Tips for Keeping a Piano in Great Shape

Whether you’ve just enrolled your child in piano lessons or are taking lessons yourself, a piano is an investment in your future. It can bring you and your family a lifetime of music and, if properly maintained, can be passed down from generation to generation. Just as you keep your car and home maintained, the same mentality should be applied to your piano. Although regular service from a qualified piano technician will help preserve your instrument and prevent costly repairs down the line, there are quite a few things you can do in between service to keep your piano in tip-top shape.

Keep Your Piano Tuned

Think of this as your first and last line of defense: if you don’t regularly tune your piano, it simply won’t perform to the best of its ability. If piano tuning is overlooked, as it so often is, you’ll start to notice a degradation in sound and pitch. Although you can tune your piano on your own, it’s a difficult and time-consuming process. It is usually recommended that a professional handle the job, especially for those who may be new to the instrument. Most pianos need to be tuned at least twice a year, once mid-autumn and once in mid-summer, but some pianos need to be tuned more often. If you prefer to avoid the hassle of tuning altogether, electric pianos and keyboards are an option, just keep in mind that they won’t produce quite the same sound as a traditional piano.

Get a Professional to Move Your Piano

Whether you’re moving into a new house or are moving your piano into storage temporarily, entrusting a professional piano moving company with your piano will give you the peace of mind you need. Pianos can be difficult to move for a variety of reasons–they’re big, they weigh hundreds of pounds, and one bump or drop can send your piano into total disarray. Since professionals know what they’re doing (and know the right way to treat your piano), you won’t have to worry about everything that can go wrong. Plus, piano movers know how to protect your floors from damage. Although the wheels on a piano are designed to make it portable, those wheels can really damage your floors. Piano movers have special dollies they use that won’t scratch or dent your floors, so it’s a win-win.

Pay Attention to Location

Your piano should be located in a room where there is a fairly even temperature and the humidity is controlled. Changes in climate can affect the tuning, warp the wood, and cause long-term damage, while fluctuations in humidity can can cause warping and rust. Ideally, your piano should be kept in a room that hovers around 70 degrees, and humidity should be maintained at about 40 percent. Although placing your piano in direct sunlight may help you read your sheet music better, it’s not a good idea–it can destroy its finish and cause damage to the soundboard, pinblock, and other parts of your piano. Finally, never place your piano directly against a wall. Believe it or not, the extra reverberations can cause problems, so try to keep at least a foot of space between your piano and the wall.

Keep it Clean

When it comes to cleaning your piano, there are two parts you should pay attention to: the cabinet and the keys. Depending on the finish of your piano, cleaning the cabinet is the same…but slightly different. Lacquer finishes require a polish that has been designed for delicate furniture, while pianos with a polymer finish can be cleaned with water and a mild detergent. As far as keeping the keys clean goes, remember to keep the lid closed whenever it’s not in use, and to always wash your hands before use. No matter how clean you are, dust and oil from your fingers can cause a grime to build up on the keys of your piano. Although most technicians take care of this during regularly scheduled maintenance, you can always clean your keys with a lint-free cloth in between.

Use Your Senses to Diagnose Issues

As you become more accustomed to your new piano, you’ll become used to its sound and feel. If you ever notice that something seems “off”, don’t hesitate to ask your piano teacher or a qualified technician for advice. In many cases, you can tell that a piano is “sick” by its feel–do the keys feel strained and tight? Are there dead notes or sticky keys? Can you audibly hear the pedal whenever you release it? Here’s a short list of what certain issues with your piano can mean: a saloon piano sound is usually caused when your strings are out of tune, dead notes are often caused by broken action, and if several adjacent notes are dead, something is likely blocking the hammers from striking them. Regardless of what you think the issue is, if you see or feel something that’s a little bit off, contact a professional who can help diagnose (and fix!) the issue.


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  1. I think that what you had to say about getting a professional to move your piano was really smart. I can still remember being in high school when my dad almost threw out his back trying to carry a piano up the stairs for my little sister. Just like you mentioned, having a company to move the piano for you will simply give you the peace of mind that you deserve when you are making a big move. Thanks for the post, and we will definitely look online to find a reputable company when we move to the east coast this summer.

  2. My husband and I have to move soon and we have been wondering what to do with our piano. That is a good idea to hire professionals to more our piano for us. It is true that they would know how to move the piano safely. We will have to find a company to help us when we have to move! Thank you for all the tips!

  3. Piano is very soft and very caring things. Hire professional movers for keeping the piano. I read your blog and i got the valuable tips for keeping a piano in great shape. I found much this useful information. Thanks for sharing this so interesting post! I really want to be thankful for the way you have put it here.

  4. I like when you said that one of the things in keeping your piano in great shape is by ensuring that it is finely tuned to deliver its best performance. I bet this is one of the vital things that you can do to a piano since it is a musical instrument and hearing it out of tune will simply defeat the purpose of having one in the home. I will bear this in mind as soon as my mom buys a piano in the house soon. She used to be a piano teacher in her younger years and would like to retire at home playing the piano on her leisure time.

  5. Hello mate really useful tips to prevent from any damage i never thought that location effect Piano but after reading your blog i can understand how much its important.
    Thank you for sharing great tips and information.

  6. It is very helpful tips. Professionals to tune their pianos. I read your article. And get more useful tips for keeping a piano in great shape. thanks for sharing with us.

  7. My brother has been taking piano and bought one for himself, so I thought it would be wise to learn more. You mentioned that one should keep their piano tuned. For those with a traditional piano, what tips do you have for finding a professional to help tune a piano?

  8. It’s interesting to know that you should have a piano tuned twice a year or else the sound will start getting worse. My father left us his old piano when he passed away recently, but it hasn’t been played in a long time and doesn’t sound right. Maybe we should get it tuned and see if we can keep it in better condition.

  9. Thank you so much for posting these fabulous and absolute tips!
    Preparing and packing, loading to the truck, and relocating all your life from one state to another can be one of the most stressful tasks you could ever face. Moving Companies are always eager to help a long distance move go as smooth as possible.