How often should my piano be tuned?
It depends. Six to twelve months is usually just right in the Northwest.
The goal is to keep your piano sounding its best for you or whoever is playing the piano. If you are playing, it needs to be tuned when you notice it isn’t sounding its best! I’m not going to push you to tune it frequently if no one is playing the instrument.
If you don’t play and can’t really tell if its in tune or not, I recommend getting on a six month, or one year tuning schedule, depending on the stability of the piano and its environment. Regular tunings help the piano become more and more stable and sound better over the years, and keep up your resale value if you are ever planning to sell your piano.
If your kids are taking lessons, it’s important for them to play on an instrument that is well in tune to help them develop a good sense of pitch.
Why does my piano go out of tune?
Pianos are made of around 80% wood which will expand and contract with changes in humidity and temperature. Pianos are also constantly under around 40,000lbs of pressure from the 200 strings stretched over the soundboard. As the humidity and temperature change around your piano, and as the steel strings vibrate and stretch, pianos go out of tune.
How can I help my piano stay in tune?
Keeping the environmental conditions around your piano constant is the best thing you can do to help keep your piano in tune. Try to keep temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees, the more constant the better. Try to keep humidity constant by keeping your piano away from heater vents, fireplaces, drafty windows, or windows that are opened during the summer.
Does moving my piano make it go out of tune?
Most of the time. Just rolling it a foot or two, or moving it across the room won’t really knock the piano out of tune. Since climate is the biggest factor in tuning stability, moving a piano to a house, or a different state or climate is going make your piano go out of tune in most cases. Lifting and moving the piano doesn’t help the piano stay in tune either, but the climate is the biggest factor. If you have recently moved your piano, you should wait at least a week or two before having the piano tuned in its new environment.
Should I keep my piano away from an outside wall?
If you have an older house and/or poor insulation in your outside walls, you should keep your piano on an interior wall if possible. Exterior walls on modern houses are well insulated and safe for pianos to be near.
Why are my keys sticking?
Sticking keys can be caused by anything from a pencil inside the piano to tight wooden parts that need to be eased. Usually I can take care of sticking keys in the course of a normal tuning appointment, but sometimes there is something bigger that needs to be addressed. There are so many possible reasons keys can stick I usually need to see and play the piano to correctly diagnose.
Do you drive to _______?
My standard service area covers the Portland Metro Area. The square made by Vancouver, Gresham, Wilsonville and Hillsboro all fall under my normal service area. Outside that square I charge $1 per mile (one way) for the extra drive time and gas. If you have friends in the area that need their piano tuned, and can arrange for service the same day, I can often waive any travel fee.
Do you tune square grand pianos?
Yes, I do tune square grands. I do have to charge a little more than my normal service fee since they take extra time and are more difficult to work with. You can read about my first experience with a square grand here.
If you have a question that is not addressed here, send me an email through the “Contact” page and will get back to you promptly!