As your piano tuner Wilmington DE, I wanted to explain some of the more common piano repairs that a piano technician performs. In this article, we will discuss, bridle straps, and piano hammers. The next article will discuss loose tuning pins.

Each key on a piano has numerous parts that are required for the relatively complicated motion that occurs for a piano to work properly. A piano has a “touch sensitive” action, which means that the volume of each note is controlled by the force of the pianist’s touch. This sensitive touch allows for variations in volume from note to note, allowing beauty in artistic expression. Pianos typically last over 100 years, so occasionally glue joints break and parts wear out.

One of the more common parts to wear out are called “bridle straps”.  These are placed only on vertical pianos, and not on grand pianos. Bridle straps have two functions: (1) They help the parts of the action return rapidly after a note is played, so that the note may be played again quickly. (2) They hold the piano action parts together, so that a vertical a piano action may be removed for servicing or for repairs. A grand piano does not need to have bridle straps, because gravity helps the action parts return to their rest position quickly. Because the piano strings of a vertical piano run vertically, a vertical piano action must strike horizontally. For its parts to return to rest position, it requires springs and bridle straps. Bridle straps are made of cloth, so after a few decades they typically deteriorate and need replacement.

Another common question of piano owners is whether their piano hammers are worn out and need replacement. Occasionally this is true, but it is very expensive. Usually, the hammers have enough felt that they could be filed down to a fresh, resilient surface that will produce a more pleasing tone.

If you have questions about pianos or piano maintenance, please let us know. We are your Wilmington DE piano tuning experts. Kenneth Keith Piano Services also provides professional piano services in Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey and Eastern Shore Maryland.