As Columbia Station DC transitioned from a neighborhood rail stop to a venue for local artists and performers, we knew we would need to provide those performers a beautiful piano that always produces crisp, clear sounds with every note. Unfortunately the beautiful baby grand piano we had ordered for our venue did not arrive in time for our first scheduled concert!
To the rescue was McLean Piano Tuning by PianoCraft! The experts at McLean Piano Tuning by PianoCraft allowed us the use of one of their newly restored pianos for the interim, while we waited for our own piano to arrive.
In working with McLean Piano Tuning by PianoCraft, we learned a bit more about piano restoration itself. Much more involved than tuning and repair, piano restoration is needed for pianos so severely damaged that they are not usable, and for which simple repairs of certain parts is insufficient. Piano restoration might involve replacing many of the moving parts under the piano lid while also rebuilding the piano body, either replacing sections or reshaping warped and misshapen areas.
Piano restoration is an extensive project but an excellent choice for heirloom or specialty pianos, such as valuable brands and models. The investment in piano restoration ensures your beloved instrument is in good condition and usable once again, while also looking its best!
Piano Tuning and Care
While not all instruments need restoration, every piano needs regular tuning and care! The experts at McLean Piano Tuning by PianoCraft helped us understand what would be needed to ensure our newly purchased baby grand would stay in good condition and sounding as it should for years to come.
One important tip they noted is that a piano needs to be played regularly. While it might seem like playing a piano would put it out of tune sooner than letting it sit, hammers striking piano wires and their resultant vibrating action actually keeps them in position and in tune, more so than wires sitting idle. The longer a piano goes without being played, the more out of tune it gets!
Of course, regular piano tuning is also needed for pianos in consistent use, to readjust those wires. Piano maintenance also ensures proper repairs to hammers, pins, dampers, and keys, as well as other parts. Tuning and maintenance are quite different, as piano tuners typically don’t make repairs; they might alert you to damaged felt on hammers or other such issues, but repairs are then performed separately than tuning.
Proper climate control is also vital for pianos. Wood bodies and all those wood parts under the lid absorb moisture and then expand, and then shrink as they dry out. Not only will those wood parts potentially warp or split from this process but note that they pull wires and other moving parts with them as they go through this expand-shrink cycle!
While a casual piano player might simply keep their home at a relatively consistent temperature and humidity level, anyone who has invested in a quality piano and who wants to ensure it sounds perfect with every performance would do well to choose a piano climate control system, as we soon learned. These systems automatically cycle on a heater, fan, humidifier, dehumidifier, and other appliances as needed, according to the temperature and humidity in the space around them. They’re an excellent choice for ensuring your piano is always in good condition, without having to constantly monitor the temperature and humidity of a room manually.
The piano tuning pros at McLean Piano Tuning by PianoCraft were incredibly professional and personable throughout the entire process of providing us with a restored piano from their shop, and in ensuring we knew how to take good care of our own instrument. Everyone at Columbia Station DC is grateful for their help and we look forward to working with them again in the future!