Does my piano need any servicing? – A summary of what your piano needs from time to time

  • How should I care for my piano’s wood finish?
  • What is the piano’s action and why does it need maintenance?
  • How does humidity affect my piano?
  • What is voicing?
  • How often should I have my piano fully serviced?
  • How do I find a qualified person to service my piano?

Finish Care

Finish Care
© 1993, 1994 The Piano Technicians Guild, Inc.

The piano is unique among musical instruments because it also serves as fine furniture for the home. In fact, the term “piano finish” has traditionally been used to describe the highest standards in wood finishing. Properly maintaining that fine finish will enhance your home’s decor and preserve the value of your piano.

Definition of terms

Definition of Terms
Rebuilt Piano Definition
A used piano that has been disassembled, inspected, and repaired as necessary with replacement of all worn or deteriorated parts, re-assembled, tested, and approved to at least the same tolerances as a new piano of like manufacture.
Reconditioned Piano Definition
A used piano that has been put back in good condition by cleaning, repairing and adjusting for maximum performance with replacement parts where specifically indicated.
Piano Tuning Definition
Piano tuning is the aligning of the musical pitch of the various notes of the piano, by adjusting the tension of the piano’s strings, in order to achieve a desired musical effect. Preferences in desired musical effects and methods in achieving those preferences will vary. Piano “tuning” does not involve the functioning of a piano’s key mechanism. (The “tune-up” of an automobile engine may involve keeping machinery running smoothly, but piano “tuning” by itself does not.)

Up-keeping your piano

How often should my piano be serviced?
©1993 Piano Technicians Guild

Your piano is an investment in your future. It can bring you and your family a lifetime of music, adding immeasurable joy and beauty to your home. Since it is also such a large investment, it should be maintained with the utmost care. Regular servicing by a qualified technician will preserve your instrument and help you avoid costly repairs in the future.
Because your piano contains materials such as wood and felt, it is subject to change with climatic conditions. Extreme swings from hot to cold or dry to wet cause its materials to swell and contract, affecting tone, pitch, and action response or touch. You can reduce the severity of these effects by placing your piano near a wall away from windows or doors that are opened frequently. Avoid heating and air conditioning vents, fireplaces and areas which receive direct sunlight. Your piano will perform best under consistent conditions neither too wet nor dry, optimally at a temperature of 68 degrees F “21 degrees C”, and 42 percent relative humidity.

Keeping your piano clean

Keeping your piano clean:
Many piano owners, especially women, like to polish their furniture, and keep it in good condition.
But what are the correct procedures to clean a piano?

The outside case of the piano is made out of wood. Different kinds of wood. And then layered over with various kinds of finishes.

Mostly it’s useful just to whipe with a damp, soft cloth, Emery, or any soft material you can find.

In some cases though, if it is very durty, it is necessary to use a mild soap-water mixture.