(Via Alex Frank) If you enjoy playing music or listening to others play, owning a piano can be a great privilege. Proper maintenance will help make the instrument last and keep it sounding good for years. On the other hand, neglect could considerably shorten the lifespan of the instrument. How can you keep your piano looking and sounding great? Here are some piano maintenance tips for artists. Let’s explore now!
Choose an ideal location
Pianos are sensitive to extreme temperatures and high humidity. Since it is mainly made from wood, the instrument is highly susceptible to humidity changes. The wood expands and shrinks with fluctuations in humidity. This, in turn, changes the tension on the strings and could make the device go out of tune. In extreme cases of humidity changes, the soundboard can warp. This makes the entire instrument collapse calling for a major rebuilding or even replacement. Keeping the instrument in a controlled environment is necessary. Ensure that you maintain consistent levels of temperature and humidity in the room where you store the device. Humidity can be controlled using a humidifier during winter and a dehumidifier during summer. The ideal temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and the ideal humidity is 42%. Avoid placing the instrument next to high traffic doors, fireplaces, heaters and air conditioning units. Such areas tend to have inconsistent temperature and humidity levels.
When not in use, it is advisable to keep the piano covered. Covering the instrument prevents accumulation of dirt on the keys. Some pianos come complete with a cover. However, if you don’t have a ready-made cover, you can always source one from a local store or online. It is advisable to uncover the piano at times to enhance air circulation. This will help prevent the growth of mold, as this could have detrimental effects. Pianos with ivory keys need some exposure to light to prevent the keys from turning yellow. Ensure that you keep liquids very far from the instrument. Spillages are a leading cause of piano damages. Damages resulting from liquid spillages tend to be irreversible. Abstain from drinking while playing music. You may accidentally spill your drink and ruin your treasured music box!
While in use, a piano should be properly handled. Avoid leaning too heavily on it; this could exert undue pressure on the keys. Do not use the instrument as a shelf by placing too many items on it. Avoid putting books and other stationery on the piano. Don’t allow your pets to climb on the instrument. This could leave some unpleasant claw marks ruining the natural appeal of the device. Pet hair and fur could also adversely affect the device’s sensors and other components. Always ensure that the piano is properly plugged into a power source. Often, many electronics malfunction due to improper plugging and faulty electrical outlets. Musical instruments are no exception. Avoid plugging the device into an overloaded power outlet alongside other gadgets. This could interfere with the overall performance of the piano and also result in its destruction.
You may not be able to completely prevent dust from accumulating on the piano. It is, therefore, necessary to clean the instrument regularly. Instead of using water, use a clean, dry cloth. If you happen to use a damp cloth, ensure that the piano is dried immediately. Aerosol cleaners and other cleaners that contain silicone and solvents should not be used. Check the manufacturer’s notes to learn about the acceptable cleaning methods. Always wash and dry your hands before touching the piano. This helps curb transfer of dirt from your hands to the instrument.
A piano’s international pitch standard is A-440 cycles per second. The instrument gets out of tune especially when it is not in use. This makes it unpleasant to play and listen to. Regular tuning will help you reap the best sound from the piano. It is recommended to have domestic pianos tuned at least once every six months. Tuning is also recommended right before the instrument is played. Avoid do-it-yourself tuning; instead, get a professional technician to tune the instrument. It takes skill and expertise to restore the device to its proper pitch. Technicians may either use electronic tuning devices or aural techniques.
Identify the right technician
A piano is a lifetime investment. Your objective should be to make it last as long as possible. Regular maintenance by a qualified technician will enhance the life of the instrument. Besides tuning, other necessary maintenance procedures include voicing and regulation. In the case of significant damages, you will need restoration and rebuilding services. A good technician will walk with you all the way.
Above all, as an independent musician, keep playing your piano! This will help keep all the moving parts in good condition. It will also help you identify any problem that may arise at an earlier stage.
I’m Alex Frank who has worked sound technology industry for ten years now. Today, I am an affiliate blogger who likes to educate my audience more about audio technology. Visit Music Instruments Center to find all information about music that you need.
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I'm a music business professional with an innate interest for music and subcultures! Nothing brings me more joy than to hear about people's newest music obsession, I can tell you I am currently digging a lot of OK Go.