Your piano should be tuned once a year, even if you’re not using it. Here’s the reason why:
Pianos have about 1,400 moving parts. When a piano sits idle for a few years, those parts can become stuck from non-use. Imagine buying a car and then parking it in your garage for four or five years without using it. When the day comes that you do decide to drive it, that’s when you discover it won’t start. The battery is dead, the tires are flat and nothing seems to work. Now you’re facing a huge repair bill just to get it working again. The same is true for pianos.
If you paid good money to purchase your piano, you’ll definitely want to keep it maintained, even during the times you’re not using it. This is especially true for grand pianos because they can cost tens of thousands of dollars to purchase. Imagine spending $15,000 dollars or more for a Kawai grand piano and then letting it sit for five years without having it tuned. Then one day someone who knows how to play the piano visits your home, but when they sit down to play, they discover the keys are stuck, it’s horribly out of tune and they simply can’t play it. Now you’re embarrassed, and after your guests leave you’re going to feel an urgent need to get it fixed, but the repair is going to cost a lot of money. All of this could have been avoided by simply having the piano tuned once a year. Not only that, but you don’t even need to keep track of it because as a professional piano tuner, I can do all the record keeping for you and will call, write or email you two or three weeks in advance to let you know when it’s time to tune your piano.
By scheduling an annual tuning your piano can be maintained and kept in working condition from year to year. Furthermore, if you should ever decide to sell your piano, you’ll be able to get a lot more for it if it’s been maintained and is in good condition. No one wants to buy a broken down piano. By simply having it tuned and maintained once a year, you can keep your piano from deteriorating over time, even when it’s not being used.
But what about pianos that are played regularly, how often should they be tuned?
If you play your piano nearly every day you might consider getting it tuned twice a year because regular use and vigorous playing may require more frequent tuning. This is really a matter of trial and error because environment and your playing style will have an impact on how long your instrument remains in tune. Obviously there’s no reason to tune a piano that’s already in tune. If I discover that your piano is still in tune six months after I tuned it last, I’ll immediately let you know and we can adjust your tuning schedule.
In the case of churches where the heat/AC is cranked on during the weekend and then turned off during weekdays, pianos may need to be tuned more often.