How often should I have my piano tuned?

Six months to a year. The only reason pianos go out of tune is not because it is played alot, it is due to the humidity changes effecting the wood. The main changes in humidity occur twice a year in winter and summer. So it is best to have your piano tuned twice a year. You will notice the piano going slightly out of tune after around 6 months. If you can wait a year, then it is advised to have it tuned before the end of the year. However, you have a piano which is slowly going out of tune after 6 months.

How long shall I wait to tune my piano after it has been moved?

It is recommended to wait between 6-8 weeks after moving house to allow the wood to re-adjust and settle. It can be tuned soon after it has moved but will only last a few months rather than six. If it is moved in the same house then it doesn’t effect the tuning.

Should I place a glass of water inside the piano?

The humidity effects the piano in terms of tuning so to reduce the humidity it is good to do place a glass of water inside the bottom panel but has a minimal effect. However you can purchase dehumidifiers and clip them inside the bottom of the piano.

Does it effect my piano if I keep it close to a radiator?

In short, yes. The changes in temperature and humidity does increase the process of the wood reacting. This effects the pins so would not hold it’s tune as long as expected.

What is pitch raising?

Something happens when you don’t tune your piano for a long time. Every year that passes by, the pitch drops further and further away from where it should be, and it becomes harder for me to pull it back up to its proper tension levels. Pianos generally go flat during our long winter months, and do not necessarily rise back up to where they were in the summer. Also if a piano hasn’t been tuned for 5-10 years it would probably drop between a semitone or tone, requiring this pitch raise.

I would have to raise the tension of over 200 strings, which puts a lot of strain on the piano’s structure. It’s impossible to make such a big jump in pitch and have a stable tuning in one pass. So what I do is first raise all the strings to their proper average tension levels, then perform a fine tuning, extending the time taken up to 20 minutes extra.

Please note if the strings are rusty or very old, the tension can be too much and cause a string to break. If this happens in a pitch raise, the string would be immediately repaired and the pitch raise would be abandoned, so the piano will be tuned to itself, not at concert pitch. In essence the piano will sound perfectly in tune but will be transposed down a semitone or tone.

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