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#623404 - 03/05/07 01:57 PM Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 321
Babs_ Offline
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Babs_  Offline
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Gulf Coast
I have a 6'1 grand that I purchased a year ago brand new. The last time I had it tuned was 3 months ago. It appeared to be in tune at that time.

At my last lesson my teacher noticed that the key of D appeared to be out . I trust her judgement because she is a professional musician and a very experienced teacher. I had thought the piano sounded a little off recently particully the middle f sharp and some of the other notes in that range., near the middle f sharp.

Why oh why would my piano be out of tune after only 3 months?

My piano is in the living room next to the room with a patio that has french doors. The sun is very bright in the morning but I always make sure to keep the drapes closed. Only occasionally is the french doors left open for a very short period of time. Would that affect the tuning of my piano? BTW I always keep my lid down to keep the dust out.

It really bothers me that I have had my piano tuned 3 times since I have owned it and the most recent was only three months ago. Why would it be out of tune again so soon?

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#623405 - 03/05/07 02:41 PM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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John Delmore Offline
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John Delmore  Offline
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Shreveport, LA
Have faith!! The first year of a piano's life is the roughest. During that time, the strings are still stretching. Four times in the first year is not unnatural--especially if your ear is 'sensitive'. But you're almost through that. It should settle in soon and be ready for twice yearly's.

Also, depending on where on the Gulf Coast you are, seasonal changes may be at work. You may want to consider a Dampp-Chaser system, for dehumidification. Consult your technician about your area's humidity situation. You can also ask for PTG's technical brochure on "Why Pianos Go Out of Tune", if he/she's a member.

Good luck, and hang in there just a little longer!!


John Delmore
PTG Associate Member
"You don't have a Soul. You ARE a soul. You have a body."...C.S. Lewis
Bienvenue!: http://louisianaskyline.net/forums/index.php?
#623406 - 03/05/07 07:30 PM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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Bob Offline
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Florida
In addition to what John said, you are on the gulf coast - in your area, leaving the doors open this time of year will bring more humidity into the house than in the summer or fall when your A/C is on. This will take your piano out of tune (usually move the pitch sharp). A Dehumidifier will help, as mentioned above. It will also help if you keep your doors and windows shut.

#623407 - 03/05/07 07:52 PM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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Babs_ Offline
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Gulf Coast
The last two technicians or tuners that I have had told me that I don't need a Dehumidifier because we don't have a change of seasons down here on the Gulf Coast. The last tuner even told me that as long as I kept the temperature in the house the same all year round I shouldn't have a problem.I always keep the temperature in the house year round between 76 and 78 degrees.

Now I am starting to wonder though, with this being the 4th time I need to get the piano tuned in one year, and my teacher noticed it right off! I have only had the piano a year and I have been quite happy with everything else about it.

What kind of Dehumidifier should I get?

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#623408 - 03/05/07 08:23 PM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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Pianoman1953 Offline
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US of A
Quote
Originally posted by Babs1:
What kind of Dehumidifier should I get?
http://www.dampp-chaser.com/grandsys_n.html

#623409 - 03/05/07 08:27 PM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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Babs_ Offline
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Babs_  Offline
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Gulf Coast
thanks for all your advice!
this is a great forum! thumb

#623410 - 03/05/07 11:30 PM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,458
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
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Cy Shuster, RPT  Offline
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Albuquerque, NM
The Piano Technicians Guild has a great deal of online info:
http://ptg.org/resources-pianoOwners-howOften.php

--Cy--


Cy Shuster, RPT
www.shusterpiano.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director, PTG Norfolk 2016 Technical Institute
http://convention.ptg.org
#623411 - 03/06/07 03:13 PM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
Joined: Oct 2004
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hv Offline
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Cape Cod
You might also want to pick up something to monitor humidity. Oregon Scientific and La Crosse make some wireless ones that are reasonably accurate and not that expensive. Or go to your nearest piano store and see what they're using.

