We have many excellent gift items for birthdays and anniversaries as well as the
option of Gift Certificates in any amount over ten dollars. We are receiving new
stock on a regular basis - come in and check it out. We are the only local
authorized dealer for Seagull guitars. You can find more information on the
Seagull lines at www.seagullguitars.com We are also the only authorized
Washburn Guitar dealer in this area (see www.washburn.com). We carry GHS
strings products and Rocktron amplifiers (see www.ghsstrings.com). Also, come
check out our lines of printed music and instruction books from Hal Leonard and
Alfred Publishing and other new printed music arriving regularly. You can also
see their products at www.halleonard.com and www.alfred.com and we can
special order items we don't have in stock. We also have the option of instant
download and printing of many types and titles of printed music.
Information about humidity
Humidity is a very important topic in many places including Minnesota
especially in our winter heating season. It is important to know how humidity
affects your piano or other wooden instrument, not just in warm, humid
weather, but also in cold weather when there is little humidity in your home
due to normal operation of our heating systems.
Many people have the common misconception that temperature changes
are the hardest thing on an instrument. Temperature does have an effect
on your instrument and exposure to temperature extremes can have
disastrous effects, but humidity changes affect your instrument as well and
are usually much more common.
Humidity or the lack thereof effects great changes in your piano's condition.
During the winter as we heat our homes the moisture saturation (humidity)
in the air decreases considerably. As the air gets dryer it "pulls" moisture
out of the things in your home so there is a balance. As the moisture level
of wooden things goes down the wood shrinks and whatever is embedded in
the wood can become loose. When this happens to a wooden instrument as
the wood shrinks it reduces the tension of the strings causing the pitch to
During the summer months the moisture saturation rises and many things
including the wood in your home also absorb the moisture from the air. As
wood absorbs the moisture the wood swells. As the wood in your instrument
swells the tension of strings increases causing the pitch to rise.
This winter to summer cycle of moisture changes has a great affect on
things made of wood causing glue joints to separate, wood grains to crack,
doors to stick or sag and fasteners such as screws and nails to become
Consider this information from the Piano Life Saver System website:
The soundboard is the single largest piece of wood in your piano. It actually
vibrates to amplify the sound produced by the strings. The bridges of your piano are
joined to the soundboard and support the strings.
As the soundboard absorbs moisture from the air surrounding the piano, it swells,
producing an upward bulge. Through the bridge, this puts additional tension on the
strings. Now, the pitch is too high in the lower mid-range and treble section.
When the soundboard shrinks and flattens, the tension of strings over the bridge
becomes inadequate. The pitch of the mid-range and treble section is now flat.
Over time, constant changes in humidity levels, with the corresponding shrinking
and swelling of the soundboard, will damage the integrity of the soundboard. You
will see this damage in the form of a crack in the soundboard.
Just in case you hadn't noticed much of your piano is made of wood all of
which is also significantly affected by changes in humidity. The chart below
illustrates the significant changes caused by humidity. For more on how
humidity changes effect your piano follow the link on this page to the Piano
Life Saver System web page. (We are listed as an authorized system
When should I tune my piano?
Many people ask the excellent question, "How often should I tune my
The answer is both easy and complicated. The easy answer is to have
it tuned as often as you feel you need to. It gets more complicated in
that many people simply do not hear the subtle changes that occur
and so do not know that they should call a tuner.
Many reputable tuners will tell you that you should tune your piano
every six months. I am certainly not going to argue with a bunch of
other reputable tuners, but I have found for most that a good rule of
thumb is to have your piano tuned once a year. Tunings should be
more frequent if the piano is played very frequently, played "hard" or in
a setting where accurate tuning is more important such as a church or
Going longer than two years between tunings can be "hard" on a piano
as well. Most pianos tend to go flat with prolonged time between
tunings. This is particularly true in our northern climes with the drastic
swings between summer humidity and winter dryness. A piano that is
significantly below pitch, which is only a quarter step, has significantly
less tension on the strings, and, therefore, less tension on the
structure of the piano. That in itself is not the problem. The problem
lies in the increased tension when the piano is brought back to pitch.
This can cause strings to break and glue joints to separate and is
especially true with older pianos.
It is best to have tunings done on a regular basis. Every year is good.
|Why Every Valued Piano Needs the Piano Life Saver®
The most important part of good piano maintenance is keeping the humidity
as constant as possible.
Because tuning instability and physical deterioration are the obvious results
of continued humidity extremes, the installation of a Piano Life Saver
System is the best way to ensure the piano is protected from the
devastating effects of humidity changes.
The Piano Life Saver consists of one or more Dehumidifier rods to lower
humidity, one or more Humidifiers to add humidity, and a Humidistat which
senses whether the wooden parts of the piano are too moist or too dry.
Through a cycling action, the Humidistat is calibrated to create a separate
environment within the piano, producing a range of humidity which, in turn,
provides a stable moisture content in the wooden parts. This constant
cycling action stabilizes pitch and protects the piano from deterioration.
Used in conjunction with the System to combat extreme air movement in the
room, a Grand Undercover ® or Vertical Backside Cover ® may be
mounted on the piano to further stabilize the pitch. In particular, Covers are
recommended for use with the System when the piano is located in a
church, institutional or commercial building.