GREG GEAR PIANO TUNING
How often should my piano be tuned?
A piano’s tuning stability is affected by changes in humidity and temperature, frequency of playing and the quality and age of the instrument. The pitch can become sharp during the cold, damp months of winter and flat in the hotter, drier months. This is because the soundboard, which is made of spruce, absorbs and releases moisture from the surrounding air. The pressure exerted on the strings through the bridges by expansion and contraction of the soundboard affects tuning stability. If a piano is played regularly the continual force upon the strings can alter the tuning. Aim to have your piano tuned on an annual basis but if you are a professional pianist or student that plays a lot you may like to have it tuned more often.
What if my piano is really flat?
A piano that hasn’t been tuned for a long time can be up to a semitone or more flat. In the majority of cases these pianos, even if they are very old, can be successfully bought back to concert pitch (A440 Hz).
Does moving a piano affect the tuning?
Generally moving a piano won’t upset the tuning (eg. from one room to another) but if you have moved your piano to a new house let it settle for a couple of weeks to allow the soundboard to adjust to its new environment before tuning.
Buying an old piano?
BEWARE! After you've found a lovely looking old piano, paid a few hundred dollars for it and then paid more to have it moved the tuner arrives and tells you that it can't be tuned because the tuning pins are slipping. Having said this a lot of the old pianos you see for sale are still quite good. They're well made and still playable, they might need extra tuning to bring them up to pitch but they often come up well. You can't expect the action to feel as good as a new piano but with time and money spent they can be improved.
What is regulation?
Regulation, as it is called, are the adjustments that a piano technician makes to a piano’s moving parts (the action). The inside of a piano is made up of hundreds of felt, wooden and metal components and over time these parts wear and move away from the tolerances that they were originally set to by the manufacturer.
Care of your piano.
The position in the room that you place your piano can have an influence on the tuning stability. If you can, an internal wall is preferable, outside walls experience more temperature fluctuations. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight for long periods or locating it next to a ducted heating outlet. It is often difficult to find the perfect place for a piano because of other requirements within the room.
Many repairs can be done on the job such as; broken strings, broken hammers, missing keytops, sticking keys, ringing dampers etc. If the piano requires more extensive work the action can be removed and taken to the workshop.