Care Tips

It is important to look after your piano and maintain it regularly. Although it may appear sturdy because of its solid construction, the piano has thousands of moving parts and is therefore quite a sensitive instrument.

Where should I place the piano?

  • Choose a room with relatively constant temperature and humidity (ie. not too close to the kitchen, laundry, hallway, sunroom). The most suitable place is against an inside wall, away from draughty windows, heaters, airconditioning, doors and exposure to direct sunlight. If you live in a recently built house with insulation in the walls and you decide to place your piano on an outside wall, please leave at least a 10cm gap between the piano and the wall for air to circulate.
  • In addition to affecting humidity, direct sunlight will also cause the piano finish to age and fade.
  • Choose a room with few distractions for practising students, or perhaps make rules about television and computer use during practise times.
  • Acoustically, make sure that shelves and furniture do not block the sound. The placement of a piano will affect its tone, ie. carpet and soft furnishings will soften the tone and hard surfaces will brighten the tone.
  • Think about ease of access for piano tuners.
  • Try to keep the top of the piano free of framed photos and other items that may vibrate and rattle when it is played. Water leakage or spillage from plants can also be hazardous. Any liquid spill will damage the finish and possibly the inside. Cups and glasses will also leave marks on most finishes.
  • Consider the use of castor cups to protect your floor from castor wheel marks.

Will climate changes and humidity affect my piano?

  • Changes in temperature and humidity will affect the wooden parts in the piano. Wood is a hygroscopic material, ie. it absorbs moisture from the air and loses water when the air is dry. This makes the wood expand and contract, especially in the soundboard and bridge, which is not good for the piano.
  • If the atmosphere is too dry, splits may form in the soundboard causing tuning instability and deterioration over time.
  • Conversely, if the air is too humid the keys and action parts may stick and the strings and pins may start to rust. Constant exposure to extremes of temperature and humidity will cause your piano to lose the quality of its tone.
  • If you live in an area where you have hot, humid summers and dry, cold winters, we recommend installing a Dampp Chaser Piano Humidity Control System. These must be installed by a piano tuner/technician and costs vary depending on the size of the piano. Please contact your local Alex.Steinbach dealer for a brochure and a list of accredited tuners and technicians who can advise whether you may require a humidifier.

How often will the piano need tuning?

  • All pianos need tuning. Tuning is the tension adjustment of individual strings so that they vibrate at frequencies giving the correct pitch. The number of times you need to tune your piano will depend upon changes in climate, age, condition of the piano and how often it is used. most pianos require a minimum of two tunings per year. New pianos with new strings may need more because the strings will need to stretch out much of their elasticity before they become stable to hold constant tension (much like new guitar strings).
  • If your piano is regularly tuned it will prevent the pitch dropping flat. If the pitch does drop too low, even having it tuned will not hold the pitch and several extra tunings will be required to achieve stability. As they say, ‘a stitch in time saves nine’.
  • It is important to find a professional tuner. Some are not properly accredited, so contact your local music store for advice or click here for a list of Alex.Steinbach Preferred Piano Tuners/Technicians.

What is regulation and will my piano need it?

  • All pianos require regulation from time to time. Tuning adjusts strings, whereas regulation is the adjustment of the mechanical parts that comprise the action. There are over 35 points of adjustment per note in a grand piano and 25 in an upright, so regulation takes some time to complete.
  • If you find it difficult to play fast passages or legato/smooth passages, the tone seems strange, the strings stop vibrating at unusual times, the pedals do not work properly, the keys are uneven in height or the weight of the keys vary, it may mean that your piano needs regulating.
  • The number of times your piano needs regulating will depend on how well it is looked after and how often it is played.
  • Most general use pianos only need to be regulated every five years. Professionals, teachers and heavy users should have their pianos regulated annually. Most technicians make small changes to the piano’s regulation each time it is tuned, but you will still need a full regulation service in addition to these adjustments.

Alex.Steinbach pianos are regulated in the factory before being exported to Australia. We also require Alex.Steinbach dealers to conduct an Installation Service on your piano to ensure that it is fully regulated and tuned to Samick factory specifications.

What is voicing?

  • Tuning involves adjusting string tension to create the correct harmonic pitch. Voicing, however, is when an experienced technician modifies the piano’s tone intensity and quality, which may be bright or mellow. There are no right or wrong tonal styles, however the tone should be even throughout.
  • If voicing is requested, the role of the instrument and needs of the musician should be considered. For example, a warm tone may be suited to classical music, whereas brighter tones may suit jazz pianists. The piano’s design and manufacture has the greatest effect on tone, however technicians may be able to adjust this to a certain extent.
  • You can also adjust the tone of your piano by changing the contents of your music room. Hard and shiny surfaces reflect sound to create brighter tones, whereas carpet, fabrics and soft furnishings absorb sound and create warmer, rounded tones.
  • Be aware that some piano tuners may not be experienced in voicing pianos.

How do I clean the piano?

  • Remember that dust will scratch if wiped with a dry cloth. Try to use a feather duster or a slightly damp soft cotton cloth. Do not use furniture polish or other cleaning products that contain silicone as they may affect the finish. If you wish to remove fine scratches or marks, only use a high quality cream polish. For example, ‘BMW Autopolitur’ car polish or ‘3M Hand Glaze’. Please remember these are slightly abrasive, so only use rarely and very sparingly.
  • Clean the white keys with a slightly damp white cotton cloth and water (coloured cloths may stain the keys). You can slightly lift the natural/white keys (approximately 2mm) to reach them properly for cleaning. Try to use a different cloth for the sharp/black keys to prevent the black polish from staining the white keys. The piano may be damaged if water runs down the sides of the keys so ensure the cloth is only slightly damp. Finally, dry off any excess moisture and leave the lid open to air.


Your piano is a beautiful instrument that will enable you to play various styles of music and express your individuality!

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