Being exceptional at playing the piano, and taking care of one, are two vastly different talents that aren’t necessarily present in a balance for musical savants. That is why professional piano services exist to restore, tune & regulate such a grand instrument.
Although people relish taking care of their pianos, there are a few things to consider if one wants their piano to grow to the ripe old age of a valued antique. Piano maintenance ranges from a simple wipe down to tuning the inner mechanical components & parts replacements.
But the message is clear, the better you care for your piano, the more beautiful the notes it produces for you for years to come!
Tip 1: Wipe the Keys Clean
This is especially concerning the ivory keys on a grand. Oil & dust from your hands can accumulate on the keys with time, staining the ivory & turning it a strange yellow. For the plastic keys on digital & synth, you can use a microfiber cloth dipped in a dilute solution of white vinegar. For the ivory, use dilute dish soap. Careful to wipe with a wet, wrung cloth.
Tip 2: Ensure the Piano Is Tuned
If you can tune your piano, that is all good, but try to call in a professional piano tuner for a thorough job every six months. Of course, you don’t need tuning for a digital keyboard or a synth.
Tip 3: Schedule Regulation
Tunning a grand is one thing; regulating it is another. Tuning deals with the piano strings & their anchors, while regulation takes on piano maintenance on a mechanical scale. Many components inside a grand come together to produce that opulent sound. With time, you might sense an ‘off’ sound quality & that is when you need to book a full piano service.
Tip 4: Conduct Regular Piano Voicing
Voicing is the process of altering the tonal quality your piano produces. It is good practice to voice your piano along with different tonal ranges. While tuning deals with pitch clarity, voicing adds more depth or lightness to the notes you are producing.
You may be playing the same notes, but voicing allows you to experiment with a range of evoking tones that mere tuning can’t cover. That also ensures your piano’s stings & fixtures don’t go too stagnant in one place.
Tip 5: Maintain Ambient Humidity
An excellent tip is to consider where you place your piano. Avoid humid & warm spaces, as they can affect the piano strings & the wooden housings/components. Many materials used to make a grand are exceptionally sensitive to humidity changes.
If it gets too humid, the soundboard can swell & dull the sound quality, too dry, and the wood can warp over the years. You can set up a home barometer or a humidifier, but use a damp chaser inside the piano to regulate humidity levels if you want to stay safe.
Tip 6: Let the Wood Breathe
Of course, humidity is an issue, but that does not mean keeping your piano away from a much-needed draft. Grands need consistent ventilation to find them in the center of most rooms or between two adjoining rooms. Never place a grand against an exterior wall or a sun-kissed window because the irregular draft & sun will both damage your grand.
The draft is essential to keep the wood body robust for optimal playing, maintaining the humidity levels between 40 and 60%.
Tip 7: Don’t Use It as Furniture
Lastly, please avoid placing thick volumes, vases, or doilies over the piano. Not only can a vase spill cause water intrusion & expensive damage to the piano, but the extra clutter on a piano can also affect its tonal output & quality of the pitch. Books & other decorations can interfere with the resonance & vibrations that define note quality. The only things you should have on a piano are the music sheet and a metronome!
Our team at PianoCraft takes great pride in breathing new notes & life into our client’s grand pianos. We deal in sales of renowned piano brands: acoustic & digital. We also have a few antiques fresh in from restoration.
If you have such an heirloom, please get in touch with us for its restoration & regulation. If you have any queries, please contact us in Montgomery County, MD, and we will get your piano affairs back in order!