Preserving the Perfect Pitch of Your Piano

Keep the melody and harmony on your piano in tune with help from the piano tuning specialists of Perfect Pitch Piano Company. Based in Dallas, Texas, we also offer piano repair and moving services at affordable rates.

Why does my piano need regular tuning service?

Tuning and tightening the piano strings to bring the pitch up to a vibrating frequency of A440 is the most frequent and important type of piano maintenance, and is often the least understood.

For standard pitch A440, the A string(s) above middle C should be stretched tight enough to vibrate 440 times per second, also known as 440 Hz. Other strings must be tuned accordingly, using perfect octaves and intervals. Our piano tuning technicians use special tools, processes and frequency calibration technology to create beautiful resonance and clarity every time you play. Tuning is the task of readjusting the pitch (string tension) of each of the 230+ strings so that they will correctly harmonize with one another. A440 is the standard around the world so that everyone can be in Perfect Pitch.

How often does my piano need a tuning service?

The primary reason for biannual or annual piano tuning is to keep the combined string tension equalized against the soundboard/bridges and cast iron plate. Sounding “good” to our ear is a secondary reason for tuning; a byproduct of having the string tension “up” to where it is designed to be.
All manufacturers recommend tuning a piano 3 or 4 times the first year out of the factory as newly strung strings stretch and wood parts settle within the first few years of a piano’s life. Based on years of experience in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas, we usually recommend one or two tunings each year after that to keep the collective string tension “up” and maintain the piano’s structural integrity by having all of the parts inside the piano correctly aligned.

Aside from the initial settling, seasonal change is the primary reason pianos go out of tune. To understand why, you must realize that the piano’s main acoustical structure, the soundboard, is made of wood (typically 3/8 inch thick Sitka spruce).
As humidity goes up in Dallas around the first of May, a soundboard swells, increasing its crowned shape and stretching the piano’s strings to a higher pitch. During dry times, usually in midsummer, the soundboard flattens out, lowering tension on the strings and causing the pitch to drop (or go flat). Unfortunately, the strings don’t change pitch equally. As the soundboard and bridges expand and contract with the weather changes, every piano is constantly going out of tune!

For this reason, pianos should be tuned at least once a year even if no one is playing the piano. In this way, the parts of the piano remain correctly aligned, preserving not only the beautiful tone but increasing the life of the piano by preserving the structural integrity of the instrument.

Trying to save money by putting off needed tunings merely postpones a nominal expense until it grows into a much larger expense. The longer you wait between tuning, the flatter the string tension. This will increase the risk of string breakage during tuning because the strings will require more dramatic increases in torque to pull them “up” to standard pitch.

Pianos are designed to bring you a lifetime of musical enjoyment. With the proper care and maintenance, your piano will continue to give you the joy that comes with making memories.
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