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How Adjusting Each String in a Piano to Optimum Tuning Involves 30000 Pounds of Force?

When as a certified piano technician I adjust approxiamtely 223 strings in a piano, I am manipulating between 20,000 and 30,000 pounds of force. The piano holds this force at bay through the cast iron plate that is in the piano. This is the same amount of force that sends a rocket into space!

A piano technician will take measurements at the beginning of each tuning. If the piano is outside of 8 cents, the piano will need a pitch correction. A pitch correction is basically tuning the piano twice in a session. A skilled technician uses an electronic tuning device to measure what kind of tuning the instrument will require to bring it to pitch. The standard pitch for a piano is using 440hz for the A4.

The force being manipulated in a tuning that involves more than 8 cents of pitch correction effects the mechanisms that hold the force It torques the plate and soundboard so much that the stability of a tuning is put in jeopardy. It will sound terrible as the technician corrects the pitch.

Once the pitch correction is finished, the fine tuning can take place and you will not believe the beautiful sounds that come from your piano. It is set at the manufacturers specifications.

My tunings at the time of this blog post take around 1hr and a half. The pitch correction adds to that time around 30 to 45 mins. And so, I charge extra for a pitch correction but it takes place in the tuning and you should be good to go for another 6 months.

If your piano has not been tuned in over a year, chances are that it needs a pitch correction. But, once a pitch correction take place followed by a fine tuning, your piano should be stable for another 6 months. The more often you have the piano tuned the better it is for the piano and for your wallet. Two tunings a year are great for the casual player and of course more for the professional and piano teacher.

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