Digital pianos have a lot of advantages. They are lighter, smaller, and more portable than their acoustic ancestors. Their variable volume levels enable both students and performers to practice at any time of day without worrying about disturbing others. And the opportunities for recording can help players critique their own progress and development.
They do come with some unique challenges, though. Among these is repair. When your digital piano breaks down, what is fixable? Here are some of the most common issues with digital pianos and how they are typically addressed.
Broken or stuck keys
If a key on your digital piano feels like it is sticking, the cause is most often dirt or other buildup that requires cleaning. Trying compressed air (the same way you would clean a computer keyboard with sticking keys) is always a good place to start, as it’s quite simple and doesn’t require any kind of special skills.
If that doesn’t solve the problem, removing the key and cleaning it by hand with a soft cloth is another potentially DIY solution. However, make sure you’re following the guidelines in your digital piano’s manual! Keys should never be forced off, or you risk causing more extensive damage. Chemical cleaners can also cause problems for your digital piano. If you’re not handy and don’t feel comfortable with this process, having it cleaned professionally is also a good option.
If cleaning doesn’t fix the issue or if the key is visibly off-track or broken, you’re probably looking at replacing the key. Many models are meant for the keys to wear out to avoid wearing out a larger more expensive item, like the keybed or mechanism that allows the key to move. This is also a situation where the key just needs to be replaced. Unlike traditional pianos, digital piano keys are not usually interchangeable between models, even when they come from the same manufacturer. Contact the manufacturer in question to see if you can order a replacement part. If your piano is an older model that is no longer being manufactured, you might find a secondhand replacement on eBay or other websites that host third-party sellers.
One of the most frustrating issues of digital pianos (especially if you’re used to acoustic instruments) is a piano that simply refuses to turn on. Check for obvious issues first: Is the piano plugged in? Is the power cord in good shape? Is the electricity on?
Many a pianist has panicked about a broken piano only to discover that the cord came unplugged while someone was vacuuming. Try plugging a lamp into the same outlet. If it turns on, the issue is with your piano and not your wiring.
Like any digital product, some problems with digital pianos can be solved by rebooting them. Your manual should have instructions for a factory reset or initialization. Keep in mind that this can cause you to lose any recordings stored on your piano. Backing up your recordings on a computer or external hard drive on a regular basis is a good idea if they’re something you want to hang onto over the long term.
When things get complicated
If there’s more wrong with your digital piano than a simple DIY repair can handle, there may still be options. Digital pianos are computers at heart. Sometimes there are software or hardware fixes that an expert can handle even if the cause of the problem isn’t immediately apparent to the owner.
At a certain point, though, digital pianos become outdated. While the technology behind the traditional piano has stayed remarkably stable since the 1700s, digital technology is always advancing. Inherent in this process of rapid development is the fact that older models become obsolete much more quickly.
Electronics grow and change rapidly. If you’re Digital Piano is more than 15 years old, chances are good that the manufacturer no longer makes parts for it. If this is the case your Digital Piano may not be repairable.
Finding someone with the right tools and expertise to repair an older model digital piano might be even more challenging than finding someone local who can repair your harpsichord. In the end, it’s better to remember that your digital piano is a very specialized piece of electronic equipment with many wonderful capabilities but also a natural lifespan. Like a computer or television, no digital piano lasts forever.
Having an issue with your digital piano? Let us come to you.
Most digital piano repair services require you to bring the piano in for service. At Moore Piano, though, we come to you. In fact, we’re the only company with a full range of digital piano cleaning and repair services in the region that provides in-home service.
Worried about waiting around? There’s no need. Schedule an appointment online and we’ll be there right when you need us.