Does The Size Of The Piano Make A Difference In Cost Of Tuning
There is no set standard for how a piano size affects tuning costs but tuning a grand typically costs more than tuning a baby grand. With that said, for some tuners, their hourly rate is the same whether it be a baby grand or a full concert piano.
Generally, however, high end piano tuners may charge $200 an hour for a grand piano as opposed to the $100 they may charge for a baby grand. Some tuners will simply apply the same hourly rate across the board. The overall cost will be more with grand pianos even with the same hourly rate because it will take slightly longer than a small one.
Common Piano Tuning And Maintenance Faqs
Is it common for piano strings to break while tuning?
It is fairly common for strings to break during a tuning. Consider asking the professional beforehand whether or not you are the one who will have to pay for broken strings, or if it is covered by their hourly or flat rate.
Can you tune a piano by yourself without the help of a professional?
You can tune a piano by yourself, but it involves a lot of work. Because there are 230 strings on a piano, it is very time-consuming to tune it. It can take between 1 and 4 hours to tune a piano and requires tools such as a tuning wrench and felt strips.
Is it ever not worth having your piano tuned?
If your piano simply cannot hold a tuning or the tuning pins themselves are faulty, it may not be worth having it tuned. That is because those two factors are indicators that your piano is on its last leg, so to speak. Instead of spending the $60 to $300 or more on tuning, many tuners will recommend that you simply invest in a brand new piano.
Can you choose to have your piano tuned to a pitch other than A440?
Yes, you can choose to have your piano tuned to A442. However, it is not generally recommended unless you have a large concert grand piano.
Can You Safely Transport A Piano When Moving
Pianos are large, heavy, and relatively fragile three qualities that make moving them to a new location difficult. However, it can be done with a few strong extra hands, a few moving supplies, and some preparation and measuring beforehand.
There are also specialized moving companies out there that work only in piano transport. If you dont have the manpower, trailer space, or confidence to undertake the task, hiring a professional is a reliable option.
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How Do You Know When You Need To Tune Your Piano
Knowing when you should tune your piano can be a little tricky, especially if youre new to playing it and your ear hasnt become accustomed.
The simplest way is to keep two tuning appointments every year. If you tune your piano at six-month intervals, you shouldnt experience any problems with keys going sharp or flat too often.
However, if youve recently purchased or come into possession of a piano that came from storage or a non-ideal setting, it might need more tuning the first year or two to set it straight. Consult a professional to see exactly how often your piano might need to be tuned.
Many pianists can tell by ear if a piano is out of tune. Knowing what each key is supposed to sound like takes a ton of practice, so dont worry if youre new to the piano and cant immediately tell which keys are sharp or flat.
You can also check out the video above which is of someone playing a very out of tune piano!
How Long To Tune A Piano: Why Does It Take So Long
Most piano tuners will tell you anyone who gets piano tuned in under an hour is ripping you off. Even with weekly upkeep, it still takes an hour for a good piano tuner to get the instrument in tune.
For those who get their pianos tuned once or twice per year , it should only take 1-2 hours.
If you stretch this time limit out, it may take upwards of 3-4.
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How To Pitch Raise A Piano
If a piano is extremely out of tune, it probably needs a pitch raise. There arent any shortcuts with this type of procedure. Each note on the piano is tuned a little bit sharp. To start out, tune the temperament F4 to F5. Tune each note precisely 10 cents sharp. When raising the pitch of so many strings, its crucial to create enough tension room. As you continue the process, the notes you raised will start falling flat, which is why you tune them sharp initially. Its important to remember that pitch raising can be a risky endeavor.
Sometimes, piano strings can end up in poor condition if they havent been maintained in a long time. A string could break as youre raising it. However, string breaks usually stay inside the piano, and they arent dangerous to people. When youre raising the lower strings, you dont need to sharpen them because the more you do, the more chance they will break. Lower strings are wound, which makes them more expensive than the rest.
