HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR PIANO
Caring For Your Piano
Protect your investment. Have your piano tuned at least once a year, more often if you play it regularly. It is important to have it serviced periodically by a skilled technician.
Choose a place with stable atmospheric conditions, not close to windows, outside doors and radiators or heating outlets and away from direct sunlight.
Pianos are highly sensitive to extreme changes in temperature and humidity. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity will cause the piano expand and contract causing it to go out of tune. The wood and felt parts of the piano can shift and get out of alignment affecting the performance of the keys and action. The hammer felt can readily absorb and release moisture which can dull the tone of the instrument. A humidity control system installed on your piano will help control the effects of temperature and humidity fluctuations.
Upright pianos can be placed anywhere in a room. If placed against a wall, it is best to leave about 6 inches between the back of the piano and the wall to allow the sound to resonate from the soundboard and produce a better tone.
For grand pianos as well, the possibilities are many. The sound of a grand piano resonates freely no matter where you put it. To allow for proper service, leave enough room in front of the piano for the piano technician to be able to remove action for cleaning and adjustment.
A piano requires expert care. You should leave all service, like cleaning, tuning, voicing, regulation or eventual repairs, in the hands of a skilled piano technician. We recommend that you consult your Steinway & Sons dealer for his advice when your piano requires service of any kind.
The proper pitch (440 Hz = concert pitch) is set when the piano is tuned. Frequent tuning during the first year is recommended, as the piano must adapt to the immense tension in a new environment. It takes about a year for the piano to “settle”. Afterwards your piano should be tuned at least twice a year. The pitch should be kept at a constant level. When the pitch is frequently lowered or raised, the instrument is much less likely to remain in tune.
The tone character of each individual note is formed by a process called voicing. The tone of individual notes will change over time as the piano is played and ages. Voicing demands extensive expertise and should be left to the judgment of an authorized Steinway technician.
Irrespective of whether high polish or satin finish, your piano should only be wiped with a soft, dry piece of cloth or a slightly moistened cotton cloth. We strongly advise you to refrain from using furniture polish as it contains waxes and in some cases silicone.
Only allow specialist carriers to transport your piano. Pianos are heavy and awkward and require special equipment to move them safely. Make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage.