Every Single Piano needs to be Tuned. The difference between a tuned piano and an out of tune piano can make a huge difference.
Improve the Touch of your Piano. Regulation attends to the touch and responsiveness of your action.
Your piano may benefit from voicing if:
Keeping your piano clean and free of dirt is an important part of piano maintenance. If you have a pet, hair can build up over time causing slow moving and faulty keys.
How often does a piano need tuned?
Frequency of tuning depends on the piano and the climate and environment that it is in. Humidity is a huge factor in this equation and as seasons change so does the humidity. Most pianos should be serviced every 6 months, in fact many piano manufactures recommend it. Performance pianos are tuned for every show! Even many church pianos are serviced monthly.
When a piano has been regularly serviced and is housed in a climate-controlled environment, not only does the piano hold a tune well, but its lifetime is increased dramatically. I have seen 120-year-old pianos native to Colorado that still have another 100 years of tight tuning pins, because the climate4 was consistent.
Another major factor to your piano being tuned is how close to in tune or out of tune the piano is. Strings on a piano that are very out of tune are like small children. They just do not sit still even when you tell them. They won’t quit movin’! When tuning, the more that the strings have to move, the more they are going to readjust and move immediately after tuning. What does this mean? It means the more out of tune the piano is, the more tuning it will need to be brought to pitch and the faster the piano will go back out of tune. Therefore, a piano may need to be tuned twice if it has been several years since the last tune. The closer it is to being in tune, the better the tuning that can be achieved. If it has been a decade or two, it may take several visits for the piano to become stable and sound as good as it can.
One of the biggest reasons that a Piano goes out of tune is the climate it is in. The more inconsistent the humidity, the more unstable a tuning will be. When it comes to humidity, consistency over quantity. The common assumption is that higher humidity will be better for the piano, but this is not always the case. If levels of humidity are too high, the piano will begin to need repairs. When deciding what level of humidity is appropriate for your piano, consider its age and what environment it was exposed to in the beginning of its life. Whatever environment a piano starts out in, will be the environment it needs to have a long and healthy life.
All of this being said, consistency is the answer in all things. Tune consistently, humidify consistently, and play consistently! Enjoy your piano as much as you can and have it serviced consistently!
There are over 6,500 parts inside your piano. Roughly 70 parts per key. What makes a piano play well or not, has to do with the settings of these pieces. Imagine you are driving a car with only first gear. You will be limited in how fast you can go and will have lost your ability to control the car like you would like. You might also compare the regulation of a piano to a car engine. Unless the car is tuned to a certain specification, it will not perform optimally. The driver will be slower than he is capable of going and will be frustrated with the poor performance of the vehicle. To a pianist, this is what it feels like to play a piano that is out of regulation. Depending on the amount of use, a piano can use some regulating every couple of years and have a full regulation every 10 or 20 years. The amount of regulating needed, depends on the age of the piano and how much it is played.
Most pianos go their lifetime without having regulation. Once the action in a piano becomes to far out of regulation, the pianist begins to not enjoy the piano and other parts will begin to break down. It is much like the brakes on your car. If the brake pads are bad and you continue to drive, other parts will begin to have problems.
Why does my piano sound bright?
A piano’s tone can be described in many ways. Bright! Harsh! Like a tin can! Mellow. Soft. Dead. Although there are many factors that contribute to a piano’s sound, the hammers are the main influencers. The harder, or more dense a hammer becomes, the brighter or more harsh the piano will sound. The softer a hammer is, the more mellow your tone will be.
All pianos are not voiced to one standard. They are voiced to the room as well as the musician. Some people like a bright tone, whereas others appreciate a more gentle tone. Ask your technician about the tone quality of your piano and whether or not it could use some voicing.
Should I worry about the dirt in my piano?
For the most part, some dust is not a big deal in a piano. If you own a Grand and like to open the lid, a shiny plate and a clean soundboard can be nice to look at. In an upright, it will mostly just make your piano tuner a little dirty.
In more extreme circumstances small debris can cause keys to stick and effect the key height. If this is the case, a technician can remove the action and keys to give a thorough cleaning. Having your action vacuumed and lubricated can improve the response of your action and ensure your piano stays in the best condition possible.