Piano Care FAQ
How often should my piano be tuned?
The standard and typical manufacture warranty recommendation is a minimum of two (2) times a year. More often is not uncommon with regular vigorous use, also due to condition and age. New pianos may need four (4) tunings in the first year, as per typical manufacture warranty, because the strings stretch and the wood is adapting to the pressure.
Do pianos need tuning if they’re not played much?
Yes. There’s a tremendous amount of tension in a piano, which is gradually released over time, making pianos go flat. Each string has about 150 pounds of pressure on it. With 220 strings in a typical piano, two or three strings on most notes, there’s about sixteen tons of tension. Pianos that are not maintained regularly may require additional service to bring back to standard pitch and sound good. There is the possibility of broken strings.
Does it harm a piano not to tune it?
No, if brought back to standard pitch by a qualified tuner. If a piano has not been tuned regularly, it may need what is called a “pitch raise” which is a procedure to properly and safely bring a piano sound back to normal. If a piano has not been tuned for some time, it may need two or more tunings over a period of months for it to stabilize back to standard pitch. The tone clarity may suffer if the piano is neglected for a long time, even after a pitch raise.
Other than tuning, what other maintenance may be needed?
A piano has over 9,000 parts, many in motion repeatedly while being played. Minor repairs may be needed from time to time due to “sticking keys”, broken strings, or other malfunctioning part; this is not uncommon regardless of manufacture or age. Action Regulation will be in order after some years to adjust the myriad of parts back to specifications which greatly affects the touch and responsiveness of your piano. Voicing may be an option if the sound or tone of your piano is not what it used to be; felt hammers that have experienced years of use may need to be filed or replaced.
Does moving a piano throw it out of tune?
Maybe. It’s not so much the move but the change of environment; humidity and temperature. A carefully moved piano across a room or in a building may be fine however a distance move by truck will most likely require the piano to be tuned. When the humidity changes, the piano will gradually adapt to it, taking at least two to three weeks to adjust to a new environment. You should wait that long before having it tuned.
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