Having a piano is a beautiful and exciting instrument to own and use. However, it’s essential to always keep up with the maintenance that comes with owning a piano. One crucial maintenance requirement is tuning your piano. Here’s how often you should tune your piano:
How Often Does a Piano Need to be Tuned?
In theory, tuning every change of season is recommended for most pianos. If the piano is used daily, pianos are adjusted every day or even twice a day for concert and recording work. In places like churches, four to six times a year with extra tunings for special occasions is normal.
How Do Piano’s Get Out of Tune?
Like any other stringed instrument, the piano will naturally get out of tune over time and on its own. However, the weather and temperature have a significant role in the tuning of your piano. For example, if you keep your windows open on a stormy day or you’re constantly closing and opening doors, your piano could change pitch in just an hour.
Terms that the Piano Technician Will Use
So, your piano is out of tune. What next? The best thing you should do is to call a trusted professional piano technician. Often, piano technicians will use language that we might not always understand. The piano technician often uses the term “cracked” when referring to what’s wrong with the piano. Here are some of those terms and what they mean:
• Cracked soundboard – A cracked soundboard is primarily common in older pianos and causes buzzing on some notes. However, in many cases, a cracked soundboard can go unnoticed because it usually doesn’t affect the sound. Many cracked soundboards can be easily repaired unless there are other problems with the board. These repairs are typically cosmetic and easily fixed. Occasionally, the soundboard will have to be replaced because of the lack of crown and the soundboard’s upward curvature.
• Cracked pin block – The pin block is what holds the tuning pins tightly so that the piano can be tuned. If the piano is worth the cost of the repairs, then it’s repairable. A new pin block can be installed when the strings are replaced. The pin block can’t be returned unless all the lines are removed. Keep in mind that restringing will always be a part of the cost of pin block replacement.
• Cracked cast-iron plate – The cast-iron plate is a metal structure (harp) that holds the strings above the soundboard. Although a cracked cast-iron plate rare, it is a permanent and irreversible problem. Although some technicians have successfully welded them, usually it’s not long-lasting and not worth the cost.
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