As your piano tuner Wilmington DE, I am often asked to tune a piano after it has been moved. When I arrive, I often find a piano that has not been tuned in years, and therefore needs more than a simple tuning to get it back in playable condition. The owner usually replies that they thought a piano needed to be tuned only after it is moved. The question then is two-fold: 1) How often should a piano be tuned, and (2) Does a piano need to be tuned after it is moved.
The first question regarding how often a piano should be tuned, usually applies to a home piano. Every manufacturer recommends tuning a home piano minimally twice a year. A piano is a relatively fragile musical instrument that flexes with changes in temperature and humidity. If you think of a violin or guitar concert, the player usually tunes their instrument a few times during a concert. For high-level piano concerts, the piano is tuned the morning of the concert, again in the afternoon after rehearsal, and sometimes again at intermission. That is what it takes for the piano to be in perfect tune. For the home piano, it would not be practical or needed to tune it daily. Twice a year is enough to keep it sounding good enough for home use.
The second question is whether pianos need tuning after moving. The answer is conditional depending on the condition of the instrument and how much the new environment differs from the old environment. Pianos that are not in good condition do not fare as well during a move and should be tuned again right a way. Many older pianos have wood that has dried out and shrunk away from the tuning pins, so that the tuning pins are not optimally tight. Such a piano will easily be knocked out of tune during a move.
A piano in excellent condition probably will not be knocked out of tune during the actual moving. What will put it out of tune is a new environment that has a different temperature and/or humidity than its previous location. We will explain more about this in our next article.
If you have questions about pianos, please give us a call. Kenneth Keith Piano Services is your Wilmington DE piano tuning expert. We also proudly provide piano tuning Philadelphia PA, Eastern Shore MD and the Southern NJ areas.