Are you having trouble playing your piano softly?
Is the range of volume limited?
Do notes not repeat when played quickly?
Is the touch inconsistent from note to note?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these then your piano may need to be Regulated.
Unfortunately there is no easy answer on this one. It depends on the damage of the old piano along with your budget for a new piano.
We are here to help you answer this question, but will need additional details on your situation.
We strongly discourage this.
A child taking piano lessons is learning more than how to read music. They are learning how to control the volume when playing (Response), how the intervals sound (Pitch), and developing strength and dexterity in the hands and fingers (Touch).
A student that is learning on a piano that is not tuned and regulated properly would be akin to learning the alphabet from a chart that is has the letters out of order, or learning to play a sport with different rules than will be used during the game. It is basically guaranteeing failure. If cost were no object, a top quality Concert Grand would be the choice for every child learning to play piano.
Obviously, price is an object for most, so a compromise should be found that satisfies both cost and quality to a reasonable degree.
Running Air Conditioning instead of a Swamp Cooler helps keep the humidity lower in the summer. A Whole-House furnace humidifier can help bring the humidity levels up a bit in the winter. However, these two actions
are only part of the solution.
The Dampp-Chaser company has developed the Piano Life-Saver System, which installs in your piano to keep the moisture level at 42% all year long.
Greg Shaffer is both a Certified Installer of, and a Field Expert for the Piano Life-Saver System, ensuring proper installation and maintenance of the unit. Call us for more information!
The most common result is that the piano will sound “out of tune”, sometimes described as “Tinny”. It can also mean that the pitch will drop below standard A-440 pitch. This may result in additional fees for tuning the piano, including a Pitch Raise to bring the instrument back up to pitch.
If you, personally, do not play the piano, be sure to listen to the students who are practicing on it. They can be more attuned to the sound than you are. Practicing on a piano that is out of tune is very frustrating. It also prevents the student from developing their ear to hear pitches & intervals correctly. If they are commenting that the piano does not sound right, it is probably time to get it tuned.
There are several things that cause a piano to go out of tune. They are:
- Heavy use (more than 2 hours per day)
- Changes in temperature and humidity
- This causes the Soundboard to swell (when humidity rises) and shrink (when it’s dry), causing the piano to go sharp and flat as the strings are stretched or relieved of tension.
- Loose Tuning Pins (this is not as common, and requires rebuilding the piano to repair)
- The steel strings stretching
The strings in your piano are steel (or copper-wrapped steel cores), and steel stretches over time. Allowing your piano to go without tuning for years allows the strings to stretch, or “relax”, resulting in the pitch dropping. The longer it has been since the last tuning, the further the pitch will need to be raised. Having your piano serviced every 6-12 months is generally considered adequate maintenance to maintain International Pitch.