When you ask the question, “how often should I tune my piano?”, you should really ask three other questions first:
- How good do I want my piano to sound?
- How well do I control the humidity in the room where my piano is located?
- What works for my piano tuning budget?”
Piano tuners have trained ears and can tell if a piano is exactly in tune , a little out, or way out. Many piano owners can only hear the difference when the piano goes way out of tune. An in tune piano has a very clean, clear sound. It sings and projects better. If you, as a piano owner can hear that, then you will get much more enjoyment out of your piano if you put it on tuning schedule where it stays in tune almost constantly. If the piano‘s sound does not bother you until it is way out of tune, you could put your piano on a tuning schedule where it wanders a little out of tune, but not way out.
Effect of Humidity
Humidity changes is the single biggest factor in causing a piano to go out of tune. That is one reason why piano tuners always recommend that you place your piano away from any heat sources, fresh air streams, or sunlight. Even if you are able to find a good location in your home, you still have to contend with seasonal humidity changes. In Chicago relative humidity ranges from 80 to 90 percent in the summer to below 30 percent in the winter. If your home is not controlled for humidity, you should put a humidifier in the your piano room during the coldest months or install climate control system in your piano. The piano climate control systems are very effective and easy to maintain.
The piano tuning budget question is different for every individual. If you want to prevent your piano from going way out of tune, you should probably tune it at least once a year. However if you play every day, I would recommend at least twice a year. I play my piano every day. I have a climate control system installed in the piano and I tune it every 3 months. It always sounds good.
One last comment. If you can find that piano tuning interval where your piano stays more or less in tune all the time, you will get more enjoyment out of you piano and also more value out of the piano tuning. The less the piano tuner has to change when he comes to tune your piano the better the piano will hold its tune. Basically your piano will get used to being in tune and stay there.