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How to Care for Your Piano – Looking After Your Musical Instrument

Posted By admin On January 19, 2010 @ 1:55 pm In Musical Instruments | Comments Disabled

Your piano is not only a beautiful piece of furniture, it is a valuable musical instrument that should give you a lifetime of playing enjoyment. To make sure it goes the distance and to get the most out of your investment, you need to care for your piano properly. The tips below will help you do just that.

Position

To prevent scratching and damage from the impacts that most other items in your house suffer on a daily basis, place your piano away from high traffic areas, swinging doors and children’s play areas. Don’t position indoor plants near the piano and never have a hanging plant above it.

Household Habits

Develop habits within your household that won’t put your instrument at risk. Don’t drink or eat while seated at the piano, don’t place drinks on any of its surfaces, don’t let children use it as a play thing. A spilt drink that finds its way between the keys or into the interior of the piano will almost certainly cause irreparable damage.

Placing picture frames and other decorative objects on top of the piano may spoil your piano’s finish by causing scratching, but if they fall into its interior the damage could be far more significant.

Ventilation

While a piano should be protected from dust and other debris, it also needs adequate ventilation to prevent the growth of mould in its interior. To aid ventilation, make sure that the keylid (or “fall”) is left open two days each week during the daylight hours. In addition to circulating air, indirect sunlight will also have a discouraging effect on mould growth.

Temperature and Humidity

Fluctuations in humidity and temperature will adversely affect your piano. As the wood of the instrument swells and shrinks it can affect sound quality and tuning, cause keys to stick, accelerate wear and tear. In more severe cases, important parts of the piano’s mechanism can crack and glue joints can become unstable.

Never position your piano in direct sunlight or close to windows, heaters or air conditioners. Keep the door to your piano room closed as much as possible.

Control your piano’s environment. You can monitor humidity levels with a hygrometer and regulate them with either a humidifier or dehumidifier. Piano’s fare best in a temperature of 21˚C with a humidity level of around 40%.

Regulation

A piano is a complex machine with many moving parts. As a result, occasional adjustments have to be made to compensate for wear and tear. This “servicing” is called regulation and should be performed every 2 – 5 years. Regulation will prevent unnecessary wear, improve the feel of your piano and ensure every key performs correctly.

Tuning

You’ve spent a lot of money to buy your piano, it makes sense, then, to keep it sounding its best. Have it tuned by a professionally qualified piano tuner once a year. This will have the benefit not only of keeping your piano in tune, but the tuner will also be able to identify structural and functional problems that you may not be aware of. Early detection could lessen the impact on your bank balance.

Cleaning

Pianos generally have beautiful finishes, but don’t be tempted to cover them in furniture polish – it can weaken the lacquer and contaminate the wood.

To clean a piano, dust first with a feather duster, then wipe with a damp cotton cloth and finish with a dry cloth. Keys can be cleaned the same way. A light vacuum with a brush attachment will also help reduce dust build-up between those ivories.

A Lifetime of Musical Pleasure

By positioning your piano sensibly, treating it well, regulating temperature and humidity and having it serviced and tuned by a professional you’ll be doing all that is necessary to properly care for your piano and ensure a lifetime of musical pleasure.




Learn more about caring for your piano in this video.


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