Piano Care Tips

Ask your technician to do a minor "touch-up" regulation at each tuning. This will prevent most instances of unnecessary wear and breakage.

Have a full regulation done every 2 to 5 years. You'd be surprised at how your piano should have sounded and responded to you playing all these years.

Don't attempt any "home repairs" on your piano. Although it may appear easy to fix yourself, an innocent mistake can be costly. Let a technician do it - they have the right tools, replacement parts and expertise to do the job right the first time.

Keep your piano away from heating registers, radiators, fireplaces and air conditioning vents. Subjecting it to extreme fluctuations of temperature and humidity levels can do major damage. Keeping a piano away from an outside wall was probably necessary in poorly insulated older Victorian homes, but should not be a problem these days. Avoid direct sunlight on your piano - it can damage and fade the finish, or even create horrible tuning problems. Use curtains or blinds.

Try and keep the temperature and humidity levels as consistent as possible in the room where you have your piano. Using a temperature/humidity gauge (hygrometer) can keep this in check. Click here to view/purchase one. Seasonal swings in relative humidity are the piano's greatest enemy. Swelling and shrinking of wooden parts affect tuning and keyboard touch, while extreme swings can eventually cause wood to crack and glue joints to fail. Pianos are happiest in a relative humidity level of 40 to 45 percent. If you don't have a central humidifier/dehumidifier, consider getting a room humidifier for the winter, and a room dehumidifier or air conditioner during the summer months. There's even such thing as a special piano humidifier/dehumidifier that can be installed in your piano. Ask your piano technician.

Keep plants, vases, drinks, or anything to do with liquid off the piano. Condensation can ruin the finish, and spillage of liquids into the inner mechanism can result in irreversible damage.

To prevent scratches on the finish, never place objects on your piano without a soft cloth or felt.

Don't use furniture polish to clean your piano. It can soften the finish if overused, and the silicone & oils present in many household brands can even contaminate the wood, despite what the labels may say.

Just feather-dust the piano first (dust is abrasive, so wiping it first can cause scratches), then wipe with a soft, damp cotton cloth, wiping in the direction of the grain. Then, wipe up any excess moisture with a similar dry cloth.

Do the same thing as above to clean your keys, but use separate cloths for the blacks and the whites. Don't use cleaning agents!


How often should my piano be serviced?

Your piano is an investment in your future. It can bring you and your family a lifetime of music, adding immeasurable joy and beauty to your home. Because it also is such a large investment, it should be maintained with the utmost care. Regular servicing by an experienced tuner will preserve your instrument and can help you avoid costly repair in the future.

Because your piano contains materials such as wood and felt it is subject to change brought on by climate conditions. Extreme swings from hot to cold or dry to wet cause these materials to swell and contract, affecting tone, pitch and action response. You can reduce the severity of these effects by placing your piano near a wall away from windows or doors which are opened frequently. Avoid heating and air conditioning vents, fireplaces and areas which receive direct sunlight. Your piano will perform best under consistent conditions neither too wet nor dry.

While pianos generally fall into vertical and grand model categories, each manufacturer selects its own materials and utilizes its own unique scale and furniture designs. Every piano requires a different level of maintenance, depending upon the quality of materials used and the design and level of craftsmanship. A larger piano, though more expensive, generally costs less to maintain than a spinet. A spinet will react more to temperature and its compact size usually requires major disassembly when repair is done. Dealers can provide general advice on tuning frequency but your technician can give specific recommendations based upon your usage and locale. Here's what some of the major piano manufacturers recommended.


Baldwin Piano Company
Because it take some time for any new piano to become thoroughly settled and adjusted to the atmospheric conditions in its home, proper tuning and servicing are especially important for the first year after purchase. Any new piano should be tuned several times during this first year. During these tunings, your technician should check the action and regulate to compensate for adjustment of new action parts to climate and use.

After the first year a piano should be tuned at least twice each year. If the environment has not been kept as uniform as possible, a piano may need frequent tuning.

Kawai Piano Company
Quality pianos demand quality care. Pianos require periodic maintenance in three areas: tuning, action regulation and voicing. Tuning is addressed more frequently than the other service areas depending on circumstance and atmospheric variance.

Due to stretching, settling and the effects of climate, one should allow at least three tunings in the first year and a minimum of twice per year thereafter.

Sohmer & Company

A new piano, in particular, should be tuned at least four times during the first year in service. The tuning should be performed subsequent to a change of season. After the piano has settled in, we recommend three tunings a year; whether the piano is used a great deal oar not. A technician cannot get a neglected piano to hold tune with one tuning; sometimes, it is more costly to restore the neglected piano to hold tune than if it had been kept under regular and constant care. A piano is a major investment; it should be protected.

Steinway & Sons
Your Steinway piano was tuned many times before it left our factory. It was tuned to and should be maintained at A440 pitch. This is the internationally accepted standard and the standard for which all Steinway pianos are engineered.

Unfortunately, no matter how expertly a piano is tuned, atmospheric variations and the nature of the piano's construction constantly conspire to bring it off pitch.

Your Steinway has been designed and built so that in normal use and under normal conditions it should need only periodic tuning. We recommend that your technician be called at least three or four times a year. You, however, are the final judge and should have the piano tuned as often as you think necessary. To put the matter of tuning into perspective, remember that a concert piano is tuned before every performance, and a piano in a professional recording studio, where it is in constant use, is tuned three or four times each week as a matter of course.

Yamaha Pianos
New pianos should be tuned a minimum of four times the first year to compensate for the normal settling that takes place.

Subsequently, as a matter of standard maintenance, a piano should be tuned at least twice a year. Of course, some musicians will choose to have their own piano tuned more often to satisfy their own personal musical requirements.

Young Chang America
Piano owners will receive the longest life and optimum performance from a new piano if it is properly serviced during the first year and regularly care for subsequently. It is our recommendation that a piano receive at least 4 tunings during the first year of ownership, and a minimum of 2 tunings per year thereafter. We suggest that the piano owner follow the recommendation of his/her local piano technicians, who is most qualified to advise the owner about the needs of the piano in its specific location.

Your piano, like those in homes and on stages throughout the world, is an instrument of extraordinary promise which can bring you and your family a lifetime of enjoyment. To ensure its performance over that lifetime, it is important to have your piano serviced regularly by a qualified professional. Complete piano service should include periodic regulation and voicing in addition to tuning.