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FAQ's About Piano Maintenance  
   
How often should I have my piano tuned? Many piano builders suggest that you tune your piano at least twice a year. A piano is primarily a wooden instrument and therefore it is effected by seasonal changes in humidity. Even if you don't play your piano it will still go out of tune from humidity changes.
 
Where should I place my piano? A piano should never be placed next to a heating or air conditioning vent. Also, it's best if you can place it on an inside wall away from doors and windows.
 
What is a pitch raise? When the pitch of a piano has fallen considerably below concert pitch (the standard that all instruments are tuned to) it may require two tunings. The first tuning (the pitch raise) just gets the piano close to concert pitch and the second tuning is the fine tuning.
 
What is concert pitch? Concert pitch (sometimes refered to as international standard pitch) is the frequency of 440 Hz for the A note above middle C.
 
Is it OK to buy a used piano? Yes, but it would be wise to have a piano technician evaluate the piano before you buy. A piano technician will look for rust on the strings and tuning pins, cracks in the soundboard and bridges, old plastic parts that might disintegrating. The technician might also try tuning random notes to see if the tuning pins are still tight and able to hold a tuning. Paying a piano technician to look at these and other parts of the piano can help you make the right choice when buying a used instrument.
 
Other than tuning, does a piano require any other maintenance? Pianos do need periodic regulation to ensure the moving parts are operating as they should. Hammers may become deeply grooved where they strike the strings causing the tone of the piano to change. This can be remedied by reshaping and voicing the hammers.
 
How should I clean my piano? Piano manufacturers recommend against the use of furniture polish. A damp cloth can be used to clean the case and the key tops.
 
What causes piano keys to stick? Keys (and the action parts behind the keys) can stick or become sluggish for many reasons. Foreign objects (pens, pencils, etc.) can get lodged in the moving parts causing them to malfunction. All the moving parts of the piano action rotate around brass or silver plated pins. These action pins have felt bushings that can absorb moisture from the atmosphere that cause the bushing to swell. This may cause parts of the action (keys, hammers, etc.) to become less responsive or stick.
 
How old is my piano? Piano builders generally don't write the date of manufacture on their instruments. To determine the age of a piano, locate it's serial number then locate the manufacturer and serial number in a copy of the Pierce Piano Atlas. Here is a link that shows you how to find the serial number and where you can buy a copy of the Pierce Piano Atlas. pianoatlas.com/serial.html