It’s inevitable: eventually, you’ll need to fix piano keys that stick. To help you learn how to fix piano keys that stick, we’ve broken down the why’s and how’s of sticky piano keys, as well as how you can fix and prevent further annoyance!
Blame Sticky Keys on Mother Nature
An acoustic piano is mostly an instrument of nature. It’s filled with wood, felt, glue, and cast iron, with over ten thousand individual components. Astonishing, right?
Because of all the wood, pianos tend to perform best at a controlled temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 42% humidity. If not kept properly temperate, your piano’s components may swell or contract when exposed to extremes.
This expansion and contraction are the primary cause of piano keys sticking. Piano action parts are regulated to within one thousandth of an inch, so it doesn’t take much to cause one of its mechanical parts to stick (or be sluggish) in operation. Many times, if a key sticks, it is specifically because the wood and felt core has swollen.
How to Fix Piano Keys that Stick: Test and Fix
To test to see if a swollen key is causing stickiness, push and hold down the right-most pedal (also called the sustain pedal). Then, while holding the pedal down, play the key lightly.
Did the key come back all the way up to its original up position? If so, it is not presently sticking. Keys can stick one day and then not stick the next day due to the temperature and humidity changes.
However, if it does not return to the top, hold the key about half way down, then push hard on the keys immediately to the left and the right. Repeat this action several times, then release the original key. Now repeat playing the key while holding down the sustain pedal. Does it return all the way back up now? If it does, then you have remedied the sticking key.
The next time you have a tuner technician out to service the piano, have them review the keys you repaired to confirm all is the way it should be. And if the key still does not return, it is likely that the issue is not the key itself. There are several other possible reasons for restricted action, preventing a note from playing properly.
If you’re looking for a tuner you can trust, contact the team at England Piano to discuss your servicing needs. We provide all sorts of piano services including tuning, regular service, regulation, voices, rebuilding, restringing, refinishing and more. Oh, and fixing sticky keys.
Call us today at 770-451-1725, and we can help you learn how to fix piano keys that stick.