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Piano Tuning




Piano Regulation


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Frequently asked Piano Questions

  • What is regulating?

    •     Regulating is the process of restoring the movable action parts of the piano to their original specifications and make it play to it's original full potential. Over many years the wood parts of a piano shrink and swell. Felt shrinks and swells and the metal pieces can become corroded. All the subtle movements can cause the piano action to move slower, or in some cases become so loose that they can bounce and miss-strike or double strike. The technician must adjust such things as the distance the hammer is from the strings before and after it is played, how far the keys can be depressed, or how soon the dampers lift off the strings.

    • When a piano is going to be regulated, the piano technician must first clean the piano and inspect all the thousands of individual parts,( a typical piano will contain over 7000 parts). All repairs will be made prior to regulating the piano.

    •     On an upright piano, all of the action parts, which are removable, can be repaired in the shop, but the actual regulation can only be performed with all the parts installed in the piano. A grand piano can have most of the regulating accomplished on the action in the shop.

    • After regulation, a pianist should notice an improvement in the evenness of touch and tone throughout the keyboard, an increase in the speed and power of playing, and a better control of the keys under his or her fingers.

  • What kind of repairs are made to pianos?

    •     The truth is , if money is no object, most pianos could be restored. The reality is that often if the cost to restore or repair exceeds the value of the repaired piano, the piano isn't fixed. Technicians are always making minor repairs and adjustments and that will keep a good piano working for decades. It's only occasionally  that things like broken keys or a glued joint will come apart. Along this line, I have noticed that on several upright pianos made in the 50's and 60's and used the "new" plastic parts, are now having the plastic start to crumble. The plastic, which has lasted for 50 years, is no longer available and must be replaced with current wood parts. Doing this involves replacing 100 to 500 parts and often on a piano that has be left sitting unused for many years. That means that many of the otherwise good wood and felt parts will need major cleaning also. The cost can run from $300 to $2000 on a piano that was considered  an economy model. Still, if it was Grandma's piano, it may be well worth repairing.

  • Why do pianos go out of tune?

    •     A piano goes out tune most likely due to changes in humidity and temperature. Moving the piano can cause some subtle flexing in the frame and there will be some adjustments in the string tensions over time. See Humidity Control

  • How often should the piano be tuned?

    •   A piano is continuously going out of tune, but often it is so slowly, that most people will not notice it until one or two strings go too far. A piano in the home, played regularly, and in a stable temperature and humidity could use a tuning one or twice a year. If the music played  is full, and with lot of vigor, it could use tuning more often. Concert pianist will have their piano tuned just before every concert and some even during the intermission.


Last Update 06-Mar-2015 Webmaster G. Evensen