Questions & Answers

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How old is my piano?

The age of the piano is determined from the serial number on the piano. If you would like to find the age of your piano contact me and enter your information such as the serial number and manufacturer and I will be able to advise you as to the age of your piano.

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How often should I tune my piano?

Most piano manufacturers recommend that your pianos should be tuned at least twice a year. There are some exceptions to this general rule, for insttance: if you have a brand new piano, you may need to tune it more often during the first two years while the strings are settling in place. Also, if the piano is played hard and often, you may need to tune the piano more often. It is very important to keep your piano tuned on a regular basis because:

  1. it is far more enjoyable to listen and play a piano that is in tune
  2. a piano that has gone badly out of tune often requires several tunings to bring the piano up to the correct pitch.

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Is my piano worth repairing?

Most pianos are very affordable to repair and can be made to perform better. However, very old pianos can be a different story. Depending on the condition of the piano, it might be more cost effective to consider purchasing a new piano or a used piano in good condition.

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Are dampp chasers worth putting on a piano?

It is important to control the humidity around the piano. Piano manufacturers recommend that you try controlling the humidity and atmosphere in the room first. If you still have tuning stability problems because of humidity, then the recommendation is to add a dampp chaser humidity control system.

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Can I place my piano by a window?

It is not healthy for a piano to be where it will experience a drastic change in temperature from a window that receives sun in the hot afternoon or near a heating or air condition vent. The piano needs consistent temperature and humidity in order to keep the tuning stable.

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Why do pianos go out of tune?

There are several things that can change within a piano that can cause the piano to go out of tune. The piano consists of a wooden frame with an iron plate for support. There are over two hundred strings that are attached under tension from the plate through the bridges to the pin block. When the total tension of all the strings is added together, the frame must hold exactly in balance between eighteen and twenty tons of pressure. The piano needs to have a precise balance of tensions and compression in order to maintain proper tuning.

Think of the sound producing part of the piano as being like a drum: some of the parts must remain stationary while other parts are free to vibrate. In a piano, the soundboard must be free to vibrate.

The soundboard is made of wood, usually spruce. Wood gives the soundboard both resonance and strength, but also makes it very sensitive to fluctuations within the surrounding atmosphere. Wood will absorb moisture from, or give off moisture to, the surrounding air. Pianos are more affected by the humidity in the room than from temperature. When the humidity is high, the wood will swell and when the humidity is low, the wood will shrink. This constantly affects the balance of the tension and the compression in your piano causing the tuning of the piano to fluctuate. As the weather is constantly changing, your home's humidity can change 20 to 30 percent in 24 hours. This can be a difficult environment in which to keep your piano in tune. The more stable the piano's surroundings, the more stable the tuning of your piano will be. It doesn’t matter if your piano is an expensive concert grand or an entry level piano: they are all affected by the humidity. In controlling the humidity for your piano, it is best to control the humidity in the room.

To keep your piano in optimum mechanical condition you need to keep your room’s environment within the range of 30% to 60% humidity. Pianos need to be tuned at least twice a year. If your piano is in an environment where the humidity fluctuates often you may need to have it tuned more often.