With this first instalment, we invite you on a journey of discovery into the wonderful world of the piano and its many splendored things. And a journey it will be, because there is enough material out there to keep this blog afloat for months to come, if not years.
Our main goal is to provide a broad-base information platform on just about everything a wide audience may want to know about the piano, but may well have been afraid to ask. On the flip side of the coin, we will also cater to the interests of experts in the field by including occasional features clearly identified under a Specialists’ Corner heading. While these entries will address the concerns of technicians, repairmen, researchers and professional players, they will also be written with a layman’s perspective in mind.
As mentioned previously, there is plenty to talk about, so we plan to feed this blog at regular intervals, to the tune of a new post every two weeks. As a teaser, here are but a few topics to look out for in the future.
- How to go about choosing a piano for oneself?
- Acoustic versus electronic pianos.
- Can one “choose” a piano sound?
- Piano rentals: short or long term?
- Temperature and humidity changes.
- Modifying the touch in relation to one’s physical strength, age or repertoire.
- Restoring an old piano anew.
- Professional moving facilities.
- Proper storage temperature.
- Appraisals for insurance purposes.
Without further ado, we introduce this blog with a recurring topic in many Websites, and a useful one for many newcomers to a given subject, namely, a short list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).
On that note, we hope you enjoy this first read and please check us out again.
Q. Can a child put a piano out of tune by banging away at it?
A. No. Most children do not have the strength of a professional. There is nothing to fret about here, save to say they might be a nuisance or a source for a headache. Contrary to the popular belief, pianos that are played a lot do not go out of tune more quickly than those less played, the reason being that the tension of the strings tends to stabilizes in the playing.
Q. Can I whiten, or bleach the keyboard on my own?
A. Just like teeth, a keyboard finish is fragile. We would recommend to leave this delicate operation to a piano technician.
Q. How can I clean the keyboard notes?
A. A gentle cloth (synthetic for example) with a little bit of soap is still what works best, both for natural and synthetic components. All stains resulting from finger contact will be removed.
Q. Is it possible to remove scratches from a piano?
A. For the most part, yes. For older pianos, different products are available at your nearest hardware store. For this purpose, ask for Secret du métierTM, there is one for use on dark woods and another for lighter ones. For modern pianos, coated with polyester, the goal is to polish the scratched area. We have in stock a polishing cream for that purpose, its brand name is Magie Rose (go to our Sales tab under the Personalized Services menu.) You can apply it on your own or ask us to do it for you.
Q. What causes scratches on a piano and how do you prevent them from happening?
A. Dust is a piano’s number one enemy. It contains abrasive elements and using a cloth with a circular motion creates a spiderweb-like effect. A microfibre cloth is the most piano friendly one to use. We also recommend to apply it in an up and down motion rather than a circular one.
Q. Does the fact of moving a piano have an impact on its tuning?
A. It can happen for an upright, mostly because it lies on all four corners. Grand pianos conversely are much less likely to go out of tune when moved because there are less points of contact.
Q. What is the best humidity control system for a piano?
A. The best system is the ambient one found in a home or a concert hall. If it becomes too difficult to manage because the levels vary too much, we recommend a special apparatus for that purpose, the Dampp-Chaser.
Q. Should I install a Dampp-ChaserTM?
A. Yes, a Damp Chaser is wonderful provided you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you neglect maintenance, you could end up with a quickly deteriorating instrument, one that will eventually require repairs, and expensive ones at that.
Have any other questions in mind? Please write us by using the form under the Contact tab or give us a call.
Next blog: The Dampp-Chaser Humidifier system.