAA Piano) Who is your ideal student?
(David Taylor) My ideal student is passionate about learning. My students who succeed the most are the students who practice every day, come to class with questions about their material and find the joy in practicing technique. Since I'm also a professional performer, I have many students who aspire to be professional actors, singers, and musicians.
(Joel @ AAA Piano) What are some things you’d like to highlight about your studio?
(David Taylor) My studio is called the Sacramento Musicians Collective. We're a group of professional musicians who also teach. I co-founded the organization with Jessica Luna, who teaches violin and bass. It's really great to offer different instruments in one location. www.sacmusiccollective.com
(Joel @ AAA Piano) Where are you located and how can we get ahold of you?
(David Taylor) I'm located at 5025 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819. The best way to get ahold of me is through my website, www.davidtaylorsings.com. You can contact me directly through the website. Thank You.
(Joel @ AAA Piano) Thank you for hanging with us today and we look forward to seeing your continued support to the local music arts in the Sacramento Area!
Justine Cameron Plays on AAA Pianos
We'd like to thank Justine Cameron @MusicForum for playing on some of our pianos in the AAA Piano showroom.
Justine is also an instructor at Stokes Music Studios, in El Dorado Hills, California:
How Often Should I Get My Piano Serviced & Tuned?
Your piano has many materials that will expand and contract due to heat, cold and other climate factors, like humidity. Some of these materials in and on pianos include multiple types of wood, metals, felts and cast iron that are greatly affected by major swings in hot and cold or wet and dry conditions, which will affect the piano's touch response, pitch and tone.
So, how often should I tune my piano?
We recommend that you have your piano tuned, at minimum, once per year. This will ensure stability in the strings and tuning pins and if played often or intensively, we would recommend piano tuning every six months. At the time of tuning, we will note any servicing suggestions, like voicing and regulation, or any repairs that could be done at an additional cost.
Call us to schedule an appointment:
As well, if you have purchased a new piano or have just had your piano re-strung, your piano's strings will tend to stretch at a more rapid rate, causing the pitch of your piano to fluctuate. In this case, we would recommend that you have your piano tuned 2 to 3 times within the year to keep your piano tuning at the correct pitch and to create a more stable tuning condition for your piano, overall.
Regular piano service and tuning is ideal to avoid any major costly repairs in the future.
AAA Piano, Serving Sacramento and many areas of Northern California
New and Used Pianos available at AAA Piano
Check out our latest inventory of new and used pianos available for sale on our site and be sure to give us a call to set up an appointment to come by our showroom and take a look. We also provide piano consignment, piano purchasing and we rent out pianos as well.
Grass Valley, California has an amazing live music scene & often packs out local venues with fans from all over Northern California & the greater Sacramento area. The Center For The Arts in Grass Valley, always books amazing artists & quality national acts!
(view current schedule here)
Once again, AAA Piano had the privilege to work alongside The Center For The Arts to be a part of an amazing evening: a live concert with the multi-talented, Melissa Etheridge! Melissa is currently on a solo tour, taking the stage alone, playing percussion, piano, & guitar (both acoustic & electric). Completely solo, Melissa proved to be the musician that the captivated audience expected to see, hear & experience. Melissa Etheridge played quite a few songs from her past albums, as well as a few new songs from her brand new album titled, “This Is M.E.”
(latest M.E. news here)
AAA Piano provided the delivery & tuning of a 9’ Steinway Grand Piano for this event, which took place at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Grass Valley, California. We delivered the piano to the stage the morning of the event & tuned the piano upon delivery. Later in the afternoon, just after Melissa Etheridge did her sound check, we fine tuned the piano once again. Then, after the concert, we delivered the piano back to The Center For The Arts building.
We’d like to thank Melissa Etheridge & The Center For The Arts for the privilege to once again provide our quality piano services.
If you are looking for any piano services & are located in the Sacramento area (or anywhere in Northern California) Contact AAA Piano Here for piano rentals, piano sales, piano moving, piano storage, piano recitals, piano repairs, piano refinishing and more…
From the Owner
Hello, my name is Steve Stokes & I am the 2nd generation owner of AAA Piano.
We provide high quality full service for all your piano needs.
Click Here for a complete list of our services and please don't hesitate to Email Me or call me directly with any questions or comments: