Is It Time To Tune Your Piano?

Is It Time To Tune Your Piano?

When you invest in a quality piano, it can make beautiful music for years to come. 

But to keep your piano playing well, it takes a little TLC from time to time. 

If you want to create music that’s pleasing to the ear, it’s important to tune your piano regularly. 

For many piano owners, the thought of bringing in a tuner periodically throughout the year can be a little intimidating. While there isn’t a set schedule for when to call in a professional tuner, there are a few things you can watch for to know when it’s time for tuning. 

Listen to the piano’s pitch

Have you ever watched professionals tune their instruments? Even singers warm up by racing for the right pitch. That’s to ensure all instruments match while playing, and to ensure your piano makes beautiful music. You can test the note yourself. The most used test note is A440. This is the A note above middle C. When this note is in tune, it will vibrate at a rate of 440 times per second. When in tune, every instrument playing will be at this same pitch. 

Listen while playing different notes

Most acoustic pianos have, on average, 88 keys. This contains seven octaves plus three keys below bottom C. To allow all 88 keys to create sound, they are connected to around 230 strings. Each key will be attached to two or three strings, depending on the sound it will make. As you’re playing different notes, you may notice a wavering sound between the notes. That may be competing strings touching each other, or even canceling each other out. If it isn’t strung properly, it’s time for professional tuning. 

Play your scales

When properly tuned, you should be able to run up the octaves and have all the notes line up. It sounds “right.” When something is off, this quick repetition will highlight where problems occur. You can also test this by playing the same note in several different octaves – all the Cs, for instance. You’ll highlight any nuances in the way it sounds. The most common problem that impacts playability is temperature and humidity changes. If you hear a problem, it’s time for tuning. 

Should you try it yourself?

Do a search online, and you’ll find quick courses that teach you in a short video. But tuning isn’t something you can learn from a YouTube video. It’s something that takes years of practice with hands-on knowledge. 

Need more advice on tuning your piano? Give us a call today.