We all know that the piano requires frequent tuning to sound at its best. In the first year after purchasing a piano, it might be required to tune a piano at least four times a year. And from next year, we may have to tune the piano at least twice a year. This helps the piano to adjust to the humidity and the temperature levels and elongates the life of the piano.
Appropriate tuning helps the piano to sound at its best and instill the desire to learn in novice pianos. Tuning the piano incurs a cost and it depends on the level of expertise of the tuning companies. After comparing the different companies and the independent technicians, we understood that the average cost of tuning a piano varies between $100 to $175. If the piano incurs an additional cost of repairs and services, then it could inflate the cost further and it depends on the condition of the piano as well.
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Factors that determine the cost of tuning a piano
Tuning the piano is an important aspect of regular maintenance of the piano. Regular and frequent tuning will help to maintain the tension in the strings of the piano from too much loosening and it also allows the technician to inspect the instrument for the signs of damage in the soundboard and the piano action. Most of the manufacturers of piano recommend tuning of the instrument at least twice a year, and some instruments could warrant additional tuning and additional cost. The factors that determine the cost of tuning of the piano are as follows,
a. Depending on the existing tune of the piano: Most of the piano tuning technicians charge by the hour of their work and if the piano is out of tune completely, then the technician has to work for more hours and according will charge higher. They will first increase the pitch of the piano, before attempting to fine-tune the instrument. The technician will first adjust the strings of the piano so that they vibrate better and faster and charge depending on the man-hours.
b. Pianos that are tuned unevenly: Unevenly tuned pianos are also a common problem and this happens when the owners wait too long to tune the instrument. Uneven tuning can also happen if the instrument is affected by changes in humidity that result in the expanding and contraction of the soundboard. The technician will be required to tune the piano in such a way that its notes and the octaves match specifically.
c. Additional repairs in the piano: At times, there are chances that there could be additional repairs in the piano, other than the tuning portion such as replacing the worn-out strings, correcting the losing pins, or repairing the damaged soundboard, etc. When the technician attempts to repair these problems, before tuning in the piano, then he could charge higher in his bill.
To achieve the perfect tune for a piano, the technician will adjust the tension on each of its strings, so that they vibrate at an appropriate rate. The standard tuning for pianos is A440, which means that the A note above middle C vibrates at the rate of about 440 cycles per second. The A in the next octave should vibrate at 880 cycles per second and in the lower octaves should vibrate at 220 cycles per second. This is the standard tuning for all the pianos and the pianist makes use of this standard tuning so that they perform at their best even with the other instruments, and during a stage show, all of them play in perfect harmony.
The cost of tuning a piano
Almost all piano tuners charge by the hour and the cost of tuning can be anywhere between $100 and $200 for every 6 to 12 months. But this is much cheaper than having the piano restrung. Restringing the piano could cost similar to the cost of the piano itself and it is better to subject the piano to regular tuning. It will also ensure that the piano sounds at its best. But the instrument must be stringed by a qualified professional, despite the cost they ask for. It is better to get recommendations from piano teachers, local schools or universities, and friends and neighbors to find the best tuning center.
After getting leads for some piano technicians, it is important to check their credentials from their website and on the internet. It is important to find their experience level and their years of training and if they are certified by a professional organization. Typically, novice technicians and those with few years of experience will charge a minimum of $100 for tuning and with experienced and qualified technicians, the rate could go up to $200. If the piano technician is quoting a very minimal price such as $50 or less, then you may have to check their credibility and expertise.
It is important to ask the technician to come to the home for tuning, as transporting the piano could be a great hurdle and is practically impossible too. When the technician arrives to tune the instrument, get it ready, by removing any cloth or decorative items on top of it and dust it appropriately, to make sure no dust falls on the instrument when he is working.
Spending on tuning the piano is a small investment that we make to enhance the life and the beauty of the piano. A freshly tuned piano will render amazing sounds and will be a pleasure to play as well. It could be beneficial to keep track of the contact information of the technician so that we get to tune up again when required.
It is not uncommon for the pianos to drop in pitch specifically during the winter and the summer months as the instrument is made of wood and will contract when the weather is dry or when it is hot. This causes the pitches to drop and it will be useful to tune the piano before these two seasons.