Welcome to the Counting to 100 Pianos series. I am blogging my way through my first 100 tunings. For previous pianos, check out these:
Last year I completed one of the hardest tunings I've ever done. You can read about it here. When I arranged to go back this year, I was apprehensive but resolved. I managed to do it last time, surely this time it couldn't be worse.
Well, it was better. Night and day better. A completely different piano. So what happened? What made those jumping strings even out and wonderfully easy to tune? I honestly don't know. Especially since I couldn't figure out why the strings were jumping last time.
But here's my best guess: something changed in the humidity of the piano. I just wrote about Where to Put Your Piano and said not to put a piano near a wood stove or similar heater. However this piano is in the same room as a wood stove, and I think in this case it was a good thing. Now, it wasn't RIGHT next to the heater, which would have been bad. However, the heat of the stove may have dried out the piano just enough that everything started moving properly again. Another factor might be general seasonal humidity. Last time I tuned the piano in late August. This time I tuned it in mid-June. A summer of humidity could have played a significant role as well.
The moral of the story is humidity (or lack thereof) has a HUGE impact on your piano.