Q: My piano is not played very often. Why does it
still go out of tune? ⇑top
A: Your piano is made of many wooden, metal, felt and leather parts. Seasonal changes cause the wooden soundboard to expand and contract, which lowers and raises the pitch, causing the piano to go out of tune. The soundboard is not the only part of the piano that is affected. Action centers consist of the wooden action part with a hole which is lined with felt and kept together with a metal pin called a center pin. This part of the piano action may get too tight with high humidity (greater than 55% or so) and cause keys to get very sluggish or even stick.
Q: How often do performance pianos get tuned? ⇑top
A: Yes, concert pianos are tuned before each performance, while teaching pianos are tuned as often as once per week. The fact that these pianos receive frequent and often hard use, requires extra maintenance. Your piano should also be played frequently. It will benefit both the player and the instrument, but does not mean it would have to be tuned more than 2 to 4 times per year.
Q: How often should I have my piano tuned? ⇑top
A: Most manufacturers recommend at least twice per year (Steinway recommends four times per year), but it is ultimately up the individual piano owner. Having your piano tuned twice per year will be an excellent way to counter balance for the seasonal changes it is exposed to. If you feel that it is not played often enough for two tunings, one tuning would help maintain the piano, and the tuner would be more likely to find and rectify problems before they become very expensive to fix. Visit our "Tuning" page for more information.
Q:What can I do if my piano often has sticky or sluggish keys? ⇑top
A:I often have clients who report sticky keys when they make their tuning appointments, but when I arrive to tune the piano all the keys are fine. This is because air conditioning and heat take humidity out of the air. On mild days these systems do not function, and if the humidity outside is high chances are it will also be higher in the house. A "Dampp Chaser" system can really help with this.
Q: My piano sounds too bright, almost metallic. Is
there anything that can be done about that? ⇑top
A: Yes, with proper voicing techniques, the piano could be made more mellow, or brighter, but it really depends a lot on the piano and the condition of the action parts, especially the hammers. One must also remember that each piano is different, and more can be done with some pianos, than would be possible with others.
Q: I am in the market for a new piano. How do I go
about selecting one? ⇑top
A: I always recommend to buy the best piano that you can afford. Newer is not always better, but it is usually the case, because pianos are made of wood, and do not last forever. The easier a piano is to play, and the nicer it sounds, the more likely it is that the aspiring pianist will continue with lessons for a long time. Perhaps even for a lifetime of enjoyment. Pianos that are difficult to play or that do not sound very good may cause a loss of interest and no desire to continue practicing. While I do not sell pianos you may contact me for more information.