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How To Tune An Upright Piano At Home

What is the best way to tune an upright piano at home? If you’re thinking that there are plenty of other websites which provide information on this particular topic, then you’re definitely not alone. In fact, if you’re a part-time piano tuner with a very basic knowledge about pianos and how they work, then there’s probably very little reason for you to read this particular post.

Tuning an upright piano at home provides many of the same benefits as standard tuning services, but with some added perks. Upright pianos can be tuned easily at home, providing you have the necessary information and a few tools to do the job right.

Check the manufacturer’s website

Piano tuning is a very specialized skill and calling on an expert piano tuner is the only way to get it right. There are some things that you can do yourself, however, to keep your piano in good shape…

Check the manufacturer’s website. Sometimes there are guides to help you tune your piano yourself. Some manufacturers may even have tuning software that you can download and use to calibrate your instrument.

If no guide is available, search online for general piano tuning tips.

Invest in a tuning kit or tuning fork. You will usually find these in music stores, especially those that sell pianos.

Check for any loose strings. If you come across one, use pliers to tighten it back up again.

Tune the A key first and start by loosening its string slightly before tightening it until you arrive at the desired pitch.

Tune the E key next and then proceed with the others in order of frequency (A-G).

Purchase tuning equipment

Tuning equipment can be purchased at any music store. The only essential tool is a tuning hammer. However, many also find a tuning lever and fork useful as well. A tuning lever is a small device that makes it easier to apply pressure to the piano strings in order to tune them. A tuning fork is an object which vibrates at a certain pitch when struck, which can help with tuning.

Find middle C on the piano and play it.

Middle C is located in the middle of the piano keyboard where there are two sets of two black keys each (see picture). Play this note and listen to it carefully. Then play the same note on your tuning fork or pitch pipe and compare it to the sound of middle C on the piano. They should sound identical or very similar.

Prepare your piano for tuning

In a perfect world, you would hire a professional piano tuner to tune your piano once every six months. However, if paying $200 or more per tuning is not in the budget, you can attempt to tune it yourself. Even if you have no idea what you’re doing at first, you can learn to get a decent sounding result from your upright piano with just a little practice and guidance.

Place the piano in an environment that will not fluctuate dramatically in temperature and humidity. While keeping the environment stable won’t affect the tuning of the strings directly, some pianos have mechanisms that are sensitive to these changes and can have an effect on the tuning.

Purchase an electronic tuner or download an app for your smartphone or tablet.

Determine if the piano is in tune with itself

When your piano is out of tune, it is said to be “flat” or “sharp,” meaning the notes are lower or higher than they should be. The sound of a piano out of tune is not just unpleasant to listen to, it can have an adverse effect on the instrument.

The first step in tuning a piano yourself is to determine if the piano is in tune with itself. Most pianos should be tuned in A440, which means that when all the keys are played together (simultaneously), the frequency of vibration produced by the strings should be 440 vibrations per second. You can determine if your piano is at A440 by playing A4 (the note above middle C) and matching it with an electronic tuner or tuning fork.

Once you’ve determined that your piano is at A440, you can begin to tune the strings one by one. Start with the lowest note on the keyboard — A0 — and work your way up until all 88 keys have been tuned.*

Tune the A above middle C using an electronic tuner

Have you ever noticed how the strings on your upright piano never seem to be in tune? All you need to get your piano sounding great again is an electronic tuner. With a little practice, you can have your piano tuned and sounding like new in no time.

1. Make sure the piano is in a stable environment

Tuning a piano is a complicated process that requires precise adjustments to the tension of each string. The tension of the strings will change with the temperature and humidity of the room where the piano is located, so it’s important that the room remains as stable as possible during the tuning process. If possible, try not to make any adjustments to the thermostat or open any windows until you are done tuning your piano.

2. Tune the A above middle C using an electronic tuner

Tuning pianos by ear has been a common practice for centuries. However, it can be difficult to tell when each string is perfectly in tune by ear alone. Using an electronic tuner makes getting each note exactly right much easier. If you don’t already have an electronic tuner, consider purchasing one online or at a local music store before starting this project. Having one handy will make tuning your piano much easier.

Tune the rest of the strings in groups of three until they match the A above middle C.

To begin tuning an upright piano, play the A above middle C and listen to its pitch until it resonates in your brain. Use a tuner to determine whether the pitch is too high or too low. If the pitch is flat, turn the wrench clockwise to make the string tighter. If it’s sharp, turn it counterclockwise to loosen it.

Tune the rest of the strings in groups of three until they match the A above middle C.

Use a tuning fork or other reference pitch to verify you’ve hit the right notes before starting the next group of three strings.

When you’re done with that group, tune the group of three immediately below them by applying pressure on those strings in a downward motion while you turn them.

Then tune all three bass strings, which are among the longest in your upright piano.

Tune notes at unison octaves by ear.

Tuning a piano is a job best left to the professionals, but if you have some musical ability and a good ear, you may be able to do part of the job yourself. This can save you money, not just on professional fees but also in preventing damage that can be caused by an inexperienced tuner or by a tuner who is rushing through the job.

The most important thing to remember about tuning is that the piano is designed to sound its best only when it is tuned to itself; that is, every note in the piano must be adjusted so that it sounds exactly like every other note of exactly the same pitch.

For example, there are three C notes on the keyboard. The C nearest middle C must be tuned so that it has the same pitch as all other Cs on the piano. It doesn’t matter if those other Cs sound too high or too low; they must match each other and this particular C note.

Tune notes at unison octaves by ear. For example, play low E and then high E (the one just below middle C). Turn this pair of strings until they sound almost exactly alike. Listen carefully, because it’s easy to miss these small changes in pitch. Play several pairs of unison octaves until you