Piano tuning by ear provides the best and most harmonically rich result for your instrument. Pianos require regular tuning as seasonal changes in humidity and temperature cause the instrument’s timber parts to swell and contract. Pianos need to be tuned yearly if they are played casually, or twice a year if they see frequent use. A piano used for education or performance requires more frequent tuning and maintenance.
Beyond keeping your piano well-tuned and maintained, it is also important to keep its immediate environment as stable as possible. Simple things such as keeping the piano away from damp walls, windows and heaters/fireplaces will have a big impact on the condition and stability of your instrument.
Regulation of a piano’s keyboard mechanism (action) involves making fine adjustments to the mechanical parts of the instrument. A fully regulated action gives the player finer control over the dynamics of the piano, translating even the most subtle of hand movements into precise mechanical function. Pianos contain thousands of moving parts, all of which need to be accurately and consistently adjusted in order to give the player full control of the instrument. An unregulated piano action will typically feel vague, sluggish and difficult to play. It’s important to note that the regulation of a piano action will change over time due to compression of the various felts and leather components.
Voicing is the process of changing a piano’s tonal quality. Over time hammer felts become compressed from striking the strings which results in the tone to brighten. Voicing remedies this problem through altering the shape and hardness of the hammer felt:
– Filing the hammers to match the strings perfectly, creating a flush connection with the string plane.
– Needling and/or chemically treating the hammers to adjust the tone.
Voicing is an integral part of maintaining a piano’s tone and should be performed regularly along with tuning.
Repairing broken parts of a piano is an inevitable and common procedure. While the life span of a piano may be decades long, certain parts of the instrument degrade faster than others. Hammer shanks, strings and action parts will often break during a piano’s lifetime. If your piano doesn’t feel or sound right, be sure to contact Julian before the problem gets any worse.
Restoration or refurbishment of a piano involves restoring the instrument to its peak condition. Whether it be a full restoration of a family’s beloved heirloom, the replacement of strings and hammers to restore a piano’s musicality, or the simple addition of new key-tops to refresh the look of your piano, restoration is the perfect way to extend the lifespan of your instrument.