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When moving a piano, there are certain things to take care of.

Even though the instrument is pretty massive, it has certain delicate elements.

More often than not, people break or damage these elements while trying to move the piano.

You could scratch the wood, break a key, or even damage a string or hammer somewhere. 

Naturally, one of the very first questions that come into your mind is, “can you lay a piano on its back?”

Today, we’ll talk about just that.

Plus, we will discuss all the dangers and risks of laying a piano on its back and other tips to move the instrument. 

Related: Check out this article I wrote on Can Piano wire cut you?

Can you Lay A Piano On Its Back?

Can You Lay A Piano on Its Back

The short answer is yes, you can. 

You can lay a piano on its back to prepare to move it, rotate it, or tilt it without damaging it.

If done the right way, there are no potential risks attached to this method.

However, problems occur when you do it wrong. 

The Dangers Of Laying A Piano On Its Back

When you’re trying to lay the piano on its back, make sure you have the instrument in control and don’t accidentally drop it.

When you drop the piano on its back, that’s when the damage happens.

Another potential risk of playing the piano on its back is the instrument falling on something bumpy.

In such a case, the wood might crack, and you can never be sure whether you’ll be able to repair it quickly. 

Can A Piano Be Laid On Its Side? 

Laying a piano on its side is also not that big of a threat.

Just make sure that you are not dropping the piano on its side and avoid moving it too vigorously while it’s on its side. 

Remember, it is safe to lay your piano on its back and side as long as you’re not moving it.

When you decide to move or drag the piano while in either of these positions, it can get quite risky.


Because the elements inside the piano are delicate and will probably not take all the harsh vibrations well.

It can be especially damaging if you drag the instrument along a bumpy path to move it too aggressively. 

So What’s The Right Way To Move A Piano? 

Cover up the piano nicely with wraps and blankets.

Then, strap it all together and make sure everything is in place.

Pick up the piano in its original position and place it on a trolley or dolly.

Now, clear the path to move the piano outside and make sure there are no bumps or obstacles in the way.

Then, slowly and carefully move the piano to its destination. 

If there are any unavoidable obstacles or steps on the way, here’s what you can do: 

When you reach the obstacle, the first of the movers should slightly lift the piano from one side and roll it over the other side of the barrier.

Then, as the other set of wheels approaches the obstacle, the other mover should lift the piano as well and cross over the obstacle slowly and patiently. 

If the step is enormous and you cannot pick up the piano that high, use a ramp, and push the trolley up.

This trick also works when you have to shift the piano from the ground to the truck. 

Other Things To Remember When Moving An Upright Piano: 

Apart from all of this, there are certain other things that you should remember while you’re laying the piano on its back or moving it.

They are: 

  • Consult a professional piano mover before you attempt to do it yourself. Even if it’s as simple as laying the piano on its back or side, professional consultation never hurts. Plus, the expert might help you avoid certain regrettable mistakes. 
  • Gather the supplies and tools beforehand. If not, you’ll be panicking while trying to move the piano. Nothing will be within your reach, and you’ll only be frustrated. 
  • Ensure that the floor or carpet underneath is clean and clear of any objects when you’re trying to lay the piano on its back. 
  • Move out all the furniture and objects that might be a hindrance while you’re attempting to move the piano. 
  • Make sure you have a ramp all ready for the more massive steps and stairs. 
  • If you can, avoid using transportation trucks that don’t have a ramp. 
  • Cover your piano, preferably in non-slip blankets. They give you more control while you’re trying to move around the piano and reduce the risk of an accident. 
  • Secure the blankets’ edges and tuck them under the piano so that no one trips on them. 
  • Lock the lid and make sure it’s secure. A bumpy ride or any small inconveniences can immediately damage the keys and other delicate elements inside the piano. 
  • Make sure you have a step-by-step plan before you start doing any of this. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll only be confused at every step. 
  • If it’s a grand piano, remove its legs before you move it. These legs are incredibly fragile, and they can break very quickly while you’re trying to transport the instrument. 
  • Once you’re done moving, or when you move the piano back to its upright position, check whether everything is in place and tune the strings. 


When you are trying to move the piano or lay it on its back, make sure you know what you’re doing.

If you are even slightly confused, don’t do it!

Take help from professionals instead, or at least get a consultation.

Whatever you do, never attempt to move a piano alone.

If you try to move the piano on your own, you might end up damaging the instrument and hurting yourself.

In the end, you’ll end up regretting the whole thing.

So, to avoid any injuries to you or your piano, make sure you take care of everything mentioned above and use all the knowledge for your benefit.