Q. Why does my piano go out of tune?
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.
How often does my piano need to be tuned?
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.
How much does tuning cost?
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.
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.
What other kinds of service might be needed?
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.
do I make an appointment?
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.