It is recommended to tune your piano once or twice a year. Since a piano will adjust to changes in temperature and humidity throughout the year, we suggest to tune right after the start of Spring and right after the start of Fall. this gives your piano an opportunity to acclimate to the new season before tuning it up.
All acoustic pianos are affected by climatic changes. We have several piano care tips to help offset these unavoidable changes.
You may want to get either a humidifier or a dehumidifier for your piano. These devices add humidity during the "dry" time of the year and remove moisture during the "wet" time. Some areas may need both!
Pianos prefer a humidity range of 35-55%. According to piano care experts, the ideal humidity for your piano is 42%.
The Dampp-Chaser system is one of the most popular humidity control systems available for your piano. This system can add humidity if your piano is too dry...and remove moisture if your piano is too wet.
Place your piano away from sources of humidity such as your kitchen, bathroom, swimming pool, sauna, solarium etc.
Pianos prefer the same temperatures as humans: 68 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.
When selecting the location for your piano, avoid places where temperatures vary widely during a 24-hour period, such as in front of (or below) windows, skylights or other sources of direct sunlight; by wood stoves or fireplaces; near air conditioning or heating vents; or against an outside wall.
How to find a technician for my piano?
There are piano tuners and there are piano technicians. Sometimes the term tuner and technician are used interchangeably, but it is important to know who is really servicing your piano. Referrals are always best. If you contact your local school or college, you could probably get a good referral this way.
If you do not have someone to work on your piano, ask someone who actively plays their piano to give you a referral. Students should ask their teachers, and teachers should ask their colleagues. Ask for references and call them.
Working With My Technician
In order for the technician to fix it, you need to be able to tell your tech what the problem is. Simply take notes of those things you find wrong with your piano between tunings. This will save your tuner time and save you money.
When you call for an appointment, expect to be asked for information:
Brand name of your piano
What year it was built
Where in your home is it located
When was it last tuned
Whether it has been regulated or voiced and when that was
What service you wish
Any particular problems you have with your piano
You probably will have some questions, too:
What are the technician's credentials and experience
What is the fee
What the fee includes
What is the cancellation policy (24 to 48 hours is common)
Anything in particular you need to do to prepare
Be ready when your tech arrives.
Ask if there is enough light. If not, bring in lamps.
It is best to leave the technician/tuner so he can concentrate on doing the best job on your Piano
If your piano has not been tuned or serviced in some time or if it is way out of tune, your technician will do what is called a "pitch raise". A pitch-raise brings all strings to approximately the same tension so each string can be tuned without affecting the others. If only one string were brought to correct pitch, the unequal stress would cause other strings to go out of tune. Also, sudden tightening of strings can cause breakage, particular if the strings are rusty, or have been under pitch (very loose tension) for a while. A pitch-raise takes approximately 30-60 minutes.
Your tech will do a pitch-raise as a preliminary to a true tuning when your piano is flat by more than two cycles per second.
If the piano is extremely flat (two to five years between service), the tech may do a pitch-raise and then leave the piano to settle for several days before returning (at extra cost) to tune. Have your piano serviced regularly and take steps to avoid large changes in temperature and humidity to avoid this.
Cleaning Your Soundboard
Soundboards are notorious for collecting dust and debris. Buttons, paper clips, pencils and assorted children's toys are just a few of the items that are mysteriously drawn to a soundboard. Once these items find their way to the soundboard, the question becomes how will they get out? Consult you technician on the best way to care for the Soundboard.
There are many "tricks" to moving your piano safely across the room, and care should be taken to prevent damage to your wood, tile or carpet flooring. Ideally, call a piano mover if you don't want to scratch up your floor or damage your piano. Many times, hiring a professional piano mover is less expensive in the long run.
Majestic Piano Works has been operating in the Los Angeles area for more then 35 years. We tune/service/refinish/repair/install Piano Player System. We are qualified to refer a tuner/technician to you for your specific area.