Proper care and maintenance of a piano is not solely for keeping its elegant appearance, it should also be performed to keep the sound quality of the instrument.
Pianos are generally considered a valuable musical instrument. The restoration and rebuilding including the tuning, voicing and regulation should be done by individuals with expertise in the repair and maintenance of such instruments. Obviously, whether for home or stage use, the ultimate goal is to keep the instruments in tip top condition.
There are proper care steps that should be followed by owners. But in this guide, we will focus on the specific maintenance tasks that are performed by professional piano technicians.
Restoration and rebuilding
Original types of pianos can last for decades. But they are composed of various components with essentially different lifespans. In pianos that are constantly used, some parts get worn out, and in most cases, regular restoration, rebuilding and or repair of some components can prolong its life for more decades.
Piano frames serve as structural support. They are generally made of quality hardwood, and therefore usually last for many decades. It is also vital to keep the frame in good shape so that other components such as the soundboard, ribs, strings, bridges, pinblock, hammers and action will remain intact. This also helps replacement and or repair of deteriorated components easier for technicians.
Owners of pianos, whether for home use or stage use, usually have their instruments tuned regularly for at least once every 6 months. It is advisable to have the instrument tuned as soon as it gets out of tune. Doing this usually helps prevent further piano tuning problems from occurring. Piano technicians use special tools and techniques to get these instruments back to their proper pitch.
Regulation is a piano restoration process that involves adjustments of the action. The goal of regulation is to get the action back to its optimal precision. This maintenance task is performed when the action has been affected by physical decline of the condition of the instrument.
Overtime, the felt hammers of a piano tend to harden and become compressed due to repeated impact, which could also cause grooves to form at the points of contact with the strings. As a result, the tone quality becomes unpleasant. To bring back the uniform tone, professional piano technicians soften the hammers with the use of special tools known as voicing needles.