A piano is an ongoing investment and there is no way around piano tuning and servicing regularly. But the truth is that several piano owners wait for years or even decades before they undertake piano tuning. Therefore, some pianos are sadly never properly tuned. However, in most cases, it does not mean that people do not care in most cases. In most cases, the piano owners just do not know that piano tuning regularly is necessary. All significant parts of the piano can be found inside the instrument but you never see them until the piano tuner has arrived. Although the piano mechanics are pretty complex, the overall science behind piano tuning and pitching is straightforward.
Getting a piano tuning technician
A good piano tuning technician can work on all pianos regardless of its condition and can bring any instrument back to life. However, an honest technician will also inform you if it is not worth fixing it. Many times the amount of work required to fix the piano costs more than the value of the piano. But many times the piano has a sentimental value to the owner and a good technician will understand this and get the repair job done. Here are some easy ways of finding out the piano technicians in your neighborhood.
- Piano technician’s guild.
- Recommendations from the piano maker.
Piano cleaning fundamentals
1. Dust removal: Dust, believe it or not, has a massive effect on the tuning of a piano. The soundboard can get covered with dust and it reduces the projection and the overall quality of tone from the board. It is similar to having a dust layer on top of your nose when you are trying to breathe or speak. The experienced tuners will know about this and will have their vacuum cleaners and cleaning systems with them. You need to clean,
2. Working on the hammers: Hammers are the second-largest factors towards the sound of the piano. They are made from felt which is a tough material but over time grooves develop on it. Healthy hammers will be round and will not have any grooves on them. When there are deep grooves on the hammer they have to be filed. Whether the hammers need any work or not will be decided by the piano technician. They can tell be the difference in tone while playing the instrument. The different ways of fixing the issue are,
- Filing the grooves.
- Mating the hammers to the string.
3. Keyboard testing: Good technicians will take the time out to play all the 88 keys chromatically. During the process, they will check if there is any clicking noise in the keys, whether all keys are falling to the same depth, whether all hammers are reaching the strings, and if the keys are resetting with the same rate. Different actions while testing the keyboard include,
- Testing hammer swings.
- Checking all the screws and nuts.
If the pianos are not in perfect tune they will sound dull. Higher the octave sharper it gets. The piano technicians will measure the difference in cents. Most technicians will use two methods for piano tuning first is by using a tuner and the second is by ear. The experienced tuners do not use any mobile app or computer software for the purpose. They will use a sophisticated tuner for the purpose. Some technicians even prefer to use a tuning fork for getting the first pitch.
The experience of using a piano technician must be a great one and inspiring. He can impart a lot of knowledge about the procedure and if you open up your mind to him you will learn many new things about the piano. For more ideas about piano tuning, you can contact Tampa Piano Tuning if you live in the Tampa region.