How to Tune a Piano Blog

Step-by-step procedure & proper tools

This piano tuning blog is a companion to our How to Tune a Piano Yourself tutorial. In this blog we expand on the tutorial with new information and perspectives on do-it-yourself piano tuning. If it is your first time here, visit the tutorial first.

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Additional Piano Tuning Tools

The lever, an electronic tuner, and a few mutes are all you need to begin tuning. However, several additional mutes are available to make the job easier.

Temperament strip placed for tuning the temperament octave on a piano

Temperament strip in position.

Temperament Strip

The temperament strip is a mute that most piano tuners find essential. We have not shown it in our tutorial for simplicity sake, but it is easy to use. The temperament strip is a band of felt with which mutes many strings at the same time. A typical placement mutes the outside strings of a section of trebles or duples so that only one string from each note sounds at a time. (Push in with a screw driver.) The tuner can tune one string in every note without having to move mutes between notes. Tune the unisons, sequentially pulling the temperament strip. Many professionals use this mute especially for setting the temperament.

Treble Mute
Treble Mute
Papp's tweezer-style pictured

Treble Mute

The treble mute mutes the middle string of a three-string "treble." One can also mute one or two strings quickly without placing wedges or using a finger.

Voicing, Regulation and Repair

Voicing is servicing the felt on the hammers to modify the brightness or mellowness. Regulation is adjusting the action, or the way the hammers and keys physically move. They are technically not repairs, but rather part of comprehensive tuning and maintenance.

For voicing, regulation or repair, you'll need additional tools, such as this basic regulation tool kit. Repairs and restoration are beyond this website. Check our book recommendations for more information on these advanced procedures.

12/10/12