How to Get Your Piano Tuned

By Hoffman Academy Team

As we said in our recent article, Piano Care, it is important to get your piano tuned every 6-12 months to keep it in great shape and ensure that it gives you and your family many years of enjoyment. Most people tune their pianos at the end of spring/early summer and in the fall. Many people think of hiring a piano technician to come and tune their piano at these times, because the changing weather can largely affect the piano’s sound. Also, it’s lovely to get the piano tuned in the fall so that it is in top shape for enjoying holiday music! 

If you don’t already have a piano technician you love, below are some tips to find one and some answers to tuning-related questions that I have received.

Ask For Recommendations

Piano technicians aren’t difficult to find, but it’s important to know who to ask when it comes to finding a good piano technician. The best way to find a good piano technician is to ask people who also own pianos! Here are some ideas for who you can talk to:

  • Piano teachers
  • Piano stores
  • Local schools or universities
  • Musicians at your local church or religious space
  • Friends or neighbors who own pianos

The Piano Technicians Guild also has a listing of certified piano tuners, which can be searched by zip code to find someone in your area.

Check Credentials and Cost

Once you have the names of a few piano technicians, find out a little more about them. You can check on the internet to see if they have a website, or you can call them in person. Find out what their experience level and training is, and if they are certified by a professional organization, such as the Piano Technicians Guild.

Ask the piano technician what they charge for tuning, and what additional costs for repairs might be. Typical prices for piano tuning are at least $100, but can go up to $200 for an exceptionally qualified and experienced technician. 

Beware of piano technicians who only charge $50 or less. You get what you pay for! 

You may also want to ask what method of payment the technician prefers, such as cash, check, credit, or debit card. When the tuner arrives, make sure that you are prepared to pay them with their preferred payment method!

Make an Appointment

After considering your options and choosing a piano technician, make an appointment for a technician to come to your home and tune your piano. 

Before the piano technician arrives, it’s kind to get the piano prepared! Prepare the piano by removing any sheet music, lamps, or decorative objects from the top of your piano. You might also want to give the piano a good dusting to make sure no dust falls inside while the piano technician is working. Also, make sure you have a space where the technician can set their tools and other items they may need to have nearby.

It might be a good idea to ask your piano technician how often they think your piano should be tuned. This will depend on a lot of factors, like the age of the piano, how often it has been tuned in the past, and how much the climate changes throughout the year where you live. Also let the technician know if there are any sticky keys or other problems that need attention. If you enjoy their service, the tuner may be able to schedule your next appointment in advance. 

Other questions I am frequently asked

Do electric pianos need tuning?

No. Unlike acoustic pianos, which have strings, wooden hammers, and other mechanical pieces that need adjusting, electric pianos are essentially computers and do not require tuning. 

Can I tune my own piano?

No. Unlike guitars and other stringed instruments, tuning a piano requires special care, precision, training, and tools to complete. Tuning a piano without the proper knowledge and tools can cause irreparable damage to your instrument, so unless you are fully qualified, please call a professional.

How long does piano tuning take?

A typical visit may take a couple of hours, so be ready to be quiet during this time. A piano technician needs quiet so that they can properly hear the sound of the strings and make adjustments.

Enjoy Your Tuned Piano

If you’ve done your homework and selected a well-recommended piano technician, you can be assured that you’ll have made a good investment that will contribute to the life and beauty of your piano. Enjoy the amazing sound of a freshly-tuned instrument, and keep track of your piano technician’s contact information so you can tune up again soon.

Happy Tuning!
Joseph Hoffman

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