Pianos go out of tune as humidity changes. Here in Maine, humidity is highly unpredictable: Constant small fluctuations in humidity mean your piano can go out of tune even more quickly than in other parts of the country.
Piano tuning is the most basic and important step in piano care, and tunings should be performed twice a year. Getting your piano tuned regularly will keep it sounding the best that it can, and will also prevent it from shifting so far that it’s difficult to tune to concert pitch again. If your piano is very out of tune, it may require a significant pitch adjustment.
Pianos that have not been tuned recently or that have been exposed to especially large humidity swings may require a pitch adjustment. These adjustments are pre-tunings that bring the piano closer to concert pitch before the fine tuning.
If the piano is exceptionally out of tune or has not been tuned in many years, it is sometimes necessary to come back and tune the piano within several weeks. I have a couple of tuning samples of the sorts of recoveries these pianos can make! Brand new pianos also require more frequent tuning for their first year.
Humidity is the primary factor in how well a piano holds a tune. Humidity control in homes, using air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and/or humidifiers, helps keep your piano in tune and in good shape. Ideally, well-kept pianos can entertain families for more than a century, and nothing adds to their longevity like stable humidity! Humidity level, in the room the piano is kept, should be 42-45% year round. If its impractical to control the humidity in the room, I do install Dampp-Chaser Piano Life Saver Systems.
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