Piano Tuning and Pitch
Pianos should be tuned regularly: Twice a year for a piano which is in normal use and at least once a year if the piano has little or no use.
The wood, soundboard and bridges and metal frame expand and contract with general temperature changes.
Piano which are not tuned for a number of years have problems. For example, the pitch drops (strings lose tension), which results in the need for major re-pitch work. Strings break because they have not been moved (tuned) regularly through the bridges, bridge pins and pressure bars. They stick or corrode on these parts. The risk of this happening is greater if your piano is not tuned.
Pianos are like machines: They need tuning regularly just as a car needs regular servicing.
If you purchased a new piano and did not have it tuned for 10 years, that would result in the need for major tuning work, re-pitch and possibly the need to replace broken springs even if they are relatively new strings.
The piano might sound in tune, but it is slowly sinking in pitch.
For example, the true C pitch sounds like C on the tuning fork, not C# D, which it is on the piano. It is important for children learning to play the piano to recognise pitch from a young age and not on a piano where other notes sound like C.
Obviously, not all pianos can be tuned on pitch because of their history and age. This applies for example if the piano is kept near a radiator or where sun streams down in a conservatory for a long period of time. If you do keep your piano in a centrally-heated home, it should be kept as far from a radiator as possible and precautions should be taken against the effect of the heating such as the use of a humidifier to prevent the wood from drying out.
Older pianos are more vulnerable to this effect because more moisture content needs to dry out of the wood. New pianos are less vulnerable because they are manufactured from kiln-dried wood, but precautions should still be taken. The drying results in damage such as tuning pins working loose, wrest plank, soundboard and bridges splitting.
In addition to piano tuning, Gordon also offers expert stringing, pinning, action work such as re-centering, felting, regulation and all aspects of technical work.
So, for expert piano tuning and restoration work in South-East England, particularly East Sussex, West Sussex, West Kent, Surrey and South London, please contact Gordon Holmes who offers a flexible, personal and value-for-money service. Appointments can be made to suit you during the day, evening or weekend.