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Piano Tuning: What You Need to Know About it

Pianos are very complex instruments and must be cared for year-round. For a piano to stay in its best shape, it must be tuned several times each year.

The best possible approach to this would be to request service for your piano. It is important to understand a few key details about your piano. This includes what conditions may be influencing the tuning of it.

This guide answers commonly-asked questions regarding the tuning of your piano.

What is Piano Tuning?

Piano tuning is the process of adjusting every string to its correct pitch by turning a pin.

This process, similar to any other string instrument, will either increase or decrease tension in each individual string to make the whole length of the keyboard sound correct. It is important that you tune your piano so that it sounds great no matter when you play it.

Why do Pianos Go Out of Tune?

The most influential factor in the tuning of pianos is seasonal humidity changes that occur throughout each year.

These changes affect every piano, regardless of its price, quality, or its location.

The moisture level brought about by that season will lead to the bridges that the strings rest on to expand in the summer and contract in the winter. This change will bring a difference in the tension of the strings and will put them out of tune.

Other factors, although not as prevalent, include playing the piano and the quality and construction of the piano. Pianos constructed with cheaper parts will, inevitably, have lesser tuning stability than ones with quality parts. So it is vital that you should take into consideration the quality of your piano prior to tuning it.

How Often and When Should I Have My Piano Tuned?

Pianos follow a yearly pattern that affects their tuning. So, several specific months are the best times to tune. These months are February and September - it would be best to tune later in the month.

Although a biannual tuning would be suitable for most pianos, it is even better to tune every 3 months. That way, the piano would remain in near-perfect pitch year-round.

Other tuning schedules are options, including every 4 months, which is similar to a 3-month schedule. A once-per-year schedule would maintain the instrument but keep it very badly out-of-tune in the off-season.

In summary, you should avoid tuning your piano during times when the humidity will change drastically. Instead, tune your piano before long periods of relative stability in the climate.

Summarizing What you Should Know

Although straightforward, the aspects of piano tuning are misunderstood. Humidity is the deciding factor in a piano’s tuning stability, but it is important to determine the quality of your piano’s parts as well.

A piano tuning schedule should suit you but also keep the piano sounding excellent.

Since each piano varies, there is no one schedule that suits everyone. Our next article will discuss the impact of humidity on pianos in greater depth and will include methods of monitoring your instrument.

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