A word on moving a piano! By the way, they are heavy. The word piano in the old English language means, ‘very heavy thing that ruins back, makes you lose work, spend time in the local hospital, and hurts the wallet.’

Grand pianos especially, must never be moved even a short distance, with less than three brawny types to support it. The small legs, attached to hold it in a stationery position, are holding an incredible amount of weight. In the case where a grand must be moved periodically, there are dollies available on which the piano is permanently placed for safety.

Even if an instrument has to go from one part of the room to another, you can usually make arrangements with a PIANO mover, not a furniture mover, to stop in when they are in the neighbourhood. Your back, your piano and your wallet will thank you for it. When the move is from one geographical location to another, your best and safest bet is to hire a professional piano mover. Professionally speaking, we use the piano removal services of the Piano Removal Team Bath Ltd and Piano Removals UK from Bristol thanks to their decades of experience and recommend you opt for a similar solution!

Blog TrollsWe are about to step into the unknown and open our blog to comments from registered members!

Did you know that people who leave mean comments on blogs are apparently called trolls? It’s an image that suits them as you will see…. (and no that is not a self portrait for anyone that knows me)!

However there’s still so much misunderstanding around social media that some people don’t know what a blogger is, let alone a troll. Others don’t know the difference between a blog post and a comment.

A newspaper paper recently wrote an article about how someone had been slammed by bloggers. When this was looked into it wasn’t the blog post which was critical, it was the people commenting. They really let rip. But since none of those commenters provided a link to their blog, or even left a proper name, they weren’t bloggers, just trolls. Stories like that scare a lot of new bloggers and its common to get asked questions such as:

“Isn’t it a nuisance getting comments from people?”
“Do I have to bother replying to my blog comments?”
“But how do I deal with spam comments?”

So, having considered this conundrum for many months its now time to open our blog for comments and also share our approach to how we propose to deal with blog comments (or rather the inappropriate, offensive or “mean” ones)!.

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Stage Pianos hit the market!

Hot keys There have also been plenty of advancements in the stage piano market, with the Korg SV-1 (pictured) and Nord Piano 2 being fine examples of this

A summary of the latest and greatest digital pianos that have hit retail recently… and don’t forget we can manufacture high quality covers for all of them!!

In the never ending quest to create the most accurate sounding model, digital piano makers are forever coming up with new sound engines, keyboards and sampling methods to get as close as possible to the perfect acoustic simulation. As MI Pro discovered, the newcomers to the market represent yet another step forward…

Yamaha Arius

The YDP-C71PE (£1,319) is the latest addition to the company’s entry-level Arius range and it features a Graded Hammer (GH) keyboard, three-level Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) Dynamic Stereo Sampling technology and a polished ebony finish.

Ideal for beginners and experienced pianists, the YDP-C71PE also offers a damper pedal with half-damper effect, which gives the user nuanced expressive sound control over the sustained sound. Two instrument sounds can be played simultaneously due to its dual voice capability and a two-track recorder is included as well.

The Arius series starts with the YDP-135 (£728), which features an 88-key Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard, six voices with dual function, digital reverb, one track recording, an integrated library with 50 piano songs and a Dark Rosewood finish.

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As consumers, we all love Amazon and their superb range of products at attractive and competitive products. However as a small business too this is a double edged sword. The very nature of Amazon drives the price of items down to levels where many online and bricks and mortar retailers cannot make any profit. The end result as we have seen all too often is the disappearance of these smaller companies.

Walk down the high street of your local town or City….. Exactly!

How we compete with Amazon

If you are selling online, here is the down side of business – We will never be able to compete with Amazon and here is why. They buy directly from the manufacturer in such huge quantities that they are getting the product for a price that you and I (as small business owners) will never realise. That is an unfortunate fact of business and therefore the price at which a small retailer must sell the product for is well above the price at which Amazon captures the market and still makes a significant profit. In economic terms this is simply economies of scale!

As Wikipedia explains….. In microeconomics, economies of scale refers to the cost advantages that an enterprise obtains due to expansion. There are factors that cause a producer’s average cost per unit to fall as the scale of output is increased. “Economies of scale” is a long run concept and refers to reductions in unit cost as the size of a facility and the usage levels of other inputs increase. Put simply Amazon are so big that they can buy (and therefore sell) products at prices which us mere mortals cannot compete with!

The other problem is that they often use products like this as what they call a ‘loss leader.’  They are willing to take a huge loss on the product in the hopes that the customer will buy other things. If you are like us, you cannot afford to do that.

