What’s the difference between a fish and a piano? You can tune a piano but you can’t tune a fish! All kidding aside, including our bad attempt at humor, piano tuning is as important to your performance as practice. Think of it like the oil change you get for your car or the annual physical you get for your body. Everything runs better with a bit of TLC.
How often should your piano be tuned?
For the last 15 years, Caleb Crockett of Chicago Piano Tuners has been tuning for professional pianists, schools, and individuals. His mission is to make your piano sound as good as they day it was made. The frequency of tuning depends somewhat on how often you’re playing but more on weather conditions. You’re likely not playing outside but the temperature where you store your instrument matters. That’s because pianos are made of wood.
Ideally a piano will perform best at 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 42% relative humidity.
Most of us, especially through a humid Chicago summer and blustery winter, do not have the ability to keep a piano in museum-like conditions. As a result, when the humidity rises, the wood expands and when temperatures drop, wood contracts both of which change the string tension resulting in the need for piano tuning up to four times a year.
Strings of a Piano
Every piano has approximately 230 strings with each tightened or pulled to an average of 150 to 200 pounds of pressure against a cast iron plate. The variance is due to the length and thickness of the strings. Piano tuning is done to keep the string tension at an optimal A440 and equalized against the soundboard and plate. A440 or 440 Hz is the pitch of the musical note of A above middle C and is the standard for perfect pitch.
That’s why piano tuning should be part of your maintenance plan. We want you to sound your best! Call us today to schedule a tuning!