Did you know there are over 6,000 action parts inside a piano? They are intricate machines that ideally require regular use to keep all the parts supple and maintenance to keep them in optimum condition. Pianos age just like humans or houses. An old piano is not necessarily a good piano if it hasn’t been well looked after. Therefore it is important to care for your piano to help increase its longevity and your playing pleasure.
The following tips are excerpts from the Australian Piano Buyers’ Guide. Request your free copy for future reference here.
Where to place your piano
- Choose a room that has relatively constant temperature and humidity ie, not too close to the kitchen, laundry, hallway, sunroom, draughty windows, heaters, airconditioning, doors and exposure to direct sunlight
- Acoustically, make sure that shelves and furniture do not block the piano’s sound. Carpet and soft furnishings will soften a piano’s tone and hard surfaces will brighten the tone
- Think about ease of access for piano tuners when placing your piano
- Try to keep the top of the piano free of items that might vibrate and mark the surface when the piano is played. Plants and drinks are also dangerous. Any liquid spill will damage the finish and possibly the inside. Hot cups will also leave marks on most finishes
- Consider the use of castor cups to protect your floors from castor wheels marks
- Wood is a hygroscopic material, ie it absorbs moisture from the air and loses water when the air is dry. This makes the wood expand and contract, especially in the soundboard and bridge, which is not good for the piano
- If the atmosphere is too dry, splits may form in the some parts which may cause tuning instability and deterioration over time
- Conversely, if the air is too humid the keys and action parts may stick and the strings and pins may start to rust
- If you live in an area where you have hot, humid summers and dry, cold winters, we recommend installing a Dampp Chaser Piano Humidity Control System. These must be installed by a Dampp Chaser approved piano tuner/technician and cost between $350 and $1000, depending on the size of piano, but it is well worth the investment because you will save hundreds of dollars in future maintenance.
For more information please contact us.
Regular servicing is important
Once you have purchased a piano, it is important to look after and maintain it regularly. It is essential to have your piano tuned by a qualified tuner/technician every year and most pianos will need tuning twice a year due to climatic changes and regular use. It is also important to have your piano regulated every 2-3 years, or more frequently depending on your level of use.
For an explanation of tuning and regulation and to see a list of our recommended Piano Tuners visit our Piano Tuning page.
Looking after the cabinet
- Dust scratches if wiped with a dry cloth. So try to use a slightly damp soft cotton cloth first. Dry off with a clean, soft cloth. Do not use aerosol polishes or furniture polishes that contains silicone because they may affect the finish
- You can clean the white keys with a slightly damp white cotton cloth (coloured cloths may stain the keys). Dry off any excess moisture and leave the lid open to air.
- If you need to remove fine scratches, firstly ask your piano tuner for advice or assistance. Generally the best products to use are high quality car polish creams, such as ‘BMW Autopolitur’ or ‘3M Imperial Hand Glaze’, but they are slightly abrasive, so please use sparingly
Reference: Edwards, P & Lee-Archer, A. The Australian Piano Buyers’ Guide. 2007. Studio 19 Imports (Aust) Pty Ltd, Launceston
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