What happens if I don't tune my piano?

I have a really spiffy piano that I like a lot, and I want to keep it for a long time. I haven’t had it tuned for a while, and I’m just wondering if any permanent damage can happen if it’s not tuned. It wouldn’t be a big deal, but money’s tight right now, and I have to get some work done on my car, which is probably just a little bit more important.


No permanent damage from simply not tuning. It will just drift out of tune. It might be a little tougher to get it tune the first time due to lubricants settling or coagulating causing the tuning mechanisms to be a little sticky, and I’m talking about several years here, but piano tuning mechanisms are so static that I doubt this would be a serious problem (vs. a car engine that isn’t run for a long time).

well…long term
i received an old piano as a gift, it was a bit wonky sounding and so i got a tuner in.
It turns out it hadn’t been tuned in who-knows-how-long and therefore he couldn’t get it up to concert pitch as the tension would knacker it.
it is a semi tone below IIRC
still it looks great considering it was built in 1909!!

I hope mine lasts that long!

Do you have any idea if the problem was due to the piano not being tuned, or just the general overall age of the piano?


The same thing happened with my parents’ piano once. IANAPT but I imagine that the problem lies more with the strings than with the piano itself. If they are badly out of tune and you apply too much tension to them it seems natural that they would snap easily.

If your children grow up with their sense of pitch out of whack, they could grow up to be rappers or spend their evenings yowling in karaoke bars. The sorrow goes waaay beyond damaging your piano.

:smiley: Sounds like you’re speaking from personal experience. I don’t have kids and don’t plan to have any, so that shouldn’t be a problem for me. I sing off-key, but it’s okay because no one else ever hears me.