Guide to Piano Strings

Piano String : What is it?

Piano Strings

The piano strings are the source of vibration of pianos. They are steel-coiled cords kept under tension to make them vibrate freely. They are wound to increase their mass and thickness.  Most pianos have three strings per note. The average modern piano has more than 230 strings under a combined tension of 15 to 20 tons. The concert grand piano can have a combined tension of 30 tons.  

The tone of the piano strings depends on their weight and gauge (diameter). Gauge is measured in thousands of an inch in diameter.  The larger the diameter, the heavier the strings are, and the louder and thicker the tone they can produce. Piano strings vibrate in a complex harmonic pattern. They resonate based on the harmonic series in a specific set of frequencies.

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Types of Piano Strings

Piano StringsPiano Strings

Kinds of Piano Strings include the following:

Treble piano strings

  • Treble piano strings are the higher and “thinner” piano strings.
  • They produce a high pitch frequency.
  • The highest treble is typically 1/3 of an inch in diameter.
  • They are used for the higher keys, which are represented by the left piano keys of the keyboard.

Bass piano strings

  • Bass strings are thicker than treble strings.
  • They produce a low frequency pitch.
  • The lowest bass piano string is 1/3 of an inch in diameter.
  • They vibrate slower than thin piano strings with identical tension and length, producing a very low sound.

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Choosing Piano Strings (Buying tips)

Make and model: Before buying piano strings, identify your piano type (upright, grand, or square), name, model, and serial number first to get the specific ones for your instrument.

Warranty: Choose piano strings that come with a warranty to ensure quality and repair service when needed.

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