Digital Piano Repair 

 March 3, 2021

By  Zen Chung

Pianos are composed of hundreds of moving parts. The moment any of these parts stick, jam or break, a repair work is needed. A piano repair includes replacement or repair of existing parts while keeping the piano on its original form.


The following are the most common piano repairs:

Sticky Keys

There are many reasons why your piano key might get stuck. Something may be stuck or perhaps something is broken.  We will provide a shortlist of causes on why your piano has sticky keys;

  • The piano key is bound by the keyslip. Keyslip is the long piece of wood found right below the keys. Wood may swell or sometimes, a player leaning forward may press against the keyslip and may slip towards the keys. Also, a key may get stuck to the keyslip.
  • Things get wedged between the keys. Sometimes, people drop small objects on the keyboard, causing them to stick between keys.
  • Things get stuck under the keys. When you found some foreign objects under a key, it will call for an examination of the piano interior.
  • Tight bushings. Piano owners or players may have experienced resistance when pressing the keys. This condition is likely to be weather-induced; example, humidity may cause the bushing to expand.
  • Swollen keys. The keys of a piano are made of wood and are susceptible to humidity, which will eventually make them swollen.
  • Tight sluggish parts. The keys of a piano are connected to a jack flange, which is also connected to the hammer flange. When a key is pressed, it raises the sticker and whippen. This whippen activates the jack, which pushes the hammer butt of the piano. Now the hummer butt is the one that moves the hammer towards string, producing a note. The jack flange and the hammer flange have a center pin. In times that pin becomes too tight, it results in heavy actions and slows mechanical response. You have to change the center pins if this happens.
  • A break in the balance tail along the key stick. A fracture may form in the balance rail pin due to wear and tear. If the breakage is severe, the key stick might bend, and the back of the key will not go up as the front of the key is pressed.

Broken Strings

The strings in the tenor and treble sections of a piano are made of steel wire. While the strings are made of a copper wound on steel in the bass section. In some vintage pianos like in the 20th century, many pianos have steel wound on steel wire in the bass section. Opposite ends of the string are wrapped around a tuning pin and the other end wraps around a hitch pin at the opposite end of the piano.

Steel wires used in a piano are elastic in nature. When a new wire is used to string a piano, that wire performs excellently because it has not been subjected to any environmental factors.

After a longer exposure to these elements, piano strings will begin to function like a rubber band that has been stretched out for an extended period. The amount if elasticity becomes lower and the steel is likely degraded from oxidation. Eventually, the string will break while being brought up to pitch.

Missing Cabinet/Case Parts

These repairs are minor to a moderate case in nature. It depends on what part of the piano is missing or needs repair.

Broken or Missing Caster

Piano casters are frequently jammed, broken, damaged or sometimes missing. These piano casters can be replaced in sets of two or four.

Chipped or Missing Piano Keys

Chipped, cracked or missing individual piano keys can be repaired or replaced. The only challenge for technicians is to provide a matching the color of the key top material unless your piano is relatively new.

When a Piano Cannot Be Tuned

It is almost impossible to successfully tune the piano without taking additional action once the tuning pins become loose. One common way to fix the loose pins is to “pound them in”.

The piano’s tuning pin will become loose in the long run. Tuning pins must be seated in the pinblock so that it can provide the proper amount of torque needed to move the pin.

Tuning pins can become rusty. This case usually leads to problems with the wire coil on the pin.

To conclude, we hope we have helped you understand some of the root causes of your piano keys’ unresponsiveness and cause of repair. Always remember, that this is by no means an exhaustive list. Therefore, you must take note, if you’re ever unsure about anything, consult a certified piano technician.

Zen Chung

I'm Zen Chung, a piano and violin teacher based out of Plano, Texas. I started this blog because my students (and their parents) kept asking about the best musical instruments to buy online. Look no further I'm here to save the day! 

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