• Symptoms that Your Piano is “out of regulation”

    28 Jan 2018 | Blog
  • Is your piano difficult to play softly with ease, consistency, and accuracy?  Do you feel as though you have to fight your piano to get the sound you want?

    These are symptoms of a piano that is “out of regulation”.  

    When a piano is well-regulated, all the actions parts—the hammers and what connects you to them—are adjusted so everything moves the right distances at the right time.  

    Since a piano's action is built mostly of wood and wool felt, parts change shape with use and time.  And eventually, the change is enough to affect how the piano plays and sounds.

    If a piano is out of regulation, you will have less control over the touch and tone.  And that means you have to work harder and enjoy it less.

    Regulation in a piano is similar in many ways to "timing" in a car's ignition system.  When the ignition is adjusted correctly, you get better gas mileage, the car is more dependable, and you can drive without worrying whether it will do what you expect.

    For a piano, that means that the energy you put into playing comes back to you as enjoyment, good sound, and dependable response.  You shouldn't have to think about what the piano is doing when you play; it should simply do what you ask of it.  If the piano is out of regulation, you're working too hard.

    All pianos need to be regulated as part of their regular maintenance schedule.  How often depends on how (and how much) they are played, but every five to seven years is normal.

    While regulating your piano’s action, your piano technician will adjust the distances that parts move, which also controls when and how they move together.  Some parts might need to be replaced.  This is normal.

    Regulation usually takes several hours (longer, on grand pianos), because changing one part’s behavior often affects others.  It is an expense, but it is a very cost-effective way to protect your investment (and your enjoyment).

    When it is properly regulated, you will find that you and your piano are partners again!  Ask your technician for more information.