Check out the new video series to help you learn about purchasing a great used piano. Be sure to watch these videos before you purchase that piano or take one for FREE out of your neighbors garage! This will save you time and money!
There is more to piano care than an occasional tuning. I am going to take you through a few of the important things that your piano need in order for it to play and sound wonderful.
I am going to describe some of the reasons that you are compelled to call a tuner and then explain what is going on inside your complex instrument…. all in simple terms.
My piano is out of tune!
First of all, a piano should be tuned at least 1 time per year and many manufactures suggest 2-4 times per year. You should have one technician that you trust and you should keep the tuning on a regular schedule. I offer a courtesty call at your request so that you don’t have to worry about keeping on track. I remind you when it is time to tune and keep detailed notes about your piano.
If it has been many years since your tuning or you can’t remember, you are most likely in need of a pitch raise to get the piano up to standard concert pitch and the more regular tunings your piano has, the better it will sound and more stable the piano will become!
My keys are sticking!
This can be for many reasons. High humidity causes everything to swell and makes your keys stick. Then in the winter, the dry air dries it all out and they may stop sticking. So, I can “ease” your keys so that they are moving properly and keep them from sticking.
Often sticking keys are just a symptom of a larger problem. Your piano may need regulating (adjustment of the moving parts inside) If things are out of adjustment which happens over years of playing, I can make the proper adjustments to get your keys playing again.
Sometimes a piano needs lubricated! It plays slowly or feels sluggish. In this case, the many moving parts need to be lubricated to free up all the moving parts to work properly.
Regulation should be done every 4 years and will keep your piano playing correctly. Many people never take this step and the piano will continue to play worse as time goes on. The felt inside the piano mechanism will get hard and squished! It makes the piano play poorly. It just needs some attention from a Master Piano Technician.
My Piano is Noisy!
Over time, the felt and leather pieces in the piano become brittle and compressed. I can help quiet your piano by working to lubricate and restore the felt and leather in your piano.
My Piano has a Heavy Touch!
Heavy sluggish touch on a piano can be fixed by regulation and lubrication of the action. The action is the inner working mechanism of the piano keys.
My Piano Sounds Bad!
The piano tone is highly affected by the hammers. The hammers are made from compressed felt. New pianos can sound dull and lifeless and older pianos can sound harsh! Voicing is the art of working on the hammers to optimize the tone of the piano. If you don’t like the tone of your piano, I can help you bring it up with more life or mellow it out if it is hurting your ears. The tone should be consistent from the top to the bottom. If it is not, you will not be in love with your piano. This is where the art of voicing comes to play.
Strings get old and can begin to sound tubby. When this happens, the only way to bring it back is to put on new bass strings! This can be expensive so I can talk you through the options. Many times it is better to purchase a newer piano.
My piano is OLD!
An old piano comes with many challenges. It is hard to know if a sticking key is a simple adjustment or the signs of the need for a complete overhaul of the piano’s insides. Old pianos have some value to beginning students but often hinder musical growth and never play and sound like a good piano. If you have an older piano that possesses sentimental value, it can be played, repaired and fully restored but will only ever be as good as it once was! A poor old piano restored will be nothing more that a poor piano in restored condition.
Be cautious of picking up a FREE piano. A piano is never really free because you will have to move it, tune it and repair anything that is wrong. Often, a piano is offered for FREE because it has reached the end of its real musical life. It needs too many repairs to make it a good financial investment. Plus many old uprights have cracked bridges and old dead bass strings, old worn out hammers and more problems that I can list here.
I was sponsored into the MPT by my personal mentor, Jack Hamilton, in 2009 and finalized my induction into the Master Piano Technicians at the 2010 Convention at Myrtle Beach. 3 other techs were accepted this year.
I was also elected Web Master for the MPT to help them with their national sites and to help use modern web media to strengthen the orginization.
MPT is dedicated to piano technicians helping them network, train and grow to be the best in the industry.
Pictures and details about MPT can be found at our new facebook page