How do you take care of the piano in order to enjoy it for a long time?
important thought is firstly climate - humidity, alongside with regular
tuning and regulation of the piano by a qualified piano
Climate - Humidity & Temperature
Humidity levels effect
patterns vary widely around the world, from high humidity cities to
the dry cities. The fact remains, that, even within relatively small
geographic areas have different "micro-climates". Therefore, it is
impossible for any piano manufacturer to "season for destination"
and to ascertain the moisture content of the wood for the market for
which is "destined" or "sold" or "export".
Piano is largely made of wood which is greatly affected by humidity.
Excessive humidity and extreme temperature are the enemies of the
piano. The ideal relative humidity (RH) level for a piano is between 42-65%
and should stay within a 10% range. Too
dry or too wet will affect the wooden parts of the piano to shrink or swell,
respectively. As a
result the piano will not function properly and leads to major problems
such as casework crack, veneer peeling, sticky keys, rusty strings, loose tuning pins, loose
glue-joints, hammer-felt coming unglue, split soundboard, ribs coming
crack bridges, mold and so on.
The climate in Malaysia is very humid where the “average” humidity
level is above 70% and is very bad for your piano. For
anyone who is serious about maintaining their piano in optimum
condition they should look into climate control system. A Central Air Conditioning will helps to
humidity level and protect your piano.
If you do not have a
Central Air Conditioning,
may be used.
should be placed in the
room with the piano, but not directly beside the piano. In some cases it is true
that we cannot control
humidity but there are some things we can do to alleviate the
conditions such as placing your piano where it won't be exposed to
sources of humidity like near a swimming pool, kitchen, windows,
bathrooms and so on.
Temperature alone does not generally affect the stability of pianos but
it decidedly affects fluctuations in humidity. It
is recommended that a moderate temperature be maintained in the house
throughout the year.
heater and piano.
soundboard and piano.
care of piano part I.
• care of piano
There are well over 220 strings in your piano, which are stretched at high
tension across the frame of your piano so they sound in harmony with
each other. The standard pitch of a piano is at A-440 Hz (the note A
above middle C vibrates at 440 cycles per second).
Every piano has the tendency to go out of tune in time whether it is old or new or if it is played or not. Factors such as atmospheric
variations particularly humidity, stretching of the strings, slipping
tuning pins and hard and consistent playing will alter the tension and
make the piano goes out of tune.
your piano tuned regularly will slip flat in pitch and steadily
deteriorate in condition. The
increasing inequality of string tensions will have physical
consequences that could
lead to more permanent and costly damage.
To ensure the best sound quality and proper playing condition, it is
recommended to have your piano tuned to standard pitch (440Hz) twice a
year. In case of irregular usage, it is advisable to tune the piano at
least once a year.
On pianos that have been neglected and have gone without tuning for many
years, pitch raising (few tunings) is something that needs
to be done before the piano stabilizes sufficiently to allow for fine
tuning. The extra tunings involve in pitch raising add to the cost
of tuning service.
It is important to
tune the piano regularly, however, it is also important to note that
your piano also requires a periodic servicing called Action
Regulation to keep the keys working properly.
/ Pedal Adjustment
If your piano displays a lack of sensitivity or decreased in dynamic
ranges, the keys are not level, the touch uneven, the keys are sticking,
buzzes, clicks, squeaks, pedals not working properly
and so on, it is an indication that your piano needs regulation.
of a piano is an amazing and complex and sensitive machine. It has over ten thousand
parts and needs to be kept in adjustment so it works correctly. To
compensate for wear, compacting of the felts, cloths & leathers and
changes in wooden parts due to humidity, periodic adjustments must be made. Keeping the
correct relationship between every part will prevent unnecessary wear and
will make each key function smoothly and evenly. It is recommended to
have your piano regulated every 2 to 3 years.
On the other hand, sticky keys are a typical minor problem with any
new piano. The tolerances are tight to allow for wear and small
adjustments often need to be made after the piano adjusts to its new
environment. These happens to many new pianos from the least
expensive to the most expensive.
However, a sluggish action or deep grooves in the hammers indicate the
need for overhauling or repair.
Piano Voicing / Tone Regulation
Every piano have its own distinct sound. Some pianos are mellow and
others are bright due to the density of the hammer felt. Harder hammers
will give you loud sound and softer hammers will produce a mellow sound.
The more you play the brighter it becomes. This is because the hammer felt
compacts and wears down. When a piano is too bright or harsh, it becomes
difficult to produce an even range of expression. Carefully shaping the
hammers and needling will bring back the beautiful tone.
Cabinet & Finish
Piano finishes are famous for their quality and are equal to or better
than those of fine furniture today. Avoid placing the piano where it will
be exposed to direct sunlight. Always keep your piano clean and keep the
keyboard covered when not in use to prevent dust. To remove fingerprints
on the piano finish, always dust the piano first before wiping the case
with a damp cotton cloth.
fiber cloth is useful for cleaning dust off high-gloss finish pianos.
Never rub hard and always move the cloth in the
direction of the wood grain.
Avoid the use of chemicals or solvents. While
some are acceptable, others contain chemicals which can be absorbed into
the wood. Even a small amount of mist from sprays can have a bad effect on
the inside of a piano.
To clean the keys, use a damp cloth and drying them immediately. Don't
get water between the keys or they may stick. Never use any solvents
stronger than alcohol on keys. Yellowing in ivory keys can sometimes
be reduced though sanding or scraping. The key coverings can be replaced if
Dust buildup in the piano may cause the mechanisms to stick or work more
slowly. If you wish to clean or vacuum the inside of your piano or remove a
small object that has fallen into the piano always ask your piano
technician. While this may appear to be a simple task, care must be taken
not to misalign or damage the many small parts inside the instrument.
Without a proper & regular maintenance, even the best upright or
grand piano is only a substandard instrument.