Do Clavinova’s Need Tuning?

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Written By Sarah Barlow

Chief Music Officer

Digital pianos such as the Yamaha Clavinova don’t require any tuning. This is primarily because they aren’t equipped with any strings resulting in them never going out of tune. 

However, this does not affect them negatively in terms of functionality. In fact, digital pianos nowadays are becoming more popular due to this upgrade compared to traditional pianos.

How Do The Yamaha Clavinova And Other Digital Pianos Produce Sound?

Digital pianos generate sounds through recorded samples from perfectly tuned traditional pianos, which are stored in an electronic tone generator and are sounded repeatedly every time you press on a key. They utilize speakers to amplify sounds. 

Unlike traditional acoustic pianos that utilize hammers to produce a sound, the keys of the Yamaha Clavinova are equipped with hammers for the purpose of imitating and capturing the dynamic feel of playing the keys of an acoustic piano, and not for producing a sound.

How Does A Traditional Acoustic Piano Produce Sound?

Traditional acoustic pianos make use of a manual mechanism in producing sounds through vibrations of tensioned strings which are struck by a hammer propelled when a pianist presses down on a key. The vibration sound is then transmitted to the soundboard and diffused richly, which amplifies the sound you want to hear. 

However, due to certain factors like wear and tear and aggressive playing, the tensioned strings slowly loosen over time, leading them to go out of tune. This is the main reason why traditional pianos require more attention and maintenance to keep them in tune, and why most pianists and piano enthusiasts nowadays are switching to digital pianos to avoid this problem.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Digital Pianos With Regards To Having No Strings?


Adjustable Volume

One of the main advantages of using digital pianos is their adjustable volume. This is primarily due to the use of electronic sound tone that enables you to adjust the volume of your piano via a modulation wheel or volume slider, as compared to traditional acoustic pianos which are simply set in one volume.

Applicable Use Of Headphones

Another advantage digital pianos have is the feature of a headphone jack that allows you to use headphones while playing. This helps you block out all outside noises and distractions, providing privacy to concentrate and focus more on your private practice sessions. 

Doesn’t Require Tuning

Since digital pianos aren’t equipped with any strings to produce sounds, they don’t require any tuning to enhance or make their tones clearer.


Since digital pianos make use of an electric tone generator in producing sounds, it also provides the feature of recording the piece you are playing on a digital disk all at once, unlike traditional acoustic pianos that will require you to have a separate audio or video recorder.

Can Play Various Sounds

As previously mentioned, digital pianos make use of stored pre-recorded sounds with the utilization of a tone generator. It has the capability of playing various voices imitated by other instruments compared to a traditional acoustic piano that is only built with one voice.

Maintenance And Repair

As mentioned earlier, since digital pianos don’t utilize strings and hammers to produce a sound, they don’t require tuning and much repair. The Yamaha Clavinova is equipped with hammers on its keys, so they don’t require maintenance because the hammers are just there to imitate the feel and key action of an actual acoustic piano. Although these hammers may loosen up and need replacement, it is still more likely to last longer than the hammers of an acoustic piano. In cleaning, digital pianos are also easier, simpler, and way safer to clean compared to cleaning an actual acoustic piano. 


Expensive And Hard To Repair

Although digital pianos don’t require a lot of maintenance service or repair as compared to acoustic pianos, it typically costs a lot when they do. 

Acoustic pianos have parts that are very accessible, but digital piano parts are a hassle to find. In addition, if you ever feel like your digital piano is out of tune or has an issue with pitch, it is likely to be caused by software issues that require the help of a software expert or an experienced piano technician. 

If applicable, you may apply for the manufacturer’s warranty to get free service or, better, a replacement piano.