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WHAT ARE PIANOS REALLY, AND WHY DO THEY NEED SERVICED?

When you see someone playing a piano, what do you think? Most people are amazed at the vibrant sounds it can produce, or they're enjoying the experience of a little one learning Fur Elise. But to experienced technicians, there are many hundreds of moving parts and mechanics that go into making a piano feel and sound gorgeous. 

Here's why you need to understand those too.

Grand piano action model

A Grand Piano Action Model

An Upright Piano Action Model

Upright piano action model

Action pictures courtesy of kungfubrothers.com

Above are pictures of what is called an "action", a complicated mechanism which makes the piano play.  There are 88 keys on a standard keyboard, which means 88 of these in your piano. With dozens of parts, there are many things that can go wrong over the course of many years of play and environmental changes. Experienced technicians, like myself, are trained to know every part of a piano intimately and be able to restore anything that isn't working properly, so you can get back to playing smoothly!

I SEE HOW THE MECHANISMS WORK, BUT WHY SHOULD I GET MY PIANO TUNED?

When the humidity and temperature of the piano's environment changes, the wood and metal of the piano will puff up, shrink, or stretch, which significantly affects all aspects of the piano, including tuning. This, combined with frequent use, will cause the piano to go out of tune, and it will need to be tuned on average every 6-12 months. However, considering Tennessee's drastic weather changes and your individual needs, your piano may need to be tuned more often.

A Guitar With Thinner Strings

Guitar
A piano being tuned up close

A Piano With Thicker Strings

A guitar has strings that don't need to be tuned by a professional, so what makes your piano strings any different? Piano strings are much tighter and thicker, being held at tensions that can reach over 200 pounds of pressure, locked in with pins and bars designed to hold that weight. So, while guitars can be tuned by the player quite easily without fear of a snapping string or damage to the guitar, a piano must be tuned by a professional with specific tools to avoid any kind of damage* and to ensure the best possible sound.

*Although depending on how well a piano has been taken care of, string breakage can occur regardless of how careful the tuner is.

Now that you know more about your piano, why don't you call and schedule an appointment? We're happy to answer any further questions.

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