AMH Pianos Services London always believe that it is essential our valued customers know what is involved in our services. This is why we will always talk you through what we are doing with your piano whilst in your home. and the team have tuned hundreds of pianos in their careers, and every piano gives our team an experience and adds fresh knowledge within this work.
What is piano tuning?
Piano tuning is the process of adjusting the tension on the strings. Slightly turning the pins which alter the pitch of the string. Turning the pins changes the vibration frequency and allows that string to play in harmony with all others. The harmony achieved when tuning the piano is set to acoustical laws, aesthetic rules and customs.
How does a piano tuner tune a piano?
Pianos are more challenging to tune compared to other instruments within the string and percussion family. Almost every piano has around 230 strings pulled tightly, stretched and then anchored by pins in the pin block. This creates an obstacle when tuning a piano and ensuring the piano stays in tune for a substantial length of time.
A piano technician will tune each of these strings and confirm their accuracy by performing listening tests. The technician will be listening to faint, regular and fluctuating patterns in the soundwave. This will happen when the harmonics of two notes are almost at the same frequency as each other.
It is standard for the human ear to hear higher pitches flatter than they tend to be. To compensate for this effect, the technician will stretch the octaves slightly sharper in the treble and a bit flatter in the bass instead of having the octaves perfect.
When combining tunings acoustical and physical obstacles, people can see why it takes many years of training, experience, practise and knowledge to become an accomplished piano tuner.
How often should I get my piano tuned?
We get asked this question all the time and can be found on our FAQ page along with many other piano related questions. You can also find a more detailed explanation on a post we made a while back, How Often a Piano Should Be Tuned.
What does tuning services not include?
Tuning services involve only correcting the pitches of the strings. On many occasions, when tuning a piano, the technician can discover minor to major faults which require a repair, such as sticky keys or hanging dampeners, mostly if the piano has not been played for a while.
Tuning does not include cleaning, adjustment, repairs to broken strings or voicing. If you do have concerns about a fault or a repair, let your technician know in advanced, and they would more than likely be able to bring the correct tools to fix the fault at a cost agreed by the technician and customer before arriving.
When contacting your piano tuner, it is much appreciated if you could let them know when the last tuning service was carried out, what make and model of the piano and whether it is a vertical or grand piano. The more information a technician has before their arrival, the more time they can allow for the service and be prepared with the correct tools and materials for the job.