Whether you’ve already invested in a piano, or you’re currently browsing the market for one, you’re no stranger to the fact that these instruments are pretty pricey. A piano is composed of thousands of delicate and tiny parts, and every single one of these parts has an important role. Some parts and hand crafted and, on a quality piano, each of these parts is expertly placed. The best piano manufacturers are painstaking in the construction of their instruments, building, checking and re-checking every single part to ensure maximum quality because their brand depends on your satisfaction. When you’re spending that kind of money on something, you have to make sure your investment will last a lifetime.
While investing in a quality instrument is half the battle of making sure your piano lasts for multiple generations, the other half is in your hands. Owning a piano means making sure you are exercising routine maintenance. Choosing to neglect this responsibility means your piano could lose its sound quality and value, and you may even face expensive repair charges down the line. In order to get the most out of your instrument, you need to make sure you are adhering to all proper maintenance suggestions.
An upright piano is the most common type of piano for homes, classrooms and other locations in which larger, horizontal pianos are not spatially practical. Although they may be less expensive than concert grands, this does not mean they need any less attention. In order to keep your upright piano in its best shape, follow these maintenance instructions.
Tuning – Over time, all pianos eventually fade out of tune. This is not due to negligence, but usually weather – primarily changes in the humidity. However, to restore your piano’s rich tonal sound, most piano specialists suggest tuning your instrument about once every six months. The longer your piano goes between tunings, the more time and effort it will take to tune when you finally choose to do so. It is extremely important that, unless you have experience with piano tuning, you leave this job up to the experts.
Voicing – The sound of a piano is made by tiny hammers hitting the strings, and each of these hammers is fitted with a felt tip. Over time, the felt becomes hardened and can result in a harsh sound. To restore the piano’s voice, a piano technician may use voicing needles to make small, refined adjustments. In some cases, the technician may chose to remove some of the old, hardened felt.
Regulation – Much of the interior of a piano is made of wood, and over time wood can become warped and worn due to use and humidity. This warping can directly affect the action of the piano. However, careful maintenance by an expert piano technician can restore the action to its former precision. Sometimes this type of maintenance involved nothing more than tightening a screw while other times it may require the sanding down of wood parts – or even replacements. By regulating the piano, it will help to keep a unified, rich sound.
Other types of routine piano maintenance includes simple cleaning – which can generally be completed by the piano’s owner. Regular dusting, light vacuuming and polishing will help maintain your piano’s rich sound and beautiful appearance.
What other tips do you have for keeping an upright piano in tip-top shape?