So does weather play any part in my piano’s tuning stability?
The answer to this question is YES.
Depending on where your piano is stationed, the weather can affect the pitch of your piano quite drastically.
Not only cold or hot weather, but the amount of humidity too.
If it is too dry, or too humid, it affects the moisture content in the wood of the soundboard and bridges, and also, to a certain extent, affect the strings over time.
The warmer it gets, the flatter the tone gets;
The colder it gets, the sharper the tone rises.
I see it quite often.
When I come to a piano which isn’t tuned and serviced regularly, it will need a pitch adjustment.
There is an article on pitch-adjustment on this blog you can go read up on;
But basically, if a piano is left to fend for itself in the hot and cold weather, dry or humid, over-time, the strings will respond accordingly:
Some will stretch tighter, and others will loosen up.
The end result:
A piano which is all over the place.
So when I come to the piano, it would be quite impossible to just do a simple fine-tuning.
It’s like taking your car in to the mechanics, which you haven’t maintained for a few years, and maybe stood in a garage somewhere, without being used.
And now you want it to work again.
It’s going to take time and effort to get it up-to-standard again, “if possible”.
It’s exactly the same with pianos:
It’s a good thing to have your piano in a six month to one-year tuning schedule period, to keep it well-maintained.
What about the idea that a piano should stand against an inner wall?
What it actually means, is that it is a good idea that the piano should be stationed away from sunlight, open doors and windows, any drafts, etc.
A piano can go out-of-tune very quickly in extreme weather conditions, especially when you switch the air conditioning on and off intermittently.
There are humidifier/dehumidifyer systems available that one can install in pianos, that would keep the humidity stable: “between 45 and 55 percent”.
When I contact a piano owner after a year since the last appointment, I often get remarks like:
“No, my piano is still fine, it’s not really being used that much at the moment you know…”
It doesn’t matter if a piano is played or not, keep your piano happy by maintaining it, and keeping it in good condition.
Not only by having it tuned, but also asking your technician if it needs a service.
With a service we file all the hammers to take away any harshness in tone, tighten all the screws in the playing mechanism, blow out the action, and evaluate to see what other repairs are needed.
We can also do a proper cleaning of the piano, taking out all the keys, and cleaning underneath where the moths like to eat up the felt.
Keep on making music and enjoying your piano to the fullest!