Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How Often Must Pianos Be Tuned?

Almost all manufacturers say that pianos should be tuned 2 times per year.

What about piano maintenance? A piano requires regular maintenance to perform optimally. Sadly, almost nobody follows up on a regular maintenance procedure.

When you buy a car, do you follow a maintenance procedure or do you just put gas in it? Believe it or not, that's all most people do until the car experiences horrendous mechanical problems.

The same is true of the piano. I get numerous calls from people who have had their pianos tuned once per year but complain about sticking notes, buzzing sounds, notes that have no sound, hammer voicing problems, "sharp sounding notes" (caused by worn out hammers), squeaking pedals, broken pedals, coins stuck between keys, pencils falling into the piano action, hammer alignment (hammers not centered on the strings), dampers not working, etc., etc.

Customers assume that "TUNING" is a cure-all for everything. Unfortunately, that's not the case. They assume that when the piano is tuned, the pedal will stop squeaking and the buzzing sounds will disappear. Please be aware that piano tuning is NOT A REGULATED FIELD of work. Anyone can purchase a tuning device, a tuning hammer with mutes and go out into the public and start work.

Customers are always concerned about "Moving the Piano". They will use that wording above all else when looking at piano maintenance. One customer might say: "I tuned the piano 20 years ago but then moved, then we moved again three more times so I didn't want to get it tuned until it stabilized.

What about the 20 years of no servicing?

Most customers are amazed when they see proper servicing of a piano, even though they have had the piano tuned many times in the past.

The response I get all the time: "Wow - was that ever educational! When can we set up the next appointment?"

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