Robert Estrin - piano expert

Does Moving a Piano Make it Go Out of Tune?

If you own a piano, this subject may interest you.

In this video, Robert talks about how easily a piano can go out of tune when moved to a different location.

Released on May 13, 2015

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi, and welcome to and I'm Robert Estrin with a question from a viewer today which is does moving a piano make it go out of tune. There's a popular wisdom that as soon as you move a piano it has to be tuned. There is some truth to that, but not for the reasons you may be thinking.

Here's the reality of the situation. After a piano is moved and it becomes acclimated to its new environment, indeed it needs to be tuned. Why? It's because the change in humidity and temperature will make the piano go out of tune. It may even sound okay, but the whole piano could shift up or down and you might not even know it. It's very important to keep a piano stable, because once a piano goes flat or sharp it takes several tunings for it to hold again.

What about the move? You might be thinking boy, putting it in a truck and putting it up on end if it's a grand piano surely must make it go out of tune. Interestingly, not so much. As a matter of fact, pianos even going across the country, if they are in a climate controlled truck, usually arrive pretty much the way they left unless they've been subjected to climactic changes. Think about this, many pianos from years ago, we have some pianos right here that are over a hundred years old, they had to be delivered by horse and buggy. The modern cushioned truck really doesn't present much disturbance to a piano with its robustness, with the cast iron frame, and the solid pin blocks. Modern pianos can withstand quite a bit and the move really shouldn't knock your piano out of tune. You should let it settle in, get acclimated to the new environment, and then get your piano tuned after it's moved and you should do just fine.

Thanks for the viewer questions. Once again, I'm Robert Estrin here at and
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Victor Manuel Miguelez on August 26, 2015 @7:25 pm PST
Does the Piano Life Saver system really helps to maintain a piano in better condition? I have heard different opinions on the subject and would like to know yours.
Robert - host, on August 27, 2015 @6:10 pm PST
Evona * VSM MEMBER * on May 13, 2015 @1:16 pm PST
Hello, Robert,
We live in an area where I have seen the temperature get up to 127 F in winter, and occasionally below freezing in winter. Just the other day I was telling the mother of one of my little piano students that they should not place their just-aquired piano along an outer wall of the house, since, even with air conditioning, the outside temperature can penetrate the wall and affect the instrument. I have long taken that for granted, but just realized that many people are not aware of it. Thought you might like to pass it along.
All the best,
Evona York
Robert - host, on May 13, 2015 @5:25 pm PST
That's good advice particularly for people living older houses with poor insulation.
Fulvia * VSM MEMBER * on May 13, 2015 @10:30 am PST
My upright Yamaha was moved from cold and dry Calgary, to hot and humid Virginia, spent 2 weeks on the moving van, going to Montreal first and it arrived with no initial need for tuning. I tested it by playing the slow movement of Beethoven piano concerto No. 5 with the CD and it was in perfect tune. I had it checked after 6 months in Virginia and it needed just a minor retuning.
Norbert on October 23, 2015 @12:09 pm PST
It depends entirely on humidity swings in one's area living. On West Coast it's generally not necessary but in Prairies or Up North we always recommend. Once humidity swings regularly below 30 degrees, it's generally a good idea. Note: Many people in Norhthern Canada now have built in humidifiers in their homes. Taking a reading inside the home will quickly tell if necessary. Good luck!
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