Piano Care

How often should a piano be tuned?

A piano should be tuned at least once a year. This helps to maintain the piano at concert pitch (i.e. the standard tuning pitch) and enables the technician to pick up on any small adjustments or repairs that may be needed.

Why is it important that my piano is at concert pitch?

There are a number of reasons why a piano should be maintained at concert pitch. Firstly, a piano is designed to be tuned at concert pitch, and therefore is at its optimum tonally in this condition. Secondly, for children and learners it is important to listen to the instrument at concert pitch so that they develop a correct sense of pitch. Finally, it is necessary for the piano to be at concert pitch when playing with other instruments.

What is pitch-raising?

A piano that hasn't been tuned for a number of years is likely to have dropped in pitch by a considerable amount, some by a semi-tone or more. For such a piano to be returned to concert pitch it is necessary to pitch-raise the instrument before tuning it. The extra tension that is added when a piano is pitch-raised makes the final tuning less stable than the tuning on a piano maintained at concert pitch. It is for this reason that it is recommended that a piano be tuned at least once a year.

What causes a piano to go out of tune?

The primary cause of pianos going out of tune is climate change, especially large changes in humidity. For this reason it is important that a piano be kept in a room without large temperature and humidity variations if at all possible. It is also necessary to have a piano tuned after it has been moved and settled into its new environment.

I have a few sticky notes, are these easy to fix?

Often a few sticky notes or notes not working can be fixed in a normal tuning visit. However, sometimes a few sticky notes can be a sign that there is a problem throughout the instrument that needs to be addressed. A job of this nature could require repair in the workshop.

What is Regulation?

Each note in the piano comprises a number of moving parts, each of which can be adjusted to obtain the best tone, feel, accuracy and efficiency. The process of consistently carrying this out across the whole piano is known as regulation.