Archive for the ‘Tips For The New Piano Owner’ Category

Voicing Your Piano

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Intro:   Voicing the piano is the procedure piano technicians use to alter the "voice" of the piano.  Just as different people have different voices, pianos also have their own particular sound.  A piano may have a bright sound or a mellow sound, depending upon the design.

Correcting Tone:  If your piano sounds too bright and harsh sounding, it will be hard to play soft passages in the music.  Or, if the piano seems dull and lifeless, bringing up the tone is necessary to play louder and more expressively.  Depending upon where the piano needs to be, different techniques are used to soften or harden the hammers to adjust the overall tone.

Uneven Tone:   If some areas of the piano are too bright or too dull, or if there are unwanted resonances or noise from the piano, there are techniques which address these problems.  The same procedures of softening or hardening the hammers is used to correct uneven tone.

String Noises:   Careful tuning will sometimes reveal unwanted sounds coming from the strings or other parts of the piano.  Addressing these noises is also part of voicing. 

Conclusion:  If you feel that your piano could sound better, some voicing would probably take care of it.  Be aware, though, that there are limits to how much can be done.  You won't be able to transform that Yamaha into a Steinway for example.  But, you can really make a big difference in the sound by having it voiced.

What is a Registered Piano Technician?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Need A Piano Tuner?  Who ‘ya gonna call?  Be sure to use a qualified technician to service your piano.  A Registered Piano Technician (RPT)  is a good choice.  The Guild certifies technicians who have passed a series of exams to become Registered Piano Technicians.  You can find Registered Piano Technicians at, listed by zip code in your area.  Associate Members are also allowed Guild membership, but have not yet passed the tests. Hiring a Registered Piano Technician (RPT) is the best way to insure that you are hiring a competent technician.

2007-RPT-Logo-Web (150 x 66)

Warrantee Service

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

 New Piano Defects: If you have any problems with your piano, and it is under warranty, be sure to let the technician know before any work is done.  How Warrantees Work: Most manufacturers require authorization for warranty repairs before the work is performed.  Don’t get stuck paying for a repair that is covered by the warranty.  What is Covered? Some types of repair are not covered, and are classified as normal wear and tear.  Tuning, voicing and regulation are not normally covered, unless there is a chronic problem that was apparent when the piano was purchased, or that is deemed a manufacturing defect.  How to Solve the Problem: Open communication with your dealer is essential to proper handling of any problem that may arise.  Your dealer should be the first to know of any defects or problems with your piano.  The technician will be interested in getting the piano fixed, and may not be aware of the need to work with the dealer in this regard.  Always direct the technician to the dealer before work is done, to be sure the proper repair is performed.  Who should do the repair? Often, the technician who works for a dealer of a certain brand that you own, knows the best way to repair problems on that particular brand.  Better to let the expert perform the repair, rather than someone who may be “reinventing the wheel”, trying in vain to solve a problem.  You get what you paid for: Be aware, also, that a less expensive piano may not have had as careful workmanship as a more expensive one.  Don’t expect a “world class” piano at a bargain -basement price.

Piano Moving

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Accutone Piano Service Professional Piano Services

  • Moving Companies: If you ever move a piano, don’t rely upon household moving companies to move the piano.  Piano moving is an art unto itself.  Piano movers are specialists, and are equipped with special dollies and tools to move pianos. 
  • Damage: When it’s too late, and your piano is damaged by a moving company, you will find yourself wishing you had gotten better advice. 
  • Who to Call:  I recommend Encore Piano Moving.  They have years of experience and will treat your piano with care.  Call Jeff Grayson at (858) 271-0388.


Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Accutone Piano Service Professional Piano ServicesString Covers: If you have a grand piano, and live near the ocean, I recommend a “string cover”.  This cover is installed inside the piano, over the strings.  It is made of wool, and absorbs any moisture from the atmosphere.  The cover does not touch the strings, so you can still play it without noticing any reduction of sound.  Dust is sealed out.  I’ve seen many pianos with string covers that look as new inside as they were when the piano was made.  Other pianos without covers quickly collect dust and dirt, and lose value and appeal in a year or two.  They are available in different colors and are well made and attractive.  A highly recommended investment.

Caster Cups: Caster cups are recommended for wood floors to protect the wood from the steel casters.  I carry many types of caster cups, both in wood and plastic, that will match the piano or floor.  Adding caster cups will enhance the singing tone of a grand piano if the piano is placed on a concrete floor, even if covered by a carpet. 

Dehumidifier System: Seasonal changes in humidity affect the tuning of a piano.  Especially if you live near the coast, you need this system.  It will stabilize the tuning over a longer time, and also prevent swelling of the wood parts and rusting of the strings.  Grand pianos with both a string cover and dehumidifier will protect your piano from damage and keep it in tune longer.

High Gloss Finishes

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Accutone Piano Service Professional Piano ServicesNew Piano Finishes: Most new pianos are made with a polyester high gloss finish.  If you have one of these, I can recommend some products to help keep the finish looking like new. 

What Do I Need? Since the finish is basically a plastic resin, any product that is intended for plastic will work well.  I recommend products made by Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze, available from Kragen Auto Stores and other automotive and boat stores. #10, #17 and #18 are good products.  You may find other products for plexiglas or lexan, which are suitable also.  Gel Gloss, available in drug stores and supermarkets for use in fiberglass shower stalls, is also a possibility. 

What to Avoid:  What you should NOT USE: Any “Bon Ami”, “Ajax” or other cleanser, Windex, Lemon Oil, Furniture Polish, solvents, cleaning solutions, and other cleaners that leave a residue on the surface. 

Cleaning Cloths: Use only 100% cotton cloths to apply and remove excess polish from the surface, like a diaper, terrycloth, flannel or other soft cloth.  Synthetic fibers may leave micro scratches on the surface. 

Protect the Surface: Be careful not to place any object on the piano without some kind of padding or felt underneath to protect the finish.  The high gloss finish is very soft, and will scratch easily.  The finish is very durable, but if impacted it will shatter. 

Polishing and Repairs: Repair of the polyester finish is possible only by a specialist in this type of repair.  I specialize in buffing and repairing polyester finishes.