Adjusting the Piano’s Performance (Regulation)

Frank Cahill regulates an action.

All pianos contain many mechanical parts that cause the strings to sound when the keys of the piano are played.  Collectively, these parts are called  the “action”. Regulation is the process of adjusting the action for the most efficient operation possible.

There are a number of signs that tell you that your piano needs regulation:

  • Keys not level, some higher or lower than the rest
  • Keys sticking
  • Sluggish action
  • Lack of dynamic range
  • Uneven touch
  • Loss of playing power
  • Inability  to play quick passages

Regulating the action  compensates for wear and tear of parts, settling of felt and leather, and changes in the dimensions of wood. The cost of regulating depends  on the use of the piano and the demands of the pianist.

Some musicians want the piano to play at the best level possible, while others just want the piano to play just a little better. The first option requires much more work than the second option and is priced accordingly.

If you want to delay the cost of a  complete  regulation,  it  can be performed  gradually over time. This way the most needed adjustments can be addressed first and less critical items addressed later.

Ideally, a “touch-up” regulation should be performed every few years to prevent the piano from becoming wildly out of adjustment.

The cost of regulation does not include repairs or parts replacement.


Price: $400 – $800 upright piano

Price: $1200 – $1800 grand piano