page if you have questions not answered here.)
often should a piano be tuned?
should be tuned at least twice a year. (If you have a critical ear,
you may want to have more than two tunings in one year.) New pianos
usually require more tunings as well until the strings stretch and
does a piano go out of tune?
reason for a piano going out of tune is humidity change. In Maine
we have humid summers and very dry winters. Since a piano is primarily
made of wood, it is very sensitive to humidity change. High humidity
causes a piano to go sharp, and low humidity causes a piano to go
heavy playing hurt the piano?
High use will
wear out a piano faster than one receiving normal use. But the tuning
should not be affected by high use or heavy playing provided there
are no structural problems with the instrument.
makes a piano un-tunable?
pins or brittle strings can make a piano un-tunable. Sometimes a piano
with loose tuning pins may be tunable at a lower pitch (lower tension
on the strings), but a piano that is not up to correct pitch will
never sound its best.
is the best time to have a piano tuned?
In the fall,
after your heating system has been running for a week or so, and in
the spring after your heat has been turned off for a few days. But
if your piano is out of tune, and you plan to use it, you should have
it tuned regardless of what season we are in.
a piano need to be tuned after it has been moved?
you are just moving it across a room, it will probably be fine. If
you are moving it to a location where the humidity level is different
from what the piano is used to, it will need to be tuned. I usually
recommend that a piano sit in the new location for a week or so before
being tuned. This gives the wood time to adjust to the climate in
the new location.
there anything I can do to control the humidity?
things! Running a room humidifier in the winter and a dehumidifier
in the summer will reduce the effects of seasonal changes. There is
a climate control system, called a Dampp-Chaser, that can be installed
inside a piano. (Your piano technician can give you more information
about this.) In older homes, keeping a piano on an inside wall, away
from heat sources and drafts, will help. Choosing a location where
the sun cannot shine directly on the piano will also help.
is the process of adjusting the mechanical portion, or action, of
the piano so that every key works properly and evenly with all the
others. A well-regulated piano is a pleasure to play and provides
the pianist with the widest dynamic range, response and speed of repetition.
often should my piano be regulated?
recommend that a piano be regulated every five years. Most pianos
never get regulated or even partially regulated once they have left
the factory unless something goes wrong. This means that most piano
owners will never know their piano's full potential.
grand pianos better than uprights?
but not every grand is better than every upright. An upright piano
is designed for homes and places where space is limited. Grand pianos
have a more sophisticated action and give the player better control.
For example, a pianist only needs to let a key rise half way before
it may be played again. On an upright, the player usually must let
the key return all the way to rest position. So a grand piano can
repeat faster than an upright.
does "A440" mean?
means that the A above middle C sounds at a frequency of 440 cycles
per second. It is also known as standard pitch. Most pianos are designed
to be tuned to A440.
can I clean the keys?
The best way
to clean keys is with a clean damp cloth. Usually any dirt on the
keys came from the player's fingers, and it is water soluble. If necessary,
you can add a small amount of mild soap, like Ivory, to the cloth,
but be certain to wring out the cloth so that it is just damp. Avoid
letting any water run down between the keys as this could cause them
to warp and weaken the glue that holds the key top material in place.
ivory keys better than plastic keys?
This is mainly
a matter of personal taste. Real ivory is porous and gives the pianist
more grip. Plastic is more slippery. So depending on what you like
determines which is better for you. I believe that people tend to
prefer the key top material with which they grew up. Ivory has long
been the traditional key covering material, and a piano with a perfect
set of ivory is probably worth more than the same piano with plastic.
But an instrument with many chipped, missing or broken ivories is
probably going to be worth less than the same instrument with plastic.
does "RPT" mean?
for Registered Piano Technician. An RPT has been thoroughly tested
by the Piano Technicians Guild in tuning and repairing pianos.
there any books available so I may learn more about pianos?
I highly recommend
The Piano Book, Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano by
Larry Fine, Brookside Press. It is usually available at bookstores.
It is very thorough and well written. It is intended for people who
know little about pianos, and it also includes reviews of all the
current pianos in production. You can also find it online at www.pianobook.com.