Piano Care & Maintenance
Regular maintenance is very important in keeping your piano operating to its full potential and will serve to protect your long-term investment. Service should be performed by a qualified, experienced piano technician. Please contact our store for a recommended technician in your area.
Ear training is an important aspect of music education and a well-tuned piano is essential for the student to learn this important skill. To maintain optimal performance, a piano should be tuned at least once a year. Twice a year is preferable: once in the Fall after your furnace is on permanently and again in the Spring when your furnace has been shut off.
A good technician will inform you if other service work is required. The more a piano is played, the sooner it may need adjustments like voicing and regulation.
While tuning refers to the correction of the pitch of your piano's strings, voicing refers to adjusting the instrument's tone or sound quality. As the piano is played, the felt hammers that strike the strings become very gradually compacted. Over time, the the shape of the hammers change and become more dense producing a brash sounding piano. To voice a piano, a technician will use specialized needles to re-introduce softness into the hammers and restore a warm, full, and singing tone.
As you might expect, hammers on the piano that are used more often will wear faster than others so the first purpose of voicing is to create an even singing quality from one key to the next. Well-used and neglected pianos will inevitably need to have their hammers replaced to attain continued optimal playing.
Regulation refers to the optimal adjustment of the piano's working mechanism or action. In the same way that voicing restores evenness of singing tone across the piano's range, regulation restores the evenness of touch across the range of the instrument.
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The Piano's Environment
The ideal environment for any piano is 40% relative humidity (RH) at 22'C. Any of our staff will be happy to give you a full explanation of how temperature and humidity can critically affect the performance of your instrument.
Identify the exact place in your home where the piano will be located. Direct sunlight will have an adverse affect on tuning stability and will cause finish problems. Make sure that the instrument does not sit over a heat register, or can be affected by drafts from poorly sealed windows and doors.
When buying a new piano, always check to see what service is available in your area. All pianos need competent service, so make sure you have a qualified technician taking care of your investment. If you are shopping the used market, we can recommend technicians who are able to assess a piano before the purchase. They will point out all potential problems and give you an estimate of what is needed to put the instrument in optimal working condition.