Understanding your Piano

Do You Love Your Piano?

After buying a piano, you must learn what steps to take for upkeep to protect your investment. Whether you intend to pass it down to family members or to protect its resale value, maintenance proves essential.

Where Should I Place My Home’s Piano?

Natural heat and dry air can quickly damage your instrument’s wood and leather parts, especially in Malaysia’s tropical environment. Make sure to store your piano away from exterior doors and windows, radiators, ductwork, and other HVAC components.

If you don’t think you’re going to play for a while, try and keep your instruments in climate-controlled storage. Upright pianos should get stored about an inch away from any wall to ensure you hear its classic deep resonance. 

While it may not sound like a concert hall performance, you will notice a more consistent sound and tone. Proper distance away from walls and hard surfaces acts as a second soundboard for your pianos.

Maintain the Piano’s Wood Finish

Classic black pianos won’t see much sun damage from UV exposure, but they will likely discolor rather quickly. One way to clean and preserve these surfaces comes from using wood furniture polish on the exterior parts.

Use a damp, soft material, and make sure that you wet the rag with the cleaner rather than to surfaces. That will help prevent discoloration from the product, as well as work it into the wood more evenly.

Keeping Your Piano’s Interior Dusted

Even with the lids closed, your piano can still collect dust and debris, which could damage parts hidden from view. Preferably, using a small vacuum cleaner with a softer hose attachment can gingerly lift crumbs and dirt away without scratching.

If you notice any playthings from children, loose change, or other items, only remove if you can easily reach them. Anything that stays outside of your comfortable range of motion likely needs a professional for service.

While a piano remains rather durable, they still contain delicate components inside of the wooden frame. Choose the Piano Market when you need assistance cleaning out your instrument’s interior spaces.

Proper Piano Tuning

It may take several years for your home’s new piano to adjust to its new climate and settle for sound. As a result, you may find yourself tuning your instrument more frequently until it acclimates to the room.

As the sound it produces becomes more stable, you will notice that the overall sound quality improves with regular service. That classic, rich piano resonance that the instrument remains famous for takes time and care to develop.

Many piano manufacturers agree that a new instrument should get tuned at least twice each year. And when you purchase yours from our shop, we throw in free in-home tuning up to a month after delivery.

Servicing the Piano Action

Your piano may seem like a straightforward instrument, but it houses thousands of individual parts, making it a mechanical achievement. Among the components, the action remains one of the most vital as it causes the hammers to hit the strings.

When your finger presses a key down, it sends the hammer forward (or upward on upright pianos) to make chords. Believe it or not, the hammers inside work five times faster than you can change notes, with proper maintenance schedules.

If all your piano had to do was hit strings, it wouldn’t need to remain so complicated. However, these parts must also withdraw equally fast to avoid muffling the sounds and causing it to feel “muddy.”

When you hold a key down, the piano’s action responds as well, and it keeps the hammer frozen, or “checked.” When a hammer checks, it only recoils so far, as to not ruin the sound as it stays extended.

Much like a car’s engine, the action uses an in-depth system of levers, pivots, and hinges, each one specifically designed. When they get created, they ensure that they always provide you, the user, with lightning-fast reactions during your performance.

Most piano actions get made from wood, leather, wool bushing, and other materials, all of which react to ambient humidity. Unfortunately, the slightest change in conditions can throw off the entire timbre of your piano, making proper storage vital.

The only way to protect your investment becomes hiring a dedicated repair contractor for your instrument’s best maintenance results. Make sure you call us for repairs at least every five years to keep your action in performance-ready condition. 

The Piano Dampers

Another portion of the action components, piano dampeners assist in helping players to control how much vibrations the strings produce. A single set of dampeners can use more than 900 parts, each one meticulously created for its best sound possible.

As a result, regulating your piano’s dampeners remains an essential part of your overall maintenance for better-sounding notes. When these items stop working correctly, however, we receive a warranty call for repairs.

As the dampeners expand from too much humidity or shrink from not enough, the sound changes, also. Having them serviced by a certified professional, however, leaves them sounding their best each time.

Maintaining the Soundboard

The soundboard gets its name because it both redirects and amplifies the tones made from the hammers striking the strings. Without its soundboard staying in peak condition, your piano simply won’t create any notes at all.

Similar to a stereo’s speaker, the soundboard relies on vibrations that run through its interior. If the fluctuations occur at different intervals as the strings, they won’t work correctly, leading to odd noises.

To generate the proper effect, the center must stay arched with strings pressed into it, referred to as getting “crowned”. Correct string vibrations need a quarter to 3/8 inches of space where the bridges cross.

The ribs assist the crown and soundboards by offering additional support and strength. And the wood used in creating the soundboard must also receive consideration and proper seasoning for the right tones.

Too little humidity could cause the board to separate and splinter apart, causing it to lose its amplifier-like effects. And the dense cast iron plate covering the soundboard must never touch another component or else it could cause damage.

The Piano Strings

Did you know that the piano remains a part of the “percussion” category of musical instruments? When the strings vibrate after pressing a key, the level of vibration creates its “speaking length” or its sound duration.

The length, measured in vibrations per second, extends to the intersection of the bottom bridges and the cast iron plating. Sounds can get produced by a string from the amount of tension, the string’s length, and their diameter, or thickness.

When a string produces less tension, the pitch becomes deeper from slower sound waves, and vice versa. Longer piano strings cause fewer vibrations per second as sound has more room to travel, also creating deeper notes.

Some strings need a broader diameter, which happens from wrapping a second wire around its base. You often find these strings located at the lower end of the piano’s range, causing lower sounds than individual cords.

Together, these three types of vibrations create the scale design, or how the manufacturer intended it to sound during performances. That scale then gets applied to all 88 keys, creating distinctive tones as well as crisp chords.

The lower you go on the keyboard, the thicker the strings become to produce deeper notes. During your maintenance call, we may need to rewrap strings after a while to keep it sounding great.

Proper Piano Tone

Once the hammer hits a string, it does not cause one individual sound, but a rich combination of tones. Every key press causes overlapping notes to blend in a refined way that only a trained listener can appreciate them.

The pitch of a struck string gets named the fundamental tone, which becomes the first member of a chord. Lower sounds, on the other end, get created by vibrating the entire length of the piano wire.

To make a range of higher tones surrounding the fundamental, you produce harmonics. These sounds play after the wires vibrate individually, creating a choir-like effect.

Finally, during the same keypress, the string’s vibrations change hands again, creating three partial notes. And because these vibrate at three times that the fundamental plays, you hear an even higher tone than before.

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