Back when I was regularly teaching piano lessons in Beaverton, I would notice some student’s pianos were not working perfectly. Most commonly a few of the keys were not working. Oftentimes the parent’s of my students would ask me, how much does it cost to repair a piano?
Piano repair costs can range anywhere between $500 to $3500 for standard repairs. It can cost more than $3500 for a more serious repair.
I used to drive around teaching many many piano students. This gave me access to many many pianos. I've seen all sorts of issues with pianos and I want to tell you about the most common ones I find.
The most common issue with a piano is the piano being out of tune. Even though this technically doesn't really count as a piano repair it is a very common issue with pianos. And you will need to hire a piano technician to solve this problem. A piano technician is the same person you would hire to fix a piano as well. They cover all or at least most issues with pianos. It's actually quite convenient to have one technician be that talented.
The next most common issue with pianos is when the keys are sticking or sluggish. This can be caused by many different issues. Sometimes when a piano gets old the keys get sticky, or when the child is playing the piano and their hands are not very clean. We all know that children can have very sticky hands! If you're going to seriously pursue learning piano it's important for all the keys to be working well. If you're going to develop a good touch as a Pianist you need to have a consistent see weight. So a piano technician can help you get all your keys up and running. This is not a very serious repair.
Another very common issue with keys is when the keys don't work at all. This can be caused by many different things. The hammers could be broken inside the piano or for some other reason they're not striking the strings. When you press down the key of a piano it's a little felted hammer that's hitting three strings. This is what creates the sound when you play a piano.
Another very common issue with pianos is a buzzing or rattling sound. This can be caused by many different things. Sometimes there's even things inside the piano that are buzzing and rattling, they obviously shouldn't be in the piano. You'd be amazed how often music falls into the piano and no one gets it out. This is also complicated by children because you don't really know what they're doing to the piano when you're not in the room.
A more expensive repair that some people choose to have done is repairing chipped her dirty keys. In most cases this is more of a cosmetic repair, but depending on how severe the damage is it could actually affect your playing.
You need to get your piano repaired when the issue with the piano is getting in the way of your playing. The piano is technically a tool to create music and you want the tool to be working for you. Even though playing and learning piano can be a struggle, it shouldn't be more of a struggle and that has to be! You wanted to be a joy to play piano especially if you've been practicing hard.
So it's really important to get the piano repaired as soon as possible. If you're using your piano to practice and the piano is broken technically you're practicing incorrectly. You start to make accommodations for notes that don't work or keys that stick and you're actually practicing how to play a broken piano. At first this might not be a huge deal but next thing you know it's a habit.
It's kind of like chewing on one side of your mouth when you have a toothache. At first you have to remember to do it but then next thing you know you're doing it automatically. And then you can continue to chew on one side even after you have your tooth repaired. This can be catastrophic for a young pianist. It's already difficult enough to learn how to play the piano, you don't need to learn how to play broken piano. Or you also don't have to unlearn how to play a broken piano.
Unfortunately it's extremely common for families to keep their pianos in bad shape. Typically their children aren't serious about learning piano so it doesn't end up being a big deal, but it certainly didn't help them foster love of piano. If you're paying for lessons you might as well pay to have your piano and good shape, plus this will make it easier to sell or give away your piano when you are done with it. It's best to have your piano tuned once a year and have all the keys working and it is in great condition. The last thing you want to deal with when you're going to move is he realizes you can't even give away your piano because it's in such bad shape. Then you will have to pay someone to come and remove your piano and throw it away, which is really sad. So make sure to tune your piano once a year and keep it in good shape and if you ever remove or decide you don't want the piano anymore it'll be really easy to have someone come pick it up. It is not cheap to move a piano. To learn more about the cost of moving pianos check out this article:
They're quite a few ways to find a good piano technician. With a little bit of ingenuity and effort you can find an incredible piano technician in your area. Here are the ways I go about finding a new piano technician when I move to a new area:
I call up local music studios and ask them who services their pianos. Make sure you call a studio that specializes in recording acoustic instruments. A hip hop studio or a pop Studio won't necessarily have a piano technician recommendation for you. But when you think about it, people who work in studios dedicate their lives to sound and of course they want their instruments taken care of by the best person possible.
If you really care about your piano and feel like you have a bit of a budget you could also call the local Symphony Orchestra and see who they used to service their piano. This person would certainly be one of the best technicians in the area and might be the most expensive. But you are one hundred percent guaranteed to have a master technician work on your piano. Many people don't know this but most symphonies have their piano tuned before performances. So it's a very prestigious job for a piano technician to get the gig working for the local orchestra, especially if you're in a larger metropolitan area.
You can also call local music schools and local band directors and ask if they have any recommendations for piano technicians. This could be local middle or high school's but you could also call local music colleges. Music colleges have to give their students access to pianos to practice on and they have a lot of students so you know they have a lot of pianos. It wouldn't surprise me if it was someone's full-time job to go around some of the largest music schools in the country and just tune their pianos. A school like Berklee College of Music probably has hundreds and hundreds of pianos.
You can also always call your local church and ask who they have to earn their pianos. Pianos are very important in churches so you know they have a good technician work on their pianos.
Those are some of the ways in the past I've found great piano technicians to come work on my piano. Plus if you are a musician in the local area it's a great way to start to network and meet musicians in the city.
Well I hope you've enjoyed this article about piano repairs. I really hope you do take good care of your piano and treat it like the precious instrument it is. You'll be amazed at how fun it can be to play piano when your piano is just been serviced and is playing perfectly. They really are incredible instruments and should feel good to play. I love it when I've just had my piano tuned and adjusted and it makes me want to play for hours at a time.
Thank you so much for reading my article. It can be really stressful finding someone you trust to work on your piano. I love my piano so much, I'm sure you love yours as well!