Piano Maintenance & Set Up
“The only time I play on a properly tuned instrument, is when I go to the concert hall for a performance…~anonymous
Pianos that are prized by their owners are tuned regularly, usually once every six months for domestic pianos, and always just before a performance in concert halls. The longer a piano remains out of tune, the more time and effort it will take for a technician to restore it to proper pitch.
When a piano is only slightly out of tune, it loses the glowing tonal quality characteristic of a freshly tuned piano, especially because each note in the middle and upper range is sounded by more than one string, and these may get slightly out of tune with each other.
Pianos that are more than slightly out of tune tend to be unpleasant to play and listen to, to an extent that varies with the ear of the listener. A tuning hammer and tuning mutes are the main tools that piano technicians use. Some tuners use pure aural techniques while some tuners use electronic tuning devices.
Formally trained and experienced tuners find that the use of electronic tuning devices is unnecessary, important elements associated with trained aural tuners are often left out by those relying on electronic tuning devices. Consistent errors have been known as a result. These devices often attract the untrained operator in an endeavour to circumvent the need for formal training. read more…
Other things you should know:
- The piano should be tuned annually and be mechanically sound
- When not playing the piano, the lid should be closed to protect the keys.
- A bench of the appropriate height for the student at the piano should be provided.
- A footstool for the young student to rest his/her feet to maintain the proper balance at the piano should be provided.
- The piano room should be well-lit. An appropriate piano lamp is recommended.
- The piano room should be free of distractions. TVs, toys, siblings, etc. are generally not a good atmosphere for the study of music.
- Food & drink should never be present on or near the piano. Accidents can lead to costly repairs and possibly irreversible damage.
- The piano should be placed away from windows, outside doorways, outside walls, and air vents. Frequent changes in temperature will cause the piano to go out of tune quickly. The piano is best situated along an inside wall away from any air vents.
- Keep heavy items and décor off of the piano. Only music, pencils, metronome, & a piano lamp should be allowed to rest on the piano.
- If you notice a problem with your piano, have that problem addressed promptly, otherwise this problem might cause more problems and repairs may be costly.
- An in-tune piano is a joy to play and listen to. An out-of-tune piano can be both painful and difficult to play as well as unpleasant to listen to.
Recommended Piano Tuner & Technician: Inquire from Fox Music