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Yes, sorry folks but another vehement post concerning the scandalous increases to packet post charges by Royal Mail for businesses and consumers alike.

Read the BBC Business News article here

Read the BBC Business News article here

The BBC Business news site has just caught up and published an article entitled “How businesses will be affected by Royal Mail’s changing prices” and in it they highlight the extraordinary increase in the cost of sending packets. In it the article highlights the changes to packet post and the introduction of the 750 gram flat rate on Monday 30th April 2012.  From then, anything up to 750g will cost £2.70 and that means an increase of 71% for the lightest items.

The BBC then continue by highlighting a small business that sends 50 packets per month and he will be hit hard.

However, lets not forget that  EVERY retailer that sells online or offers mail order services will be affected and this leaves them just two options, neither of which are very palatable! Option one is to absorb the staggering Royal Mail increase but with the current state of business this looks challenging as many businesses have pegged back prices, absorbing increases from suppliers and even the new 20% VAT rate. Option two is to simply pass on the increase to customers and with it comes the realisation that this will impact sales. Surely customers purchasing a £3.50 sheet music bag for example will baulk at the thought of paying nearly £3 to have it posted to them!

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Well, we’ve recently expressed our opinion of the Royal Mail price increases which come into affect at the end of April (2012) and it’s now time to turn our attention to Amazon……..

Most people think of Amazon as an online bookstore, of course, one that could potentially sell you any book ever printed, but they’ve grown even bigger than that. These days, Amazon is in the business of selling very nearly everything. Maybe not a house or a car there, but they sell everything else short of that. They are a massively powerful retailer with a highly refined sales funnel, and it is becoming increasingly impossible for small businesses to compete or in some cases even exist!

The sad truth is that for many, many online businesses, Amazon will eventually kill them, if it hasn’t already.

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Is Royal Mail Killing Mail Order and Internet Business?

A controversial question perhaps but one aspect that is sure to affect mail order companies, internet based retailers and in fact anyone posting packets in the UK has been very much overlooked!

This being the removal of the 100g, 250g and 500g packet tiers. From the end of April there will be a single initial 750g packet threshold which is going to add heavily to the postage costs for small items. In many cases posting small and light packets using Royal Mail will become non-cost effective.

Campaigners across the UK have slammed Royal Mail price rises, which they agree will be bad for business. Industry regulator Ofcom announced it would relinquish the power to set stamp prices to Royal Mail, which immediately responded by hiking the price of first-class stamps by 30 per cent from 46p to 60p. Second-class stamps will rise 38 per cent, from 36p to 50p. The changes come into effect on April 30. However the impact on packet costs has been largely over-looked.

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Bluthner Piano Model Guide

After successfully exhibiting his pianos at the Industrial Exhibition in 1854, Julius Bluthner had his pianos accepted by the Leipzig Conservatory of Music. Such was the quality of his instruments that demand increased from all over the world.

From the 1890s, Blüthner produced 7 sizes of grand, the smallest being around 5ft 9in up to 9ft – the concert size. Instead of calling them `models’, Blüthner grands were always referred to as `style’.

Style `11′ was the concert grand – 9ft long;
Style `10′ was the ¾ concert Grand – 7ft 8in long;
Style `9′ was 6ft 7in – 6ft 11in long;
Styles `7′ & `8′ were both 6ft 3in long – the `8′ was identical to the `7′, but had `Aliquot’ stringing. (see below);
Styles `5′ & `6′ were both 5ft 9in long – the `6′ was identical to the `5′, but had `Aliquot’ stringing. (see below).

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Free WordPress Blog Plugins for MusiciansWordPress has become one of the web’s dominant web site design and content management systems. Freely available, widely supported, easily extendable, and entirely web-based, more than 70 million web sites use it (including this site). Originally created for blogging, WordPress is now far more than a blogging platform, and it can be used for nearly any type of site across the web.

This article isn’t meant to be a primer on WordPress. If you’re new to the platform, you may want to visit the home pages at WordPress.org and WordPress.com (the former is for those who’d like to host it themselves, the latter for those who would like it hosted for them). But if you’re already up and running with WordPress, there’s a nice group of plug-ins that are of special interest to musicians, bands, and artists. All the plug-ins mentioned on this page are free.

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Piano Covers Online BlogEntries in our blog section are now open for adding comments with the aim of kicking off interesting feedback and discussion.

You need to register first, and your first comment will be moderated. After that, just log in to post.

We are looking forward to your feedback and input!! We hope you like the growing content and articles, so please come back soon!

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