Monday, March 7, 2011


Why should I tune my piano?

One of the skills that a piano student should learn is called 'Ear Training'.  A good piano student can hear when the note is on pitch.  A piano student can also hear when the correct note or the wrong note is played.  A good ear helps a piano student to play better and sing better.

A student who plays on a piano that is out of tune gets used to hearing notes that are off pitch.  The student can't hear the small differences in pitch and misses the advantages that a good ear could provide in helping them play. Students who play on a poorly tuned piano are more likely to sing off pitch.

How did my piano get out of tune? 

Pianos maintain a better pitch than most stringed instruments but that does not mean that a piano always stays in tune. There are many things that can cause a piano to go out of tune.  Temperature changes, humidity changes, moving a piano and the pounding of hammers on strings can cause a change in the pitch of a piano.  It is said that technically most pianos loose their perfect pitch 24 hours after they are tuned. . 

How often should I tune my piano? 

A piano should usually be tuned twice a year. A good rule of thumb is to tune your piano two weeks after you turn on your furnace in the fall and tune it again two weeks after you turn your furnace off in the spring.  The piano needs two weeks to adjust to the change in temperature before it is tuned.

New pianos should be tuned more often during the first year. Plan to tune your new piano four times during the first year.  Performance pianos are tuned before each performance.  Pianos in recording studios are often tuned several times a week.

Who should tune my piano?

It is important to find a piano tuner who will tune your piano correctly.  A piano tuner who does not know what he is doing can ruin your piano.  Look for a piano tuner who is Registered Piano Technician and a member of the Piano Techncians Guild.  See their web site at:   Registered Piano Technicians are required to pass a series of tests.   

What does it mean to have my piano 'regulated'? 

Having a piano regulated means to have the piano technician check the working, moving parts of the piano to make sure that the piano works correctly.  Regulation helps to prevent or fix strange noises, broken pedals, sticking keys and many other problems.  A piano should be regulated at least once a year. 

What does it mean to have my piano 'voiced'?

The more a piano is played, the more the felt on the hammers becomes worn and hardened.  This affects the 'voice' or sound of the piano.  A technician can work on the hammers to keep them from compacting.  This will help to maintain the original sound of the piano. Voicing should not be done until a piano has been tuned and regulated.  A piano should be voiced about once a year. 


"Hope you don't think this is Billy Joel unplugged.  I'm a piano player.  I am already unplugged." - Billy Joel

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