Once youve raised the bass strings, the middle strings will likely be flat again. This slip down is to be expected. Now, youll start raising the treble strings to 20 cents sharp of the corresponding lower keys. Once again, make sure you dont overstretch them and do your best to avoid any breaks. Lots of times, its necessary to go over the treble again after youve finished. By the time youre done with the first round, many of the notes will have fallen flat again.
Things You Should Understand About Piano Tuning
One should remember that piano repair and piano tuning are two different worlds. The replacement of hammers, strings, and hammer surfaces do not belong to piano tuning.
Specifically, piano tuning involves a skilled tuner inspecting a piano. This service is typically free of any charge. Once the tuner can see repairs, then he/she will recommend you to conduct a repair work first before the actual tuning service.
Luckily, piano repairs are relatively rare, except if your piano is already antique. Also, you may need to fix your piano once it suffered from smoke or water-related damages.
Meanwhile, one should know that pitch raise and piano tuning are two different things. When your piano loses or drops pitch, the longer the tuning it needs. But before the tuning, the pitch of your piano needs to be raised first.
Usually, a piano drops its pitch during the cold seasons such as winter. This is the reason why piano tuning is part of the regular “spring cleaning” of any households.
As we mentioned, piano tuning is necessary. This instrument is not just an instrument. Instead, you should treat it as an investment. Those well-maintained pianos can last for many generations. A living room with an antique piano will always be stylish.
Moreover, a preserved piano could serve as a centerpiece of any gatherings. They just never go out of style.
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How Does A Pianos Age Affect The Cost Of Tuning
The main way that a pianos age affects the cost of tuning is that it may need repairs before it can be tuned. Pianos are known for having a long life, with many of them able to last over 100 years. However, a piano cannot last that long without maintenance.
Some of the parts of a piano that require maintenance are:
- Swollen/shrunken wood
Piano repairs often cost $60-$70 an hour. The cost of the tuning itself can cost more with old pianos because it can be more time consuming. When a piano is severely out of tune or has been neglected, it takes longer to tune which adds up quickly no matter what the hourly rate is.
Why Do The Strings Slacken
In older pianos, the primary cause of strings slackening is the tuning pins which are embedded in the wrest plank become loose either due to general wear and tear over the years, or because the wrest plank has developed splits across or around the pin holes due to the wood drying out. Another primary cause is the movement in the soundboard. This board is made of spruce and is responsible for the resonance of the piano. Spruce is used because of its elastic nature the more elastic the soundboard the more pleasant the tone. The steel strings bear down on this soundboard through ‘bridges’ which in turn allows their vibrations to be amplified.
Atmospheric changes – Due to the very nature of the whole construction, pianos are very sensitive to atmospheric changes in temperature and barometric pressure. During the warmer months the atmosphere is quite humid and ‘water laden’ and the wood absorbs this and swells. The strings therefore tighten which causes the pitch to raise and the piano is then out of tune.During the winter if heating is used, the moisture evapourates from the wood which therefore shrinks and the strings slacken and the pitch drops, again resulting in the piano being out of tune. If these variations become too severe it can ultimately lead to the soundboard cracking which becomes a very expensive repair option. Controlling temperature and humidity therefore plays an important part in preserving your piano
How much does piano tuning cost ?
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What Level Of Tuning Will My Piano Need
The longer it has been since the piano was last tuned, the more difficult it can be to tune properly. Piano tuners have four categories that pianos fall into regarding the amount of effort involved:
Is It Worth Tuning An Old Piano
Whether or not you should invest in tuning an old piano depends on your use of that instrument for example, if you have a piano that you keep in the home more for decoration or sentimental value than playing, you might not need to tune it until you are ready to use it. However, if you want to sell that piano or start using it regularly, its vital that you have it inspected and tuned first.
If you have an old piano that is damaged severely, you might consider its value versus the cost of restoration. If it will cost you far more to have the piano restored than you might earn by selling it, unless that piano has sentimental value, you might consider simply scrapping it for parts. Call a piano restoration expert near you to find out how much it might cost to restore your piano and how much you might earn by selling it, so you can compare those figures and make the best decision!
