How often should I tune my piano?

September 1, 2017

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive; how often should I tune my piano?   Because your piano contains wood and felt, the changing weather conditions can affect the parts of the piano. Temperature and humidity swings will cause the parts to swell and contract, and that can change the tone, pitch, and action response or touch. 

 



Each manufacturer selects their own materials and uses their own unique scale and furniture designs. So, every piano requires a different level of maintenance, depending on the quality of materials used, the design and level of craftsmanship. We highly recommend tuning your piano four times a year to keep it in good, playable condition and to combat any effects weather changes may cause. And to further help you, here is what some manufacturers advise on tuning frequency for their instruments:

Baldwin Piano Company  (also Chickering, Wurlitzer)
Professional service is the key. In the first year, the National Piano Manufacturers Association recommends that you have your piano tuned four times. The first year is a period of environmental adjustment for a new instrument, and proper service is critical.  After the first year, the piano should be tuned at least twice each year, depending upon the frequency of use and atmospheric conditions.

Kawai Piano Company
Quality pianos demand quality care. Good pianos require regular maintenance in three areas: tuning, action regulation, and voicing. Tuning is usually required more often than the other service areas, but all three should be a part of any good piano's maintenance.

Due to string stretching, settling, and the effects of the climate, a new piano should receive at least four tunings in the first year. After that, the type of use and the location of the piano will dictate the number of tunings required, but Kawai recommends two tunings per year as a minimum.


Pearl River
Changes in temperature and humidity, the amount and type of use it gets, and the musical requirements of the owner will determine how often your Pearl River piano will need service.  In general, Pearl River recommends that your new piano is tuned four times the first year and twice a year by a qualified piano technician.

Samick (also Knabe, Kohler & Campbell, Conover Cable, Bechstein & Sohmer) 
The careful selection and installation of the highest quality tuning pins, string, and pin block materials assure excellent stability. Regular service by a qualified technician will ensure the continuing pleasure that comes only from a properly tuned and regulated piano.

We recommend two to three tunings the first year and a minimum of two tunings per year after that. Avoid placing your piano where it will be exposed to extreme heat or cold, moisture, or direct sunlight, all of which can cause unstable tuning, warpage, and finish damage.

Schimmel
As a rule, a brand new piano should, depending on its location and climatic conditions, be tuned two to three times in the first year or two. An instrument played often and intensively could require additional tunings.

Steinway & Sons (also Boston & Essex)
Your Steinway piano was tuned many times before it left our factory. It was tuned to and should be maintained at A440 pitch. This is the internationally accepted standard and the standard for which all Steinway pianos are engineered.

Unfortunately, no matter how expertly a piano is tuned, climatic variations and the nature of the piano's construction always conspire to bring it off pitch.

Your Steinway has been designed and built so that in normal use and under normal conditions it should need only periodic tuning. We recommend that your technician be called at least three or four times a year. You, however, are the final judge and should have the piano tuned as often as you think necessary. To put the matter 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 each week as a matter of course.

Tuning is an art practiced by skilled professionals and under no circumstances should anyone other than a professional be allowed to tune your Steinway piano.


Yamaha Pianos
New pianos should be tuned a minimum of four times the first year to compensate for the normal settling that takes place. Subsequently, as a matter of standard maintenance, a piano should be tuned at least twice a year.

Of course, some musicians will choose to have their piano tuned more often to satisfy their own personal musical requirements.

When your piano needs tuning, consult your authorized Yamaha piano dealer or call a skilled, qualified specialist such as a Piano Technicians Guild Registered Piano Technician (RPT).


Young Chang America, Inc. (also Pramberger & Bergmann)
Piano owners will receive optimum performance from their piano if it is properly serviced during its lifetime to compensate for the effects of environmental conditions and use.

Due to the natural elasticity in new piano strings, we recommend that your instrument is tuned two to four times the first year, twice the second year and a minimum of once per year after that. Of course, you may choose to have your piano tuned more or less often to satisfy your own personal requirements.

Ask your piano technician to also inspect the action and mechanical parts of your instrument along with regular tunings. Registered Piano Technicians have proven themselves qualified to give advice on the needs of a piano in its particular environment.


Your piano, like those in homes and on stages throughout the world, is an instrument of extraordinary promise which can bring you and your family a lifetime of enjoyment.  It's important to have your piano serviced regularly by a qualified piano technician to ensure its performance. Complete piano service should include periodic regulation and voicing in addition to tuning. Your technician can consult with you to recommend a maintenance schedule customized for your instrument.  To find a registered piano technician in your area visit www.PTG.org

Source:  www.PTG.org 

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