My piano's not right

Help! There’s something wrong with my brand new piano

My piano's not right
Something’s wrong with my piano

Your new piano has arrived in it’s new home… in your home. It looks great, but you might be feeling slightly disappointed – It doesn’t sound the same as it did in the shop and It seems to be going out of tune really quickly. You may even be wondering if you’ve made a mistake, or if your piano is a lemon. Are you going a bit crazy? Did you get carried away in the shop with something that isn’t as good as you thought it was?

Before your piano arrived, this was what you were imagining….Your new piano arrives, It looks amazing, it sounds amazing. Everyone wants to play it.  It sounds even better than it did in the shop. It’s easily the best purchase you’ve ever made. Happy Days!

In real life, these are some of the common reactions new piano owners have when their piano arrives:

“My piano sounds terrible”

“This note’s not working properly.”

“There’s a scratch or ding here on the cabinet.”

“My Piano’s incredibly loud.”

“My piano doesn’t sound in tune.”

“There’s no piano manual.”

“I’m frightened of it.”

New piano expectations and realities

What’s happening here is we have hard-wired expectations of what the purchase of a brand new piece of equipment should be like.

When we buy something new, we think it should be at its best when it’s brand new, and it will deteriorate with wear and tear over time.

Pianos are different. They take time to settle-in. They are responsive to their environment, so the change in location is unsettling for them. A piano’s lifespan is different to the life of most other items we’re buying these days. 

Strings, acoustics and humidity/environment.

Try not to worry

“My piano sounds terrible”

New pianos need a little bit of patience while they are settling in. Why? The strings are still stretching. Piano strings are pulled to about 80% of their breaking strain to be in tune. It takes a while for the strings to settle to that point. It’s actually good to give the piano more tunings at the beginning of its life to help the settling in process (it doesn’t happen overnight). Given your piano has a lifespan of around 80 years, it’s worth being a bit patient with it at the beginning when it has just been strung.

“This note’s not working properly.”

Moving can cause things to go astray in the mechanics. This is something your technician can sort out when they come to tune the piano. It’s usually nothing to worry about. The piano has mostly wooden parts in the mechanism and these respond to changes in humidity and temperature. Your home environment is most likely different to the piano store and once the piano has settled, your technician can make the necessary adjustments for it to work properly in your environment.

“There’s a scratch or ding here on the cabinet.”

Don’t panic. These things are fixable. This is something to note with a photo straight away and let the shop where you bought the piano know. They’ll want to determine if it happened in transit as the carriers may be involved. Leave the repair to the experts.

“My piano’s incredibly loud.”

Your room may be a very different acoustic than where you first heard your piano. If your room has hard floors and walls, there are some things you can do to take the volume of your piano down a notch. A rug on the floor underneath the piano can help, and your technician may have some other ideas too.

“My piano doesn’t sound in tune.”

When your piano is brand new and again, at the very end of its lifespan, these are the two times your piano will not stay in tune well. Patience and consistent tuning will get you through.

“There’s no piano manual.”

You’ve probably realised the books that came with the piano aren’t really a manual, just a glossy book about the factory that made your piano and how good it is. Stay tuned, Piano Feature is producing a piano manual as we speak.

Oh no, I can’t find what I’m looking for. I need a piano manual.

“I’m frightened of it.”

Your piano is made well and once you understand what’s inside it will be less scary. Check out  these Youtube videos:

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