Why tuning your piano is so important!
Keep your piano healthy and tuned regularly.
Unfortunately, the piano is probably the only instrument that the musical does not tune themselves. Therefore, it is necessary for a professional to come in to check your piano regularly. The cost of a tune ranges from $150-300 AUD.
Pianos are tuned to the frequency of A440 , each string needs to vibrate with one another in harmony at this frequency. It is important to keep a piano tuned to maintain tone, value and function.
The factors that cause a piano to be out of tune.
Contrary to popular belief it is not necessarily the use of the piano that makes it go out of tune. Here are some of the main factors that cause a piano to lose its tune.
The Humidity of the room. Pianos are made of wood and are subject to the changes in humidity and temperature of the room. This in turn expands or contracts the piano causing the strings to either have a higher or lower pitch.
Moving a piano. It is best to find the right spot in your house and not move the piano unnecessarily.
Time will also have a role to play so be sure to turn your piano regularly.
An inexperienced tuner. It is important to find a trustworthy and experienced tuner to ensure your piano is well looked after.
Benefits of having your piano tuned.
Owning a piano is like having a vehicle, every now and then it needs a professional to look under the hood. The tuning process is not limited to the strings and a professional tuner will make sure the overall health of the piano is being inspected. Here are some reasons why you should always keep your piano well maintained.
Extended the life of the piano. As well as tuning a piano tuner will be able to spot any issues they can fix and save time and money in the future.
Reduce the need for corrective measures such as pitch-raising or double-tuning.
The pianist will practice better and maintain a good ear. The last thing you want is for a student to learn with an out of tune piano. This can lead to mistakes, reduce enjoyment and even develop poor ear training.
How a piano is tuned.
Watch this video to give you a better understanding of how a piano is tuned.
Read more here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_tuning
How often should you tune your piano?
Yes, tuning a piano can be costly, however, it is an investment.
A piano that is used often should be tuned every 6 months. A newer piano or one that has been recently moved should be allowed to 'settle', wait at least a month before you do an initial tune.
Do not wait too long before you turn your piano so you can prevent corrective measures that may end up damaging your piano or the strings.
How to help keep your piano in tune.
There are a few ways to help keep your piano in tune. These, however, will not prevent the need to tune a piano. But will ensure you maintain the tune as best as possible between tunings.
Keep the piano away from direct sunlight and air conditioners. It is best to place the piano on an internal wall.
Use a dehumidifier. See your local piano specialist to learn more.
Avoid aggressive playing. Such as children banging on the keys.
Try not to move the instrument.
Avoid cleaning inside the piano. If you are to clean be sure to do it close to your next tuning appointment.
How to tell your piano is out of tune.
If your piano starts to sound a little off it is a good indication it is needing a tune. The best way for an untrained ear is to download an app and use that as your guide. Do not use these apps to try and tune the piano yourself.
This article was written by Dan Alonso.
Piano Teacher and Director of REMIFA Music Education.