Like fine china, your piano should be handled delicately and treated with respect. It does not take much for a piano to go out of tune and so you should be extremely mindful of tuning your piano regularly, ensure proper storage and handling.
The typical culprit of an untuned piano is the surrounding in which it is kept. Humidity and temperature can significantly affect the piano tuning. When various of the wooden parts are in a moist environment, the timber absorbs the moisture causing the components to swell and expand. As a result, the strings are pulled tighter than usual, causing the keys to sound harsh.
It is a good idea to keep your piano in a dry atmosphere in the first place, but if you do find moisture a problem, try using a dehumidifier. The wood will shrink back to normal in no time. Be mindful that constant change can start to cause the wood to split. The same goes for keeping the piano at the wrong temperature. Too cold – like the wood expanding – the strings tighten and you get that sharp sound again, or too warm the steel strings will heat up and loosen themselves, leaving you with heavy flat sounding notes.
If your pianos surrounding conditions are continually changing, it would be a sensible idea to move it to somewhere else. Vast spaces that have sporadic heating or a location near a window which is regularly opened are not advisable. The perfect placement would be a room that you can maintain a constant baseline of the ideal temperature and humidity.
Movement is another major contributing factor to piano tuning issues. Many of the internal elements are extremely sensitive and so should be handled with care. Every knock, tilt, or episode of aggressive playing can cause the parts to misalign and require piano retuning.
As with our own bodies, old age can take its toll, causing our organs to degrade over time. Your piano the same. Wooden and metal parts will need replacing from time to time, turning pins can become loose, and other elements can come out of place.
Even if you keep your piano in pristine conditions from the day you bought it, general depreciation tear is still inevitable. Avoid the common mistakes listed above to maintain a high level of quality.
You should only need a full service of your piano twice a year so long as:
- You keep your piano in the same place;
- Your room temperature is a constant 21°C;
- Your room humidity is a consistent 50%; and
- Your piano is tuned to concert pitch (A440).
Tuning a piano is a highly technical skill. As pianos can have upwards of 12,000 individual parts, is highly recommended you do not undertake the task yourself. At Markson Pianos, our professional, dedicated and experienced staff are trained to exceptional standards. For our piano tuning services, please contact us at 020 79358682 and we will be in touch to establish how we can help.