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The Largest Piano Tuning and Service Organization in the Western United States Exceeding Your Expectations Since 1976

  • An association of piano technicians, working under the guidance of Shawn Skylark, a highly acclaimed concert tuner with over 36 years of experience
  • The only piano service to offer a money-back, 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Whatever type of piano you have, whatever level of service you require, we have the right technician for you!
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A General Introduction to the Basics of Piano Maintenance

Once the initial purchase is past, the piano requires very little investment of time and money when considering the years of enjoyment it can provide, especially compared with many other hobbies and activities.

Still, there are a few basics. The details of these areas can be found elsewhere on this site, and the reader is encouraged to consult these articles for more information.

Generally the piano requires long term care through cleaning and climate control, and regular maintenance in the three areas of piano service: Tuning, Voicing, and Regulation.

Exterior Piano Cleaning

The exterior of the piano should be kept clean and polished. Most modern pianos are finished with a polyester plastic that is both beautiful and durable, and never requires polishing. Older models usually had a lacquer finish. Many products are available for maintaining these finishes, and our links page suggests some sites where you can go to review and purchase these products.

It is important that you consult with your technician to be sure that you are using the correct product. The modern polyester finishes should always be cleaned with a micro fiber cloth, otherwise tiny swirls will be created.

Interior Piano Cleaning

The interior of the piano is not difficult to clean but requires care and a few simple tools. Most vertical pianos are closed and should only be cleaned by a professional who knows how to access the action and keys properly.

On grand pianos, the music desk can be removed, and the interior cleaned with a combination of wiping, vacuuming, brushing and blowing. Again, a qualified technician can instruct you in the proper procedures and help make sure you have the right products for the job.

Generally, grand pianos do get dusty and should be cleaned periodically. Otherwise, the dust eventually picks up oils from the air and creates a sticky film that is impossible to clean years later.

Cleaning the Piano Keys

The best thing to use on piano keys is warm water with a little dish washing liquid and a soft cloth. Make sure not to allow water to run down the sides of the keys, and always dry them immediately after cleaning. Also, many pianos have a felt strip at the back of the keys, and it is important that this does not get wet. Again, it is best to consult with your technician for proper instruction.

Climate Control

Pianos are designed to stabilize and perform well in a variety of climates. However, the more drastically the temperature and humidity vary on a daily and seasonal basis the more difficult it will be to keep the piano in tune. If the average humidity is excessively high or low, problems with the mechanism and tuning instability can result.

It is critical that the piano does not experience direct, hot sunlight. It should be kept as far away from heating/air conditioning vents as possible.

Climate control systems are available that can be installed in both grand and vertical pianos, and they are extremely helpful in minimizing the negative affects which arise in these situations.

Tuning

This is the process of adjusting the tension on the wires, or strings, so that they produce the correct frequency vibrations. Keeping your piano in tune is the single most important thing you can do to maintain it properly. This process is discussed briefly in FAQ's: Tuning and at length in the article A More Detailed Explanation of Piano Tuning.

There is no single rule to determine how often your piano should be tuned. It is generally agreed that once or twice per year should keep the average instrument in reasonably good tune, but this interval is best determined with a more thorough understanding of the needs of the pianist and the condition of the piano. Newer instruments often require more frequent tuning until the strings stabilize, and older pianos can often go longer between tunings.

Voicing

This refers to adjusting the tone of the piano so that it is not too harsh or too mellow, and so that it is balanced throughout the keyboard. Even if the piano is in good tune it can be very unpleasant to hear if the tone is "off." Proper voicing is a skill that not all technicians have, and it requires years of experience to become an excellent voicer.

Generally, voicing is not considered part of the tuning process, and as such it is important for the pianist to discuss this vital area of piano maintenance with their technician.

For more information please consult our FAQ's: Voicing, and our article A More Detailed Explanation of Voicing.

Regulation

This refers to the adjustment of the piano keys, mechanism, and pedals. No matter how well tuned and voiced a piano is, they are useless if the keyboard cannot give you controlled access to all the dynamics the piano is capable of achieving. There are literally dozens of adjustments that can be made to each key, and all of them are interrelated. It takes a skilled an experienced technician to assess the piano and the pianist and regulate the piano accordingly.

For more information please see FAQ's: Regulation and our article A More Detailed Explanation of Regulation.

We Specialize in:
  • Bosendorfer
  • Steinway
  • Petrof
  • Schimmel
  • Yamaha