How Much Does Piano Tuning Cost (2023)?

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. 

Piano Tuning

Cost of Piano Repairs & Additional Services Cost 

The most common problem with a piano is that it is out of tune. Even though this is not technically a piano repair, it is a common problem with pianos. You will also need to hire a piano technician to resolve this issue. A piano technologist is precisely the same person you would hire to repair a piano. They cover all, or at least the majority, of the issues that arise with pianos. It is truly quite useful to have one talented technician. The second most major complaint with pianos occurs when the keys stick or become sluggish. This may be caused by a variety of issues. When a piano becomes old, the keys can become sticky, or when a child plays the piano with dirty hands. We all know how sticky children’s hands can be! If you are serious about learning the piano, you must have all the keys working properly. To achieve a good charm as a pianist, users must have a coherent see weight. As a result, a piano technician can assist you in getting all the keys up and running. This is not a critical repair. A ringing or rattling sound is another common problem with pianos. This can be triggered by a variety of factors. Sometimes there are things within the piano that really are buzzing and rattling; they should not be there. You would be surprised at the number of times music tends to fall into the piano and nobody knows what to do with it.  

When a problem with your piano is interfering with your playing, you should have it repaired. The piano is a tool for creating music, and you desire the tool to work for you. And although playing and learning the piano can be difficult, it should not be more difficult than it must be! You wanted to enjoy playing the piano, especially if you had been practising hard. As a result, it is critical that the piano be fixed as as quickly as possible. If you practise on a piano that is technically broken, you are practising incorrectly. For standard repairs, piano repair costs can vary from $500 to $3500. A more serious repair can charge more than $3500.

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.

Piano Tuning Basics (Brief Introduction) 

When the “pianoforte” became popular in the early 1800s, piano tuning had become a profession. Previously, musicians owned harpsichords that were much easier to tune and were generally tuned by the musicians themselves. Early piano tuners have been trained and employed in piano industries, and quite often served a 5-7-year apprenticeship. Early tuners faced difficulties due to a wide range of new and adjusting pianos, as well as non-standardized pitches. Piano tuning is the process of adjusting the strain of the strings on an acoustic piano to guarantee that the musical intervals between these strings are in tune. The term “in tune” pertains to more than a particular subset of pitches in the context of piano tuning. Fine piano tuning requires an assessment of the vibration interaction between notes, which differs from piano to piano, necessitating slightly different pitches from every conceptual standard. Typically, pianos are tuned to a slight variation of said equal temperament system. The “honky tonk” or beating sound produced by such an out-of-tune piano is a common character trait. The combined playing of two tones to similar frequencies causes this variance in sound intensity. 

 Importance of Piano Tuning (Describe Notes, Pitch, Hertz) 

If a piano has not been synchronised in a long time, a piano tuner may attempt to re-tune it by having to raise the pitch of the piano. This involves tightening all the strings, which raises the pitch. This overcompensation should keep the piano in tune when the strings innately stretch, causing the pitch to fall. If you must increase the pitch of your piano, follow-up tunings are required because extra tension is applied to the strings. To ensure that the cords on their piano last if feasible, have it checked every 6 months to a year. If the strings deteriorate significantly, or if they are out of tune and therefore not actively used, the piano may need to be restrung, which can cost as much as purchasing a new piano. It is critical for those who are learning the piano to be have an in-tune instrument so that they can learn the pitches correctly. If a pianist learns to play with inaccurate pitches, he or she will be unable to play a tuned piano since the pitch will seem so off to them. 

  • Pitch, as described in musicology, is the particular audio vibration produced by an instrument. Musical pitch and musical timbre determine how a note sounds. Melodies are created when performers combine pitch to duration, which is the amount of time a note lasts before it became silent or giving way to some other note. 
  • A note in music is the portrayal of a musical piece. In musical notation, notes represent the pitch and length of time of a sound. A pitch class can also be represented by a note. 
  • Hertz are the number of times a sound wave oscillates in one second. A note at 440 Hz thus accomplishes 440 vibrations per second. Slow vibrations, or lower values, produce deeper pitches, whereas quicker vibrations produce higher pitches.

What is Piano Tuning? 

