If you own a piano, it probably gives you and your family hours and hours of entertainment. The piano is one of the most widely played instruments, but along with the fun comes responsibility. A piano requires care to stay in tip-top shape.
Even if your piano is gathering dust, you should do some maintenance to keep it working properly. You never know when someone will take a sudden interest in playing.
Perhaps one of the most important maintenance issues you will have with any piano is tuning. Each key of the piano is tied to a small hammer. These hammers will strike a string, which in turn, creates the notes you hear.
Much like the strings on a guitar, these strings will go out of tune. This happens due to age, use, and even just time. If the strings are out of tune, no amount of practice will make the music sound good. The wood panel that holds these strings in place is vulnerable to moisture. When this board shrinks or swells due to moisture changes, it pulls the strings out of tune.
Pianos that are used quite often may have to be tuned twice a year. If your piano seems to hold it’s tuning well, you may only have to do it once a year. It really will depend on your particular situation. You may want to get a new piano tuned upwards of three times a year as it adjusts to the unique environment of your home.
The cost of this will average between 50 and 100 dollars (prices will vary greatly with your location and needs). If you aren’t sure where to find a good piano tuner, give your local piano dealer a call. They probably offer tuning services. If they don’t, they might be able to recommend someone to you.
Be careful with your choice of cleaning products. Most dealers offer a line of cleaners and polishers designed especially for their pianos. This will be a wise investment. Careless use of water on the piano and on the keys can cause the wood to swell, altering the sound and quality of your instrument. If in doubt, do nothing more than dry dust.
To keep your piano in good shape, keep it out of direct sunlight. Never use it as a resting place for plants or other household objects. This may alter the sound and cause damage to the wood.
If you have an upright, keep it up against a wall but never up against an unused doorway or window. An inside wall is preferable. Check placement of air-conditioning and heating vents. You want the air around your piano to be as stable in temperature and moisture as possible.
Moving and Storage
Your piano may look like a piece of furniture but it most certainly is not. Believe it or not, there are people who specialize in moving pianos. There are a multitude of things that can go wrong when a piano is moved, and these folks have special equipment needed to successfully move a piano without damaging the delicate pieces inside.
A piano can give your family countless hours of entertainment if cared for properly. A piano that is kept in good shape can last for generations. Minimal care and proper placement are essential. When in doubt, consult your owner’s manual or talk to your local piano dealer.