This is my third articles on acoustic piano’s maintenance. Please read my earlier article to know more about this subject. Now let us discuss some more important matters which are directly or indirectly connect it with piano maintenance. So, I am back again with it and the main subjects which are going to be talked in this article are ‘Piano tuning’ and its ‘shifting’ part.
How often a piano need tuning:
This is really a tricky question but it totally depends on the kind of acoustic piano you have. If your piano becomes old or if you have bought a second hand (more than 30 years old), you have to tune it frequently compare to the new one. Normally, an acoustic piano life is around 30-40 years, after that you have to reconstruct it if you really need to have it for some more years and work perfectly. When a piano get old, the internal parts like ‘tuning pins’ gets weak and loosen. Once your tuning pins become weak, it can’t hold the tension of the strings for long time and thus it get detune frequently. This situation doesn’t come on a new piano. So, according to your piano’s conditions and your uses, you should tune it on time to keep maintain your piano.
When you buy a new acoustic piano, no matter what the salesman says but you should tune your piano twice in a year. Sometime tuning depends on its uses, how frequently piano gets played. A beginner may not play like a professional player who practices on piano 6-8 hours a day. So, compare to the beginner player a professional player need tuning more frequently. Again, it is advisable to tune your piano in every six month to keep it maintained no matter what kind of player you are. Climatic conditions like in India, one should tune their piano before and after the rainy seasons for better maintenance of this wonderful instrument. To tune your piano, it is advisable to call company’s authorized technician or the person who is well experienced in tuning pianos. Keep one technician for tuning because every technician have their own way of tuning and ear to tune. So, select the one who tune your piano according to your requirement.
Please remember that keeping your piano tuned not only provide a new breath to the instrument but keep your interest alive too. Playing on detuned piano only can harm your progress on learning music.
How to handle your piano while shifting or moving to other place:
There are times when you need to shift your piano from one place to other while changing home or shifting from one city to other. This is here one need to be very careful on handling the piano. Little mistake done and it can damage your piano, injured people who are around or damage your property. So be extra careful while doing shifting work.
Always hire those people who are well experienced in shifting and moving pianos and those who are professional in doing this work. Just to save some money, please don’t take risk to handle your piano with inexperience people. Those professionals’ labors know exactly how to handle and shift a piano and it can be done safely under their work. Yes, they may charge you more than the normal labor but again your instrument need to be handled very carefully here. Also, these professionals’ piano labors have proper equipment and things to move it carefully; you can truly depend on them. It will be great if you could call your piano technician/tuner during the shifting so that the work could be done under his supervision. After all a piano technician is the one who has more knowledge about piano than others. Once shifting is done, play and check your piano if it required tuning. Sometimes during shifting, the piano gets detune slightly. Do it if it requires tuning.
How to get professionals piano labors:
Talk to your piano technician if he can arrange these labors. Since the piano technician is from this field, he often knows these professionals piano lifters. If this is not possible, talk to the piano stores from where you bought your piano, they can arrange these labors for you. If this also can’t be done, please hire professional’s movers and let them work under your supervision. While doing so, make sure that your piano should be fully covered with thick padded cloth or bubble wrapper.
I have written all these articles out of my own working experience which I see and feels, just tried to bring out in my own words. Doing Piano tuning on time and its shifting and handling are not an easy job as it looks. As much care you do in these work, your piano’s life will become more. More than your practical thinking towards your instrument, it is your personal feeling and emotions which helps more keeping an acoustic piano maintained well for longer run.