In this ever-increasing do-it-yourself world, many piano owners think that they can save money by performing their own piano tuning. However, tuning a grand piano involves a very complicated procedure that should be performed by a professional in almost all cases. Here is an overview of the steps involved:
1. Temperament Setting
Essentially, a piano’s temperament is the group of notes in an octave, usually located in the middle of the keyboard. This involves some 5th/4th intervals and only 3rd/6th intervals (first temperament group) or only 5th/4th intervals and some 3rd/6th intervals (second temperament group).
2. Muting the Unisons
Select the desired temperament group and then place a felt strip along the unisons side strings between the F33 and F45 keys.
3. Set the Tune
Set a tuning fork or chromatic tuner to the standard pitch of 440 htz.
4. Tune the Temperament
Tune the selected temperament to the specified beat rates, using the 3rd, 6th and 5th intervals and the center string at every unisons.
Place rubber wedges on the side strings and then use a tuning hammer on the F#46 and F#34 keys simultaneously until all audible beats fade and only one note is heard. Repeat on G47 and continue moving up and then down the keyboard.
6. Stretch It Out
Note that pianos generally sound better when high notes are tuned slightly sharper than necessary and low notes tuned slightly lower than necessary, which creates something that experts refer to as ‘the stretch.’
Knowing how difficult tuning a piano really is will turn most piano owners towards hiring an expert, which is usually a better choice. Contact Cooper Piano in the Atlanta area to request a tuning appointment online or call 404-329-1027. Cooper Piano has been serving the greater Atlanta area for over 100 areas and are experts at piano tuning, restoration, repair and even moving and refinishing.