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How to Ruin a Piano in 8 Easy Steps

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Tired of all that pesky music going on in your home? Follow these simple steps to put a stop to it!

Use the piano as a shelf - plants and picture frames are especially helpful. Plus most movies with pianos in homes have candles, flower arrangements, and picture frames on them creating a wonderful rattling when played. The plants are even better as the water seeps through warping the wood and – if you’re lucky – eventually getting into the innards of the piano, rusting strings and ruining other working parts.

Move the instrument to a spot in direct sunlight. The regular cycles of heating and cooling damages several parts of the piano and the ultraviolet rays ruin the finish. In a pinch, being beside a fireplace or under a heating/cooling duct can also provide much of the same results.

Another handy spot for a piano would be near an open window, as the changes in humidity and temperatures will cause wooden parts to contract and expand.

Don’t tune your piano on a regular basis. Technicians will not only tune your piano, but also do other maintenance. Along with affecting tone, what these tuners do affects touch, dynamics, damper performance, and all sorts of things that will keep your piano playing smoothly for years. Who needs that?! Besides the piano goes out of tune gradually so you may not even notice how badly it’s off-key.

If you really must have a piano technician work on your piano, make sure that the environment is as noisy as possible. Turn on the TV, get the kids and the dogs riled up, and have a loud phone conversation in the next room. Believe it or not, ceiling fans also make tuning difficult. Your technician must be able to hear subtle tones at very high frequencies in order to tune, regardless of whether or not the tuning is done completely by ear or with the aid of an electronic tuning device. Any noise will make it more difficult to tune and take more time, leaving less time for other maintenance. The piano has thousands of working parts – it’s delightfully easy for any of these to not work properly when not maintained.

If you own a grand piano, leave the lid up at all times. Dust and other airborne particles throughout the house will wreak havoc on the strings.

Keep water bottles and glasses on the instrument as often as possible. Besides the possibility of water rings, you may even be fortunate enough to have someone tip the glass, spilling drinks on the finish and into the delicate workings of the piano. Wood warps, metal rusts, and anything warped or not working well makes for all sorts of adventures!

If someone has been silly enough to install a humidifying system on your piano, be sure to unplug it, wrap the cord around the heating element, or just don’t add water when the indicator light says to.

Although a regularly maintained humidity system will keep that bothersome technician away a bit longer, it will help the piano hold its tune better and keep the moving parts working more smoothly.

That is no way to ruin a piano!

Aside from killing the piano itself, there are plenty of ways to ruin the experience for the player:

  • Having a bench that is uncomfortable or not the correct height will may playing difficult and awkward. Beware: Even a cushion can change the height enough to make a difference, not to mention comfort level. Check out our inventory of online piano benches and cushions!
  • Not enough lighting is a great way to hurt someone’s experience, especially if they are still learning or reading music. Check out our inventory of online piano lamps!
  • Not using caster cups can cause damage to your carpet or flooring - an added bonus. Check out our inventory of online piano caster cups!