As your Piano Tuner Wilmington DE , I am frequently asked what is the cause of sticking keys. Often the follow-up question is, “Can I fix it myself?” There are several possible causes of a sticking piano key. Some are easier to explain than others, so we will start the the easy explanations in this post, and discuss the more complicated ones in our next post.

The easiest one is where a key sticks down, but gets released if a key is played on either side of the sticking key. Usually, this means that a pencil point or small pebble has fallen between those two keys and is restricting the movement. The fix is usually to run a butter knife between the two keys, knocking the pencil point or pebble down below the keys into a cavity where it will do no harm. This is the one where a piano owner can usually fix it without a service call.

Another common cause is an expanded key bushing. Each piano key is located by two vertical pins sticking up from the key frame. Each key has a mortise to accommodate those pins. The mortise is lined on each side with a cloth bushing. The bushings serve two purposes. First, they keep the rod from squeaking against the wood when the key is played. Second, a bushing is relatively easy to replace when it wears out. That way the entire key does not need to be replaced after a lot of use. At times these bushings can take on moisture from the air. The moisture can expand the bushing so that it is too tight against the key pin, causing the key to stick. This is best fixed by a piano technician with the proper tool, so the key bushing does not get damaged.

There are other possible causes of sticking keys, which will be discussed in our next post. If you have any questions about pianos, please let us know. We are Kenneth Keith Piano Services, your Piano Tuning Wilmington DE experts. We also proudly provide professional piano services Philadelphia PA, Eastern Shore MD and Southern NJ.