Frequently Asked Questions about Pianos

If your question has not been answered by the information below, or if you have any further questions or concerns about your piano, please feel free to call The Piano Doctor on 028 9581 0310 or 07763 751 581

Why Should I Have My Piano Tuned?

The piano is one of the most versatile of musical instruments. Its unique nature allows it to be played both loud and powerfully or soft and expressively. It can be used to lead a group of musicians in a church or concert hall, or fade into the background providing the ambience to a pleasant meal in a restaurant. It can be enjoyed in a variety of ways – by many people at once, or an individual simply playing in their home for pleasure. In order to maintain its beauty, your piano must be regularly tuned and serviced.

How Often Should I Have My Piano Tuned?

It is recommended that a household piano is tuned no less than every 12 months. Pianos are also commonly located in churches and schools and these pianos generally receive more vigorous playing and the temperature changes are much more radical and frequent. It is recommended that more frequently played pianos be tuned at least every 6 months. If left for longer than these recommended intervals it is possible that your technician cannot guarantee a stable tuning. This is because the strings are no longer used to being stretched and the iron plate inside the piano (which holds the massive amount of tension on a tuned piano) will warp a certain amount after a long period of sitting idle. It is also possible that string breakages may occur (which your technician cannot be held responsible for). In these cases two or more tunings (and possibly additional repair work) may be required to stabilise the piano.

What is Regulation?

It’s important to be mindful that tuning a piano is only the adjustment of the system of strings and pins that determines the pitch of each string. Pianos also require periodic servicing called regulation, which attends to the mechanical parts that cause the strings to sound when keys are played. Over time deterioration of parts of the action (mechanical workings of the piano) can be seen, and felt, due to the compacting and settling of cloth and constant changes in the wood caused by temperature and humidity variations. Regulation is the adjustment of all action parts to bring the piano back to its optimum playing condition.

Why Should I Have My Piano Regulated?

A piano consists of thousands of moving parts that all need regular adjustment to critical tolerances in order for a piano to respond well to a player’s every command. There is nothing that will disenchant a pianist more than an unresponsive instrument, for example how can you develop sensitive playing and control when every key on the piano responds with a different level of touch? Neglecting to have your piano routinely regulated will also result in almost every part of the instrument to wear more quickly and could therefore result in more costly repairs at a later date. Have your piano regulated and allow playing to remain pleasurable.

How Do I Know When My Piano Needs Regulating?

If you feel as though you have no control over how notes are sounded, particularly when trying to play softly or sensitively, or if a note will not repeat when you attempt to play the same key rapidly, or doesn’t sound at all it requires regulating. Any of these symptoms and more are most likely caused by poor regulation of the action. The Piano Doctor recommends The Piano Technician’s Guild website for further comprehensive information.

The Piano Doctor offers a comprehensive piano repairs service, piano regulation service, piano tuning service and more. Mark is available for expert help and advice in Northern Ireland and counties Monaghan, Louth and Donegal. To arrange for your piano to be serviced by Mark contact The Piano Doctor by calling 028 9581 0310 or 07763 751 581.

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