Piano Regulation

What Is Piano Regulation:

Regulation is the process of optimizing the keyboard and action to provide the best feel and response to our touch.  Regulation is the optimization of touch and tone.  A piano that is out of proper regulation can have sluggish repetition, uneven or irregular tone or touch, feel heavy and exhibit an inability to play gently or softly.  A fine regulation will result in an even touch whereby the piano keys and action respond in a like manner throughout.  Power and control are restored.

We use words like aftertouch to describe the sensation toward the end of the keystroke which coincides with the moment of sound. Aftertouch provides a comfortable touch sensation for pianists, a physical zone for parts rotation, travel completion and repetition of each note.  Hammer voicing in conjunction with regulation improves tone and timbre (tone color) in this process.

Our regulation procedure includes inspection, repair and cleaning of the piano keyframe, keybed and action.  Necessary repairs are made, friction is measured and reduced as needed followed by adjustments of key height, dip and level, key travel and spacing, hammer shaping, alignment, spacing and travel, all major action alignments, timing and parts synchronization, repetition spring and repetition lever adjustments and a host of other fine adjustments.

Regulation improves touch, tone and responsiveness of the piano and provides the basis for expression, a wide dynamic range and power.

“He [ Jeff ] came to my home several times to provide in depth regulation along with some difficult to determine squeaking issues the piano came with.  When he was done, the action and sound of the piano was so amazing that it currently exceeds that of every new Model O I have demoed in Steinway’s showrooms.  “

J. G. Aguilar

Orland Park, IL

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What should I do to make my piano feel better:

A: The piano action has thousands of part components which require regulation in order to create an even and predictable touch.  Prior to regulation the keyboard and action can be cleaned which helps to eliminate unnecessary friction which also helps in making your piano feel better.

Q: What is the “bump” I feel at the bottom of the keystroke:?

A: The part which delivers the piano hammer to the strings is called the “jack”.  The piano hammer shank has a small part known as the knuckle.  The jack pushes up against the knuckle to deliver the hammer to the string.  As the jack slips past the knuckle at the time in the action rotation known as “escapement” that bump sensation is felt. The bump sensation can be made to be very acceptable and help the pianist to anticipate the moment of sound. The period of time after the jack escapes and before the piano key travel is complete is known as “aftertouch”. 

Q: Some notes do not sound when I play softly.  What is the issue:?

A: Your piano is out of regulation.  Tolerances when they become too wide or exaggerated or sloppy will cause a loss of the ability of the piano to respond to a gentle or pianissimo touch.

For The Finest In Piano Servicing

Contact Chicago Piano Service, Inc.


1038 Jackson Ave

River Forest, IL 60305


By Appointment Only