Tuning is “…the aligning of the musical pitch of the various notes of the piano, by adjusting the tension of the piano’s strings…” (The “tune-up” of an automobile engine may involve keeping machinery running smoothly, but piano “tuning” by itself does not.)” Tuning should be compared to an oil change, something that is done at the specified intervals.~ source
If your piano needs to have repairs in addition to tuning please see my regulating page. There are usually minor adjustments that need to occur on all pianos at the time of a tuning. Those may be a sticking key here, a sluggish note there, a broken keytop, the pedals don’t feel right, etc. In the one and half to two hours that I spend on your piano I do include these minor fixes in the cost of the tuning. I’ll even clean it! Here’s my mental service list to make it easy!:
- check with the client for issues*
- Open the piano
- clean the piano
- check/tighten all visible screws, including trap work
- play the piano- looking for issues apparent and, well, what only a tech with years of service might pick up on
- make small repairs (key ease, minor action adjustments, etc)
- pitch raise/lower, if applicable, tune
- play, fix any issues, play
- ask the client to play
*As a first time client I’ll ask you before our scheduled date for the following: make, model, serial if you know it, when was it tuned last, and any known issues.
So that’s it! Your piano becomes my piano the time you become my client. The piano technician serves a fascinating, noble, and technical art. You’ll quickly become aware upon meeting me that I love what I do.
PITCH RAISES – If it has been a year or more since your piano has been tuned, it is possible that the pitch has dropped (gone flat) to the point where a pitch raise is necessary. Since the strings in your piano run in contrary directions (look at the bass strings, then the strings in the middle of the piano – the cross over one another), they put opposing force on the plate. Failing to account for this will result in your tuning not being stable.
A pitch raise is a rough adjustment of all the strings, to get the piano close to concert pitch and to even out the “flatness” of the piano. This may take one time through or several, depending on how flat the piano is. Once the piano is close to concert pitch, a fine tuning will make it sound its best.
PITCH LOWERING – Conversely a piano may have become exceedingly sharp to tune without first lowering the pitch across the entire piano. A piano may have become sharp due to the piano being in too humid an environment. See how you can control the humidity for the care of your piano.
If you would like to take a measurement of your piano’s pitch click here. Instructions can be found on the linked page. If you feel your piano is horribly out of tune, and your inclined to take the time to find out, it might be a good idea to get a sense for yourself and your tuner, how far from A440 your piano. A440 is the “A” above middle c or for those who know, it’s A4. (If your system is different, for example you use words such as gestreept or symbols that would be equivalent to c to the third power, click this for a comparison)
Here you will find a partial list of those artist and institutions for whom I’ve tuned.