Howard

#623412 - 03/06/07 05:30 PM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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Babs_ Offline
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Babs_  Offline
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Gulf Coast
I've been told the damp chasers one around $500.00.
That is a little high for my budget. These wireless
ones what do they generally cost? I am not familiar with those.

When I had my previous upright I lived a little further north and I was always advised to keep one of those dehumidifiers with the wires inside my piano, as I recall it cost about $40, this was 7 years ago, but once I moved further south down to the Gulf Coast I purchased a Grand and was advised to get rid of that dehumidifier cause they said I didnt need it anymore Two of the different tuners I have used advised against using these dehumidifiers and one of them even told me that it could harm my piano, so I am just a little confused.

Also I was wondering we have a large ceiling fan in the middle of the room. My piano, 6'1 is up against the corner wall. Would that have an effect on the tuning? I try to keep it off as much as I can but other family members have a tendency to turn it back on.

#623413 - 03/06/07 06:06 PM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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BDB Offline
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A humidity monitor is not a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers require AC power.


Semipro Tech
#623414 - 03/06/07 07:11 PM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 37
RobertK Offline
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San Francisco, California, USA
If your piano gets played a lot and you are the least bit sensitive to the tuning, I'm afraid it's a pipe dream to expect that you can get it tuned less than four times a year and still be happy, even if your temperature and humidity are completely controlled. There's a reason why concert pianos are tuned for every performance: They need it to sound their best! And those are usually the best pianos, tuned by (among) the best technicians. It is not reasonable to expect that your piano will do better. The delineation between "in tune" and "out of tune" is not a black and white matter. Every piano is a little bit out of tune. The question is how much. I have never seen a piano that could go three months and sound like it was just tuned, especially if it gets played regularly.

I struggle with the same thing you do: I bought my piano about 3 years ago and it has gotten more stable, but it is a real stretch for me to go months at a time between tunings. I keep searching for a miracle when it comes to tuning stability, and the combination of humidity control and a skilled technician definitely helps. But it still goes out of tune!

-- Robert

#623415 - 03/06/07 11:41 PM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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Robert 45 Offline
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Robert 45  Offline
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Auckland New Zealand
I totally agree with Robert K. From the moment it is tuned, forces within and out of the piano are working to make it go out of tune.
I have my piano tuned 4 times a year, but the warmth and sweetness of the freshly tuned piano last only a few weeks.
Maintaining a well tuned piano keeps us more aware of overall "health" of the piano and usually the tuner/technician will regularly check and make adjustments to voicing and regulation which help keep the piano in excellent playing condition.
Most pianos live in conditions that are not perfect, and even those which have an impeccable habitat gradually go out of tune.
Another advantage of frequent regular tuning is that the tuning can become more refined and consequently, the piano will sound better.

Best wishes,

Robert.

#623416 - 03/07/07 07:30 AM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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Babs_ Offline
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Gulf Coast
Do grands need to be tuned more often than uprights? I owned an upright previously and than purchased a grand only about a year ago. I don't recall the upright needing as frequent of tunings. So maybe there is a difference in how often the piano need to be tuned according to the size of the piano? Or maybe its just the first year that the grands need more tuning?

I play the piano about 5 to 6 hours a week. I imagine how much you play the piano must have an effect on how often it need to be tuned.

Thanks for all your help. And Robert K and Robert 45 your answers have releived my concerns somewhat and I appreciate your replies.

#623417 - 03/07/07 09:46 AM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
Joined: May 2004
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Keith Roberts Offline
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Keith Roberts  Offline
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Murphys, Ca
If one note went out more than others, it might need some help settling. Now that it has settled on it's own, have your tech tap the strings down and align on the hitch pins and duplex bars. Then straighten the pin coils. That will save a note from dropping out more than the rest.


Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca
#623418 - 03/07/07 09:57 AM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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Les Koltvedt Offline
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Les Koltvedt  Offline
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Canton, MI
If it addeds any comfort... I've been getting mine tuned 2-3 times yr. It will be 2 yrs in April since rebuild. A tuning only lasts a few wks (having that sweet, just tuned sound)at best. If you wait awhile to get it tuned, when it does happen, it's such a difference in sound, you won't beleive it...jmo


Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate
#623419 - 03/07/07 04:33 PM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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Posts: 37
RobertK Offline
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RobertK  Offline
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San Francisco, California, USA
Quote
Originally posted by Babs1:
Do grands need to be tuned more often than uprights?
Grands don't go out of tune faster than uprights, but because medium-sized and larger grands sound better at their best than uprights do (mostly because of less inharmonicity), you might notice it more when the grand goes out. So yes, maybe the grand needs to be tuned more often because maybe it has helped you raise your standard for what sounds "in tune" to you.

If your upright was older and well maintained, it was probably very stable compared to your new grand.

-- Robert

#623420 - 03/07/07 10:53 PM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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Keith Roberts Offline
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Keith Roberts  Offline
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Murphys, Ca
[QUOTE]Originally posted by RobertK:
[QB] There's a reason why concert pianos are tuned for every performance: They need it to sound their best! And those are usually the best pianos, tuned by (among) the best technicians.


Don't be spreading false rumors. People will go to concerts thinking the pianos are the best. They really get tuned for the concert because they haven't been tuned since the last concert and only if the crew was smart enough to get a tuner in advance. It usually is in horrible regulation.
There is a video on the ARTS channel that has a vocalist and a beautiful looking 9' grand and the piano hammers bobble so horribly and it's way out of tune, you can't believe they let that thing on stage. My mentor went and saw John Tesh at a local winery and he said the piano they brought, a Yamaha, was really bad, not just a little but sad....


Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca
#623421 - 03/07/07 11:02 PM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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Keith Roberts Offline
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Keith Roberts  Offline
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Murphys, Ca
How do you cut and paste with the quote marks like piannaman's post?:


Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca
#623422 - 03/08/07 01:46 AM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
Joined: Jun 2003
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BDB Offline
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BDB  Offline
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Oakland
You can use the Full Reply Form, but if you use a html command in square brackets, like [...], you need to end the command with [/...].

There are some good, quick tutorials on html and other web form conventions here.


Semipro Tech
#623423 - 03/08/07 03:06 AM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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RobertK Offline
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San Francisco, California, USA
Quote
Originally posted by Keith Roberts:

Don't be spreading false rumors. People will go to concerts thinking the pianos are the best. They really get tuned for the concert because they haven't been tuned since the last concert and only if the crew was smart enough to get a tuner in advance. It usually is in horrible regulation.
I think these specifics depend on the venue and the promoter. You're certainly right that there are plenty out there who will cut corners, but there are also venues that don't. I have *never* been to Yoshi's and heard the piano out of tune or showing signs of poor regulation. Same for Herbst Theater for SFJAZZ events. Same for Davies Symphony Hall.

I don't doubt what you say, but it is a fact that the concert series and venues that bother will get the piano cared for properly, which generally includes a tuning before every performance.

My point was that it does make a difference to get the piano tuned for each performance, and therefore one shouldn't expect a piano to be perfectly in tune after three months of being played with no service.

-- Robert

#623424 - 03/08/07 06:04 AM Re: Why piano tuned 3 mos ago needs it again?  
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Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
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Cy Shuster, RPT  Offline
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Albuquerque, NM
Quote
Originally posted by RobertK:


My point was that it does make a difference to get the piano tuned for each performance, and therefore one shouldn't expect a piano to be perfectly in tune after three months of being played with no service.

-- Robert
I quite agree, Robert: heck, I've tuned for rehearsal, then touched up before the performance, and again at intermission.

Sure, Keith, some concert pianos have a lot of wear, but do you have many church studios in your regular customers? I've seen tremendous wear: hammer flange pins all walked out, pinning the whole set together; hammers with a "wineglass" profile, worn down almost to the molding.

--Cy--


Cy Shuster, RPT
www.shusterpiano.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director, PTG Norfolk 2016 Technical Institute
http://convention.ptg.org

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