Tag Archives: Piano Tuning

Piano Care Top Tips

Over the years we have gleaned loads of piano care top tips and advice from pianists, manufacturers, tuners and shop owners. So here is the best piano care top tips from the piano industry to help keep your pride and joy in brilliant health.

Piano Care Top Tips #1 – Location

Try and position your piano on an internal wall away from direct sunlight. External walls vary more in temperature than internal walls. If you can keep pianos away from windows as UV light can bleach the piano casing. Also try and keep your piano away from any sources of direct heat or cold e.g. a radiator or air conditioning unit. If you need to place you piano next to a radiator consider turning it off or at least turning it down. We will happily move your piano to any location in your home so think about the best place for your piano to enjoy it, play it and keep it in the best condition.

Piano Care Top TipsPiano Care Top Tips # 2- Humidity

A piano is made of natural materials such as wood, felt, cloth and leather. As such it expands and contracts with variations in temperature and more importantly humidity. The natural materials will swell or shrink as the relative humidity goes up or down and this can affect the sound of the piano.  For instance, felt will absorb water if the humidity increases which can dull the action, piano strings can rust and keys can expand and become sticky. In the worst case large and regular humidity changes can cause cracks in the sound board or loosen the tuning pins.

A piano does not like being in an overly damp or an excessively dry environment, therefore it is helpful if you can keep your piano in a room that holds a fairly constant humidity. For instance, try and avoid placing your piano near an external door. To help maintain the humidity you may also wish to consider buying a piano humidifier or a cheaper option is to keep a small jar of water underneath or inside the piano. Just remember to move the water jar before the piano movers arrive!

Piano Care Top TipsPiano Care Top Tips #3 – Cleaning

Dust can dull the hammer action and affect the sound of the piano. Most experts recommend you dust your piano every other week using a feather duster or soft cloth. Never use chemical cleaners or alcohol to clean the piano. If you need to clean the piano use only mild soap and water and use a well wrung out damp cloth. Avoid using any water on the internal parts of the piano.

Piano Care Top Tips #4 – Vases and Displays

We would recommend you avoid placing items on the top of the piano. These can cause poor tone or vibrations whilst you are playing. Heavy items placed on the lid may mark the piano case. Vases filled with water could obviously spill, causing water damage to the case, strings, hammer or action.

Protecting-Beethovens-PianoPiano Care Top Tips #5 – Piano Storage

If you need to store your piano, for instance if you are temporarily emigrating or down sizing whilst you decorate, you should look for a professional piano mover and storage expert to take care of you instrument. Just like in your home your piano will need to be protected from UV, temperature and humidity changes to keep it in the best of condition. Any professional piano mover will be able to offer you a range of piano storage services to meet your needs and budget. From standard storage to climate-controlled storage, where the temperature and humidity are maintained at optimum conditions, there are many storage options. In addition, if you are storing a grand piano you should consider storing the piano on its legs, this is how the piano was designed to be kept. However, storing a grand piano in this way does cost more, as it takes up more space, so most professional piano movers offer an option to store your grand piano on its side. This is perfectly safe and may be a better value for money option for you.

Piano Care Top Tips #6 – Piano Tuning

Your piano is a living instrument and as such it needs a check-up every so often. The piano will slowly go out of tune over time, whether it is used or not. As such it is recommended that you get your piano tuned every 6 months. If you have a brand new piano this increases to 4 times in the first year, as the new strings stretch more in the first 12 months as they bed in. Leaving a piano out of tune for a prolonged period of time can permanently alter the pitch of the piano or require major re-tuning to bring it back to concert pitch. To avoid this expense and stress for the piano go for regular tuning. You should also consider getting you piano tuned when it is stored, the effects of time on the pitch and tune apply to pianos in store as well as time at home. To find a reputable piano tuner in Kent, Sussex or London check out – piano-tuners.org.

Piano Care Top Tips - Piano Tuning

Pianos are such special and beautiful instruments. To keep them in the best of condition they need to be looked after and cared for. A small amount of preparation will help you choose and maintain the best environment for the piano. Regular, careful cleaning will help keep the look and tone while professional tuning will keep the pith perfect throughout its life. If you look after your piano it will provide many years of joy for you and your family. By applying these piano care top tips you will keep your beautiful instrument sounding and looking great.

