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What you need to do

What you need to do before the tuner/technician arrives.

Please be prepared for the arrival of the piano tuner/technician.  Please clean all black and white keys and remove all your photos and other items off the piano.

What you need to do when the piano tuner/technician tunes your piano

Most people grossly underestimate how skillful and difficult piano tuning is.  It is mentally hard work and physically very strenuous.  It requires intense listening and concentration, and making extremely fine adjustments to string tension by turning very tightly fitted tuning-pins ever so minuscule.

Often people leave external doors or windows open when the piano is tuned, being totally oblivious to outside noises, and allowing dry or damp air to come into the piano room.  Some people turn on the heater or air conditioner just before the tuner arrives and turn it off again when he leaves.  They are ignorant about the fact that the piano went through a sudden chilling or warming process before the tuner arrived, and the reversal chilling or warming process when he left the home, which will affect the tuning stability, causing the piano to be out of tune within an hour.  If you want your piano to stay in tune for as long as possible, you need to keep the temperature and relative humidity as even and constant as possible at all times.

To be able to hear properly, make extremely fine and accurate adjustments and do the best possible tuning, it is most important and necessary that it is as silent as possible, not just low level noise!

It is imperative that a suitable noise-free time is arranged, enabling the piano tuner to perform at his best. This avoids prolonging the work, arriving late for the next appointment, and compromising the quality of the tuning.

People do not make noise during the performance of the pianist; neither ought people to make noise during the performance of the tuner/technician.  Please remember that the success of a concert is highly dependent on the performance of the tuner/technician.  The piano tuner/technician is the artist to the pianist.  You may not require a concert tuning, however, we always do the very best possible tuning which you and your piano will allow.

Be nice to your piano tuner, he does an amazingly complicated job, and offer your tuner a cup of tea, coffee or water as he surely can do with a drink during this intense work.

Do's:

  • Wash your hands before playing.
  • Clean white and black keys regularly.  Clean about 5 keys at a time.  Use a damp soft cloth with plain water and immediately rub dry with another soft cloth.  Keep sides of keys dry at all times.  Again clean keys with special plastic polish, available from Guus van den Braak, for an amazing feel and to keep them cleaner for longer.
  • To keep out dust, debris, and moth as much as possible, close all lids when the piano is not in use.
  • Have the grand piano cleaned, moth treated and serviced every 3 years.
  • Have the upright piano cleaned, moth treated and serviced every 5 years.
  • Have the piano tuned at the very least twice a year.
  • Place the piano in the most temperature and humidity stable room.

Don'ts:

  • Never touch strings with bare skin. Strings will tarnish and rust.
  • Never touch dampers.  They are very delicate, damage easily and will not work properly.
  • Never touch hammers or delicate mechanism.  It is easily damaged and will not work properly.
  • Never place any flowers or drinks on the piano.  Spills are extremely damaging and can be very expensive to repair.
  • Never eat or drink at the piano.  Spilled food attracts insects and vermin, damaging your piano.
  • Never clean keys with methylated spirits or any cleaning product containing alcohol or harsh chemicals. The key-tops may crack.
  • Never use an eraser above the piano, place pencils, paperclips, paper notes, etc. on a piano or near the keyboard.  Any debris falling between the keys, into the piano and action mechanism will affect the touch and may cause malfunctions and buzzing noises.
  • Never place a piano in direct sunlight and/or draughts.  The piano will get damaged and go out of tune rapidly.
  • Never expose your piano to direct heat from a heater or the sun and direct air from an air-conditioner. The piano will get damaged and go out of tune rapidly.
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