Open or Closed? What makes the Piano sound better? Does it really make a difference?
Let’s just say, you’re not alone in this debate. While different pianists have their own preferences, how you set up your piano lid impacts your playing experience.
So, do you keep the piano lid open or closed?
You should keep the piano lid open. Keeping an open lid gives that extra bump to your piano sound compared to a closed lid piano. A closed lid piano, however, stays extra protected. Closed lid piano produces muffled sound largely due to poor reflection.
There are both pros and cons to each case. We have listed both pros and cons for both of the cases so that you can choose what to follow.
Should Piano Lid be Open or Closed?
The piano lid should be open. That’s how you can get the best out of your Piano.
It’s because a piano with the lid down can create muffled sounds. But keeping a piano lid up or down is absolutely a personal choice. You can maintain the health of your piano by keeping the lid down.
Now, you might ask – what about an upright piano? Should an upright piano lid be open or closed?
You should keep an upright piano open. The lid of the upright piano helps in creating different levels of sound frequencies. When you keep the lid open, you can experience a full range of sound. But if you keep the lid closed, the sound gets muted to some extent.
Well, keeping the lid closed isn’t a bad idea always. If you want to learn more about piano lids open and closed, continue reading till the end.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Open Piano Lid?
Though I prefer keeping the lid open, keeping the lid closed also proves really helpful when I’m not playing.
You can make your own decision by knowing the pros and cons of each scenario.
So, check out the following sections. You’ll get to know whether to keep the lid open or closed.
Pros of Keeping the Lid Open
Leaving the piano lid open has some pros. Although keeping the lid on can seem like an extra step every time. But is this extra step worth it?
Let’s see the benefits you’ll get with an open-lid piano.
Increase of Volume
A piano open top can output an immense amount of sound. The lid works as an amplifier for the audience. And the sound from the strings is reflected from the lid towards the audience.
Opening the lid also increases the sound of a grand piano. That’s why you should keep the lid of your grand piano open.
Leaving the grand piano lid open helps in achieving better sound. Proper reflection of sound can amplify the sound. The amplified sound seems a lot better than the muffled or blocked sound. But to achieve perfect reflection or harmony, you need the lid open.
Here is a beautiful video on grand piano playing:
A closed lid lets the sound only reflect inside of the piano. This is the same for baby grand pianos.
So, in short, if we say why keep the piano lid open?
By keeping the piano lid open, you can produce more deep sound waves. The tones are brighter and clearer. More importantly, you get to hear a louder sound which is not possible when the piano lid is closed. By opening the lid the sounds bounce perfectly inside of a piano.
Now, apart from having some advantages, there are also a few disadvantages of keeping the lid open. In the next segment, you’ll get to know about the cons of leaving the lid on.
Cons of Keeping the Lid Open
There are cons to keeping the lid always on. Below we have mentioned two of the major cons of keeping the lid open.
Dust Will Collect Inside the Piano
Dust is a big reason to keep the piano lid closed. But if you are willing to keep it on, you have to deal with dust.
Having the piano open cover is really beautiful. An open lid pianos look majestic in the living room. But make sure you clean the piano at least once a week. You need to clean the interior of the piano.
Using a vacuum cleaner, in this case, can come really handy. After cleaning it with the vacuum cleaner, use a dry towel to wipe it down. While you are at it, you can wipe down the exterior as well.
Also, if you are going away for a few days, it is better to close the piano lid. One of the main jobs of the lid is to protect the inside of the piano.
Risk of Damaging the Lid
If you keep the lid on always, there is the risk of damaging the lid. The lid can wrap inwards because of the humidity and temperature. The lid can be really heavy. So when the lid is closed the weight actually prevents it from wrapping inwards.
Also, keeping the lid in the right position is important. This ensures the output of the best sound. The grand piano lid position Either the lid needs to be closed, halfway open, or fully open.
Piano fallboards slow close devices are hard to come by in the market. But if you are looking to buy a lid for your piano, check the below ones.
These will ease the opening and closure of the piano lead.
Both of the lids are available in different sizes. If your lid is wrapped inwards. You can replace just the lid of your piano.
Now, what if your Piano lid won’t open? What should you do when the Piano lid is stuck?
Can You Play a Grand Piano with the Lid Down?
Yes, you can play a grand piano with the lid down. But if you’re a user of Williams Allegro 2 or Yamaha P45 keyboards, this should not even be a concern.
However, playing the piano with the grand piano fallboard closed is an option as well. A lot of people play piano with the lid down. The closed lid can cause a muffled sound but a closed lid will not damage the piano.
Here’s a tweet from Frames who love to keep the lid down while practicing.
Usually, there are risks of damaging the keys and pedals. A closed lid doesn’t damage these components of the piano.
The main purpose of the lid is protection and reflection. The lid of the piano is also known as the top of the piano. But it is meant to be down when the piano is not being played.
But that doesn’t mean it is not possible to play the piano with the lid closed. So yes, you can play the piano with the lid closed.
Now, is your piano lid loose? Is it dropping faster when you’re closing it? If so, I recommend using a piano lid slow close device to solve this problem.
