1. Did you know that most piano manufacturers recommend that your piano be tuned 2-3 times a year? You probably didn't. Especially in its first year or at least once or twice depending on many factors such as climate , the presence of humidity or lack there of , how much playing time is performed on the instrument etc.
  2. ​Did you also know that if you do not properly maintain the instrument according to their guidelines that you may actually VOID YOUR WARRANTY. Why most dealers as well as private owners and sellers may avoid explaining this to their potential customers is simple. If the customer realizes that they have to regularly maintain and spend even more of their hard earned cash over and above the purchase price, they just may decide NOT TO BUY. It really is as simple as that. You should also consider this one very important fact.
  3. Buying or receiving A USED PIANO
    When considering buying a used piano (or getting a "free piano" ) many factors should be considered. How often was this piano tuned and regularly serviced? If this information is NOT available....BUYER BEWARE !!! Many used pianos that HAVE NOT BEEN MAINTAINED could have several problems such as ..... They won't hold their tuning due to lack of service or tuning pin blocks that may have deteriorated ,dried out and/or are cracked. The soundboard may be cracked or split and vibrate when played. The bridges that support the strings may be cracked or warped due to several conditions and lack of maintenance as well as many other factors. Consider having a qualified technician evaluate the instrument BEFORE you buy , move or accept it. Also...have a qualified piano mover move the instrument. Many times improper transportation of these instruments can damage the instrument which can create very costly repairs.

    ​* The national average and cost of maintaining ANY PIANO is approximately $180 per year *

    As a follow up to the previous information and as a conscientious piano owner, we sincerely hope that you probably will have your piano tuned regularly by a qualified technician. (at least once a year) Also , all pianos need to be cleaned out periodically from dust dirt and other things such as pet hair and other items that may have "gotton lost" in the piano such as pencils , paper clips etc. You may, however, still notice a deterioration of its performance even despite regular tunings. It's important to note that tuning is only the adjustment of the system of strings and pins that determines the pitch of each string. Your piano also requires a periodic servicing called regulation , which attends to the mechanical parts which cause strings to sound when keys are played and affect the sound through use of the pedals.

    ​* The national average and cost of maintaining ANY PIANO is approximately $180 per year *

  5. What is regulation and how does it affect my piano's performance?
    Regulation is the adjustment of the mechanical aspects of the pianos to compensate for the effects of wear, the compacting and settling of cloth, felt, and buckskin, as well as dimensional changes in wood and wool parts due to changes in humidity. The three systems involved in regulation are the action trapwork and damper system. The action is the mechanical part of the piano that transfers the motion of the fingers on the keys to the hammers that strike the strings. It is comprised of over 9,000 parts which require adjustment to critical tolerances to be able to respond to a pianist's every command. The trapwork is the assemblage of levers, dowels and springs that connects the pedals to the action affecting sustain and dynamics. The damper system is the mechanical part of the piano that stops the vibration of the string when you release the key and is controlled by the key and pedal systems.​

    * The national average and cost of maintaining ANY PIANO is approximately $180 per year *

  6. ​If I have my piano tuned regularly, why do I need to have it regulated?​
    ​While tuning corrects the pitch of your piano, it is only one component of a complete maintenance program. Regulation attends to the touch and uniform responsiveness of your action, all vital to making each performance pleasurable. In addition, regulation ensures that your instrument is capable of producing a wide dynamic range -- a critical factor, particularly in pianissimo passages. Music is one of the most complex vehicles for expression. Its beauty is reliant upon personal dynamics and tempi. These changes require extremely fine adjustments to respond to the pianist's nuances and subtle shadings. A smooth, even response throughout the entire range of the keyboard and an extremely quick action capable of playing rapid passages and repeated notes evenly is essential. Outstanding response is essential for a pianist to create an outstanding performance.​

  7. Do all pianos need to be regulated?
    ​Absolutely YES. All upright and grand pianos need periodic regulation to perform their best. ( on the average approx every 5-7 years) Frequency of regulation is dependent upon amount of use, exposure to climatic changes, and the instrument's quality, age and condition. New pianos may require regulation in their first year because settling and compacting of parts sometimes necessitates adjustment.

  8. How often is regulation needed?
    ​Only you and your technician together should decide how frequently your piano needs regulation. Several factors can contribute to this. The intensity and number of hours your instrument is played, and climatic conditions are all determinants. A piano kept in relatively consistent conditions which are neither too wet nor dry, optimally at a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 42 percent relative humidity, will require less adjustment.

    The quality of the instrument itself also can affect frequency of regulation. Some manufacturers decrease costs by not going over the regulation and voicing processes in the factory as much as needed. Reputable retailers sometimes do the necessary regulation themselves prior to selling the pianos, but others do not. Also, performance instruments may require some regulation before each use, due to the higher demands placed on them.

  9. What are the signs that my piano needs regulation?
    If your instrument displays a lack of sensitivity or a decreased dynamic ranges, it's a candidate for regulation. If you notice that the keys are not level (some higher or lower than the rest), the touch is uneven or that the keys are sticking, the need for regulation is indicated. However, a sluggish action or deep grooves in the hammers indicate the need for reconditioning or repair. Ask your technicians to show you what needs adjustment on your piano.

    No amount of practice can compensate for a poorly maintained action. Poor legato touch, chord playing where all notes of the chord don't speak clearly, a gradual loss of subtlety in phrasing and an inability to execute quick passages or note repetitions evenly may be the fault of the piano -- not the player.

  10. Why is reconditioning or rebuilding of the mechanical systems sometimes necessary
    prior to regulation?

    Prior to regulation, your technician will assess the condition of your instrument. If it has badly worn parts or if there has been corrosion or moth damage, the piano may not be able to be properly regulated without some repair or replacement of parts. Reconditioning is the process of putting your piano back in good condition by cleaning, repairing, and adjusting your instrument for maximum performance with replacement parts only where specifically indicated. If you piano has deteriorated beyond simple reconditioning, it may need to be rebuilt. Rebuilding involves complete disassembly, inspection and repair as necessary with replacement of all worn or deteriorated parts. The piano is then reassembled, tested and adjusted to the same or similar tolerance and performance as when it was new.  ​

Piano Tuning Amherst New York Buffalo New York

Piano Facts

(716) 631-3145


10 Facts that Piano Dealers and SELLERS do not tell you or may not want you to know when
your looking to purchase any acoustic piano !
Your piano is a major investment which deserves to be protected through regular servicing by a qualified technician. Properly maintained, your piano will sound its best and give you and your family
​a lifetime of enjoyment.

The preceding article is a reprint of a Technical Bulletin published by the Piano Technicians Guild, Inc. It is provided on the Internet as a service to piano owners. Piano Technicians Guild is an international organization of piano technicians. Registered Piano Technicians (RPTs)
​are those members of PTG who have passed a series of examinations on the maintenance, repair, and tuning of pianos

Copyright © 2008 Piano Technicians Guild. All rights reserved.