Piano is a beautiful instrument, whether you’re talking about its exterior or its sound. But what happens if one of the keys is stuck and thus unable to produce the lovely musical note?
Today, we’ll be diving into how to fix stuck piano keys by finding out the reasons why such occurrences happen and the ways people have resolved the situation!
Why Are Piano Keys Stuck?
Humidity In The Environment
Before going deeper into how to fix a sticky piano key, we must learn about what makes them stuck.
Increased humidity in the environment surrounding the piano can cause the keys to swell out of proportion. The keys most susceptible to this condition are those on the extremities of the array, which can apply pressure to keys around them in a domino effect and dislodge them as well.
You’ll most likely see this kind of problem in summer or the rainy seasons. Humidity is, in fact, one of the most common reasons behind piano keys being stuck.
Stuck Objects Between The Keys
You might have encountered this during your recitals and practices.
Many have seen crumbs from their meals falling between the keys, after they refuse to get up from their seats and instead, eat at the piano or leave their meals on it.
Other than that, pianists with children can spot their curious children stuffing things like loose buttons, coins, or cards in. Some have even reported dropping their wedding bands into the instrument!
Either way, the chance of strange items plunging themselves into gaps between the ivories is higher than one might think.
Other Abnormalities In The Design
Other than the common causes, you might also find that faults in the design of the piano keys themselves can pose problems.
Features such as tight bushings or keyslip missing will make your keys stuck by default. These problems will likely stick to the keys during the first few uses, so they’re very easy to identify.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to fix these problems on your own as everything regarding the piano’s complex inner-workings should be handled by professionals or technicians. The piano is a very delicate instrument, so please treat it with care.
But simple jammings like we’ve listed before can be fixed at home, and you can always give your technician a ring afterwards. So let’s get into how to deal with sticky piano keys!
How To Fix Stuck Piano Keys
Fix Swollen Keys
There’s a passive and an active method to solve swollen keys from humidity.
You can definitely just wait for the humidity to go away and come back to the piano later when it’s dryer. But not everyone everywhere has that privilege. (We mean, have you seen Britain? The country is cloudy 320 out of 365 days of the year!)
You can tackle the stuck keys head-on, and for this, you’ll need a screwdriver. The screwdriver needs to have a thin tip so as not to damage the piano while you are working with it.
Press the problem key down with the one that is stuck with it, and gently insert the driver’s tip into the gap between the keys to dislodge them.
The beautiful thing is, you can do this throughout the whole humid season! Sure, some might question why the screwdriver sits on the piano frame ominously as you play it, but you can confidently tell them that without it, you’ll lose a few notes in your song!
Remove The Key For Further Inspection
This might come as a surprise to you, but getting things out of the keyboard is pretty simple. It’s so easy that the thought of “Why haven’t I done this sooner?” might sprout from your mind.
The first step on fixing sticky piano keys caused by foreign objects is to take apart the piano key. If you’re intimidated by the procedure, you can always call a technician to do it for you.
We assure you, though, that it’s really simple. You’ll only need to pivot the key gently from its base and ease it out of place. There won’t be any adhesive or screws to worry about!
For a clear view of the problem, you might need to take off a few keys around the situation.
From there, you should be able to use either your hands or a vacuum cleaner to clean up the mess and perhaps find a few unexpected lost things there, too. When you’re done, slip the keys back into their numbered place!
How To Maintain Piano Keys
To avoid having to ask yourself how to deal with sticky piano keys every once in a while, you’ll have to properly maintain the ivories. With a piano, prevention is better and much cheaper than cure.
Most pianos these days are made up of plastic casing on a wooden base, making them very easy to clean. But if what you have is an ancient piano passed down from your ancestors (that may or may not be haunted), the cleaning process can consist of more steps.
The basics are pumping a small bit of dish soap on a damp towel, and running it over the casing.
Cleaning your piano frequently can keep your mind off a lot of the piano’s common issues. If you wanna be extra careful, you can install a humidity regulator and keep the first problem in this article away for good!
That should be everything for this guide on how to fix stuck piano keys! If you’re ever in doubt, you may come back to this article or even dial a professional technician to be completely sure.