When you strike your piano’s keys, a complex system of levers, springs, and hammers is activated which results in the hammers striking the strings to produce a tone. The mechanical part of the piano which accomplishes this is called the piano’s “action”. This is comprised of upwards of 9,000 parts that are designed to be adjusted to tolerances of just a few thousandths of an inch. However, these parts are constantly being worn away or compressed by use, or simply undergoing changes in dimension due to changes in atmospheric conditions.

“Action regulation” refers to the adjustment of the various components of the action to compensate for these changes, and re-establish the proper tolerances for your particular piano so that it will respond as it should. How often this needs to be done will depend on both the amount of use the piano gets, and the climatic conditions to which the piano is subjected.

How will you know if your piano needs regulating? When you have your piano tuned regularly, your trained technician should alert you to the need for action regulation. Some signs that you can look for yourself are:

  • Keys that are not level
  • Uneven or too-heavy touch
  • Sticking keys
  • Sluggish response
  • Inability to execute rapid musical passages properly
  • Lack of sensitivity
  • Decreased dynamic ranges
  • Excessive key travel or “Lost motion” – (excessive movement of the key before the hammer is activated)





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