Piano Care and Maintenance

Finish and Case Care

Use a piece of clean cheesecloth, lightly dampened with plain water, to wipe away dust and fingerprints. Follow with a soft dry cloth to remove excess moisture from the finish. Always wipe in the direction of the grain. Waxing the instrument is not recommended as it eventually results in an unattractive build-up that must be professionally removed. The piano keys, both black and white keys, should be cleaned with a lightly dampened cloth. Avoid getting moisture on the sides of the keys. Interior cleaning should be arranged by a professional.

Tuning (pitch adjustment)

Your piano should be tuned several times the first year to help stabilize the pitch of your piano. More tunings in the first year help to ensure more stable tunings in the future. After the first year, we recommend that your piano be tuned a minimum of twice a year or more often as your ear demands. Please note that performance instruments are normally tuned and serviced before each performance. A stable climate is essential for stable tunings. Please try to maintain a climate of 35-50% relative humidity without wide swings in your temperature. A Technician can measure the temperature and humidity at the time of service and can advise you based on your specific climate.

Voicing (tone adjustment)

Voicing a piano controls, to a large extent, the tone of the piano and is separate from tuning. Technicians can adjust the condition of the hammer felt to affect the range of tone that can emanate from your piano. Voicing is based on individual preference and should be discussed with your technician prior to effecting any overall change. As a piano is played, the condition of the hammer felts will change. For normal home playing we recommend voicing every 2-3 years, or more often, as you perceive changes in the tone.

Action Regulation (touch adjustment)

Regulation of the piano action adjusts the overall touch and the consistency with which each note responds to your playing. Your action consists of approximately 7500 parts manufactured primarily with wood (maple) and felt. As the felt compresses over a period of time, the evenness of touch will change. For normal home playing, we recommend regulation every 2-3 years. More frequent playing will require more frequent service.

Climate Recommendations

Avoid positioning your piano in the path of direct air from heating/cooling vents, or in the direct proximity of a humidifier. Try to maintain the relative humidity in a range of 35-50%. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight as it will bleach the finish and affect the performance stability. We recommend monitoring your climate with a hygrometer that measures the relative humidity in which your piano resides.

The Ann Arbor Area Piano Teachers Guild is a professional organization supporting the work of its members on behalf of their students and studios. Funds raised through advertising and other contributions are used solely to support its administration and programs. While we welcome contributions, please be aware that the Guild is classified as a 501 (c) (6). Donations to the Guild are not tax deductible.

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