Behind The Keys – What makes piano notes stick.

Behind The Keys - Learn About The Piano

This month we look at the little extras your piano needs – sometimes more than just a tuning.

Everybody knows that a piano needs to be tuned regularly in order to maintain its pitch, sound and general health, however we don’t always know about other essential maintenance that can significantly impact your piano’s health and performance.


We quite often hear customers ask us to tune their piano as “some of the notes are sticking”, and today we thought we’d look into the little misconception that the keys (the parts you can see), the action (the parts you can’t) and the strings (the parts that make a noise) are all adjusted as part of a piano tuning. 


Tuning a piano is the process of adjusting the tension on each string of the piano, to bring it into correct pitch. The action, hammers and keys are all part of a different ‘system’ in the piano. Think of it as the difference between putting air in the tyres of your car, or petrol in the tank. If you do notice your piano having a few sticky notes, this then becomes an issue of regulation of the action. 


There are many moving parts attached to each individual key, and there are many movements that must happen when you press that key down, and again when it comes back up. If you notice the journey of the key being somewhat sluggish, it means that there is a constriction of movement in one of these parts. It could be that the timber in the action has swollen slightly due to humidity levels, that parts of the action need lubrication, or that they need fine adjustments made so that they compliment each other with their movement. 


Pianos can be temperamental beings, however you need not worry if you have a few sticking notes – it’s usually a minor fix that is needed, and it can be done at the same time as having your piano tuned. 


Give us a call if you’d like to discuss the health and action of your piano, and we’ll make sure we get it into great shape for you!

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