Do Piano Sound Better with Lids Closed?
No, the piano doesn’t sound better with lids closed. If you ever had played piano with the lid down, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Here’s what playing the grand piano with the lid closed sounds like:
Those who play the piano for a long time can have difficulties with playing the piano lid closed. The closed piano fallboard produces a muffled sound that can seem off in the ears of professionals.
But keeping the piano fallboard closed is the best way to protect the keys from getting damaged. And for this, you can use a piano fallboard lock.
Lesser Harmonic Music
An open lid piano produces harmonic tunes which are soothing to our ears. Common people are familiar with the sound of an open lid piano.
Open lid piano amplifier the sound in the direction of the audience. That’s why we see the being sideways on stage. But with the lid closed, there is no direct way for the sound to go out.
So when sound waves are reflected inside the piano, there is less harmonic melody. You can improve the tones by using a good piano pedal.
However, there are some advantages to keeping the piano lid closed. Follow the next section to know what these pros are:
Pros of Keeping the Lid Closed
Not all people have the same preference. Different preferences and perspectives make us distinguishable. So there are people who play the piano with the lid closed. Though there are also people who play the piano with the lid open.
But why do people play the piano with the lid closed? We have listed some of the reasons why people play the piano lid closed.
Protects Sensitive Ears
The piano produces beautiful harmonic sound. When the lid is on, the sound is amplified throughout the room. It also depends on the size of amplifier for sub powers.
Here’s a beautiful cover of TK from Ling Tosite Sigure playing Unravel keeping the lid open.
The sound will be muffled but if you are not performing for a crowd, it’s okay, right? The notes and harmonic sound of the piano will still be preserved. It just won’t sound as rich as with the lid on.
So if you are practicing, you can keep the lid closed. Also, if you have sensitive ears, keeping the lid closed helps a lot. A piano can output a strong high and low frequency of sounds.
To Keep Pets from Going Outside
Pianos are really expensive. So it’s good to protect them. Also, pianos are like a big statement of a room. You want your piano in the best condition.
But your cat can mess up the piano. So keeping the lid closed in this case can keep your piano safe. Cats like to hide inside places where they can be cozy. But inside the piano, there are really important components.
The keys and strings are what make the harmonic sound of the piano. It works like a change in your guitar string’s distance. And a cat or any pet of yours can ruin the piano. So keeping the lid closed is the best thing you can do.
Preference and choice differ from one person to person. You can like the sound of the piano with the lid closed. With the lid closed the piano sounds are deeper and kind of muffled.
Or you can like the sound when the lid is up. When the lid is up the sounds are more amplified and have a harmonic tune.
The sound reflects on the piano. This impact is similar to solid-state amplification. That’s why you can see piano lids open in a concert.
These are a few of the reasons why people keep the lid of the piano closed. Although, there can be more reasons and personal preferences.
You might also be interested to learn about the stark difference between Yamaha p45 and Williams allegro 2.
How to Take the Lid Off a Grand Piano?
Now, are you facing trouble taking off the lid of a grand piano? Don’t worry. In this segment, we’ll tell you how to remove the top of an upright piano.
So, how to open the grand piano lid?
To open a grand piano lid, you have to apply a little pressure underneath the lid. Lift up the lid and place it backward. Then pull the second lid similarly. Pull back the music rack and put it in your preferred position. This way, you can hear the undertones perfectly.
Well, there’s another way to open a grand piano. It works with the height of the grand piano with the lid open.
What you do here is open the piano lid sideways. Here you keep it opened raising the leg of the piano. Place the legs inside the notches on the piano. Depending on the shorter and larger leg usage, you’ll create sounds of different depths and volumes.
Here’s a quick video you can watch on how to open a grand piano.
So, this is how you can take off the lid of a piano.
Now, while we’re on the subject, it raises a question.
Is a piano a closed or open pipe?
The piano is an open pipe. It’s because a piano produces a sawtooth wave. This means when you produce sounds with piano, it forms a very simplified shape. However, closed pipe instruments create a more complex type of sound waves.
So, this allows you to measure the tone of the piano.
How to make the piano sound better?
You can make the piano sound better by changing the notes a little. Sometimes you can taper them to produce a little louder notes. And also experiment with softer notes. By doing this, you’ll eventually discover the way to reach your preferred sound. As a result, the piano will sound better.
Should a Grand Piano be on a Rug?
Yes, a grand piano should be on a rug. Pianos on the bare floor can make different notes of sounds. It can degrade the quality of the sound. Being on a material that dampens the sound brings depth to the music. This is why keeping the piano on a rug will bring depth to the tunes.
What Do You Cover a Piano with?
Cover a piano with thick velvet. You can also use other fabrics such as Pleuche. However, covering a piano is not as necessary as it might seem. But if you live in a dusty place covering your piano might be a good idea. Covering the piano with a velvet cover might be a good idea.
That’s all you need to know about, the piano lid open or closed. Both of the cases depend mostly on personal preferences.
Keeping the piano lid closed or open can cause a difference in the sound it produces.
Have fun with your piano!!