How often should I tune my piano?

Once or twice a year for a well maintained instrument. Seasonal changes cause the soundboard to swell or contract changing the tension on the strings. Regular tuning keeps the tension even and the notes on pitch.

What if my piano is really out of tune?

A piano is designed to sound its best when maintained at standard pitch. When a piano goes years without being serviced, it falls well below standard pitch. In this case the piano needs a pitch raise followed by a fine tuning. While in most cases the piano can be brought up to pitch on that visit, the piano may require tuning again 3-6 months later. Depending on how far out of tune a piano is, it may take anywhere from 2-4 tunings in the first year in order to stabilize the pitch. In some severe cases, it may take multiple visits before it is even up to pitch. However, once a piano is stable, regular yearly tunings usually suffice. Service at regular intervals results in greater tuning stability, and greater musical enjoyment for the customer

What is the best location for my piano?

On an inside wall. Try not to place the piano on an outside wall, in front of a supply air vent, or directly in front of a window. For more information, check out my short blog on this subject, here.

What if a string breaks while tuning?
Not to worry, we can replace it! Sometimes due to age, rust and corrosion, strings can break. Usually this occurs during the tuning of a piano that hasn’t been serviced in a number of years and requires a significant pitch raise to bring the piano back to pitch. Before we begin our tuning process, we take some proactive measures to greatly reduce the possibility of strings breaking. Sometimes the technician may recommend bringing up the pitch gradually over multiple visits to make sure that strings don’t break if the piano is extremely flat.
What if my keys are sticking, don’t play/repeat more than once, or don’t make a sound?
This can be one if the most frustrating things for pianists. Keys can stick for a wide range of reasons. It may be something as simple as a foreign object or some debris lodged between keys. Excessive humidity can cause wood parts to swell and bind against one another. Defective or warn out parts may need to be replaced. If the fix is relatively simple and can be completed in about 10 min during a service call, then it is usually included in the tuning fee. If it takes more time, there is a “keys sticking” ad on service which can be added to any service call or you can upgrade to a full service package. Sometimes additional work may need to be quoted at the job if the repairs or adjustments require lots of additional time or a separate visit.
What if my piano hasn’t been tuned for many years?
Usually when a piano has gone years without being serviced it requires a pitch raise. I include a pitch raise in my tuning fee. Usually the piano can be brought up to pitch on the first visit, but sometimes it may require a couple of visits to avoid breaking strings.
What if the piano can’t be tuned?
Sometimes there are situations where due to age and damage, a piano can no longer be properly tuned due to damage to the bridge or pinblock. Repairs that fall into this category are usually very expensive and more than likely require that the piano be taken to a rebuilding shop. With enough money, anything is possible, but most of the time the repairs will far exceed the monetary value of the instrument. I am happy to direct you to good rebuilders and offer ballpark price ranges for common repairs if the sentimental value is worth it to you. In the event the piano cannot be tuned, you’ll only be charged for the inspection and evaluation of the piano. Consider scheduling an inspection before you buy a used instrument to avoid unexpected expenses.

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