Robert Estrin - piano expert

How Many Strings are on a Piano?

Have you ever wondered how many strings are inside a piano?

In this video, Robert tells you the magic number...

Released on May 29, 2013

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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. I'm Robert Estrin here at and with a special show, "How Many Strings Are There In A Piano?" Well, you know, the natural inclination would be there's 88 keys, there must be 88 strings. But, ah! There are actually multiple strings for each note. I'm going to break it down for you. That's why I'm inside this Steinway here to show you a bit.

Okay, for most of the pianos, indeed there are three strings for each note. They are steel strings that you can see right here going all the way to the bass section. But then at a certain point, you see the copper strings, and they are two for each note. And at the very bottom, the last few notes have single big, fat strings for the bass notes. Now here's the interesting thing. The registration and the voicing of a piano, the scale design is such that different pianos change from the triple wound steel strings to the dual copper rod strings at different points. So different pianos have different numbers of bass strings. So you can't say exactly how many strings there are in a piano, but it ranges generally from about 220 to 240 strings.

Does this give you a renewed respect for your piano tuner? It should! It's a lot of work tuning a piano. You're tuning the unisons is one thing, but you have to tune the entire piano to itself and the octaves and all the intervals have to sound pure with overtones. There's a lot to it. Thanks for joining me. Robert Estrin here at Living Pianos and
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Mark Robinson on November 22, 2015 @4:44 am PST
How do you prevent fatigue in your hands and arms while playing? What exercises are best to increase your endurance?
Robert - host, on November 23, 2015 @12:32 pm PST
Like any other physical activity, building endurance on the piano requires building up strength over time. While scales, arpeggios and exercises can help develop your strength and endurance, the real key is to gradually increase the amount of time you spend at the piano every day over a long period of time. The more you play each day, the greater your endurance will be at the piano.
John Neoclis Raftopoulos on November 21, 2015 @4:22 am PST
hi! wanted to ask, is it really so hard to tune a piano. usually you invite a specialist who is paid quite a bit to do it. but I know that guitar players, and other instrument players like violinists do it them selves. could you comment on that?
Robert - host, on November 21, 2015 @2:02 pm PST
Tuning a piano is a very involved endeavor. While there are software programs that can aid in tuning a piano, it takes years of experience tuning hundreds of pianos in order to become skilled enough to be able to get a piano not only in tune, but to hold tuning for a reasonable amount of time. If you have an interest in tuning, you can buy a tuning wrench (get one that is high quality - you can search Ebay) and rubber wedges and experiment with touching up notes on your piano that are particularly far out of tune. Then you can determine what level of interest you have in going further with tuning the hundreds of strings on a piano once you see how hard it is to get just one string in tune.
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