Tuning a piano is the method of altering the tension of its strings, thus also changing their pitch, or vibration frequency by turning the optimization pins to which they are attached, such that each string sounds satisfyingly in harmony with each other string. This harmony is attained by modifying the piano in accordance with known acoustical laws as well as esthetical rules and customs. The design feature of modern pianos recognized as loop stringing also makes tuning more difficult. Every length of steel music wire in the treble forms two strings, that are separated by a sharp bend in the wire in which the strings are anchored to the cast-iron frame of the piano. These two strings can sometimes sound the very same note and be tuned to the identical pitch. Sometimes they are parts of adjoining notes, with one half of a wire tuned a half step either higher or lower compared to the other, and the two halves held at significantly different tensions. The tuner uses listening tests to tune each note and then confirm its accuracy. These tests are required having to listen for faint, frequently meandering constructive interference in the soundwave known as beats, which occur whenever the harmonics of two interval notes are now almost but not exactly at the same frequency. Depending on the test as well as the interval being tested, the tuner tunes a particular notation so that the beats either are eliminated or occur at a specific rate of speed.

How long does it take to tune a Piano? 

Most piano tunings take between one and twelve hours. If your instrument requires minor repairs, the technician may take up to two hours to complete. The first question is how it will take the piano tuner to arrive and tune the instrument. This is entirely dependent on the piano tuner’s schedule and availability. If the piano player is in high demand, you may need to make your consultation several months in advance. If you intend to use the piano for a performance, call the tuner a few weeks ahead of time to make sure the piano is in good working order! The other consideration is how long this same tuning will take. This can range between 45 minutes and an hour and a half. The length of a tuning will be determined largely by how out of tune the piano seems to be. 

Bottom Line

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.

A standard piano has 220 strings. Every string on the piano does have a different range and frequency and must be tuned in concert with the other strings. Because these strings determine the piano’s audio quality, proper care is crucial. These strings can stretch over time due to tension, having caused the piano to become out of tune. Pianos that are tuned on a regular basis are easier to tune, stay in good shape, and retain their value. Regular tuning also limits the amount of damage caused by playing stretched strings. The term “tuning” typically refers to all the technical regular maintenance that must be conducted on a piano. These jobs are partitioned into three broad classifications. Regulation entails not only minor keyboard changes, but also action. The touch of the keys has been adjusted, and the keys have been levelled. Tuning is the delicate process of re-tightening metal pins known as tuning pins that surround the strings with a tool known as just a tuning hammer to correct the pitch of each note. Voicing is the process of balancing the volume, tone, and overall sound of a piano by adjusting the toughness of the percussion felts with needles and a tool called a picker. If possible, have the piano strings checked every 6 months to a year to ensure that they last. If the strings deteriorate markedly, or if they are not in tune and not being used properly, the piano may need to be restrung, which can cost as much as buying a new piano. If you tune your piano on a regular basis during its first few years of ownership, it is more likely to remain in tune for a longer period and in the later of its life. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What happens when you do not tune the piano for years?

If you have not tuned the piano in a long time, its pitch may well have declined dramatically below the basic pitch at which it was designed to be played. 

How long should a piano that has been moved be tuned?

Tuning the piano immediately after a move is almost certainly a waste of money. The wooden elements of a piano also must react to moisture in the air. Though there is no danger in waiting a little longer, most instruments require a three- to five-day adaptation period prior to actually tuning

Is piano tuning an expensive process?

The average cost of adjusting a piano ranges from $65 to $225, with costs rising to hundreds of thousands of dollars if additional tuning sessions or repairs are required.

What is the lifespan of a piano that is regularly tuned?

The average mass-produced piano has a 30-year lifespan. Handcrafted pianos last much longer, sometimes surpassing 50 years. Over time, the piano will require regular tuning, regulation, rebuilding, and other maintenance.

What is a Soundboard?

The soundboard is a thin wooden board, typically made of spruce, that is covered in part by the cast-iron plate. The vibrating strings cause the soundboard to resonate, amplifying and transmitting the sound to our ears. A cracked soundboard is something that almost everyone has heard of. Soundboard cracks, on the other hand, have no impact on a piano’s ability to stay in tune.

Being in love with music, Larry started this website to help piano lovers get the most detailed and accurate information with his 5 Years of experience of working in a music store.

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