FAQs: Piano Care Guidelines
How often should my piano be tuned and why?
Your piano should be tuned at least once a year. If you play it often (daily to weekly), it should be tuned every 6 months. A piano goes out of tune when it is exposed to changes in humidity, which causes wooden parts of the piano to expand and contract. Tuning is also needed after moving your piano because the pins holding the strings can shift positions. If your piano is not tuned frequently, a pitch raise will be needed before a fine-tuning is performed. When you fail to have your piano tuned regularly, you run the risk of cracking your cast iron plate, cracking the soundboard, or breaking your piano’s strings. In these cases, the cost of repair could surpass the value of your piano.
WHY IS A PITCH RAISE NECESSARY?
If your piano is not tuned at least once a year the strings’ tension will drop. When this happens, the note that you play is actually sounding the note directly below it. It is important to keep your piano up to pitch because the pitch relies on a constant stability and compromise between the strings, pins, cast iron plate, and soundboard.
HOW OFTEN DO MY PIANO PARTS NEED MAINTENANCE?
Besides tuning your piano, regulation of your piano’s action is necessary approximately every three to five years. If this is not done you will lose playing power and your action might feel sluggish or light.
How do I clean my piano?
The exterior should be cleaned with a lint-free towel dampened with water. Mild dish soap can be used in cases of stubborn areas that need deep cleaning. The interior should only be cleaned by an experienced piano technician because the interior contains very delicate pieces that need to be handled with care. One should also refrain from touching piano strings because the oil from your fingers contributes to the deterioration of the strings. Plastic keys can be cleaned with a glass cleaner, such as Windex. Ivory keys should only be cleaned by a qualified piano technician because of their porous and delicate nature.
HOW DO I PROLONG THE LIFE OF MY PIANO?
You can extend the life of your piano and prevent unnecessary damages by following these tips:
- Have your piano tuned at least once every six months or once a year at a minimum so that the piano stays at A 440. Do not risk cracking the plate during the pitch raise because you did not have the piano tuned for 5 years.
- Have your action regulated every 3-5 years.
- Do not place your piano on an outside wall and make sure that the piano is in a room with a humidity level of 42%.
- Do not place the piano near a fireplace, air conditioning ducts, or windows due to sunlight bleaching.
- Regularly dust and clean the outside of the piano.
- Leave interior cleaning, repairs, and moving to a piano professional.
- Keep liquids away from the piano. A coaster only does so much.
- Keep a log of minor issues so that when your piano technician shows up to tune you can explain any problems you have experienced.
If your piano is not tuned frequently, a pitch raise will be needed before a fine-tuning is performed and you risk cracking the steel plate inside if it is not tuned for several years.
How does humidity affect my piano?
Humidity, heat, and cold causes the wood in your piano to expand and contract which is another reason for not placing your piano exterior wall.
Why Should I Use a Professional Piano Mover?
Most moving companies do not hire employees that specialize in moving pianos. Moving a piano is a delicate process because of all of the piano’s intricate parts. General moving companies are, for the most part, not qualified to move pianos. The piano movers that we hire are licensed, bonded, and insured. They are the best of the best and they only move pianos.
For professional piano movers, we use Mountain Movers. Mountain Movers is a Knoxville-based piano moving company and is licensed, bonded, and insured. Jeremiah Johnson, the Owner, can be reached at (865) 300-7736 to schedule your piano move.