When I was a kid I always loved playing piano at my friends houses. It was always fun to see what the different pianos sounded like and how they played differently. One major way the different pianos sounded different was how in tune they were. Some of my closest friends' pianos were so out of tune! Some of them got so bad that they were not even salvageable… you certainly don’t want to do that to your piano! You may be wondering, is piano tuning expensive? How much does it cost to tune your piano?
It costs between $100 - $200 to tune your piano. The price depends on what area you live in and if you have had your piano tuned sometime in the last year or so. The further out of tune your piano is, the more expensive it will be to get it back in tune.
When you finally decide that you're ready to tune your piano the next task is finding someone who can tune your piano. It's important to find a trained piano technician to service your piano. You don't want just anyone opening up the lid and messing around with your piano. They're very delicate instruments and should be treated as such. The last thing you want is someone to damage or hurt your piano. Luckily there are few good ways to find a good piano technician.
My favorite way to find a good piano technician is when I move to a new area I call the local recording studio and see who they use. Of course the place that specializes in sound like a recording studio will only hire the best piano technicians. Especially because they have vintage and very expensive instruments sometimes. They also often have many instruments. I used to work in a studio that had six pianos in it. All of them are different ages, different types, different sounds in different styles.
So calling up local recording studios is a great way to find a great piano technician. Make sure you call up a recording studio that specializes in recording acoustic instruments. You don't necessarily want to call up a one room pop studio or hip hop studio where they don't specialize or even own many pianos. You should also make sure that the studio you're calling has been in business for many decades, not just a studio that's popped up over the last year or two.
Another way I like to find a piano technician is to call up local churches and see who Tunes their pianos. Ideally it would be a church that you go to or have played at so you know that their piano sounds good. But in general churches have many pianos and a lot of their practices are based on music, so they want to make sure their piano sounds good. They will also most likely hire a good piano technician because they really care about their instruments.
Another great place to get the names of piano technicians is to call up the local piano gallery or piano store. They obviously have loads of pianos that need to be in tune for When customers come in to try them out. They will certainly have a list of many of the best piano technicians in the area. This is a great way to get a recommendation.
Plus if all else fails you can always call up the local orchestra. If you live in a large city or a large Metropolitan area you most likely have some kind of professional orchestra. In the larger cities with the larger orchestras they tune their pianos before every performance. They most certainly hire only the best piano technician in the area. Because the pianos they use are most likely tens of thousands of dollars. They only want the best people handling them. Just incase you are considering tuning your piano yourself, check out this article about tuning your own piano:
Once you find a piano technician you might be wondering what is involved in the up piano tuning. You might be wondering what to expect. I get this question a lot when I'm teaching in-home piano lessons in Beaverton.
When a piano technician comes to your house they will be making noise. The way piano technicians tune the piano is they will have to tune every string on the piano, which involves playing a lot of notes. It actually involves playing more notes than you even believe, because every key on the piano strikes three different strings. So technically for every key on the keyboard they will have to tune three strings. So they basically have to tune every key three times. They will also be playing the notes at different volumes.
So don't have a piano technician come over if you were going to have a zoom meeting. The piano technician will open up your piano and take a ribbon made out of felt and weave it in between the strings in the piano to isolate the one string that they are tuning. They will then strike that key many times as they tune that string, then they will remove part of the ribbon and they will tune two strings together and then they'll remove the other part of the ribbon in tune all three strings together. Then they will move across the keyboard in whatever way they see fit to start tuning the entire piano.
Another bonus of hiring a very skilled piano technician is they will be very concise with their tuning. Unfortunately, if you hire an inexperienced piano technician it might take them hours to tune the piano, and that's hours of time that you'll have to listen to repetitive piano notes being struck. So make sure you hire a very skilled technician who can get in and out and not cause too much ruckus.
Also when the piano technicians are there they'll just take a look at your piano and see if everything is functioning well. They might have some suggestions about how you can take care of your piano a little bit better. This can be really beneficial, they want to make sure the piano is well taken care of. It is often nice to offer the piano technician something to drink while they're tuning the piano.
You're probably wondering at this point how often you are going to have to have some stranger come to your house and tune your piano. The piano technician that is looking at your piano will know best, but usually You only need to get your piano tuned once a year.
If you're regularly servicing your piano you will probably only have to get it tuned once a year which is a benefit of keeping it in good tune. When the piano technician is done tuning your piano they will be able to suggest when they should come back. Sometimes when a piano is way out of tune they will have to do a pitch raise to get the piano back into tune. Update raises the process of pre tuning a piano to get a closer to the correct pitch. This is basically a rough tune and it can take half the time I'm a regular tuning.
Your piano technician will tell you before they start tuning if they're just going to do a pitch raise. If they're doing a pitch raise they'll have to come back sooner to finish the tuning. They will have to wait for the piano to settle into the raise tuning before they can take it the rest of the way.
Here's some things to keep in mind about when you need to tune your piano. Once a year is a good rule of thumb for piano tuning, but always listen to your piano technician's advice.
You also need to tune your piano if you move your piano recently. This generally is from large moves like from building to building. Not necessarily if you just roll it across the floor. But moving the piano at all can throw it out of tune if you're not careful. So think twice before moving your piano around your house. And thirdly use your ears after you move your piano to see if you've knocked it out of tune.
And of course if your piano doesn't sound good in general it's probably time for a tune. Or if some of the keys aren't working you should service those as soon as possible. So if your piano sounds like the piano in an old cowboy movie, it's time to call the piano technician!
I hope you've learned a thing or two about piano tuning in this article. I'm really passionate about piano help and keeping our pianos healthy.