You’ve recently fulfilled a long-held dream and bought your brand-new piano. Congratulations! Of course, with a considerable investment such as this, you want your cherished instrument to remain in its perfect condition as long as possible.
Now you should know that during its very first year of use, your new piano already needs maintenance. Sometimes, piano retailers are shy to mention this important detail, afraid that it would deter buyers… So, when a salesperson tells you that “a new piano won’t need maintenance before a long time,” here are some tips you should keep in mind:
1- Most piano manufacturers recommend two tunings per year.
This recommendation is made not only by piano technicians, but by the piano manufacturers themselves, like Yamaha and Steinway. This ensures the instrument’s stability and increases its longevity. Therefore, when you buy a new piano, make sure your retailer’s after-sales services include at least one free tuning during the initial year of use.
Source: Gryffindor, Steinway-Haus Wien
2- Your new piano will need a running-in maintenance after some time.
One should remember that a piano is made of wood, a living material that keeps on “working” for some years. It is not unusual to see some hammer shanks slightly twist over time, and consequently, these hammers won’t perfectly hit the three strings any more. If not repaired early, this small misalignment may eventually cause bigger damage to the hammers, becoming more difficult and costly to fix.
3- Your new piano will be as sensitive to fluctuating humidity levels as older pianos.
Whatever its age or condition, no music instrument made largely of wood will resist to the detrimental effects caused by fluctuating humidity levels, from very dry during our cold winters to highly humid during hot summers. Every trustworthy piano retailer will warn you about this!
Cracked soundboard in an almost new piano. Source : PTM.
Nevertheless, some retailers will not insist on installing a humidity control system in your piano since this represents an additional expense that you didn’t plan for.
But it is never too late to do the right thing! Once your beloved piano benefits from a microclimate with a constant level of humidity from season to season, you’ve already helped to extend its life and protect your investment.