Do you want to know how much does it cost to tune a piano? If you often play your piano, then there is a good chance that after a while, your piano will go out of tune.
It is no wonder since on average, there are 230 strings on a piano. Each of those strings stretched to around 150 to 200 pounds of pressure.
When you also count the amount of pressure from heavy wooden framing, the string has a heavier job to do. In total, all the strings have to pull around 18 to 20 tons.
It is no wonder that your piano will begin to stretch after some time. This condition will affect the sound quality of your piano. Without regular tuning, your piano will lose its rich and vibrant sound.
How Much Does It Cost to tune a piano in 2020- Damage Piano Repair Cost
Why Do We Need a Piano to be Tuned?
The main reason why piano needs regular tuning is the amount of pressure that the strings have to hold. High pressure makes the strings stretch over time.
You do want to make sure that your piano will stay up the pitch and can play every note correctly, don’t you? That’s why it is important to maintain the schedule for your piano tuning.
Some people think that if they don’t play their piano, then the pianos don’t need to be tuned. But this is a misconception. This is because of the very high tension that the strings have to pull is always there. Therefore, without regular tuning, the piano pitch will go flat.
But the longer you miss the schedule for tuning your piano, the more money you will have to pay to get your piano in tune again.
To help you understand why you need to tune your piano, here are some factors that can cause your piano in need to be check:
Weather and Humidity Changes
A major difference in humidity can have a big impact that causes your piano to go out of tune. The constant change in humidity will affect the piano soundboard.
Unlike the strings that are made from high-carbon steel, piano soundboards are made from wood. This soundboard plays a key role in changing energy into a rich and vibrant sound.
Weeks full or rain can be a disaster. The wood in the piano will shrink during winter when the moisture is relatively lower. While the summer that holds more moisture will cause the wood to expand.
The soundboards will constantly change due to the difference in humidity. This is why it is recommended to do the tuning at the very least once a year.
To maintain the proper level of humidity for your piano, make sure that the room has sufficient ventilation.
But do not place your piano near the window since it will expose the piano to direct heat. The level of humidity that is good for piano is between 40 – 45 percent.
Even though we all wish that getting the best technician can make the tuning result last forever, that is not the case. Regular use will strike the strings.
The repetition of this condition will cause the tuning pin to turn a bit and after a while, the string will be out of tune again. This is the reason why a professional piano player will normally tune their piano more often than the average user.
People who play their piano often like teachers of performers will usually tune their piano around three to four times a year.
Piano being Moved
It may not be necessary to tune your piano if you just move it to another room or across the town. But if you move it to an area where the climate is different, then you need to check if your piano requires tuning.
I would recommend you let the piano settle in its new place for around two weeks. This allows some time to the piano to get accustomed to the climate of its new home. After that, you can begin to perform its first tuning in the new location.
If you tune your piano immediately after moving, your piano will go out of tune again very soon. So remember to give it some time to settle in the new location.
But also remember not to wait for too long to get your piano tuning. If you do, it can have a detrimental effect on your instrument.
How to Know If Piano Need To Be Tuned
Any instrument that has strings in it will go out of tune regularly. The more often you play the piano, the soon it will go out of tune. Letting the piano out of tune for a long time can cause other issues on your piano. So how will you know if your piano needs to be tuned?
Pay Attention to Your Piano Tuning Schedule
Many people don’t keep track of their piano tuning schedule. This negligence causes the piano absence of tuning for years. If you maintain a schedule for tuning your piano, you will be aware of when will be the next time to check your piano for tuning
Know Your Piano’s Pitch
The usual test note is the concert pitch which is A-440. Pianos are made their best at A-440. If the pitch goes lower, you will get some kind of dull lifeless sound.
To find the A-440, you need to find the “A” note above the middle “C”. The note will vibrate at 440 times/second if it’s in tune.
