Why Does A Piano Go Out Of Tune?

There are several factors that may cause a piano to go out of tune, but the main culprit is usually climate. The piano's soundboard is made of wood, which will expand in humid weather and contract in dry weather, altering the pitch of the piano. Changes in humidity are more significant than changes in temperature, but the more stable all climate conditions are kept, the more stable the piano will be.

Other common causes of tuning instability are moving a piano, which introduces a new climate, and new piano strings which will need time and sometimes multiple tunings before they are fully stretched. Loose tuning pins are common in older pianos, and are often to blame when one or two notes sound much worse than the others.

It is therefore important to keep your piano away from heating vents, exterior doors, and open windows. Tuning your piano twice a year will help each tuning perform better by keeping the piano stable.

What is a pitch raise and do I need one?

Tuning on the 1st St. Bridge for Austin's Play Me I'm Yours

If your piano has not been tuned in a while, it will most likely require a pitch raise.

A piano has about 230 strings, and when they are all significantly stretched (or slackened) during the tuning process, the change in tension to the piano's structure will send it immediately back out of tune.

Therefore, a very out of tune piano will first need to be rough tuned to standard pitch before it can be fine tuned. Both tunings can be done in one visit.

Having your piano tuned every 6 months will eliminate the need for a pitch raise and increase your piano's ability to stay in tune.