Skip to main content

What is Piano Voicing?

What is Piano Voicing? - Artisan Piano Services

Piano voicing refers to the process of adjusting the tonal quality of the piano by manipulating the density and firmness of the felt on the hammers.

Voicing can be tailored to suit your preferences and playing style as a pianist. Some pianists may prefer a brighter, more brilliant tone for certain repertoire, while others may prefer a warmer, more mellow sound.  

Here are some key aspects of piano voicing:


One of the primary techniques used in voicing is Hammer Filing and Shaping. Deep grooves can occur in the hammer over time which creates a soft, indistinct sound. Instead of cleanly striking the strings, the felt of the hammer wraps around them upon impact, resulting in a dissatisfying tone.

Fortunately, beneath this worn outer layer lies quality felt. With careful reshaping and voicing, much of the lost tonal quality in the piano can be restored, provided that a sufficient amount of the original felt remains intact. Filing the hammers can also be used to create a brighter tone. This is usually done by filing away soft outer layers of hammer felt.  Chemical solutions can also be used brighten up the tone


Another technique involves using needles to adjust the density and compactness of the felt on the hammers, called Needle Voicing. Softer hammers produce a warmer, mellower tone, while harder hammers produce a brighter, more penetrating sound.  By pricking the felt with needles, technicians can soften or harden specific areas of the hammers, allowing for precise control over the tone produced.

Voicing can transform the tone of your piano to a much sweeter and rounder tone making it a much more enjoyable experience to play!