Piano Care & Maintenance Recommendations
Finish and Case Care:
- Use a piece of clean cheese cloth, lightly dampened with plain water, to wipe away dust and fingerprints. Follow with a soft dry cloth to remove excess moisture from the finish. Always wipe in the direction of the grain.
- Waxing the instrument is not recommended as it eventually results in an unattractive buildup that must be professionally removed.
- The piano keys, both black and white keys, should be cleaned with a lightly damped cloth. Avoid getting moisture on the sides of the keys.
- Interior cleaning should be arranged by a professional
Tuning (pitch adjustment):
- Your piano should be tuned several times the first year to help stabilize the pitch of your piano. More tunings in the first year help to ensure more stable tunings in the future.
- After the first year, we recommend that your piano be tuned a minimum of twice a year or more often as your ear demands. Please note that performance instruments are normally tuned and serviced before each performance.
- A stable climate is essential for stable tunings. Please try to maintain a climate of 35-50% relative humidity without wide swings in temperature. Your technician can measure the temperature and humidity at the time of service and can advise you based on your specific climate.
Voicing (tone adjustment):
- Voicing a piano controls the 'tone' (sound quality) of the piano and is separate from tuning. Each piano key connects to a hammer, covered in felt, which will strike the strings of the piano as you play. Your technician can adjust the condition of the hammer's felt to affect the range of tone that can emanate from your piano.
Every key should have a uniform sound from one another. If the touch is the same but certain notes are brighter or more mellow in tone, it is impossible to get a smooth musical line since some notes will be out of place in the melody, either not matching volume, or tonally different in some way.
- Voicing is based on individual preference and should be discussed with your technician prior to affecting any overall change.
- As a piano is played, the condition of the hammer felts will change. For normal home playing we recommend voicing every 2-3 years, or more often, as you perceive changes in the tone.
Action Regulation (touch adjustment):
- Regulation of the piano action adjusts the overall touch and the consistency with which each note responds to your playing. The piano's "action" consists of approximately 7500 parts manufactured with maple wood and felt. Each key in the action has about 100 parts. There are approximately 8 different adjustments for each key: from key height, key depth when depressed, let-off of the hammer after it is struck, to other details of hammer movement, and other adjustments effecting repetition, power and more. As the felt changes over a period of time, the evenness of touch will change.
- For normal home playing, we recommend regulation every 2-3 years. More frequent playing will require more frequent service.
- Avoid positioning your piano in the path of direct air from heating / cooling vents, or in the direct proximity of a humidifier.
- Try to maintain the relative humidity in a range of 35 – 50%.
- Avoid exposure to direct sunlight as it will bleach the finish and affect the performance stability.
- We recommend monitoring your climate with a hygrometer that measure the relative humidity in which your piano resides.
Adapted from Robert Estrin at LivingPianos.com