This Summer at the Master Piano Technicians of America yearly conventin in Myrtle Beach, SC I was elected web master for the organization. I will be working with them to create a great blog, facebook and updates to their web site. Our goal is to reach more technicians with modern media. Check out the sites here
Have your piano tuned as often as you feel necessary, but a minimum of twice a year is the rule of thumb.
Just remember: when you turn on the heat in the winter, and when you turn it off in spring, you’re about 2 weeks away from needing a tuning. These are the times of year when the humidity change starts to shrink or swell the wooden structure of the piano, and it starts to drift out of tune. So wait until the room your piano is in gets used to the climate change, then tune your piano!
WHAT THE MANUFACTURERS HAVE TO SAY:
Steinway & Sons
“…no matter how expertly a piano is tuned, atmospheric variations and the nature of the piano’s construction constantly conspire to bring it off pitch”
“…a piano should be tuned at least twice a year.”
” Complete piano service should include periodic regulation and voicing in addition to tuning.”
Baldwin Piano Company
” After the first year a piano should be tuned at least twice each year.”
Keep in mind that every piano is subject to one or more factors that will make it go out of tune, including:
– Humidity changes
– Temperature changes
– Stretching of strings
– Slipping tuning pins
– Hard use
How often you should tune your piano depends on its condition, the environment in which it is located, and the musical demands of the owner.
A piano used mainly as a furniture piece probably won’t “need” to be tuned more than once a year. A piano that is played regularly and is in good condition would be better off with 2 tunings per year, each time the seasonal humidity changes. A piano given a daily workout by a professional or serious student might need to be tuned more frequently, maybe 4 times a year or more. At this level of use, it’s really up to the individual and at what point the tuning starts to bother them.
We were at the Springboro Expo this past weekend with a booth to raise awareness for piano tuning in Springboro and to teach people about proper care of their piano. We had a great time and were able to meet many new customers. Many people wait too long to have their piano tuned and repaired because they do not know a trusted technician or they have the false idea that it will cost $500 to tune their piano. A regular tuning is only around 95.00 and can be done in a little over an hour. But if you wait for years and allow your piano to sink in pitch, you will have to get more attention to get your piano back up to pitch and it takes several tuning to get it to hold there. In other words, it is just better to have regular tunings and keep your piano healthy. If something like a key is sticking then it can usually be easily fixed during a tuning for a minimal fee. Don’t be afraid to take care of your piano. If you have fears, call me to discuss your needs. I met a pastor that thought it would cost $500 to tune the church piano so he waited over 5 years to have it tuned!