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How To Decide If Your Piano Needs Tuning

A number of factors work together to affect the tuning of a piano. How often a particular piano needs to be tuned will depend on the age of the piano, how often it's used and the climate.

Age of Piano

Brand new pianos need to be tuned more often during their first year of use. This is because the strings are more elastic. Piano manufacturers often recommend these pianos get tuned four times each year, or about once per season. Pianos older than this usually need to be tuned at least twice per year, although some people still feel that tuning every three months is best.

Humidity

Changes in humidity and temperature also affect the tuning of a piano, which is why pianos are usually tuned in the spring and autumn or when the heat is turned on in the home and then when it is turned off. Those who live in a climate  that doesn't have true seasons may be able to get away with tuning the piano just once a year, especially if they don't play often. Try to keep your piano in a place where the humidity and temperature tend to be relatively constant, preferably at about 72 degrees F and 45 percent humidity, and away from direct sunlight and drafty windows.

Use

Pianos that are used more often need to be tuned more often. Those played at least three times a week will need to be tuned four times a year instead of just two, and those used for performances are often tuned just before each concert, which can be as often as once a week. If you play no more than once a week, you can often get by with just two tunings per year, but even if you don't use your piano, it should still be tuned once a year to prevent damage.

Other Considerations

Some people may be more sensitive to whether or not their piano is out of tune and thus want to get their piano tuned more often. Nobody wants to play or listen to a piano that's obviously out of tune. Moving a piano can also cause it to be out of tune in some cases, especially if the floor is uneven or if the new location is on a higher or lower floor than the old location of the piano. Even the type of music played can affect how often the piano needs to be tuned. If you speak to a piano tuner, like those at Arin Piano Co., he or she can give you personalized guidance as to how often your instrument needs to be tuned.


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