For over thirty years now, I have devoted my efforts towards piano maintenance service. It’s been a very rewarding career, especially when seeing the look of satisfaction on client’s faces when the job is done. There’s always that magic from the piano when it’s been freshly tuned.
The best way to inspire a young piano student is to buy them a quality acoustic instrument. From there, a piano tuning maintenance schedule should be followed to ensure the student will enjoy a well-tuned piano at all times. The piano should always be at concert pitch (A440) for the student’s ear to develop properly. A fine tuning should be done at least once a year.
As important as tuning, is a well-regulated action. This will allow the player to control how the hammer will hit the strings, with evenness and consistency. Over time, and countless hours of practice, felts in the action will compress, hammers will become cut by the strings, springs will become weak, screws become loose and so on. Regulation consists of over 20 procedures to ensure a piano action works properly. Occasionally, parts need to be replaced or reconditioned, depending on the amount of wear. Usually, only two or three procedures need to be done to bring the action back to top condition.
In my experience, a new piano will need some regulating in the first few years of use. Repetition springs become weak, keys may be sluggish and need easing, hammers need to be reshaped. Eventually, more hammer felt hits the strings, where ideally only about 1 centimeter of the hammer head should contact the strings. This amount gets larger with more wear from constant hitting of the strings.
Piano maintenance service becomes a lot less frequent if a piano life-saver system is installed. A Dampp-Chaser system will maintain 42% humidity in the piano year round, which is optimal. The piano will stay in much better tune and will hold regulation better between tunings.