How to Tune a Piano

A piano is a complicated musical instrument and needs regular tuning at least once in a year.  It requires a significant amount of time, patience and attention of you. However, most of the sites will flood you with tons of technical information often demotivating you to try the piano tuning yourself at home. Nonetheless, we come up with straightforward ways to help you understand the processes on how to tune a piano effectively. 

Pro-level piano tuning guideline

This in-depth instruction manual would help people with little to almost zero knowledge about piano tuning.  We don’t want to exaggerate, but there have been many people who have mastered piano tuning art despite thinking it unreachable initially. 

Essential instruments 

Even if you are an amateurish piano tuner, you will need three piano tuning apparatuses at a minimum level. These tools are-

  1. A piano tuning lever:

Occasionally known as a piano hammer or wrench a piano tuning lever is designed for the piano pins. These pins are in square-shaped and tapered. If you are a beginner, you need to buy a craftsman or student model of the tuning lever with a size ‘2’ label. A quality machine will cost around 40-50$.

  1. An electric chromatic piano tuner:

It is used to measure the sharpness of a piano tone through a reference note. It allows you to set the note correctly, not too flat or sharp. Remember that a guitar tuner won’t work for you since it can’t recognize the wide range of piano tunes. 

  1. Around 5-7 types and sizes of different mutes:

You can silence the piano strings that is not in work with these different mutes. These are extremely cheap and easy to find. Stock different sizes and shapes of mute since your piano has different sizes and shapes of the strings. 

Piano tuning steps

Piano tuning has several procedures. We will describe them with utmost easiness for you. 

Prepare your piano 

We have gathered all the instruments and now its time to tune our all-loving musical tool.

  • Use a screwdriver to open the piano top or cabinet to get to the piano strings.
  • You can additionally open up a few more pieces to work with freedom.
  • Clean the dust with a feather brush.
  • Either use a flashlight or place the piano right under the room light to get a better view of the strings. 

Familiarise yourself with the strings

You don’t want to spend a full day tuning each string of your piano, do you? Thus, you would require a minimum level of musical sense to understand the tunes of the series. If you know the quality of the sound, pitch rate and notes, it will help you to determine which strings need tuning. And we think best pianos need less string tuning than others. And PianosPro can be your friend in finding the best one available in the market.

Start tuning with the temperament

It is widely known as the tuning of the middle C to C strings or the octave set. As we tune the first string, use it as the reference note for all other strings. In the western world, the standard concert pitch rate is 440HZ, and so, we will set our reference note to A440. 

  • Use the electronic chromatic tuner to identify the string that needs adjustment. Middle A usually comes with three strings.  Check each of string with your piano tuner. 
  • As you have found the string that needs tuning, use the mutes to silence the other two. During this time, try to keep your room free from any external noise to get the perfect note.
  • Now carefully position the tuning lever on the head of the pin.
  • Then slightly turn the lever to move the pin minimally. You should practice using the hammer a few times with a standard wire to master the slight movement. Remember that the strings are very delicate, so any sorts of extra pressure will tear them in parts. 
  • If you want to increase, the pitch rate, turn the lever clockwise and to lower the pitch rate turn the lever anticlockwise. 
  • After each turn check the note until you reach your reference level. 

Tune the entire octave 

After setting up the first note, use it as a reference instead of the chromatic tuner. Moreover, use your ear to adjust the notes, preferably using the piano tuner. It will depend upon your hearing sensitivity, so keep the room silent.

  • Use the Middle A as a reference and set the lower A with your hammer.
  • Now, tune the other notes accordingly. For instance, you can use the lower A to tune 1/5 of the next tone. 
  • Repeat the process until you are satisfied with all the strings. 

Never forget to check the piano

Always check the newly adjusted notes to ensure that everything has fallen into the right place. It is especially essential for the beginners as they will need to reshuffle some of the pins adjustment to reach their satisfactory stage. 

Final thoughts

We have tried our heart and soul to teach you the entire piano tuning process within this short manual. As the tuning process is a lengthy one to master, we urge you to work with excellent attention to avoid any unexpected damage.    

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