Your piano is made up of some 5,000 parts. The quality of the
used, the design and construction, and the conditions to which the
piano is subjected, will determine its lifespan.
On average a new piano is considered to last 50 years. This can vary
for several reasons:
How often should my piano be tuned or serviced
- the quality of the piano
- the regularity of maintenance
- how much the piano is played
- the climatic conditions in which it is kept
Three main factors affecting the performance of a piano need periodical
Unevenness of tone can be remedied by skilful voicing of the hammers to
give a good overall balance. On concert and musician's pianos this is
done on a regular basis.
- Pitch - the pitch will drop if the piano is not
tuned on a
regular basis. The stability of its environment will very
much determine how often it needs to be tuned.
Twice a year is a good rule of thumb for an average piano in a domestic
situation. Some old instruments may require more regular tuning.
- Touch - the quality of the instrument, amount of
and changes in its environment, will determine how often the piano
should be regulated. On average this is required about every five years.
- Voicing (toning) - here again, this is subject to
quality of the piano, and particularly the hammer felt.
How should I care for my piano?
Treat your piano like a piece of valuable furniture: keep it clean and
never stand drinks, vases of flowers, or pot plants on it. Spilled
liquids can cause serious damage, the repair of which may amount to a
major overhaul. New pianos are generally finished in polyester or satin
lacquer, which requires only to be wiped with a damp cloth and carefully
dried. No polish is needed. Older pianos are usually French polished
and need greater care, using a polish reviver applied with a clean soft
cloth and polished with a soft duster. On NO account use spray polish.
The key tops may be made of ivory or various kinds of substitute
material. Any marks which cannot be removed with a damp cloth should be
left for the piano tuner to deal with. Do not use any kind of spirit or
Protect your piano from ingress of dust, especially during decorating or
What is the piano action and why does it need maintenance?
The action and keys are the playing mechanism of your piano. Like other
instruments that are subject to wear and tear, it is vital that these
important parts of the piano are serviced from time to time by a
qualified technician. After all, this is what connects you to the music!
Each note needs to be regulated individually to give optimum
performance. The pedals, too, need occasional adjustment.
How can I move my piano
Because its heavy iron frame places the centre of gravity very near the
back, an upright piano can be dangerously unbalanced, and it can suffer
very serious damage unless it is moved in the correct way.
Where is the best place to stand my piano?
First you must consider how climate and environment affect a piano.
A separate music room is considered to be ideal, but a dining room may
be suitable, as this will usually be maintained at a lower temperature,
and have a reasonably constant humidity level. Should you feel that your
piano is in an unsuitable environment you should consider buying either
a humidifier to counteract excess dryness, or a dehumidifier for excess
dampness. Your piano tuner will be able to advise you.
- Temperature - a piano does not like to be too hot
cold. A constant 18 to 21 degrees Celsius (65 - 70 degrees Farenheit) is
- Humidity - central heating systems can dry the air,
draw moisture from the wooden components of the piano. When the heating
is switched off at night the humidity rises, and conversely, as it is
switched on in the morning, the humidity drops. These changes in
relative humidity cause the wood alternately to shrink and expand,
causing tuning instability. Ideally, you should try to keep your piano
within 45 - 60 per cent relative humidity.
- Positions - keep the piano away from windows if
possible. Do not place your piano near a radiator or other heat source,
or on an inside wall where there is a radiator in the next room backing
onto the piano, resulting in heat being transmitted through the wall.
These locations where constant excessive or fluctuating heat, is the
cause of low or changing relative humidity, often are responsible for
tuning instability and other serious problems, such as loose tuning
pins, split soundboard and disruption of regulation.
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American Music World Inc., with two locations in the Chicago area - Illinois premier piano retailer since 1979. Chicago's largest selection of new and used pianos. Home to the world’s top piano lines, including exclusive authorized representatives for new Baldwin pianos, Yamaha digital pianos, Pramberger pianos and Young Chang pianos as well as certified used pianos by Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway, Mason and Hamlin and many more. Knowledgeable, professional sales consultants. “Best Price” guarantee. In-house warranty and technical service. Home and special event piano rentals. We support our communities’ educators and host the recitals of hundreds of students and performers each year. Our reputation for quality music and personal service goes back thirty years. We offer piano services, piano moving, piano restoration, lessons and service for everything we sell. No matter what your age, interest or skill, we offer you expertise to help select, learn to play, and care for your musical investment.
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