How often should I tune my piano?
Most manufacturers recommend a tuning schedule of every 3 months. While this is ideal, most people will never do this. A good rule of thumb is to tune after each major season change. In some areas, this would be 4 times per year. In Los Angeles and Orange County area, this is about twice per year. If the piano is new, it will need tuning more often than an older one. This is due to the extra “stretch” in new strings. Proper breaking in of a piano will give you a piano that is more stable, and that will not drift much between tunings. After it is properly broken in, keeping a regular tuning schedule will keep the piano on pitch so that tuning is all that is needed.
Why do pianos go out of tune?
The soundboard in a piano is curved upward to push the bridges against the strings. At the same time, the tremendous pressure of the strings push the soundboard downward. Shifts in humidity cause the soundboard to slightly rise and fall. The constant adding and taking away of pressure on the strings cause them to be slightly stretched and loosened on a fairly regular basis. This movement changes the tension on the strings, and they rarely go back exactly where they were. So a technician must put them back to the proper tensions, a process called “tuning”. This is why tuning schedules are often tied to season changes.
How soon should a piano be tuned after being moved?
A piano recently moved to a different location needs three to six months to adjust to the new environment. When a piano is tuned within three to six months after being moved, it will get slightly out of tune pretty soon. The reason for this is because the wood and strings are now in a different environment with different humidity levels and different atmospheric pressures, as well as a different constant temperature. The piano needs to adjust to its surrounding and bend and swell or shrink, before it settles.
What is the best way to clean a high gloss finish piano?
The absolute best thing I know about is the 3M High Performance Cloth. Go to http:www.3m.com to learn more about it. It uses no chemicals, and will not scratch the finish. The next best way is to use Glass Plus glass cleaner and a soft cotton cloth. Do not use any glass cleaner that contains ammonia, such as Windex. Ammonia will gradually cloud the finish. Another very good product is Cory Polish, made especially for these finishes.
Avoid using furniture polish. High gloss polyester finishes such as your piano has are not absorbent, so furniture polish sits on top of the finish like grease.
How do you clean a piano that doesn’t have the high gloss finish?
If your piano isn’t finished with polyester, it is finished in lacquer. Neither finish is absorbent. As with the high gloss polyester finishes, you should clean the finish only, not oil it up with furniture polish. Glass Plus and a soft cotton cloth is all you need.
My high polished piano is getting dull. What can I do to get back shine?
The good news is that if the finish isn’t too worn it can be brought back to almost new condition by polishing. The bad news is – without the proper tools, polishes, and know-how, it will take you forever.
What is the ideal humidity range for a piano?
Actually, keeping the humidity level consistent is more important than staying at a certain humidity range. That said, a piano does it’s best when kept at a humidity level of between 40% and 50%. While it is not uncommon for pianos to live in much higher or lower ranges and do just fine, it is better if you can keep them within the ideal range and that you keep the humidity consistent. Going from 40% to 50% over and over again every day is harder on the piano than a steady 65% humidity. You must do two things – keep it somewhere in the ideal range, and then keep it consistent to minimize expansion and contraction of the piano.
What can be done to keep the humidity level consistent?
The best way is to have a piano technician install a PIANO LIFE SAVER system in the piano. These systems are designed to control the temperature and humidity around the piano. The system will pull moisture out of the air if it is too humid, and add moisture if it is too dry, and keep the temperature at a consistent level. This offers you several benefits. The piano will hold its tuning longer, which will save you on maintenance costs. It will also minimize the stress placed on things such as glue joints, felts, screws, and so forth, extending the useful life of your piano.
What’s the difference between grand piano, console piano, and studio piano?
Pianos come in two types – those that stand up vertically, and those that are laid out horizontal to the floor. Each type is built in different sizes. Some names used to describe pianos are generic, some are specific. Horizontal pianos are generically referred to as grands. Grands are then given names based on length which are more or less specific. Commonly, any grand less than 5 1/2′ in length will be referred to as a baby grand. 5 1/2′ – 6′ are called parlor or studio grands. 6′ – 7′ are referred to as conservatory grands. 7’or larger are referred to as semi concert grands, with the largest ones, usually around 9′, being referred to as concert grands.
Verticals are generically referred to as vertical, upright, or less commonly, standups. Just as grands become more specifically defined by length, vertical pianos are defined specifically by height. Verticals that are 40″ tall or less are called spinets. 41″ to 44″ are called consoles. 45″ – 48″ are called studios, 48″ to 52″ are called uprights. Years ago vertical pianos were built as tall as 60″ or more. These are also referred to as uprights. Sometimes people will call them “upright grands”, but there is in reality no such thing. It was simply a marketing strategy used by some manufacturers in an attempt to impart the illusion of superiority over the competition. An upright is an upright, not a grand stood up the wall.
Height is only one factor, though, particularly when referring to consoles and studios. The piano’s action is a factor in properly labeling the piano. A full sized action is generally found in the studio, and a compressed or smaller, shorter action is found in a console. But there are pianos of console height with full sized studio actions, and though shorter physically they rightfully can be called studios. Likewise there are pianos of studio height but that have compressed actions, and as such should be considered a console. All the other sizes are more clearly defined.