When suggesting to piano owners that their instrument needs regulation the response is often a baffled look and the question “What’s That?”.
Many players have no idea what goes on inside the piano when they press down on a key (other than that it causes a sound to come out the other end).
Not a problem! I don’t expect anyone who doesn’t work on pianos regularly to understand the intricacies of its internal workings. Simply put, there are some 5000 parts in the action alone and they all have to work in precise and predictable ways for the piano to function at maximum efficiency. Aligning all of these parts and timing the interactions between them is what makes it possible for us to control the touch and responsiveness of the keyboard. The complex changing geometry of several levers, springs and bearings perform an intricate dance with many subtle variations which are only possible if everything is set to precise tolerances. The friction created as these parts interact with each other causes them to ware, which changes the geometry and decreases their efficiency.
How often regulation is required depends on how much the instrument is played. Generally, with average use, it should be done every couple of years. Keep in mind, however, that most performing pianos are regulated much more frequently and given a thorough check-up before each concert.
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