A piano is an investment that can last a lifetime if given the correct care and attention.
Regular tuning may seem an unnecessary or inconvenient cost but pianos are intricate instruments and subtle changes in tension, caused by external factors, can push a piano out of tune.
Maintenance is therefore an essential part of responsible piano ownership.
At Coach House we are passionate about pianos and love to see them well-cared for and as the UK's leading specialist of all major piano brands, we recommend hiring an experienced tuner to take care of your beloved instrument.
Why does a piano go out of tune?
Tons of Tension
When a piano is built every single string (of which there are about 230) are tightened to a strain of nearly 200lbs each.
The reinforced wooden frame is therefore holding back a pressure of over 20 tons!
This is a lot of pressure and as a result a new piano needs a ‘breaking in’ period for the first two years.
During this time the wooden components will adjust to the room climate, the strings will stretch and the hitch pins (holding the strings at the back) will develop grooves that prevent the strings from slipping.
After settling into the correct tuning tension, the piano will become much more stable and require tuning a little less frequently.
Quality of Materials
Now that you know about the tension and strain of a piano it will be clear that the higher the quality of materials used to build a piano the longer it will last.
It will actually require far less maintenance if you spend a bit more on a well-crafted piano than go for a cheaper, plastic construction that cannot hold the 20-ton strain.
Because a piano is predominantly made of wood it is vulnerable to changes in humidity and temperature.
The wooden parts can swell and then shrink, loosening the string pressure and causing the instrument to become out of tune.
The Piano’s Home
Placing a piano against an un-insulated outside wall, near to a fireplace or an air vent or in direct sunlight all have the potential to cause damage to your instrument and push it out of tune.
Level of Use
Every time the hammers hit the strings it causes stress on both the pin and the string, so the more a piano is played the quicker the hammers will push the piano out of tune.
In cases of regular use, it is recommended to have a tuning four times a year.
An ignored and neglected piano may become so out of tune that before a tuning they will need a ‘Pitch Raise’, and in extreme cases of neglect it may no longer be possible to tune the piano without full restoration.
How often should I tune my piano?
At Coach House Pianos we recommend getting your piano tuned at least every 6 months to keep it in good condition. If used regularly you might like to consider increasing this to every quarter.
How long does it take to tune a piano?
On average an experienced tuner will take around 1 hour to carry out a good service and make sure your piano is set at perfect pitch.
What is the cost of a piano tuning?
A skilled piano tuner will charge an average of GBP 70 - 80, depending on location
Need a piano tuner?
If you would like an experienced piano tuner to come and service your piano, then why not book with Coach House Pianos today.
NEED HELP FINDING YOUR NEW PIANO?
DOWNLOAD OUR FREE PIANO BUYING GUIDE
35 YEARS WORTH OF UNBIASED INFORMATION COMPILED FROM PIANO TECHNICIANS, PIANOS TUNERS AND PIANO ADVISERS