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The Nittty-Gritty on Piano Tuning

Dec 14, 2007
Piano tuning means that tensions in the strings of the instrument are adjusted. This is what needs to happen to keep your instrument in tune. This service can be provided to you by a registered tuner or technician.

There are a few things to consider when looking into this matter. These are:

* How often the piano should be tuned
* Cost
* The piano tuner's recommendations

How Often Should I Have A Tuning?
As often as possible silly! All joking aside this is the number one question on any piano owner's mind. Before asking this question there is something to keep in mind. A piano is an investment, think of it as a car.

Piano tuning is much like tuning up a car. For either of them to run at their best, they must be serviced properly by a licensed technician. Secondly, keeping up a maintenance schedule will help you keep your instrument sounding beautifully in tune.

As a general rule, though normal use, a piano should be tuned every six months to a year.

If you play your piano quite a bit, you will need to up the tunings to every few months. Remember that you paid a big chunk of change for that large instrument in your living room, keep it from depreciating too quickly with proper care.

Many people wonder how to tell if their piano is in need of tuning. A simple test is to just listen to the notes. If they start sounding "off" while playing your favorite tunes than its time to get an adjustment.

Newer pianos may need more tuning for the first few years. The strings in a newly purchased piano are tight and stretch quite a bit. Pianos that have been restrung will also need more frequent tunings until the strings have been "seasoned" again.

What Is This Gonna Cost Me?
Obviously the service isn't going to be free. Just like everybody else, tuners have to pay bills, and things like gas are going to affect their bottom lines. Prices are going to differ quite a bit form region to region and how much experience a tuner is bringing with them.

The type of piano is also going to play a role. A grand piano is going to run higher than a run-of-the-mill upright. The condition of the instrument will also be a factor in the final cost of the tuning as well.

If any repairs need to be done for such as broken strings or worn out hammers, the price of the tuning will reflect this. Some tuners offer a quote to help you gauge costs. On average the cost will be between $75 and $200.

The Piano Tuner Wants Me To Do What?
There are many things that tuning can uncover. At times there can be extra things that need to happen to your piano before it can be restored to its former glory. Aside from restringing and rehammering there are other things that most people write off as "the piano tuner hustle".

Understand that registered piano tuners are held up to stringent international standards set forth by the Piano Technician's Guild. These standards dictate what must be done to preserve the piano as an investment and musical instrument.

When a technician tells you that your piano needs regulating, he is not trying to sandbag you into an up-sell. This operation is a set of adjustments that are performed on each note. The adjustments affect the action of the keyboard giving you a more responsive experience.

After frequent use, the keys start to become "slow" or less responsive. Regulation restores the play of the piano and should be performed every five to ten years.
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