QUESTION #1: Why do I need my piano tuned?
ANSWER: First answer is short and obvious. . . it will sound better. More in depth answer. . . A piano naturally goes out of tune due to changes in temperature, changes in humidity, and regular usage causing the strings to stretch when struck. This is normal and happens to every piano. It is true that some pianos hold pitch better than others, but even they need to be maintained. A piano goes out of tune very gradually and many times is not noticed by the players & owners (see: story of the frog in gradually boiling water).
ANSWER: Twice a year is standard for keeping your piano in tune. The condition, newness of strings, tuning pegs, how much the piano is played, and how picky you are will determine the frequency of tunings (anywhere from 1 to 3 times a year). Many good pianos that have been worn in and serviced regularly can hold a decent pitch with one tuning a year.
If you don't keep your piano in tune, the string tension will fall over time, making it difficult to bring back to it's original condition (bringing all the strings up to A440 when it hasn't been tuned for years, will drastically change the tension, and potentially cause problems).
Question #3: How do I properly care for my piano?
- Keep the temperature relatively constant (rule of thumb: if you are comfortable in your house, your piano is comfortable as well)
- Keep it tuned
- Keep it clean (dust the cabinet, use a paper towel with just a little window cleaner on it to wipe down the keys, if it's a grand piano- wipe down the strings with a soft dry cloth from time to time to keep the dust off)
- Keep it away from vents ( you don't want blazing hot or freezing cold air blowing directly at your piano; either close the vent or redirect the air flow)
- Don't put anything inside the keys (toys, coins, papers)
- PS. If you put a real plant on top of the piano, many times the water will go down to the bottom of its container and leave a ring in the piano's finish which can only be repaired by sanding and refinishing the wood.
- Also not recommended: drinks on the piano (to avoid possible spills or moisture rings)
Question #4: How much is my piano worth?
ANSWER: So many factors including brand, age, cabinetry, condition, and whatever someone else will pay for it determine how much your piano is worth. Check with a piano technician, look at what other pianos of similar nature are selling for, and check out a local piano store to see what their new and used selection of pianos sell for.
The investment of a Pianos are a wonderful musical investment! Well-built pianos that are tuned and maintained will last at least 70+ years (many last well over a century). Pianos outlast cars, computers, televisions, digital pianos, furniture, cabinets, keyboards, and sometimes us! You'll never need to plug in your acoustic piano. No wires, batteries, or electricity needed. Pianos are a source of entertainment for decades, and a beautiful furniture piece to help make a house a home.