My Piano is Too Loud!

February 16, 2023
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How can I simply make it sound softer?

Have you noticed that it is hard to have a conversation near a piano that is being played? If so, it is a good sign that you have a healthy piano! Pianos are intentionally designed to amplify the sound they produce. Saying that there are a few things you can do to lessen the amount of volume the piano produces.

3 ways to soften a piano

Voicing. This term can also be defined as tone regulation. Piano technicians have the skill set to modify the tone or voice of your piano by manipulating the felt in the hammer that strikes the string. Methods can be by needling, sanding, chemical application, or a combination of these procedures. This method is the most expensive and permanent of these choices.

Environmental. Choosing to place rugs, plants, fabric furniture, and fabric window treatments can go a long way to absorb a significant amount of a piano’s volume output. The more flat surfaces there are in the room, such as walls, hardwood floors, and windows exist near the piano, the more the sound will bounce off of these surfaces, causing your piano to seem louder. Depending on what items and how many are chosen in your room will translate to the cost of this method.

Adding Absorption. Consider lessening your piano’s volume before it leaves the piano by absorbing its sound. Back in the 1990s, there was a surge in player pianos. I remember piano dealers at the time displayed them in various retail locations to show them off. One common place was in car showrooms. As you may imagine, there is usually a tile or cement floor w/ glass all around. How do you think those player grand pianos sounded in that environment? Similar to a packed school gymnasium! Very, very loud. To make the car salespersons and customers happier, the foam was tightly stuffed underneath the piano.

Today, that same solution is used but is now perfected. Special acoustical foam can be cut and friction-fitted between the back posts of a vertical piano or between the beams of a grand piano. Doing so can drop the overall volume by roughly 30%. Notice the photo of the acoustical foam fitted between the back posts of this tall upright piano. Not all areas need to be treated.

So if your piano is too loud for your taste, there are solutions that can work. Need help deciding which method or two to try? If so, we’ll be happy to give you our professional opinion during your next tuning appointment as we evaluate your piano and room.