The Importance of Inspecting a Piano before a Piano Tuning Begins

It is of the utmost importance that a piano technician give the piano a pre-tuning inspection before starting any work. Many beginning or inexperienced tuners will just go right to work without giving the piano a thorough inspection. A GRAVE mistake which could translate into disastrous results.

Check the age of the piano and identify existing damage

The first thing I look for is the piano’s serial number, as pictured in the photo at the top of the page. The serial number will tell me the age of the piano, a very important piece of information. Once the piano is disassembled by taking the fallboard, lid and music desk off I am able to see the inner-workings of the instrument.

austins piano service of NJ - string replacements

This photo is of an old Kohler and Campbell full upright piano from 1907. Danger lurks. Note the 4 shiny bass strings next to the old rusty ones. After checking the pitch I note that the piano is tuned a half-step down from concert pitch. It is best to leave the piano tuned where it is and not attempt to bring it up to concert pitch as you would probably see a lot more than 4 shiny bass strings after the fact!

cracked bass bridge found in NJ piano inspection

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Cracked Plate

Here we have a cracked cast iron plate. This is often the death knell of any piano and a piano technician’s worst nightmare. It is rare and hardly ever the technician’s fault as it is usually caused by a defect in the casting process. The plate holds the tension of the piano strings and if the plate is cracked, the piano will never hold its tune, so investing in a piano with a cracked plate is like spending good money after bad.

Before the piano tuning begins…

There are many other warning signs that I look for when giving the piano an inspection. Many times, especially with older pianos, the cost of tuning and repairs just to get the piano playable can exceed the worth of the instrument. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that before I start tuning?

Why Choose Austin’s Piano Service for you next tuning?

I perform a thorough inspection before beginning any piano tuning. If any issues are found, I let you know immediately. My primary goal is for your piano to perform at its best. Contact me today for an appointment or to discuss your instrument.