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DEREK WRIGHT  Piano Tuning & Repairs
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Tuning, Maintenance & Care

Tuning a piano is the process by which each string (there are around 230 of those on the average piano) is adjusted to produce the correct note. This is done by turning the wrest pins (tuning pins) to adjust the tension.

toolsPiano tuning is highly skilled – I studied full-time for 3 years to learn how to do it. It isn’t something an amateur is likely to make a good job of! In fact you are quite likely to damage your piano if you try to tune it yourself.

Frequency of tuning does depend to some extent on the individual instrument and how much it is played, but it is usually reckoned that most pianos should be tuned twice per year. If a piano has heavy use, it may require more. A piano that is hardly used will still go out of tune, so should be tuned at least once per year.

A piano that is left without being tuned will drop in pitch. If it is very overdue a tune, a pitch raise may be necessary. This involves at least one rough tuning first to get the piano close to in tune, then a fine tuning. This is because the extra tension involved in a significant pitch change causes gradual distortion of the soundboard meaning that by the end of the tuning, the first notes tuned are not where you left them!

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It is important to keep your piano regularly tuned. Not only does it stay sounding good, but with frequent visits, the tuner can monitor the condition of the piano and spot minor problems before they become major ones.

Contact me if you would like to book a tuning. If you are outside my usual catchment area, I would advise you to look for a local tuner who is a member of The Pianoforte Tuners’ Association. The Association’s website has a find-a-local-tuner function. All members must pass a fairly rigorous practical test to join so you can be sure of their competence. Of course there are plenty of good tuners who are not members, but it is difficult to tell them from cowboys until you hear the results of their work.