How often should I tune my piano?
As a general rule, pianos should be tuned twice each year. However you should have your piano tuned as often as you feel it is needed. Concert pianos are tuned before every performance and recording studios have their pianos tuned every couple of days.
You should tune your piano after it is moved, about two weeks after you turn the heat on in the winter and two weeks after you turn it off in the spring.
Why is it important to tune my piano regularly?
Pianos are extremely complex instruments. If one part of your piano performs sub-par, the overall quality of the instrument suffers. A piano that cannot hold a tuning may be a sign of another problem and that an overall tune-up is needed.
Having a qualified professional looking around inside your piano on a regular basis can prevent small problems becoming major concerns.
We will assess the situation and provide you with the most accurate information needed to fully understand your options. We will explain the labour, the parts involved, whether the repairs can be performed at your home or in my shop, and a schedule for completion.
We strive to be the GTA’s premier provider of piano tuning and repair, and pride ourselves on matching the desired results to a budget and schedule that best fits your needs.
Our Piano Technicians are trained to handle any and all piano maintenance.
Regular piano tunings help strengthen your piano. After a few regular tunings, you will notice that the pitch doesn’t stray as easily or as often as it did before.
Where should I put my piano?
It is ideal for a piano to be at least five feet from any heat source, and eight inches from the wall. Keep the piano out of direct sunlight. Temperature and humidity should be kept constant when possible so a room with an outside door may not be recommended.
Why is humidity control important for my piano?
Where a piano is placed is very important for both its tuning stability and its longevity.
The best place for a piano is where humidity remains fairly constant, ideally in the 40% to 50% range. The temperature of the room isn’t as important, except as far as it affects the humidity. However, keeping a piano away form direct heat, especially forced air, is very important.
One of the main reasons a piano goes out of tune is because the soundboard expands or swells when humid, and contracts or flattens out when dry. When it expands, it presses against the strings putting them under more tension making the notes become sharp, or higher in pitch. When the soundboard contracts, the tension on the strings loosen and the notes become flat, or lower in pitch. However, they don’t all become sharp or flat equally, so the piano goes out of tune.
The three major structural parts of the piano (the soundboard, the bridges and the pinblock), are made of wood and are susceptible to drying and cracking. This is likely to happen prematurely if the humidity is too low, but it is even more likely if the humidity swings from being very humid in the summer to very dry in the winter. In addition, if the piano is near direct heat, these cracks can develop even if the overall humidity is kept constant. Cracks in the soundboard and bridges can cause annoying rattles and buzzes that can be difficult and expensive to repair. If the pinblock becomes dried out, the tuning pins will slip and it will no longer hold a tune, even if the humidity is kept constant afterwards. Replacing the pinblock is a major rebuilding job, which requires restringing the piano, and is fairly expensive.
The keys and the internal moving parts of the piano are called the action. These parts are made of wood and felt, and are held in place with various screws and glue joints. If the action becomes too humid, the wood swells and notes can become sluggish, or not work at all. If the action becomes too dry, screws and glue joints can become loose, causing action noises, and failing notes. In addition, the action parts’ relationship to one another, called regulation, is affected by changes in humidity, and can change the touch or feel of the piano. These problems are kept to a minimum if the humidity inside the piano is kept constant and moderate.