Serving Greater Kansas City ~ Since 1984 ~ (816) 352-6420

Piano Voicing

Piano Voice ~ Adjusting Piano Tone

Voicing is the process of regulating and improving piano tone. As pianos age, the hammer felt becomes harder and worn, and the strings stretch and ride up on the bridge pins. The strings become wavy, distorted and produce less resonance.  The piano’s sound also becomes brassy, uneven, overly bright and hard for the pianist to control – especially when trying to play softly.  Even when a piano is in good tune, it can sound oddly inharmonic due to poor and uneven voicing.

String Voicing ~ A Neglected Art

Technically, any adjustment that alters piano tone is voicing, such as brushing the hammers, stretching, straightening and seating the strings or needling the hammers. When discussing the topic of piano voicing, usually the dialogue is about adjusting the hammers. Though piano string voicing (straightening, stretching, leveling and seating, piano strings) is routine in piano factories, it is rare to find piano tuners in the field who practice this art. I am aware of only a handful of piano technicians ~ the best in the United States ~ who incorporate string voicing into their service.

Save money ~ Have your piano voiced

Some customers have purchased new pianos, or purchase expensive modifications to their pianos, when a good voicing would have accomplished the same result. I include string adjustment in my piano voicing routine because it has an incredible affect on the resonance and clarity of piano tone.

String voicing restores the resonance and removes most of the waviness and distortion, and hammer voicing evens out the tone. It is truly remarkable how much the piano overall sound improves after voicing.

Piano voicing involves:

Restoring the resonance and clean tone to piano strings

( Can be performed on vertical pianos, but usually on grands )
( Must be preformed before tuning )

  • Stretching, straightening and seating the strings on the bridges
  • Leveling the strings around the agraffes and capo
Restoring the evenness of piano tone by adjusting the hammers

( Preformed on either grands or verticals )
( Must be preformed after tuning )

  • Softening overly bright hard hammers
  • Hardening overly dull soft hammers
  • Brushing hammers
  • Needling to remove inconsistent and uneven tones
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