Is it time to tune my piano? It depends on who you ask. If you ask your Aunt from Tuscaloosa, she will tell you, “No, not yet…wait three more years.” If you ask your piano teacher, you may be told, “Sounds good to me, wait a few more months.”
I have heard those two responses from piano owners that I contact as a reminder, that it is time to tune. The problem with the Aunt from Tuscaloosa is, she has a hearing aid, and the problem with the piano teacher is, most piano teachers are not piano technicians. So how can you get a honest answer to the question, “Is it time to tune my piano?”
Piano manufacturers are a great source of information on this subject. I am providing three examples of what piano manufacturers suggest;
Steinway says; Your Steinway has been designed and built so that in normal use and under normal conditions it should need only periodic tuning. We recommend that your technician be called at least three or four times a year.
Kawai says; Due to string stretching, settling, and the effects of climate, a new piano should receive at least four tunings in the first year. After that, the type of use and the location of the piano will dictate the number of tunings required, but Kawai recommends two tunings per year as a minimum.
Baldwin says; In the first year, the National Piano Manufacturers Association recommends that you have your piano tuned four times. This is a period of environmental adjustment for a new instrument, and proper attention is important. After the first year, the piano should be tuned at least twice each year, depending upon the frequency of use and atmospheric conditions.
A second source of information on best times to tune, would be your piano technician. Technicians can provide a wealth of information on best times to tune that will be specific to the area of the country you live in. I service pianos in the Oakland County Michigan area, and due to our hot and humid summers, and our cold and dry winters piano owners need to have their piano tuned at least twice each year. Humidity level changes that occur in your home, or other locations will cause the soundboard of the piano to expand as it absorbs moisture, and shrink as it looses moisture. The change in the pitch of a piano can be quite dramatic in Michigan. I have found pianos can fluctuate as much as a quarter step. This fluctuation in pitch is why the piano needs tuning at certain times of the year. The humidity levels at this time of the year, (May 2011) are quite high. The piano has reacted to that change making this a perfect time to tune your piano. The humid season in south east Michigan runs from May through October. Be sure to have your piano tuned during the wet season, and then again in the dry season. Call your piano technician and schedule a tuning today.
For an appointment with Ace Piano Tuning, call Craig at: 248-647-6810