Is Piano Tuning Important?
Owning and playing a piano means you need to properly care for it if you want it to last you for a long time. Part of that care includes piano tuning. With regular use, a piano will go out of tune. Tuning should be done four times during the first year of a new piano’s use or when you have had it restrung. After that first year, you should have the instrument tuned twice per year.
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You may find that you may need to tune your piano more or less depending on the instrument and how you care for it. Humidity will have the biggest effect on your piano and will cause it to require more tuning than normal. Always keep your piano away from outside walls, direct sunlight or near heating ducts. The heated air will cause your piano to dry out. Additionally, pianos that played regularly every day may need to be tuned more than the recommended twice a year over those that are played only during special occasions.
Pianos should always be tuned after it has been moved due to the humidity it is exposed to. Taking the piano from inside to outside will allow humidity to sneak in and affect the strings. You should let your piano acclimate to its new home about two weeks before you have it tuned. This allows the strings to expand and contract and settle before the piano tuner comes in. Most pianos are turned with an A440 tuning fork. Once the string associated with the tuning fork is set, the rest are set using beats and intervals the tuner knows.
If you have an older piano that has been exposed to humidity changes, you may find that it has trouble staying in tune. This is because the tuning pegs no longer properly fit and stay in place. When this happens, it is best to have the piano restrung and the pegs replaced. You will need to carefully monitor the amount of humidity the instrument is exposed to in order to keep from having to have it restrung again.
Make sure you have your piano tuner check the soundboards for cracks. Small cracks will not affect the piano except cosmetically. Larger cracks, usually caused by changes in the humidity, can affect the structure of the piano. These cracks could keep the piano from staying in tune or even being tuned properly.
Schedule your piano tuning on a regular basis to ensure that you get the most enjoyment out of your instrument. Pianos that are tuned regularly stay in better shape and are easier to keep in tune. Those that have not been tuned in a long time may have problems getting back to pitch and may need to be restrung if it cannot be tuned.
For keyboard and piano lessons contact Glenn Sutton at: 619-306-3664.