How Much Regular Maintenance Does A Vintage Piano Need?

The best advice for maintaining your old piano is “don’t do it yourself.” Although many of us can do even minor home repairs independently, pianos have unique needs and are best serviced by trained technicians. However, there are certain things you can do on your own, like cleaning and polishing, to maintain the quality of your instrument.

Experts Recommend Twice-Yearly Piano Tuning

The strings of a piano need to have their tension adjusted to get a good tuning. The pegs that keep them in place may be adjusted to do this. If you don’t tune the piano, the strings may break and the tone will diminish. Some tune themselves, while others pay $35-$150 per hour for an expert. If you’re busy like me, tuning a piano every six months should work.

Professionals Should Clean And Polish Instruments

It’s preferable to let the pros clean and polish your instrument since doing so needs specialized tools. Before cleaning your piano, consult a professional tuner. Even if you don’t want to, tune your instrument regularly. Tuning involves dusting and fitting fresh felt hammers. If possible, leave these tasks to the pros.

If Unused, Piano Hammers May Become Complex

The vintage piano hammers may become complex. Consult your specialist to “voice” hammers and prevent hardening. If you have recently had a significant repair done on your piano, voicing may also be beneficial. To get the best possible loudness and tone out of all 88 keys, your technician may need to tweak each separately.

Your Piano’s Soundboard Is Its Organ

The soundboard is crucial to your piano as the element that vibrates to create music. Wood swells and shrinks with dampness. Maintaining a consistent humidity level is essential for string performance. Never use water to clean soundboards. This would destroy its polish. Wipe dirt around each key with a damp cotton swab. Use a dry cloth or paper towel to remove excess moisture. This is very useful for dusting ivory-keyed vintage piano.

Twice A Year, Adjust Your Instrument

Your piano should be tuned twice a year to keep it in excellent playing condition. Tuning alters the strings’ tension so that they vibrate at a desired frequency and generate a distinct tone. You can identify the difference between an out-of-tune instrument and a correctly-tuned one by listening to the individual notes; in the latter case, they will all sound clear and unmistakable from one another.


Be bold about contacting us if you have any concerns or questions concerning piano maintenance. You can count on our support. Don’t try to fix your antique piano yourself; that’s the finest advice anybody has ever given. Though many of us can do minor home repairs independently, pianos have specific requirements and are thus best maintained by experts.