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Piano Moving Tips

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Piano Tuning

Expect that when you move your piano from one location to another, the piano will be thrown out of tune post piano moving. (Piano moving room-to-room may not adversely affect the tune, however.) This includes when you buy a piano directly from the manufacturer.

After the move, wait about two weeks for the piano to adjust to its environment. Call your tuner immediately to schedule a tuning two weeks or later from the date of your move. Commonly, it is not the physical piano moving that causes the misalignment. Pianos adjust to their environment. Thus, your piano's parts – the wood, hammers, action, strings – held their tune to the climate of your prior home. Your piano would properly have been tuned according to seasonal changes, typically at least twice a year. By moving the piano to a new environment, the natural elements of the instrument react to new conditions such as changes in humidity. Depending on any extremes, such as relocating from an arid climate to damp weather, the piano may need to be tuned more than once. These steps are fundamental to piano care.

Piano Pedals

Grand piano pedals are frequently out of kilter after a move. The protective shims of leather or cardboard, put in place to take up slack in the trap work, often fall out when the lyre is removed. Movers can sometimes mix up the order of the pedal rods that rise from the back of the pedals. The rods are unequal in length and are not interchangeable. Likewise, sustaining pedal dowels in vertical pianos can fall out of place. Have a piano technician correct these conditions when your piano is tuned. If your grand piano has lyre braces, be certain that the movers replace them. Movers often forget to put the braces back, leaving them in the truck never to be seen again.

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Other Considerations

The effects of piano moving can be truly unpredictable, especially when there is an extreme difference in humidity between the former geography and new location. A piano that has been in a damp or unheated place for many years should never be moved to a dry or well-heated location. If this happens, the piano can quickly self-destruct. When considering how to move a piano, keep in mind the environment to which the piano will be moved.

Remember never to place a piano near a radiator, window, heating or air conditioning vent, or a door that opens to the outdoors or garage.

Storing Your Piano

Truthfully, it is better not to store a piano at all if there is a choice. However, when storing a piano is unavoidable for the short term, look for storage space that is at least minimally heated. On the other hand, an unheated space is more suitable than one that is overheated. While pianos should never be allowed to freeze, pianos left unheated are often in better condition than those in well-heated houses, because these suffer from the effects of over-dryness. In cold conditions, take precautions to absorb the dampness that accompanies low temperature, such as using a dehumidifier.

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