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The Virtual Pianoshop :: Info :: Tuning

Piano Tuning

How Often Should It be Done?

This is a discussion thread from the rec.music.makers.piano NewsGroup

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Hi, I want to ask about tune piano Some manufactor said that the piano need to tune at leastthree times per year Is that true?

In fact, some of my friend do not tune their piano every year and they said that is OK

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Some do, some don't. Depends on various factors such as usuage,environment, stability/quality of piano, ability of tuner.

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3 times a year will keep most pianos in good tune. All manufacturers recommend about the same thing. Some will say 3, some will say 4, somemight say 2. It doesn't matter, the principals are the same. Resultsvary depending on how the humidity changes and how much and how hardthe piano is played. It is extremely important the first year a pianois new to tune it at least 3 or 4 times, because of some issues of thepiano "settling" and the strings stretching.

However, for a piano that is fully settled and is also equipped with apiano humidity control system, is is often quite satisfactory to tunethem once a year.

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::In fact, some of my friend do not tune their piano every
::year and they said that is OK

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Most people do not have the "ear" to recognise when a piano is out of tune. These people let their pianos go out of tune because they can'ttell the difference. In the case of musicians, if they don't have the"ear", the usual reason is that they (or their parents) never kepttheir own piano in good tune, so they never learned to memorize the difference between in-tune and out-of-tune. Or sometimes they taketheir lessons from a teacher with no "ear" for tuning, so they never learn about it.

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::In fact, some of my friend do not tune their piano every
::year and they said that is OK

I just remembered a story: When I was looking at a used car with70,000 miles on it for sale once, I asked the lady how often shechanged the oil. "Oh, I *never* changed the oil," she said proudly. I asked her why not, and she said, "Because it never *needed* it, and Inever had a problem from it. That's what's great about this car."

If you understand the point I am trying to make about that lady'slogic, you can understand the point about people whose pianos "don'tneed tuning" except once in a blue moon.

RC

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::RC
::Good story, Rick. Certainly drives the point home. But I'm curious --
::obviously not changing the oil can damage a car beyond repair. But will
:: not tuning a piano cause damage, too? Just curious.

RC

In and of itself, not really. You might find yourself spending so much money trying to get a long-neglected piano back to where it will hold a tuning again that you may have wished you had kept it up in the first place, but it doesn't permanently damage anything. OTOH, the majority of long-neglected pianos I see have other deterioration issues that have crept in (often concerning enviroment factors) that would have been "caught" at an early stage by a consciencious tech, and prevented from getting worse. But since no tech looked inside for 10, 20, 30 years, it got pretty bad.

I think it's always best to pay a little as you go and keep things in top condition, rather than wait forever so that the problems pile up so deeply it seems hopeless or too expensive to deal with.

Rick

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I've often said that if the average car was maintained like the average piano even those of us who maintain our cars couldn't drive anywhere because every road would be clogged with stalled out cars.

::In fact, some of my friend do not tune their piano every
::year and they said that is OK

More evidence that the 'I like what I'm used to' syndrome is alive and well.

Niles Duncan

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I hate sitting down at a unknown piano because I never know how out of tune it's going to be. Unless you are in a music room or a church, you can get bombarded with the most hidious sounds.

Do certain registers go out before others?

My first keyboard had a phillips screw in the bottom you turned to 'tune' it, but I have not seen anything like it since. It was actually kinda nice - I could try to tune it to other defunct pianos.

- Michael

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::Do certain registers go out before others?

Typically, yes, but as far as *which* register goes out worse, there are a few 'depends on' factors.

RC

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