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Piano : How Often Will My Piano Need To Be Tuned
If youre a piano owner wondering how often do pianos need to be tuned, its vital that you understand and follow the right schedule for your beloved instrument! Piano tuning not only ensures a keyboard sounds its best but also keeps it in good working order, helping to avoid premature damage and otherwise unnecessary repairs.
Most piano manufacturers recommend tuning a new piano four times during the first year and then twice yearly after that at the very least, a piano needs tuning once a year. This schedule needs adjusting according to usage of your piano, as the more its played, the more often it needs tuning!
Whether you play piano professionally or have a piano at home you only use on occasion, you might consider some added information about piano tuning, including signs that its time to call a piano tuning expert! You might also consider what is and is not included in standard tuning visits, so you know when to schedule additional services for your instrument.
As always, discuss this information and other questions you might have with a piano restoration company or piano tuner near you. Professional advice and services are especially vital for antique or otherwise uniquely valuable instruments, so theyre given proper attention and care and retain their value over the years.
Experience Of The Piano Tuner
Certified tuners, such as those with a Registered Piano Technician certification from the Piano Technicians Guild, will likely charge more than tuners who are not certified. The Piano Technicians Guild is a worldwide organization that requires technicians to pass a written exam and a field test to achieve the Registered Piano Technician certification.
A more experienced piano tuner may also do a more comprehensive job than simply tuning piano strings. For example, they may investigate if the piano is also having other issues, such as sticky keys or faulty foot pedals.
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How Often Do I Need To Tune A Piano
While the answer to this can vary, a good rule of thumb is to get your piano tuned at least twice a year. That being said, there are many variables that may require you to need it tuned more frequently.
Humidity changes are the biggest culprit for necessitating more frequent tunings. If possible, try to keep your piano in a space where the humidity does not fluctuate very much. Similarly, temperature changes can also cause your piano to go out of tune more quickly.
If the piano is exposed to a window that faces the sun, or is in other settings where the temperature can fluctuate daily, then it may need to be tuned upwards of four times per year.
If you just bought a piano, or if you just had a piano moved from one house to another, you will want to have it tuned four times in the first year of either circumstance. If you have moved the piano from one house or building to another house or building, it will need to be tuned after it has been moved.
This is because the changes in humidity and temperature will cause the piano to go out of tune. It is usually best to wait at least two weeks after moving the piano to get it tuned, as this will give it time to adjust to the changes in humidity and temperature.
Level : Operative Maintenance Service
In a nutshell, this level will apply to the moderately maintained piano. These are typically pianos that have recently been moved and pianos that have not been tuned in two years.
Under this category, your piano technician will need to turn all the tuning pins one time so as to pressurize the sound before they do the actual tuning. As each of the 230 pins must be tuned, this process takes around 1hr45 to 2hrs and costs $160 $220.
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How To Choose A Piano Tuner
When trying to figure out who you should hire to tune your piano, there are several things to consider, including:
- Hourly/fixed rate
- Customer feedback
No matter what your budget is, you should compare hourly and fixed rates between tuners. One local piano tuner may be $60 an hour whereas another may be $150 or more an hour. The location of the tuner matters as well because it could factor into pricing, especially if they charge for mileage, for example.
Inquire if the tuner you are considering has any certification. Many professional tuners are part of the Piano Technicians Guild, which upholds standards and often indicates the tuner is qualified. And finally, check out what other customers have to say about their experience with the tuner in question.
What Are Some Tips To Maintain A Pianos’s Tuning
There are a few things you can do to help maintain your piano’s tuning. First, try to keep the humidity in your home consistent. If it is too dry, the wood of the piano will shrink and the strings will loosen. Conversely, if it is too humid, the wood will swell and the strings will tighten. You can use a humidifier or dehumidifier to help regulate the humidity in your home.
Another thing you can do is avoid playing the piano when it’s cold outside. The strings will contract in cold weather, which can cause them to go out of tune. In addition, you should cover your piano with a grand, upright or baby grand piano cover to protect it. Finally, make sure that you don’t bang on the keys when you play. This can cause the strings to loosen over time.
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