If your piano has not been tuned in more than a year, it might need a special tuning procedure known as a Pitch Raise, or Pitch Adjustment.
However, most of the time, the Pitch Raise can be done at the same time that you have your piano fine tuned. Every now and then - in extreme cases- a Pitch Raise may be recommended prior to doing your standard tuning.
WHY MIGHT I NEED A PITCH RAISE?
Pitch Raising is a process in which all strings are raised to their correct average tension levels. And all of your strings tensions must be as accurate as possible. Accurate tuning is only possible when all strings are so close to their proper tension that only small further changes are needed during tuning. These small changes then do not disturb the tuning of other strings.
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WHY DOES MY PIANO'S PITCH CHANGE?
Your piano strings change pitch primarily for two main reasons - changes in humidity and, on a newer piano, the stretching and settling of the strings. In the case of new pianos, the pitch drops quickly for the first couple of years as the new strings stretch and wood parts settle. Therefore, It's very important to maintain any new piano at the proper pitch during this period,
Even with more seasoned pianos, vast changes in humidity or temperature - like we have in the Dallas, Ft. Worth metroplex - heavy playing, loose tuning pins, or even where you place your piano can all be causes for the need for a Pitch Raise. These factors may cause your piano soundboard to swell or flatten out, thus causing your piano's pitch to rise sharp or fall flat.
Every year that goes by - without proper tuning and servicing - causes your piano's pitch to drop further away from its proper tension level.Then, your piano tuner will have to work very carefully to stretch the piano strings back to the proper tension, before he can begin to get it properly tuned.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO DO A PITCH RAISE?
For moderate pitch corrections the Pitch Raise takes about the same time as a tuning.. Extreme pitch corrections may need two separate pitch adjustments.
Often times, the Pitch Raise, and subsequent tuning, may be done in one visit. However, depending upon how far the pitch had to be changed, the tuning may be scheduled for a short time later. As a general rule of thumb, the longer a piano has gone without regular service, the more tunings might be required to reestablish tuning stability.
Your professional piano technician at Carrollton Piano Tuner will be glad to consult with you about whether or not your piano will need a Pitch Raise. Keep in mind that your piano, just like your vehicles, is an investment. And as such, needs regular servicing to keep it performing at its best!