Piano Maintenance Tips
by Gray Rollins
Did you know that a piano can have up to 12,000 moving parts? It’s true. Not only that, but many of those parts are moving parts. And if you want your piano to stay in good working order, it needs a little bit of maintenance to stay its best.
During the first year of a piano’s life it’s suggested to have it serviced two to four times. Then talk to your piano technician to decide what frequency to continue service at. Usually twice a year after the first year is recommended, but sometimes once a year is enough. Servicing includes having the piano tuned, regulated as needed, voiced as needed, and eventually having worn parts repaired or replaced as needed.
A piano has over 200 strings and when the technician starts tuning a piano, it’s the strings he’s going to work on. The technician wants all the strings to have the correct pitch.
How does a piano go out of tune in the first place? The most common cause is humidity changes. It’s recommended that you don’t get your piano tuned right after the humidity has changed or the tune will only hold a couple months.
When a piano is regulated, that means that mechanical parts of the piano are being worked on. There are no hard and fast rules to how often a piano needs to be regulated as it depends largely on the climate its being kept in.
When it comes to voicing the piano, we’re talking about adjusting the pianos quality of sound or tone. The frequency that voicing needs to be done depends largely on how much you use your piano – 1 to 5 years tends to be the typical range.
You’ll also want to make sure you take good care of the exterior of the piano too. Neglecting the exterior of your piano can, believe it or not, affect the sound quality of your piano. Keeping it clean is a pretty simple job, but one thing to remember is that you don’t want to use furniture polish.
Your piano will also need to be reconditioned occasionally. Some parts will get worn out from use and will need to be replaced.
If your piano has deteriorated severely then reconditioning it won’t be enough. You’ll have to get the piano completely rebuilt which involves completely disassembling the piano. As you might imagine it’s very labor intensive and quite expensive, but in some cases it’s the only way to restore the original performance level of your piano.
Keep in mind that a piano is an investment, and that a well maintained piano can actually increase in value over its life.
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