Piano Maintenance and Care

With the proper care, your piano can last for many lifetimes.  Below are some tips for taking the best care of your instrument so that you can enjoy playing for many years to come.

Do NOT eat or drink at the piano.
It’s never a good idea to eat or drink around your piano.  That’s just an accident waiting to happen!  Crumbs and liquid could potentially fall between the keys making them sticky.  If this should ever occur, you will need to call in a professional who will be able to safely remove the keys, if necessary, to clean up the mess.  Condensation from drinks can ruin wood or lacquer finishes.  If you have a digital piano, you risk frying the electronics inside of the piano.

Keep the lid and fallboard down when not in use.
This helps to keep dust and other debris from settling inside the piano or on/between the keys.  If you have a piano that won’t be used for very long periods of time, it’s a good idea to occasionally leave the lip open to allow some daylight and air circulation to help prevent mold from growing on the inside.

Do not use harsh chemicals to clean or polish any part of the piano.
When cleaning your piano, it’s best to use either a dry soft cloth or a slightly damp one (using clean water).  Feather dusters are also great for removing loose dust particles.  Don’t clean the interior of the piano on your own.  Interior cleanings are best left up to a professional to ensure that the fragile interior mechanisms aren’t damaged.  It’s highly recommended that polishing should be kept to a minimum.  Before polishing, make sure you know exactly what material the finish of your piano is made of.  Different materials need to be polished differently to avoid causing severe damage from the chemicals.

Get your piano tuned and serviced on a regular schedule.
This section only applies to acoustic pianos; not digital or electronic ones.  The general rule is that your piano should be tuned each season since seasonal changes are accompanied by temperature and humidity changes.  This breaks down to 4 tunings a year at 3 month intervals.  If you practice and play frequently, you should also get the felt hammers and internal action mechanics checked out approximately twice a year.  The parts integral to the hammer hitting the strings to produce sound and the felt on the hammers can wear down.  When these parts wear down, it will affect the sound quality of your piano in a negative way.

Only used qualified professionals for repairs and servicing.
You should never tune your own piano unless you are a trained professional certified in the art of piano tuning.  Also, you should never attempt to make repairs to the keys or internal parts.  You could potentially turn a minor repair into a more costly one.  Before hiring a professional, make sure you ask about their credentials and certifications.  You can also check with professional piano technician organizations for a registry of reputable individuals or businesses.

Keep your piano away from extreme humidity and temperature changes.
The wood, strings and other materials used to make your piano will contract or expand as the temperature and humidity changes.  This process will cause the pitch of the piano strings to go either flat or sharp.  Your piano should not be placed directly over or under heating or cooling sources.  You should also try to control the humidity in your piano room.

You may also find the following links helpful:
Music Terms and Symbols For Pianists
Suzuki Method For Piano
Parts of The Piano
Piano Pedals
Correct Piano Posture

ABOUT AUDREY WILLIAMS
I am a professional musician and music teacher.  For more information, please visit my website at www.AudreyWilliamsMusic.com.  You can listen to samples of my music by clicking HERE.

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