Piano Tuning – How Often Should You Tune Your Piano?

Piano Tuning – How Often Should You Tune Your Piano?

Tensioning Piano strings

Tightening the piano strings

When we are delivering pianos, our customers often ask us when is the right time for piano tuning. People feel that moving a piano will have affected the piano pitch and that they might need to get it tuned. This is not usually the case and changes in tune are normally down to humidity, but we will get to that later. First let us look at why pianos need to be tuned.

Pianos need to be tuned as the metal piano strings stretch over time, the high tension that piano strings are under cause them to slowly lengthen as they age, this happens whether you play the piano or not. It is a myth that you won’t need to tune your piano if you don’t play it, the piano will go flat if you don’t tinkle those ivories.

Did you know that each piano string is under about 170 pounds of tension? Each piano has 231 strings and this means that when you add up all that tension the piano frame is resisting 19 tons of pressure! Now that is a lot of strain and is the main reason a piano is so heavy, it has a strong metal frame to take the tension. This is also why it is not a good idea to move a piano by yourself, the metal frame in the pianos make them very heavy and cumbersome and it is very easy to either damage the piano or yourself when moving it.

If you have bought a brand new piano, first of all congratulations, second you should look to have your piano tuned every 3 months for the first year. That means you need to get it tuned four times in the first year to, as it were, break the piano in. New pianos need more regularly piano tuning because the steel strings in a new piano have never had any tension put on them before and therefore initially stretch faster than older strings, this causes a new piano to lose its tune faster than an older one.

For pianos older than one year we recommend getting it tuned every 6 months. It is not recommended to tune less frequently than this as the piano can not only lose tune but lose pitch. If the piano is left too flat for too long, the piano tuner may not be able to bring the pitch of the piano back up to what is called standard pitch (i.e. each piano at standard pitch should sound the same). Old pianos that have not been tuned for a long time may not be able to take the strain of raising the pitch back to standard, this could cause strings to break or worse damage the frame or pin block. See what some of the best piano manufacturers say about piano tuning at the end of this article.

Adjusting the Piano Hammers

Servicing your Piano

If you find your piano is losing tune between the usual 6-month piano tuning cycle, the most likely culprit it humidity. A piano is normally about 85% wood and as such changes in humidity cause the wood to expand or contract which affects the piano tune. If you find your piano is losing its tune rapidly it may be a good idea to invest in a humidifier or dehumidifier. Your local piano tuner will be able to help you here, see the links below for more.

So we come back to the question of does moving a piano cause it to lose its tune. The answer is no, moving a piano does not generally cause the piano to go out of tune. Each piano is carefully wrapped and protected to safeguard it against temperature and humidity changes during the move. It is the humidity, temperature or physical changes from one location to another that alter the tune. For instance unevenness of the floor or differing levels between the old and new location may effect the tune of upright pianos. This means that your piano may sound good on delivery but lose it tune of a few days or maybe weeks as it adjusts to its new home.

We therefore don’t recommend that you get your piano tuned as soon as it is delivered to your new location. The piano move shouldn’t have affected the piano tune but the new environment will over time. So it is always best to leave it a couple of weeks after moving before you get your piano tuned.

This is what some of the top piano manufacturers say about the piano tuning:

Steinway & Sons

“We usually recommend our customers at least 2 or 3 tunings per year for a piano getting average use in the home.” 

Bosendorfer Pianos

“To insure the quality of your grand piano we recommend to let it be tuned two times a year (before and after the heating season) or even more regularly by an experienced concert technician.”

Yamaha Pianos

To keep your piano in the best possible condition, we recommend a regular tuning appointment every six months.” 

Kawai Pianos

In general, Kawai recommends 2 to 4 tunings per year. However, your piano technician can best recommend the appropriate interval for your specific environmental conditions and use.”


These two links are a good place to start to find your nearest piano tuning expert: