Hello my name is Vincent Blake. I'm a third generation piano tuner. I've been tuning pianos for over 25 years, carrying on the dedicated service that my grandfather began over seventy five years ago. Distinguished piano service for the accomplished concert artist, professional musician and the home. Superior tuning, piano repairs and rebuilds. Serving the Sacramento Valley and the North Bay Area. Also providing piano moving services.
Pianos are tuned to A-440 with the standard equal temperament and stretch if the strings aren’t to old. Tuning in a variety of Historical Temperaments is also available if desired. Because of the amount of time your piano is in use and because ear training is such an important aspect of any musical education, your piano may require more tunings annually than other pianos.
The variations in the relative humidity of a studio or home are generally the most important criteria in determining how often a piano needs to be tuned. Normal homes may experience fairly drastic changes from season to season. Your situation may be complicated by heavy amounts of use which tends to deteriorate a tuning more quickly. A piano functions best under consistent conditions which are neither too humid nor dry, optimally at a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 42 percent relative humidity.
You can reduce the severity of these climatic effects by placing your piano in the room so that it is away from windows or doors which are opened frequently. Avoid heating and air conditioning vents, fireplaces, and areas receiving direct sunlight.
While manufacturers' recommendations on the number of annual tunings vary, they generally agree that a piano should be tuned at least two times each year, with additional tunings as needed.
"What is a Touch Design? A Touch Design is a recipe for the "feel" of the pianos "touch" and consists of the measured weight, leverage, and friction in each key, using the new touchweight metrology. Stanwood's studies found that Touch Design recipes vary widely from piano to piano. He found that when touch design parameters are very consistent from note to note, the response of the keys will be very consistent as well.
Stanwood also discovered that the combined levels of touch design parameters will indicate if the piano will feel too heavy, too light, or just right. In addition he found that touch design parameters will tell if a piano is producing full tonal energy. Stanwood found that when the touch design of one piano was reproduced in another, the "feel" of that piano is reproduced as well. Stanwood calls this "Touchweight Cloning".
As a technician I cannot reiterate the importance of having a piano responding within the perimeters that it has been given. There are specific guidelines that must be followed if we want to obtain the most of what this wonderful instrument is capable of. All of the points listed in the diagram below have various specifications depending upon the manufacturer of the piano and can be manipulated to accommodate individual preferences.