Clicking notes

Clicking notes

I have a clicking sound on several notes of my piano; I think some of the felts are missing. Is this a major problem? Will my tuner be able to repair this in a normal tuning session?

If you listen very carefully, you’ll be able to tell whether the click occurs before or after the note is sounded. If the clicking sounds like wood hitting wood and doesn’t appear to be the actual key itself, then your action is likely to be either very worn or to have been attacked by moths. An important component of the piano action is the hammer notch. This is where the energy of the key is transferred to the hammer via a lever which sits under the notch, protected by a small piece of leather and a pad of cushion felt. Moth larvae love this felt which is often partially or wholly eaten by this wretched pest, particularly in older pianos, leaving the connecting lever (the jack) to slap loudly against the bare wood of the notch slightly after the note has been played. If the action is very worn (or you are the owner of a piano with synthetic leather covering the notch) and the notch leather, which is actually doeskin, has worn completely away, there will be a clicking noise just before the note is sounded. Whether your tuner will able to repair either of these problems depends on how many notes are affected and the degree to which the action has worn or how far the infestation has taken hold.