Yes. To answer this question simply, yes, grand and upright pianos have a different sound. To beginners, it may not seem entirely obvious which one sounds better. Yet grand pianos have a built-in advantage to them that tend to make them sound better than their upright brethren.

See, the longer the strings are, the better the harmonics. With better harmonics, you are going to get a much fuller, pleasing sound from it. The more a piano is played, the more its harmonics are going to be thrown off (slowly but surely). With longer strings, a piano is going to stay in tune for a longer period of time, and with better sounding harmonics at the same time. Since uprights have shorter strings than grand pianos, their sound is going to come off as harsher and not as full. More at


When playing a piano with long strings, you aren’t going to have to worry as much about the octaves in which you are playing. An octave is the point between one pitch (or frequency – high or low) and another with half, or double, the frequency. With an upright piano, you are going to have to stretch the octave: this basically means that if you are going to have to play an octave that is doubled (either the same frequency as the pitch from a single octave, or quadruple – in sticking with the half, double standard set) or tripled, the tune is going to sound unnatural and thin.

In pianos with very long strings, such as a concert grand piano, even double or triple octaves aren’t going to sound stretched-thin – they are going to boom and resonate, stretching wide and sounding natural and right.

Do not mistake this is as grand pianos being unquestionably better than uprights. What you, as the buyer, have to consider is the sound compared to the cost and moving pains, as well as upkeep. Since sound is subjective, you could even find that an upright piano sounds better. You could find that grand pianos sound nicer, but there is no way you could afford one on a limited budget, or wouldn’t have the room to keep or, or the ability to keep it in a great working order. There are just so many variables that go into the piano buying process that relying solely on sound isn’t the right way to go, as weird as that might seem.

Also, wait! Do not go just yet, dear reader, as we are but half-way through this detailed run-down of pianos and what to consider when buying.  More at