Kerry Kean's Piano Service

Concert, university and private piano service since 1974

330-678-1990

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why does my piano go out of tune?

A. Humidity change - it's just that simple. As long as your piano is structurally sound, and no one abuses it (pounding on the keys with your fist, etc.), the only reason for it to go out of tune is that the wood in your piano absorbs and releases moisture, which causes small changes in the tension on the strings. The soundboard is built with a slight bow, or crown, toward the strings, which helps it maintain its shape under tension. When the humidity rises, the wood in the board swells and increases in size, primarily with the grain (lengthwise). Since the board is locked in on all sides, it can only go in the direction of the crown, thereby pushing up against the strings and causing them to go sharp. In the winter, when the air is drier, the opposite occurs and the piano goes flat. Every seasonal change causes the piano to go more out of tune.

Q. How often does my piano need to be tuned?

A. The National Piano Manufacturers Association recommends that you have your piano tuned four times in the first year, and at least twice a year after that. The fact is that, because of the constant fluctuation of humidity (especially here in Ohio!), the piano begins to slowly go out of tune before the technician leaves your home, although you won't notice it at first.This is why concert pianos and those in recording studios are tuned every time they're used! For families with young children studying piano, it's especially important to keep the instrument in tune because their sense of musical sound and pitch is being formed.

Q. How much does tuning cost?

A. My standard fee is $85.00. If the piano has been tuned regularly, this will be the total bill for tuning. If the customer wishes, I will send out a reminder postcard or we can set up the next appointment before I leave to be sure the piano is tuned on a regular schedule.

Pitch Raising: If the piano has not been tuned regularly, it may require a pitch adjustment (raise or lower), for which I may charge an additional $30.00 at my discretion. This mainly depends on the time required to get the piano to stabilize at A440. If the instrument is very old and is not required to be at standard pitch, it may be tuned to itself for no additional charge (this is not recommended for most pianos and definitely not if the piano is being used for lessons by a young student). Raising pitch if required is standard procedure in piano tuning, but it does carry with it a slight risk of breaking strings or, in very rare cases, damage to the plate. When this occurs, it is a direct result of years of neglect and/or an original fault in the manufacture. I will do everything I can to mitigate any chance of these occuring, but any liability or cost is strictly the responsibilty of the owner. For context, in over 35 years of tuning pianos, I have had one plate break while tuning. Strings do occasionally break, but in almost all cases this due to either corrosion or a weak spot and the string would have needed to be replaced or repaired at some point anyway.

Q. What other kinds of service might be needed?

A. Besides tuning, I also offer action and tone regulation (voicing), rebuilding and reconditioning, cleaning, instrument appraisals and purchase consultation. Please see the Services page on this site for more information on these services.

How do I make an appointment?

A. Just give me a call or email me at the number/address at the bottom of the page or on the Contact page. I will be adding a calendar to this site soon so that you will be able to see what openings are available at a glance and choose which one you would like.


 

 

 
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Phone: 330-678-1990
Email: kerry@ohiopianotuner.com

Serving Kent, Ohio and the surrounding area