Why does my piano go out of tune ?
Keep your piano at pitch
There are a multitude of factors which affect the tuning and the stability of a piano. The entire piano is under continual stress to a varying degree and it is the fluctuations in these stresses that cause the piano to go out of tune.
Considering the 230+ steel strings that are strained to between 150 - 200lbs each means the cumulative total on the iron frame, and the solid wooden 'back', are subject to stresses of between 18 - 20 tons. When these strings slacken naturally their tension reduces and the piano then becomes out of tune
Why do the strings slacken?
In older pianos the primary cause of strings slackening is the tuning pins which are embedded in the wrest plank (or pinblock) become loose either due to general wear and tear over the years, or (more commonly) because the wrest plank has developed splits across or around the pin holes due to the wood drying out. Another primary cause is the movement in the soundboard. This board is made of spruce and is responsible for the resonance of the piano. Spruce is used because of its elastic nature ; the more elastic the soundboard the more pleasant the tone. The steel strings bear down on this soundboard through 'bridges' which in turn allows their vibrations to be amplified.
The following table shows our pricing structure for tuning and servicing. These prices relate to normal hours of business, being Monday - Friday 9:30am - 4:00pm. Tunings are available out of hours, and at weekends, but do bear additional costs.
|Standard Tuning||40 - 60 mins||£70.00|
|Pitch Raise||90 - 120 mins||TWO tunings reqd||£130.00|
|Regulating||1/2 day||Inspection needed||£350.00|
|Full Service||Full day||Inspection needed||£550.00|
|CANCELLATION||Less than 48hrs notice||Full fee charged|
Useful tips at a Glance
NATIONWIDE TUNING SERVICE AVAILABLE
- Have your piano tuned at least TWICE a year
- Keep it at A440 (Concert Pitch) if possible
- Keep the room temperature stable (70°F ±5°F) is ideal
- Keep the room humidity stable (50% ±5%) is ideal
How often should my piano be tuned ?
It is impossible to give a difinitive answer to this question because there are so many factors that can affect the tuning stability. In a domestic environment where the temperature and humidity are relatively constant throughout the seasons a guide is at least TWICE per annum ; 2 - 3 weeks after the heating goes on in the winter, and 2 - 3 weeks after it has been turned off in the summer. This delay gives the piano an opportunity to acclimatise to the new conditions and settle prior to the strings being bought back up to pitch
To explain fully what tuning a piano actually involves is the subject of many good volumes, and too large a topic to cover in full here. It is a highly technical skill and it is not something that can be learnt in five minutes; it takes many years of study and experience to achieve this status, and is generally recognised as something you should endeavour not to do yourself !
Location, Location, Location
- Locating your upright piano against a wall depends on heat source and atmospheric conditions
- Keep your piano out of direct sunlight
- Keep your piano as far away from heat sources ie radiators
Piano Tuning Request
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