As your Piano Tuner Wilmington DE , I am frequently asked why a piano has to be tuned so frequently when it is new. The guidelines from every manufacturer are that a new piano must be tuned three times for each of the first two years of the piano’s life. This is the opposite of what most people expect. It seems logical that a new item would not need much maintenance, and an older one would need more. The opposite is true of pianos.
The explanation lies in the nature of piano strings. People often incorrectly speak as if piano strings stretch. If fact, piano strings are made of high-tension steel that does not stretch appreciably. What it does do, however, is try to maintain its shape, even under significant stress. When a string is installed in a piano, it must bend in several places: at the piano bridge, at the top bearing points and at the tuning pin. Since the string does not bend easily into sharp angles, the string will bow around each of those points. Over time, with 150 lbs. of tension, as each piano string has, those bowed curves will gradually become sharp angles. As the string changes shape, the tension and therefore the pitch will drop. That process can take two years to complete. Meanwhile the piano must be tuned regularly every four months, so that the piano tuning does not become unstable.
Stability of tuning is important in a piano due to the high tensions involved. A piano has over two hundred strings, each with a tension around 150 lbs. That totals around 30,000 lbs. of total tension which must be properly distributed. When a piano goes out of tune, it does not go out evenly. Some strings are only a couple inches long, and others are several feet, yet each has the same amount of change from bowed angles to sharp angles. As a result, some piano strings will go multiples out of tune compared with others. Restoring the balance of tension can be difficult and expensive, so it is easier to maintain the stability of tuning than to restore it.
If you have any questions about pianos, please let us know. At Kenneth Keith Piano Services, your piano tuning Wilmington DE experts, we are ready to serve you. We also provide professional piano services Eastern Shore MD, Southern NJ and Philadelphia PA.