Grand piano : what is it ? How to choose it ?

Created around the beginning of the 18th century, the grand piano is one of the derivatives of the clavichord and the tympanon. It is the most sophisticated of all the piano models on the market.

Would you like to know more about this instrument? We offer you an overview of the grand piano and the essential criteria for choosing it.

The characteristics of a grand piano

The grand piano belongs to the category of struck string instruments. Unlike the upright piano, its strings are arranged horizontally.

In general, it has a keyboard of 88 keys spread over 7 octaves. Its beam structure reveals a soundboard made up of approximately 220 strings. This soundboard is set in vibration by the action of the strings via the bridges.

In the same way, each of the notes played involves a number of strings. For example, a note :

  • low is obtained with one string
  • intermediate is given by two strings
  • high is produced by three strings.

Keep in mind that the strings of the low notes are wired unlike those of the high notes which are bare. Also, this piano has a lid positioned at 45 ┬░ from the table and a mechanical percussion. In addition, it is equipped with a pedalboard and a music stand.

As for its length, it does not follow a standard norm. This means that you can find grand pianos of 1.3 m, 2.75 m, 5 m, etc.

Criteria for choosing a grand piano

A grand piano produces a more powerful sound thanks to its mechanics and gives a pleasant feeling to the touch. It offers a great possibility of interpretation and a more complete sound. To choose the right one for you, you need to consider certain parameters.

The size of the grand piano

The first parameter to consider when choosing a grand piano is its size. Indeed, this has a direct influence on the volume of sound and touch.

You should therefore lean more towards a grand piano of large size if you are aiming for sound intensity.

Generally, people who buy a grand piano have the space to store it in a large room. If you are unsure, consider comparing the dimensions.

The material

Another essential criterion when choosing a grand piano is the quality of the design materials. This has a considerable effect on the sound and resonance. Among the available materials, we advise you to choose mahogany, walnut or spruce. The latter is the most recommended material for the soundboard which is the heart of the piano. You should therefore take care of this, as this material plays an important role in achieving the piano registers.

The brand of the grand piano

Although it is not essential, the brand is also a guiding criterion in the choice of a grand piano. Indeed, it makes it possible to identify a given timbre, a specific resonance. Thus, we distinguish manufacturers who specialize solely in the design of grand pianos for jazz.

Currently, the best brands of grand pianos are Steinway and Sons, Schimmel, Bechstein-Zimmermann and Petrof. Yamaha is also known as a good value for money.

On the other hand, others produce only for the classical sound. You can then base your choice on the brand if you want to adopt its style of music.


To enjoy its splendor and practicality, you need to maintain it regularly. This includes wiping, tuning (at least once a year) and any necessary overhauls. A grand piano should not be neglected!