Piano Tuning ~ Frequently Asked Questions
- How often should my piano be serviced?
All of the piano manufacturers suggest that you tune your piano twice a year. The short answer is every six months or twice a year. This is one of the reasons my 6 month tuning rate is lower. I use the smoke detector analogy: If you keep batteries changed in your smoke detector, it is always functioning. And, if you tune your piano every six months, it is "in tune" and ready to play.
Also, the less you have to turn the tuning pins, the better. Think of driving down the road and only touching the steering wheel every 10-15 seconds. How much "correcting" would you have to do to keep the vehicle going straight. That is what it would be like if you tune your piano every couple of years or so.
It only costs approximately .50 a day or about $15 a month to tune your piano twice a year. Think of all the things for which you pay more than .50 a day or $15 a month. Your piano is an investment in your future. It can bring you and your family a lifetime of music, adding immeasurable joy and beauty to your home. Because is it such a large investment, it should be maintained with the utmost care.
Regular servicing by a qualified piano tuner-technician will preserve your instrument and help you avoid costly repair in the future. Because your piano contains materials such as wood and felt, it is subject to change with climatic conditions. Changes from hot to cold or dry to wet cause the material to swell and contract, affecting tone, pitch and action response of touch.
Here is what some major manufacturers recommend.
- Baldwin: Any new piano should be tuned several times during the first year. After the first year, a piano should be tuned at least twice each year.
- Kawaii: Due to stretching, settling and effects of climate, one should allow at least three tunings the first year and a minimum of twice per year thereafter.
- Wurlitzer: In the first year, Piano Manufacturers Assoc International recommends that you have your piano tuned four times. After the first year, you should have it tuned at least twice a year.
- Steinway & Sons:We recommend that your technician be called at least three or four times a year.
Piano Action Regulating
Piano Action Mechanics
Regulation of your piano is important as over time your piano, which has over 4,000 parts needs to be regulated so that the striking of the keys is just like the day it left the factory. As mentioned before, the wood and felt parts of your piano change with changes in humidity and temperature. There are over a dozen adjustments to be made for each key on your piano to get it back to factory specifications.
A Lifetime of Enjoyment
Your piano, like those in homes and on stages throughout the world, is an instrumentof extraordinary promise which can bring you a lifetime of enjoyment. To ensure its performance over that lifetime, it is important to have your piano serviced regularly by your tuner/technician.
Do you use an electronic tuner?
Yes. I use an electronic tuner in addition to tuning and setting the temperament by ear. The reason I do this is to ensure proper pitch and temperament.
What is a pitch raise?
A pitch raise involves bringing your piano back to its origninal pitch of A440. To accomplish this, one or more pitch raises may be necessary. Your piano was manufactured to be at A440. If your piano has not been tuned in a long time, the strings loosen and go flat. Although your piano could be tuned to itself at this lower pitch, it will not sound as good. The longer it is left below pitch, the harder to bring it back to pitch. Some of the risks include breaking strings and cracking the sound board. So, keeping your piano at pitch is very important.
Where should I locate my piano?
Away from heat and A/C vents. On an inside wall and not in front of a window.