Piano Maintenance Programs
— by Wes Flinn RPT
►Piano Maintenance Programs — ? — What’s That ?
takes almost no time to read !
It is a set of Piano Care Proceduresthat is based on:
• Calendar dates,
• on the type and quality of Piano involved,
• on the expectations the users have for it,
• on the kind of use it is expected to receive, as well as
• on the place where is it located.
oddity – a
All such procedures are physical actions, and not related to turning knobs or switches like on electronic devices. The tune, the tone quality, pitch clarity, even volume and softness of piano tones are one and all dependent on the highly complex and purely physical adjustments of the procedures listed above that are appropriate for a particular piano “machine”.
A Piano Maintenance Program is the only route to finding out what a piano really sounds like, and also how well you as a pianist can play.
The tragedy here is that the piano as a class usually gets almost no maintenance during its working life, because very, very few people understand that it does need a minimum amount of regular maintenance in order to hold up well.
The second miracle here is that even though a piano as a class never gets much maintenance, the piano as a machine just keeps trudging on through life and still survives for decades, often more than a century with nothing more than neglect for a reward.
The big surprise here for new piano owners is when they discover that a piano is actually a machine, in fact, a physical machine — and not related at all to a plug-in stereo or an electronic keyboard, and that their new machine has to be maintained throughout its life! In our high-tech culture of today, we are not educated to understand physical machines. We understand a little about automobiles, that we have to make oil changes, etc., and that’s because the majority of all people today are involved with an automobile in some way and have learned something along the way about auto maintenance. And, if we have a bicycle or boat or airplane, etc., we sometimes learn a little about the maintenance involved with physical machines.
This is a very complex subject, and needs to be considered carefully with the advice of an RPT, or “Registered Piano Technician“, who has the expertise and experience to give you a truthful answer.
The correct answer has to be based on you and your piano, and what are your expectations for it.
The answer goes from A to Z — if you want to just keep your piano out of trouble and not break apart due to lack of tuning, perhaps 1 tuning a year is good enough. If you are a recording studio, your Maintenance Program could be really often — Like DAILY !
The complete answer has to be tailored to you, and includes consideration of: the condition of the piano, its age, type, location, type of use and the wishes of its owner and users. A “pat” standard or universal answer is not possible. It’s easier to answer: “How often should you buy new shoes?” “Do you change oil in your car as often as a taxi cab?” “When should you wash your car?” The correct answer is: “It depends. Let’s discuss all your needs and see. A recording studio may tune its piano every day; a music school like ASU every 30-60 days; a new piano needs more tuning than an older piano,” and so on. It is completely correct to say that how much a piano is used does not exactly determine how often it should be tuned. Playing a piano does not necessarily knock it out of tune, but Mother Nature can knock out a tuning in 15 minutes with a weather change if the piano does not “live” in some kind of a climate controlled environment.
The final answer to just tuning a Piano is: ‘Tune it when it needs it, or when you want it done, but once a year even when you don’t use it.’ Tuning about 2 times a year satisfies the needs of many people.
Other issues listed above, such as Regulation and Lubrication, Voicing, maintenance of Climate Control Systems, and Repairs have to be discussed specifically about a particular piano. Click here for Definitions of these terms.
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