So… over the years there have been many terms bantered about with regards to pianos – terms like “upright grand” or “baby grand”.  In this blog we’re going to discuss what a “full size” grand is.  First of all, i would just like to point out that there is no official guide to piano sizes.  These names have evolved and so their usage is also vague at best.  For what it’s worth, however i’ll give you the ‘insider scoop’ on how retail stores and piano dealers categorize grands.

First of all, let’s set a few ground rules shall we? Full size seems to imply that smaller grands are somehow missing something – as if there is such a thing as a half size or 3/4 size piano… not so.  All pianos have the same amount of keys. All pianos have roughly the same amount of strings.  So what exactly is changing then from one size to another? It’s the length.  The term ‘baby grand’ in my mind is anything 5’5″ and under.  Today we see modern manufacturers producing really small pianos at 4’9″, 4’11″… 5’0″, 5’1″ etc.  In the olden golden days Steinway (among others) consolidated sizes to 5’2″, 5’7″, 6’1″, 6’10”, 7’4″ and 9′.  Yamaha has had huge success with a 6’6″ piano as opposed to Steinway’s 6’10”.  Regardless, pianos under the 5’7″ mark have usually been considered baby.  Full size refers more than anything to string length.  Once you surpass the baby grand size in strings, the piano blossoms.  More so even on the 6’1″ grand. Now at the extreme other end, the term ‘concert grand’ has been reserved for 9′ pianos while semi-concert is the 7’4″ – 7’6″ range.  So if a baby grand goes up to 5’5″ and the semi-concert is at 7’4″, then the term ‘full size’ would fit in the middle there.  So the way i define full size is a piano between 5’7″ and 7′ in length.  Hope this gives you an idea about what we’re talking about.  Just FYI, you won’t magically step over the threshold from one piano size to another, you’ll just hear the difference that length makes when you gradually increase the size.  Take a look at the pics below and see how the rim (the curved end part on the piano) is quite different.  Pictured: Yamaha A1 (4’11”), Yamaha C5 (6’7″), and Yamaha CF (9′).