Here are 3 of the most commonly asked questions about Piano Tuning:
1) How often should I have my piano tuned?
The two main factors that drive a piano out of tune are weather change and how much the piano is played, but the age of the piano has an effect also. Pianos newer than 5 years go out of tune much faster than older pianos and may need to be tuned as much as 4 times a year for the first few years. Pianos older than 30 years may not have such great action or tone, but often hold their tune very well.
If you practice more than an hour a day, you’ll probably need to have it tuned at least twice a year to keep it sounding good. I would say that unless your piano is just another piece of furniture, you should have it tuned at least once a year. If it’s used every day, twice a year will keep your piano sounding good anytime you or a guest sits down to play it. If you are a vocalist, string player, or that rare pianist with a very sensitive ear, 3-4 times a year will keep it at concert pitch at all times.
2) My piano isn’t being used. Do I still need to have it tuned?
Although it might seem unnecessary, it’s important to keep a piano at least close to concert pitch, even if it’s not being used. When your piano is in tune, a combined string tension of about 20 tons is exerted on the piano’s structure. As the piano goes out of tune, the tension of the strings changes to varying degrees in different parts of the piano. If the tension becomes too uneven from one section to another, undue stress is exerted on the piano’s frame. Also, a piano is much more difficult, and sometimes impossible to tune well after a period of neglect. For these reasons every piano should be tuned at least annually.
3) How much is it going to cost me to tune my piano?
Many people ask me this question in hopes of getting a rough estimate of what they would expect to pay for a professional piano tuning. “Pay what you can afford” is my motto. I care more about getting your valuable musical instrument in tune than I do the money. I’ve found that tuners charge between $75 – $150 here in the Los Angeles area, my average is about $100.00. I would ask that you at least cover my travel expenses with gas prices the way they are. You will not insult me by paying less than the going rate. I have so much fun tuning pianos, meeting and talking to you that it makes it all worthwhile.
If you would like to know the year your piano was born, send me the name of the piano along with the serial number and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible with your information. (Sometimes you can find it in Google, sometimes not.)
Tuning pianos all over Southern California.
(Thanks to Doug Freeze for permission to reprint this. Happy to do it.)