You may wonder why pianos need to be tuned at all. The answer is very simple: the strings are under very high tension, and over time they stretch. Finding a qualified piano tuner and maintaining a regular schedule for piano tuning will extend both the life and enjoyment of your piano. You regularly change the oil in your vehicles; scheduling regular tuning for your piano is the same type of routine maintenance!
TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY AFFECT YOUR PIANO’S TUNING
Living in hot, humid Augusta, GA has its challenges, but did you know it can affect your piano’s tuning? If the piano is next to a door or window, or the temperature or humidity in the room fluctuates substantially, the piano’s wood and other parts will expand and contract causing the pressure on the strings to change. The remedy is stabilizing the temperature and humidity around the piano, and your piano tuner may recommend relocating the piano or altering the environment with air conditioning or humidity control.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I HAVE MY PIANO TUNED?
Almost all piano manufacturers suggest tuning a new piano four times in the first year and then twice a year after that. At a minimum, a piano should be tuned at least once a year. Finding a qualified piano tuner is as important as having a good mechanic for your car.
IF I DON’T PLAY MY PIANO, IT WON’T NEED TO BE TUNED, RIGHT?
It is a common misconception that pianos do not need tuning if they are not played. This is not true. Once you realize that it is the extremely high string tension that causes strings to stretch and the pitch to go flat and that this tension is always there, you can understand that the piano’s pitch will go flat even if it isn’t played at all! The amount of tuning needed is based upon how far the string tension and pitch drop, not how bad the piano sounds – the latter being the criteria most people use in determining if their piano needs tuning. Indeed, if all the strings drop approximately the same distance, the chords played on the piano may still sound good in spite of the fact that the pitch level may have dropped too far to get back to pitch in a tuning alone.
CAN ME NOT KEEPING MY PIANO IN TUNE, DAMAGE IT?
Letting a piano get very far out of tune isn’t good for it, but the harm is rarely irreversible. A piano adjusts to the tension of its strings (typically 38,000 pounds of pressure!). When a piano is allowed to go out of tune, string tension is reduced, and the piano settles to the new lower tension. When the strings are pulled up to proper pitch again, the piano typically requires days or weeks to settle again. As the piano adjusts, the string tension is changed slightly, and the piano needs tuning again. As a result, pianos that are neglected for a year or more often require two or more tunings by a qualified piano tuner to reach stability, while a piano that is kept reasonably in-tune holds its tuning better.
WILL MOVING MY PIANO CAUSE IT TO GO OUT OF TUNE?
You may have heard that pianos need to be tuned whenever they are moved. This is not necessarily so! While extremely severe bumps may knock it out of tune, the real culprit is the humidity changes mentioned earlier. Primarily, tune changes occur when the piano is moved through environments of greatly differing atmospheric humidity… such as from a 75 degree forced air 25% indoor humidity to 20 degrees, uncomfortably damp 85% outdoor humidity and back inside again. This will alter your tuning greatly unless you keep the piano outdoors only for a very short time. Obviously, moving the piano in the summer does not hurt the tuning quite as much, if at all. If you are afraid to move your piano when remodeling, cleaning, or just creating a new floor plan, don’t be! Since the humidity and temperature are constant in your home, you can move your piano as frequently as you desire and not affect the tuning.
HOW CAN I FIND A QUALIFIED PIANO TUNER?
Finding a qualified piano tuner in Augusta, GA is as simple as calling Turner’s Keyboards. Turner’s Keyboards can provide you with the very best professional and factory-trained service technicians to provide honest and competent service. Whether your needs are for the concert stage or the home environment, contact us today for your piano tuning and service needs.