If you play the piano, you may spend hours mastering your craft and playing for enjoyment or entertaining your friends and family. Eventually, though, your instrument may begin to sound a little different, affecting the quality of your music. How can you tell if it’s time to tune it and why it falls out of tune? Here’s what you should know.

How Do Pianos Get Out of Tune?

Simply playing your piano regularly is enough to cause it to go out of tune eventually. It’s a natural result of frequent usage, and the more it’s used, the greater difference you'll hear over time. Not playing the piano for extended periods can force it out of tune, so giving it a regular “workout” on occasion is imperative. 

Another culprit is the space where your piano is kept. A humid room can have a particularly detrimental effect on the instrument, causing the wood to warp and lose its integrity. As the piano soaks up moisture, the strings may become dry and lose their sound quality. Be mindful of the room’s humidity levels and avoid placing the piano anywhere near windows or vents, as harsh ultraviolet rays and moist air can have an impact. 

How Can You Tell Yours Needs Tuning? 


Usually, the most obvious sign of a change is the quality of your music. When a note sounds decidedly different as you tap on a key, the piano likely requires tuning. A tuned piano produces a clear, crisp sound, while a piano that needs tuning may sound like it has a slight underlying twang.

You can also take into account the time it was tuned. If it’s been at least a year, you can expect that it’s probably out of tune—even if it doesn’t necessarily sound that way just yet. Audio problems usually develop gradually, so having the instrument tuned in advance can spare you from dealing with those issues. Generally, it's best to have a piano tuned at least once a year. If you practice in a space that’s especially dry and warm, tune it more frequently.


Keep your piano tuned and in great condition with services from 5J Music in Elko, NV. The store has a professional tuner on staff who will restore your instrument, so you can continue creating beautiful music. They also carry an extensive range of guitars and accessories, including sheet music and memorabilia. Visit the website to learn more about them, or call (775) 778-0484 to speak with a team member.