If you ask
a piano dealer, or manufacturer,
or piano tuner
when you are supposed to tune your
piano, the most common answer is:
“Every 6 months”.
The same is true if you ask most
anyone else — it seems most everyone believes this is the
correct rule to follow if you take good care of your piano.
The truth is that this is certainly
a good rule in a general way for most home piano owners. It is
actually a compromise plan that meets most piano makers’
warranty requirements while at the same time generally keeps a
piano sounding pleasant and enjoyable to you, the user of the
Tuning cycles for pianos actually range from once or twice a
day for a commercial recording studio, to once every year or so
if you seldom or never use your piano. And, by the way, if you
store your piano someday, be sure to keep it in a climate
controlled area — a common storage unit or an outside shed may
turn a piano into both firewood and a rat’s nest in a very short time.
This 6-month tuning idea refers to any piano that is already
“broken in” and has had at least 6 or more tunings. Another
article called “Tuning and Your New Piano” covers
the various needs of new pianos, and explains the “break-in”
process needed by new pianos.
the 6 month plan
good for all pianos?
You can if
you want — there is nothing wrong about it — the main advantage
of this cycle is related to your piano warranty. Most piano manufacturers require
new piano owners to tune their pianos each 6 months, and to keep
records, in order to maintain a warranty agreement — which might
last 5 up to 15 years.
Why tune a
piano in the first place?
we forget that the purpose of tuning a piano is to please
us, the users and owners, and not the piano!
It does not hurt a piano seriously to not tune it every six
months — What it hurts is our ears !! The only
way to hurt a piano regarding tuning is to not ever tune it —
the strings must be kept at a fairly even tension to prevent
cracks and warping from developing in the bridge and
soundboard. Tunings are
very simply for the
people, and not the piano.
that a piano when tuned regularly
and often will reward the owner many times
over with clear, ringing tones that can only be developed
through regular, professional tunings.
cycles based on type of use are shown
in the chart below (from article “Tuning Your Piano”).