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Thomson Lawrie Piano Technician - Complete Piano Service since 1979

Call or Text 905-945-9455    


Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Have My Piano Tuned?

 

This is the question that I am asked the most frequently. I usually tell my customers "once a year for the piano, twice a year for your ears".

Tuning a piano once a year will maintain the instrument at concert pitch. This is good enough for the instrument but it may not be good enough for the person playing the piano. A piano will go out of tune as the humidity swings from summer dampness to winter dryness and back again. The wood in the piano expands and contracts when its moisture content changes with indoor humidity changes. What some people hear as small changes may be intolerable to someone with a really good ear for pitch.

I find that most pianos will be closer to the pitch that they were last tuned to, near the anniversary of that tuning. They may sound worse six months after the tuning than they will a year after that tuning when the humidity cycle brings about similar conditions. The problem is, a lot of people can't live with the sound of their piano before the anniversary of the last tuning.

It is especially important to tune your piano more than once a year if you are trying to train the ear of piano students. Although there may be hopeless cases, most of us can develop a sense of pitch and tone through training. This becomes almost impossible if students are practicing on an out of tune piano every day. They are more likely to train their ear to accept the sound they are hearing all the time, even if it is slightly sour.

There are times when pianos sit idle with no one playing them. It may be hard to justify the cost of tuning at those times. Still, if a piano is left for many years without tuning it may take several tunings to get it stabilized at concert pitch again. If it is tuned at least once every two years it will avoid damage to the soundboard and bridges that can occur when the pitch drops and there is no longer enough downward pressure from the strings.


Should I place my piano on an outside wall?

There was a time when this was more true than it is now. If you are living in a modern house with good insulation and vapor barrier in the walls, then it doesn't make much difference if the piano is placed on the outside wall. But if you place your piano on an outside wall sooner or later someone is going to tell you that you shouldn’t have it there. They are just repeating what their mother or grand mother used to say. But what was true back in the 1920's is not true now, unless you are living in a house that was made back then that hasn't been upgraded since. Just remember, pianos don't like humidity and temperature changes. Placing a piano near a heat source or a south window where it bakes in the sun every day will do a lot more damage than the outside wall.

Is My PIano Worth More Because It Is An Antique?

If you have ever watched the Antiques Road Show you might start to wonder if some of the old things that you have in your home might be worth more than you thought. Many people who learn that their piano is more than 100 years old question if it is worth more because of its age. More.....

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