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Why Do Pianos Get Out Of Tune?

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

It’s a common misconception that pianos go out of tune based on how often they are played. Some think the more the piano sits idle, the quicker it will need to be tuned. However, not using the instrument is not the reason it needs tuning. The largest contributing factors to needing professional tuning are temperature and humidity fluctuations.

A piano is mainly made of strings, hammers and a soundboard. The soundboard is the part that supports the strings and creates the rich sound that a piano makes. As temperature and humidity increase, the soundboard expands or contracts. This puts more pressure on the strings and causes the notes to go sharp.

Since each fluctuation of the soundboard unbalances the strong tension, frequent changes in temperature and humidity will make your strings go flat quicker. However, even without these fluctuations, strings can still stretch and go flat with use. Even if your physical environment is perfect, just regular use can cause you to need professional tuning.

How Often Should I Get My Piano Tuned?

Most piano manufacturers recommend getting your piano tuned four times a year for the first year of the life of your new piano. After that first year, it is recommended you get it tuned twice yearly. The absolute minimum we recommend getting your piano tuned is once a year unless you have dramatic humidity changes in your home or if the piano is used frequently by an extremely proficient pianist.

On a side note, if you have recently moved, it’s important to let your piano sit a good three weeks before calling a tuner. Give the instrument some time to acclimate to the climate of your new home so that your next professional tuning will be more accurate.

Another reason to get your piano professionally tuned on a regular basis is because a piano tuner can help make sure your piano’s parts are in good working order. A piano has thousands of moving parts, and during a routine tuning, parts that are starting to wear out can be identified before they break.

About Our Tuning Services

Our expert piano tuners, have extensive experience tuning pianos in this part of the country and are very familiar with the havoc that coastal weather can play on pianos.  They know just how to make sure you keep your investment in the best shape it can be with tuning, inspection and repairs.

We offer services for private homes as well as churches, schools, venues, and other public buildings that use a piano. From basic service to tuning and pitch adjustment to full services, JB Piano has a solution for your instrument at a price you can afford.  Contact us today to discuss how we can help you protect your investment and keep your piano in top shape for years to come.

Still have more questions about our services? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to get all the information you need on getting your piano tuned.


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