Mechanical Precision is key to Núanced Performance
Pianissimo, repetition and many other núances are available for access by the pianist at the piano for expression. Over time with use and constant changes in the climate, the key height, travel and position of every part is driven out of alignment as the piano action works as a bi-directional chain reaction. Check Your Piano Manufacturer Warranty and Maintenance Guide
Is it my technique or my Piano, which needs attention?
Most piano manufacturers recommend the first regulation and voicing when the piano is one year old, after the break-in period. After that every 3-4 years. From experience if the work is done well and the piano is in a stable environment, regulation can last a decade.
There are ways to tell your piano is in need of regulation:
piano keys misaligned, warped and crooked
Each key must be at the same height as its all other keys. The travel and depth should also be the same. Angles and relationships appear perfect when everything is aligned properly. When keys are crooked like in the photo above, it is almost impossible to play evently in tone and also affects rhythmic response as the travel begins and ends at different times and places for each key.
piano hammers must be perfectly aligned with the strings
PIano Hammers must be aligned perfectly with the strings. In the photo above, see how the strings are in perfect alignment of 3’s while some hammers are almost touching, others angled and not squarely facing the strings. This causes premature wear on the hammers but also a much weaker, fragmented tonal response.
Deep grooves, or cuts, develop in the hammer felt at the contact point with the strings, while the top of the hammer also flattens. As part of regulation and voicing, the hammer is reshaped to maximize performance, longevity and tone production.
Sticking Broken Piano Keys
What if it’s just a pencil jammed in there? A variety of causes could make a key stick, return slowly, make squeaky noises or dribble. Aside from misalignment and broken parts there could also be foreign materials caught in the action – sometimes a pencil, guitar pick or coin falls in but worse if a rodent is stacking dogfood or building a nest. It is important to not force a sticking key to avoid making matters worse. Please reach out right away – I will make myself available at my earliest convenience to help. Rodents can cause lots of damage to a piano and pose a health hazard
cracked piano soundboard
Cracks in the soundboard
the Piano Soundboard is supported by structural beams which attach the case to the rim, footer and wooden ribs, holding up bridges and all the tension from the strings bearing down on the thin spruce membrane.
Over time and with changes in the climate the soundboard and bridges may eventually give to the tension and crack as bearing drops and tone decay flattens.
For three generations we specialize in soundboard restoration. I will advise if the restoration of your piano is a good investment. Reach out to schedule an Estimate and Appraisal