why is it important to tune your piano?
There are many factors that cause your piano to slip out of tune. The main reason being humidity changes in your home, church or school. Pianos are constructed mostly from wood, an iron plate, steel strings and felt. All of these materials tend to shrink and swell with fluctuations in humidity. Changes in the environment will cause the piano and its parts to contract and expand, in turn, the amount of pressure being applied to the strings will change. The result is an out of tune piano. Even pianos that aren't played often will drift out of tune, especially here in Louisiana with our high humidity summers and sometimes dry, winter months.
Avoid needing a pitch adjustment. If too much time has passed without having your piano tuned, it's pitch may have dropped far below the standard at which it was designed to perform. Your piano may require a “pitch raise”. This means that your piano needs a quick, initial tuning to get the tension of its strings stabilized close to A440hz before performing a fine tuning. It is vital to perform a pitch raise if the pitch has fallen flat of A440hz. The additional load placed on the strings during the tuning will cause drastic changes to the tension in the piano’s structure. After the first tuning, the pitch will slip (or slightly bounce back toward its previous position) making it necessary for a second pass. The tension of all the strings on a piano must be so close to their proper place, that altering the tension of one string does not affect the others. Professional technicians know that “only a piano which is fairly close to A440hz standard pitch, can actually receive a fine tuning”.
It is very important to have an instrument with a consistent pitch that your ears can rely on. Regular tunings will increase your accuracy for relative or perfect pitch as you progress over the years. Even if you don’t mind a slightly OuT oF TuNe piano, it is best to receive regular maintenance in order to avoid instability and the extra cost of pitch adjustments. “Typically people don’t wait for their cars to start making unwanted noise before deciding that it may be time to change the oil”. Remember, your piano is a musical instrument and a major investment which deserves to be serviced so you can avoid preventable damage. Make an appointment to have your piano tuned at least twice a year to keep it happy.