Why Tuning Your Piano Is A Bad Idea

Why Tuning Your Piano Is A Bad Idea

Think you can tune your own piano? Think it must be an easy process? After all, you can find videos and Internet sites dedicated to helping you “do it yourself.” Why shouldn’t you give it a try?Why Tuning Your Piano Is A Bad Idea

While a five minute video may give you the impression tuning a piano is easy, it’s anything but. Professional piano tuners receive many, many hours of training. It requires years of practice to understand the nuances and perfect the skill. Even so, professionals can take an hour or two to bring a piano back into great working condition. And the longer it takes, the more exhausted your ears become trying to find precision in every note that is played.

If someone who is trained for it can become exhausted, how about someone who isn’t?

Each piano’s temperament is tuned in a slightly different manner depending on the piano. Each piano will have a different gage, different lengths of strings. And therefore the sound of one piano will not be replicated in other pianos. Today, professional tuners use sophisticated piano tuning software to calculate how to tune the temperament of each individual piano.

Each individual key is worked on one at a time, with the tuning pin and string set and secured in place. A tuner will move the pin only as much as necessary to get the pitch. Once its achieved, the pin is set into place. If not done right, one strike of the key and the note will pop back out of tune. This is called tuning stability. And it’s the last thing a professional tuner will do to make sure his work is stable.

If a string is adjusted too far, or if the string is old and severely out of tune, it can be prone to breaking. Replacement is also a skill that takes time and practice to build to proficiency. A professional tuner will have the appropriate tools and skills to replace piano wire, knowing that in some cases restringing with existing wire is sometimes best.

If you want enjoyment every time you play the piano, it’s best to tune your piano on a regular basis. If you are considering tuning your own piano, chances are it’s currently nowhere close to its optimal pitch. And to bring it back to proper pitch takes time, energy and knowledge. Skill that all great professional tuners have.

And why allow your piano to be anything but the best?