Over time you may notice a change in your piano's performance even though you keep up with regular piano tunings. Since tuning is only the adjustment of the system of strings and pins, your piano may also require a periodic regulation.
WHAT IS PIANO REGULATION?
Piano regulation is the adjustment of the mechanical aspects of the piano to compensate for the effects of wear, the compacting and settling of cloth, felt, and buckskin, as well as dimensional changes in wood and wool parts due to changes in humidity.
WHY SHOULD I HAVE MY PIANO REGULATED?
While tuning corrects the pitch of your piano, it is only one component of a complete maintenance program. Regulation focuses on the touch and responsiveness of the action. It also ensures that your instrument is capable of producing a wide dynamic range.
DO ALL PIANOS NEED TO BE REGULATED?
Yes, all pianos need periodic regulation service to perform their best. The frequency will depend on the age, use, environment, and exposure to weather changes. New pianos may require regulation in the first year because settling and compacting of parts.
HOW OFTEN IS REGULATION NEEDED?
Several factors will determine how often your piano needs to be regulated. For example, when a piano is kept in an environment with optimal conditions, it will require less adjustment. You and your technician will decide together how frequently your piano needs to be regulated.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS IT'S TIME FOR A REGULATION?
If you notice a lack of sensitivity or a decreased dynamic ranges, it might be time for regulation. Other things to look for are keys that are not level, an uneven touch or keys that are sticking.
WHY IS REGULATING MY PIANO IMPORTANT?
There is no amount of practice that can make up for an action that has not been maintained. Poor legato touch, chord playing where all notes of the chord don't speak clearly, a gradual loss of subtlety in phrasing and an inability to execute quick passages or note repetitions evenly may be the fault of the piano -- not the player.
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS
Before regulating your piano, your RPT will assess the condition of it. If parts are worn, or there has been corrosion or other damage, the piano may not be able to be adequately regulated without some repair or replacement of components.
Your piano is a significant investment which deserves to be protected through regular servicing by a qualified technician. Properly maintained, your piano will sound its best and give you and your family a lifetime of enjoyment.