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Piano Tuning

"Pianos older than one year"...
Most manufacturers agree that in general, a piano should be tuned twice a year (see Piano FAQ's). Why so often? Humidity and temperature changes cause your piano's wood to swell and shrink, the string tension to vary, thus cause your piano to go out of tune. It's especially important in our climate to get your piano tuned 2 times a year to keep up with these changes.

"Studio, Teaching and Church Pianos"...
Pianos that get more than the usual use and/or which have a greater temperature and humidity change (for example churches that turn the temperature/air conditioning up and down in-between services) should possibly be tuned more than twice a year. Each situation is unique and you and your piano technician should be the final judges as to how often your piano should be tuned. It's not unusual though for a studio or church piano to be tuned 3, 4 or more times a year.

"New Pianos"...
The strings on a new piano will stretch, and especially so during the first year. Also, this is a time of adjustment of your piano to the humidity and temperature conditions of your home. These changes will also cause the wood to shrink and swell, the string tension to vary, and thus cause your piano to go out of tune. For all of these reasons, most manufacturers agree that a new piano should be tuned 4 times in the first year, and twice per year after that in a home situation.

"Concert Pianos"...
Concert pianos should be tuned before each performance.

"Recording Studio Pianos"...
Recording studio pianos should be tuned before each recording session, sometimes more than once per day.

Because of the complex make-up of your piano, it will take some time for it to become thoroughly settled and adjusted to the atmospheric conditions in your home. this is true of all makes and models. Therefore it is especially true that your piano should receive proper service during the first year after purchase. During the first year it is advisable to have your piano tuned four times. In the years that follow it should be tuned as often as you feel necessary, but a minimum of twice per year. A concert artist has his piano tuned before each performance.

The frequency of tuning depends on the use the piano receives and the conditions peculiar to its location. A piano will stay in tune better if the atmospheric conditions are uniform. Changes from moist to dry air cause wood to swell and shrink, thus changing the tension on the strings. Keep the humidity as constant as possible and your piano will need less frequent tunings.

As stated previously the piano action is a complex mechanism, and it is important that it be thoroughly checked during the first year after purchase, and then at regular intervals. Do not confuse the words "tuning," which has to do solely with the pitch of the strings and "regulating," which has to do with the adjustment of the mechanism by which the string is put into motion. Remember: It is important to leave the care of your piano in the hands of a well qualified tuner-technician whom you can trust.

 

A drop of 1/2 step in pitch can equal a change of 3000 to 5000 Pounds of tension! (Now you know why it is important to keep your piano tuned).

Tuning is the adjustment of the tension of all of your piano's 220 (or more) strings to the correct pitch or frequency.

A440 is standard pitch.

  • If a piano has gone without tuning for an extended period, its pitch may have dropped far below A- 440.
  • First or 'rough' tuning to bring the piano close to the correct pitch is the PITCH CORRECTION. Second or 'fine' tuning to finish.

A concert piano is tuned before every performance.

 

 

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Pam's Bee Sharp Piano Tuning, LLC
1419 W Franklin Street Appleton, Wisconsin 54914 
Phone (920) 731-2522 Toll Free: (866) 815-8772
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