Daniel Lopez Lauber
Pianist, Educator and Piano Technician
Piano Tuning & Repair:
Daniel is a Certified Piano Tuner and Repair Technician and is serving schools, churches, homes, concert halls, restaurants, hotels & nursing homes in the greater Houston area including Montgomery, The Woodlands, Spring, Conroe, Magnolia, Tomball, Willis, Kingwood, Humble, Atascocita, Houston, Klein, Texas.
It is quite simple to keep the exterior of your piano clean. The most convenient way for removing finger and dust marks of the cabin is using a lightly water dampened microfiber cloth and simply wipe afterwards with a dry one.
Waxing, polishing and using solvents of any kind is not recommended, as this can damage the fine finish, keys and keybed. Never place any objects of any kind on top of your piano. This might ruin the finish and cause buzzing on your instrument.
Your Piano’s Interior
On the other hand, the inside of your piano should be considered off limits. Only a qualified piano technician should be allowed to access the interior of your piano.
Depending upon the exposure to dust and dirt, the interior of your piano should be cleaned by a professional every 2 to 3 years. Over a period of years, a piano collects an amazing amount of dust and dirt on the soundboard, among the tuning pins, and in other places where it is hard to get out. Cleaning not only enhances the appearance of a piano, but also helps keep the old dirt from acting as an abrasive on moving parts.
The Piano Sound
There are 3 basic steps for maintaining the sound of your piano: tuning, which brings the piano back to pitch; voicing, which affects the piano s tone or quality of sound; and regulation, which is the adjustment of the action mechanism and affects the touch of the piano.
This requires an assessment of the vibration integration among notes, which varies with every piano. Your piano should be tuned and maintained at A440 Hz. This is the international accepted standard.
Overtime if the piano to be tuned is more than quarter step low overall, a special tuning problem arises. If the piano is tuned to standard pitch, the tuning will not stabilize and it will go out of tune quickly. A drop in the pitch happens when too much tension is added to the piano wire at any one time; the metal of the wire will relax and will end up going flat shortly after being tuned. If the piano has been neglected for more than 2 years a pitch raise might be necessary before performing a fine tuning.
Factors affecting your tuning stability: Humidity/Temperature
Ideally your piano should be maintained at a temperature from 70-75F where relative humidity ranges from 45-50%. If these conditions are not possible try to keep them consistent. In addition you should:
Never put your piano near a window or where it can receive direct sunlight. Never put your piano in an area where there is sudden temperature change. Never put your piano next to a wall heater or air conditioner vent.
All of these things can cause your piano to go out of tune more than normal. Your piano should be tuned and serviced at least once a year, every six months if used often.
Just as a watch or automobile engine must be in correct adjustment to operate smoothly, so must the action parts of a piano. The action is the most sensitive part of the piano. In order to keep it as responsive as it was designed to be, it will, from time to time, require the attentions of a professional piano technician. A piano which gets normal home use will probably need regulation every 3 to 5 years.
Regulating a piano is an art that requires patience and practice, care must be taken to make all measurements and adjustments accurately.
The task of "Voicing" the hammers is to produce a uniform and even quality of tone throughout the piano. Regardless of its original voicing, every piano will acquire a somewhat brighter tone with time.The hammer felts will be compacted as they are thrown repeatedly against the strings. When a set of hammers is made, there are differences in the hardness and density of the felt strip used. These differences result in one hammer sounding too soft, another too brilliant, and so on. The piano technician must adjust the resiliency of the hammer felt in order to obtain a uniform-balanced tone throughout the keyboard.
These 3 steps-tuning, voicing and regulating are exacting jobs. They should be performed at the intervals recommended.
Cleaning & Repairs:
Cleaning and performing minor repairs that can be made on site, without moving the whole piano into a repair shop. Some minor repairs include: replacing one broken string or a missing key
top, regluing a broken key or action part. Most of these repairs can be made with portable tools carried to the location of the piano. Sometimes it might be easier to remove certain parts from the piano and take them to the shop for these repairs, but it isn't necessary to move the entire piano.
When a piano needs major repairs like replacing a pinblock, shimming and refinishing a soundboard, or restoring an entire action by installing new hammers, springs, felts and other parts the piano must be moved into a shop.
The design and workmanship that are part of your piano endow it with extraordinary capabilities. To get the most out of it, periodic adjustments will be required.