FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How often should I tune my piano?
At least once a year, whether it needs it or not. The majority of pianos are tuned every 6 months. Ye Olde Piano Shoppe will place you on a yearly or 6 month schedule of your choice and notify you when it is time to tune your piano.
Why does a piano go out of tune?
The piano is made primarily of wood. Being made of wood the parts within the piano will shrink and swell with the humidity changes. In the summertime when the humidity levels are higher, the piano keys may stick and the piano action will become sluggish. In the wintertime when the air is dryer, the piano keys seem to rattle when you play them. Therefore, the swelling and the shrinking affects the piano’s pinblock which keeps the piano tuning pins tight. When the piano pinblock absorbs moisture it swells, crushing the wood fibers against the tuning pins, thus, the tuning pins begin to tighten raising the pitch of the piano. In the dry seasons, the wood shrinks away from the tuning pins, loosening the tuning pins causing the strings to drop in pitch. Adkins Piano Tuning highly recommends installing a Dampp-Chaser system within your piano. (See “Why Should I have a Dampp-Chaser system installed on my piano?”)
Why should I have a Dampp-Chaser system installed on my piano?
The Dampp-Chaser system can prevent damage and maintain tuning stability in the piano. The system helps maintain an average 42% relative humidity as recommended by major piano manufacturers. It will help prevent the piano keys and piano action from sticking; prevent damage to the paino soundboard and bridge; prevent damage to the piano’s pinblock; and lastly, it will help prevent the piano pins and strings from rusting and corroding.
When I move my piano to a new home, should I have it tuned immediately after I move into the home?
NO! A piano needs time to get used to its new environment. It needs to adjust to the humidity conditions of the new home. I recommend to wait one month.
Where should I place my piano in our home?
Place your upright piano on an inside wall away from windows and doors, away from drafts. It is best to keep it away from heater ducts for excessive air will dry out your piano. Grand pianos are tricking when choosing the proper location. Keep away from heat ducts and fireplaces. Both can dry out your piano. Most people like to set their beautiful grand piano in front of a window. As it does look beautiful, overtime, the sun fades the finish of the piano. It can also add “heat” to the piano that will dry out the wood and loosen glue joints. If you choose to put your piano in front of a window, I recommend treating your window to keep the UV rays from penetrating through the window.
If I move my piano to a different room or different wall, do I need to tune it again?
Usually not. If you move it carefully you shouldn’t have to have it tuned until its normal tuning schedule. Your “ear” will let you know for sure.
How close should I put my piano against the wall?
You should leave it about an inch away from the wall in order to let the sound vibrate better in the room.
How do I clean my keys on my piano?
Take a soft cloth and wet it with warm water and a mild dish soap, wring it out dry and clean the keys. You do not want any water seaping between the keys for this can damage your key bed. Adkins Piano Tuning offers a “key cleaning” product that you spray on a rag and cleans your keys leaving a nice sheen and a nice touch for the pianist.
I have an old upright piano and don't have anyone to play it and would love to get rid of it...what options do I have?
You can sell it 2. You can give it away As a tuner I receive many requests from folks who want to get a starter piano for their beginner but don’t want to spend a lot of money. Adkins Piano Tuning would be happy to help you sell or find a good home for your piano.
Do you tune harpsichords?
Yes! We tune and repair harpsichords.
What piano maintenance should I expect to do to my piano over time?
Regulate your piano at least every 4 years. It takes a lot of time and is expensive but it will keep your piano in excellent playing condition. *Hammer Shaping and hammer voicing: Over time, depending on how much it is played, the piano hammers will start to wear and the tone quality will change. Your piano technician will advise you when this job is needed. *Rebushing of the piano keys: This is needed when the piano keys become loose and have too much movement to the left and the right. *Damper felts: The piano’s damper felts over the years become “crusty” and need replaced. A good sign is too listen for a “tinging” sound when a note is played and the damper hits the string *Bridal straps: This problem is common on the older pianos especially. The ends of the strap is a leather and it becomes very brittle and break off. To replace these straps is not very costly of a repair.
Should I tune the piano even though no one is playing the piano?
Yes! The longer a piano sets without being tuned, the harder it is to tune the piano years latter because the strings have not been stretched. It is easier to sell a piano when it has a good tuning record.