How often should you tune a piano?
How often a piano should be tuned depends on its use and the environment the instrument is in. However, I recommend that you have your piano tuned at least twice a year.
I would be happy to explain more about maintaining your piano or grand piano. Because it is also such a large investment, it should be maintained with the utmost care. Regular maintenance by a qualified technician protects your instrument and helps you avoid costly repairs in the future.
The following points benefit your instrument and thus help maintain your piano.
Materials in a piano
Knowing the materials in your piano helps create the ideal conditions for your piano. Because your piano contains materials such as wood and felt, it is subject to changes due to climatic conditions. Extreme fluctuations from hot to cold or dry to wet cause the materials to swell and contract, affecting tone, pitch and action response or touch.
Location of your piano
You can reduce the severity of fluctuations in climate by placing your piano near a wall, away from windows or doors that are frequently opened. Avoid heating and air conditioning vents, fireplaces and areas that receive direct sunlight. Your piano will perform best under constant conditions, not too wet or dry, optimally at a temperature of around 20 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of 42 percent.
Investing in high-quality materials
While pianos generally fall into vertical and large model categories, each manufacturer selects its own materials and uses its own unique scale and furniture designs. Each piano requires a different level of maintenance, depending on the quality of materials and design used and the level of craftsmanship. Manufacturers can provide general advice on tuning frequency, but your piano technician can provide specific recommendations based on your use and location.
What is intonation?
Your piano may also need periodic intonation. The process of intonation can adjust the relative brilliance of a piano and provide an even gradation of volume and tone throughout the range of the keyboard. Tuning procedures may include reshaping the hammers, using needles on the hammer felt, and/or applying special softeners or hardeners to produce the best possible sound. You should discuss with your technician what changes in the sound of your piano are practical and decide together what steps should be taken to make these changes.
Although you may have your piano tuned regularly, you should specifically ask for regulation or tuning procedures. These procedures are not included in normal tuning. It should also be noted that intonation can only be achieved after a piano has been recently tuned.
What do manufacturers recommend?
How often you should tune your piano or grand piano depends in part on the manufacturer's advice. Although manufacturers' recommendations on the number of annual tunings vary, they generally agree that a piano should be tuned at least two to four times a year, with additional tunings as necessary.
Is your manufacturer not listed below? Then please contact with me.
Baldwin Piano Company
"Professional service is the key word. In the first year, the National Piano Manufacturers Association recommends having your piano tuned four times. This is a period of environmental adjustment for a new instrument, and proper attention is important.
After the first year, the piano should be tuned at least twice a year, depending on frequency of use and atmospheric conditions."
More info: Baldwin Piano Company
Kawai Piano Company
"Quality pianos require quality care. Fine pianos need regular maintenance in three areas: tuning, mechanism adjustment and intonation. Tuning is usually needed more often than the other service areas, but all three should be part of the maintenance of a fine piano.
Due to string stretching, settling and the effects of climate, a new piano should receive at least four tunings in the first year. After that, the type of use and location of the piano will determine the number of tunings needed, but Kawai recommends a minimum of two tunings per year."
More info: Kawai Piano Company
"The careful selection and installation of the highest quality tuning pegs, string and pin block materials ensures excellent stability. Regular maintenance by a qualified technician ensures the continued enjoyment that only comes from a well-tuned and tuned piano.
We recommend two to three tunings the first year and a minimum of two tunings per year thereafter. Do not place your piano where it will be exposed to extreme heat or cold, moisture or direct sunlight, all of which can cause unstable tuning, warping and damage to the finish."
More info: Samick
"Your Schimmel piano should only be tuned and serviced by qualified professionals. Questions about tuning are best answered by your local piano tuner/technician.
As a rule, depending on location and climatic conditions, a brand new piano should be tuned two to three times in the first or second year. An instrument that is played frequently and intensively may require additional tuning."
More info: Schimmel Pianos
Steinway & Sons
"Your Steinway piano was tuned many times before it left our factory. It was tuned to and must be maintained at A440 pitch. This is the internationally accepted standard and the standard for which all Steinway pianos are designed.
Unfortunately, no matter how skillfully a piano is tuned, atmospheric variations and the nature of the piano's construction constantly conspire to throw it off-tune (detuning).
Your Steinway is designed and built so that with normal use and under normal conditions, it only needs periodic tuning. We recommend calling your technician at least three or four times a year. However, you yourself will always need to evaluate and should have the piano tuned as often as you deem necessary. To put the issue of tuning into perspective, remember that a concert piano is tuned before every performance and a piano in a professional recording studio, where it is in constant use, is tuned three or four times a week.
Tuning is an art practiced by skilled professionals and under no circumstances should anyone other than a professional tune your Steinway piano."
More info: Steinway & Sons
"New pianos should be tuned at least four times the first year to compensate for the normal settling that takes place. Then, as standard maintenance, a piano should be tuned at least twice a year.
Of course, some musicians will choose to have their own piano tuned more often to meet their own personal musical requirements."
More info: Yamaha Pianos
Young Chang America, Inc.
"Piano owners will get optimal performance from their piano if it is properly maintained over its lifetime to compensate for the effects of environmental conditions and use.
Because of the natural elasticity of new piano strings, we recommend tuning your instrument two to four times the first year, twice the second year and at least once a year thereafter. Of course, you may choose to have your piano tuned more or less often to suit your personal needs.
Ask your piano technician to also inspect the mechanism and mechanical parts of your instrument, along with regular tuning.
Your piano, as seen indoors and on stages around the world, is an instrument of extraordinary promise that can bring you and your family a lifetime of enjoyment.
To ensure that it continues to perform well throughout that lifetime, it is important to have your piano serviced regularly by a qualified professional. A complete piano service should include periodic regulation and intonation in addition to tuning.
Your technician can consult with you to recommend a custom maintenance schedule for your instrument.
More info: Young Chang America
Piano or grand piano replacement?
If you find that you need another instrument, consider all options, both new and used. Beautiful used instruments come up for sale for a variety of reasons. Your technician can help you choose a piano in good playing condition and give you an idea of the kind of maintenance you can expect in the future. As with selecting a used car, it is important to enlist the help of an expert when making your purchase to avoid costly repairs in the future. Your technician can also guide you in selecting a new instrument that best suits your demanding needs.
Get in touch via the contact page or schedule an appointment right away. I will be happy to assist you as soon as possible.