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How to Tell When It’s Time For Piano Repairs

How to Tell When It’s Time For Piano Repairs

All pianos need service and maintenance throughout their lifetimes, whether we’re talking about new or used pianos of any make or model. At Steinway & Sons in Madison, we offer comprehensive tuning, restoration and repair services for all our products.

The biggest crux point in this process for many people? Simply recognizing that it’s time to have piano services handled. Many people are unaware of some of the basic signs that a piano might be in need of repair – let’s take a look at some of these signs, and how you can spot them.


The soundboard is the foundation of the piano, the area that coordinates all sound. Any cracks, warping or distresses to the soundboard can cause the rods of the piano to move incorrectly, and may lead to the felts and hammers receiving incorrect messages, or sometimes no messages at all.

This will create a buzzing sound when depressing certain keys, or no sound. It may not sound as bad as keys that are simply out of tune, but in many cases it’s much worse – keys that are out of tune can simply be re-tuned, but soundboard issues could be more serious. If you notice that buzzing sound, or no sound for certain keys, you know you have a problem.

Hammer and Keys Inspection

The keys connect to hammers within the piano, and these hammers strike against strings to produce the notes you want. When pressing keys, if you notice harsh or multi-toned sound, it could be a sign that keys are damaged. In addition, make sure that there is no wood exposed through the felt covering each individual hammer – it’s only pressure holding the felt over the hammer, not glue or any adhesive.

Bridge and Pinblock

The bridge is a piece between the soundboard and the hammers that helps with tuning and keeping time. If it’s warped or cracked, it will create sound issues. The pinlock is an item that holds each string ensemble with tuning pins – tuning will be difficult to nearly impossible if the pinblock is cracked or splintered at all, or if tuning pins aren’t tight.


The common issue with pedals is unresponsiveness, which could be a sign of a string issue or several others. Even if you don’t plan to use the pedals often, check them regularly, as issues here can signal potential issues elsewhere in the instrument.

Want to learn more about piano repair or maintenance, or any of our other piano services? Speak to the experts at Steinway & Sons in Madison today.