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How often should I tune my piano?

The short answer is, as often as it needs it. Generally, I recommend a piano be looked at once a year. If it does not need tuning, I will tell you. A yearly visit, however, helps ensure nothing is going desperately wrong. (On one visit to a client during a regular tuning, I pulled the action to check out the state of the instrument and discovered the key bed had cracked. This issue was caught just before his warranty expired, and so was fixed without cost to him.)

Should I humidify my piano?

My instinct is 'no'. Many technicians disagree with me. My experience has been that most instruments react poorly to changes in temperature and humidity. A consistently dry climate is better, overall, for an instrument than the havoc wrought by the changes that occur through inconsistent humidification. It is easy to forget to fill a humidifier.

Should I keep my piano away from an outside wall?

Modern houses are generally well insulated and most pianos (and other instruments) can be placed against any wall. Again, the object is to minimize changes in temperature and humidity. It is a good idea to avoid exposing any instrument to the heat from a forced air vent, open windows or doors, or direct sunlight. However, these instruments take up space and must be lived with; the final placement of any instrument is up to the person living with it.

I have heard that a cracked soundboard is bad. Is it?

Not necessarily. It can be an issue if the soundboard is separating from the ribs or the bridges and there is a 'buzzing' sound. However, a competent technician can assess a piano for overall soundness (forgive the pun).


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