Why Does a Piano Go Out of Tune?

Tuning of a Steinway on Stage for a concert

We get this question now and then.

A simular question is:

“How often does a piano need tuning?”

Another thing is that people often say:

“Oh but I hardly played on it this year. Does it really need tuning?”

Pianos are stringed instruments, and even though they can be protected by certain things like:

temperature-controlled rooms;

humidity-control environments;

or even just standing in a place away from any external elements, “wind, rain, sun, etc.”

They still go out-of-tune eventually.

And no … it’s not necessarily true that a piano that has been moved across the room, needs tuning.

Is my Piano Worth the Repairs and How Would I Know?

Ring … ring … the phone rings.
Customer: “I have an old piano that hasn’t been tuned in years”…
Piano tuner: groan “Ok?”


You have just inherited your grandmother’s piano or you found a piano on-line but you aren’t really sure how long ago it’s been since it was tuned.

Piano Keys Fading into the Distance

Customer: “It probably just needs a tuning. It still looks good.”
Piano tuner: “Maybe, but what about the inside?”

Humidity in Your Piano

I’ve been to quite a few different towns recently, and had to do a bit of pitch-correction on some of them.

What does this mean?

We usually tune pianos to standard pitch, “A440”.

But if the piano is flat or sharp, we first need to do a pitch-raise or pitch-lowering, and afterwards a fine-tuning.

   With all the rain lately, the wood of the soundboard and bridges on the soundboard, where the strings cross over, swells, making them to stretch, and therefore, raising the pitch.

Servicing the Playing Mechanism of Your Piano

It is very important to not only have your piano tuned by a certified technician, but also to look after the action “playing mechanism” of your piano.
Have you ever opened up your piano at the top, and looked inside, just to wonder what really is going on inside there?
Well … That’s the action of the piano, almost like the engine of a car.
It consists of hundreds of parts, made from wood, felt and brass., although some piano manufacturors make some parts from plastic.
Plastic is not a good material to work with, especially not in pianos, because with age, they crumble or break apart.
Carbon fibre is also used these days, which I think yields good results.
Let me quickly introduce you to some of the parts:

How Often Does my Piano Need to be Serviced?

Few people actually ask this question, and although we know that pianos need tuning from time to time, pianos are mechanical instruments, consisting out of many tiny parts.
From tiny pins and screws, to large parts like the soundboard, pin block, and the steel frame.
All of these play an integral part in your piano’s ability to bring you enjoyment, and need to be maintained.

Over the next few articles or posts, I will give a brief synopses of the different parts of your piano that you should keep maintained.
If neglected, or over time “with age” these parts can get worn and old, and may need replacing, reconditioning, or may get to the point where “ due to cost”, may not be worth repairing.

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