Why Can’t My Piano Be Tuned?

Why Can’t My Piano Be Tuned?

“I have an older upright piano. The owners we bought it from had it stored in their basement and said it hadn’t been tuned in a while. We’ve tuned it several times, but it always seems to go flat quickly. Can this piano be tuned? Is this something we’ll have to live with?”Why Can’t My Piano Be Tuned?

When a piano won’t stay tuned, it can be caused by a couple of things.

First, it could be the frequency of your most recent tuning sessions. If a piano hasn’t been tuned in a while, it needs time to adjust. Sometimes it is better to let the instrument “settle” for a couple of weeks in between tunings to adjust. When a piano is tuned, its pitch is raised and then fine tuned. It will wander off somewhat, depending on how far up the pitch was raised. If it needs to be adjusted by a wide margin, it will take several passes to bring it back up to level.

Second, it could also be an internal, mechanical problem. Tuning pins may be loosening. Strings may be expanding. Actions may require repair.

Over time, a variety of things can happen to a piano. Whether its played regularly or not, the elements and surrounding environment begin to wear on the individual pieces. Felt can deteriorate. Wood can expand or warp.

If you’ve had a tuner come in to tune your piano, is he looking at all of the working parts of the piano? Is he ensuring everything is in good working condition?

In some cases it takes more than a tuning to bring a piano back into good working condition. It takes repairing and replacing other parts as well.

If you haven’t had a qualifies professional tuner adjust your piano in a while, maybe now is the time.