3 signs your piano is out of tune

Broken Piano

Is my piano out of tune? Yes, it is. But to what degree is another matter. Pianos go out of tune regularly even if they are tuned by a highly competent piano tuner technician in the last 24 hours. There are lots of things that affect your piano and today we are going to talk about them.

We all know, the out-of-tune piano doesn’t give a pleasant experience.

Nothing is worse than hearing a sour sound when you are in the mood to enjoy or practice some music. Luckily, there is no reason to fret.

There are many qualified professionals that can get your beautiful and expensive instrument into professionally-sounding shape in no time. 

However, the first thing we must know is what are the actual signs of an out-of-tune piano.

1 – Test The Continuity of The Sound

Test the uniformity and continuity of the sound. Every sound should be clear, pure, and study. The best way to do that is to start at the middle C and move upwards. If some sound is shimmery or complicated and doesn’t feel like complementing the uniformity of the keys, it means it is out of tune. It is a clear sign you need to contact a piano tuner, technicians. 

Apart from this, if some sound note is very different or sticks out from the ones around it, it also indicates your piano should be tuned. For a beginner, this will probably be tough to recognize but for the students and professional players, it is very easy to understand and catch the difference among the weird tones.

2 – Test The Octaves

Octave is a measure of the difference between two notes. It can be used to test whether or not your piano is out of tune. Sometimes, due to the humidity and the fluctuation in the temperature, octaves stop lining up appropriately and affect the sound of the piano.

The best way to catch the issue in an octave is to again hear and focus on the sound of the keys. If some parts of the piano keys or a segment sound like they are the same note and you don’t feel any clear difference in them, it means the octaves need the treatment.

They are either enlarged or tightened up.

Remember, if a technician says he is working on the temperament of your piano, mostly he means he is testing the octaves and evaluating how clean and consistent the octaves sound.

3 – Look For The Harmony

Testing the harmony is one of the simplest ways to determine whether or not your piano needs tuning. Even a beginner piano player can do that if he has no knowledge of the octaves and uniformity of the sound notes.

Play the 4 note cord to test the harmony in your piano. The sound of the 4 notes should always flow in harmony. In case some note or key isn’t supporting the flow and isn’t blending the next note or key, it shows the trouble in the segment and it needs to be fixed. 

It may look small, but if you won’t fix it, the sound will always become a major disservice to both the player and the listener.

Why Is Your Piano Out of Tune?

If you are seeing the above signs over and over and it is hard to spend money on the piano tuner technician, it is time to know the root of the issue and understand why your piano is going out of tune time and time again and what you can do to stop it.

  • Your playing style certainly has to do something with it. Sadly this is something most people don’t think about. Though all instruments are affected, the piano is one of those instruments that are very sensitive. The more you play it, the more it goes out of tune. If it goes out of tune fast, you are playing too much – filling your home with joyful music all the time isn’t free.
  • Pianos don’t go out of tune only because you are playing them too much. Sometimes when they are left alone, they stop sounding well. Therefore, not playing the piano for extended periods of time is not recommended. If you are buying a piano as a student, ensure you are playing it at least a couple of times in a week. This prolongs the life of your instrument.
  • Changes in humidity and temperature are also rather deadly not just for the tuning but also for the other components. First, the soundboard of the piano changes, and once it goes out of its shape, it is almost impossible to get it back to its original shape. The only choice you have is to change it. Second, you feel issues with stretching and shortening of the strings that also nudge this instrument out of tune. That’s why to keep your piano in a place where there is no fluctuation in temperature and humidity, like against some inside wall of the home.
  • If recently your piano has been jostled around, it can also affect its performance. We have many great manufacturers today but when it comes to moving the piano their team isn’t professional. It is your job to find a modern piano moving company that understands the components and have years of experience in moving. Especially, if they have a solid reputation as a stand-out piano delivery service (internationally), you can count on them.


Mostly, the real issue behind the out-of-tune piano is lack of use.

Since pianos in the studios and in the music schools don’t go out of tune fast as they are in use all the time. Their components are in good working condition.

Even if you use your piano on a constant basis it is better to tune it once in a year. This will certainly benefit its component and keep it in the top-notch condition.

Lastly, no one can answer how long tuning can last. It can last for a year or just for a few hours… It depends.

There are so many factors that work to knock your piano back out of tune.

So, tune your piano as often as possible.

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