Last month I had my piano tuned and vacuumed out – I admit it was overdue for a tuning and as a piano teacher… well, it’s kind of like the story of the doctor who is a bad patient!
Pianos are very sensitive instruments with lots of parts (upwards of about 14,000 parts). All of these parts come together to make the piano sound good when played by a skilled or budding pianist.
Here is what apparently happens to make a piano go “out of tune”. WEATHER. That’s right. That’s all it is. If you live in Nashville, there is an old saying: “If you don’t like the weather just wait”. This means that our weather is ALWAYS changing. For example, we had 55 degree weather on Monday and it snowed on Tuesday. This kind of weather can really wreak havoc on a piano.
You see, the piano is largely made out of wood. Wood contracts and expands with the changes in the weather. Anytime there is expansion and contraction in the wood, the strings will shift some also. Where the hammers and dampers come together with the strings naturally shifts with the change in the weather. This creates a “bend” in the string. I like to think of this as a groove in the string. Wherever that groove occurs is where the sound will happen through the process of the hammer hitting the string. If the groove is left for too long in an incorrect spot, then your piano will always come back to that spot, even if it is incorrect. Therefore your piano will constantly be off pitch or “out of tune”. Not good!
In order to prevent the “groove” or “bend” in the piano’s strings from happening, the piano must be tuned by a professional. How often? TWICE A YEAR. A couple of weeks after the weather changes. This tuning will prevent the groove from occuring in the string and will keep your piano in tune!
If you live in the greater Nashville area, I recommend Doug Waguespack as a piano tuner. He is a piano technician, Steinway Factory trained, and a Piano Technician’s Guild Associate Member. His phone number is 615.347.0105 and I’m sure he will be happy to help you!
I really hope this little blog post has taught you something about the reason to continue to have your piano tuned regularly. I know that doing the research really educated me!
If you are currently seeking lessons in piano, guitar, banjo, voice, violin, flute, clarinet, cello, viola, bass, saxophone, trombone, trumpet or percussion / drums, then call Music Star Studios at 615.509.1753! Based in Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin and Spring Hill, TN and now also in Atlanta, Georgia, (404.965.4058)our knowledgeable teachers provide music lessons both in-home and online by Skype webcam! We select our teachers carefully and want all of our students to shine!
Music Star Studios also sells instruments, so if you have a need, we may be able to help with it!