Here is a video that can help you to know when to tune your piano
Check if the Octave Blend Into the Following Octave
Changes in weather and humidity can raise an octave issue. When the piano is in tune, the notes will be the line up across all the octaves. To check about the octave problem, press the far tight pedal. Then you are required to play the same note in three different octaves.
The Cost of Repairing The Damage Caused to Your Piano
There are mainly 3 types of damage and repair costs.
Minor Damage and Repair Cost:
The minimal repair cost that is to replace a string of your piano needs to pay an extra $30-$100 approximately.
Intermediate Damage and Repair Cost:
The medium repair cost you expect to pay $100-$200 when your piano is damaged internally and required to changes string and several internal hammers.
Major Damage and Repair Cost:
When your piano is under extensive damage you expect it’s repair cost exceed $300.
How Much Does It Actually Cost to have a Tuned Piano to Professional?
The simplest way to tune a piano is to let a professional piano tuner do the job for you. The number can vary from one technician to another depending on your location, age of the piano, and experience of the tune. But on average, you might need to spend around $60 to $220 to get your piano tuned by a professional.
It might be tempting to go with the lowest price range. But you need to understand that as the saying goes, you will get what you paid for. Usually, the service of a low-cost piano tuning will be as minimum as the cost.
With the technicians that offer this price range of tuning costs, the process will focus more on the tuning process. So don’t be surprised if they seem to want to get in and got out as fast as they could.
If you wish to have a more thorough examination of your piano, you need to move your budget higher. When you book an appointment with a technician that quotes $120 and above, you will get a better service and a more thorough examination. They will check each of the string and walk you through the step by step process.
As long as your piano needs no additional repair, you only need to pay the quoted price. But if after through checking the technician found that come additional repairs are needed, then be prepared to pay some more additional fee.
The price for repair varies from $20 to more than $300. If your piano only needs a small repair like replacing a string, it may only cost you around $20 – $100.
If there are more parts to be replaced then the cost will be more expensive. Let say a string and some hammers need to be replaced, the price can double up to $200. For more extensive repair, you need to be prepared to pay more than $300.
If you want to protect your piano from the humidity change, you can consider installing a climate control system to your piano. It will provide a consistent humidity level to your piano.
When the level of humidity is more consistent, your piano will sound more in tune. This can be a good option if your piano goes far out of tune between your regular tuning schedules. The cost of climate control installation is around $500 – $700.
How Much Does It Require to Tune a Piano at Your Home?
Since it can cost you quite a big amount of money to get a qualified tuner to tune your piano, you might be wondering if you can do the job yourself. You can tune your piano at home.
But to be able to do that, you will need to put all the necessary effort to learn the steps and keep practicing.
If you want to try to do the tuning at home, there are a few things you need to know first.
- Make sure you are in a quiet environment so you can concentrate and focus on the sound of the notes
- Protect your piano from sunlight, humid area or any source of heat
- Don’t put too much pressure on the strings.
- Be careful not to break the hammer, tuning pin, and damper
- Concentrate and take your time. Trying to rush in tuning your piano can lower your productivity.
- Knowing which strings you need to tune.
Additional Cost That make you An Expert:
In the long run, mastering how to tune a piano can cost you lower than get a piano turner tune the piano for you. But obviously, you still need to spend some money to begin.
To tune your piano, you will need some tools. You need to buy a piano tuning kit. It will cost you around $30. The next thing you need to have is a chromatic tuner. You can buy a chromatic tuner like Korg OT-120 Orchestral Tuner.
Another option is to download an app like an ultra tuner. But it will be better to invest in a chromatic tuner tool if you plan to keep doing the tuning yourself.
Once you get your piano tuning kit, you can begin to do the tuning. The tuning kit consists of a piano tuning lever and wedge mute. The wedges mutes will be used to mutes the strings you’re not tuning.
Here are the basic tuning steps you can do at home
Tune One String in the Middle C
- Remove piano cover so you can get access to the tuning pin
- The first thing you need to do is to find the middle C. See where the hammer is hitting to figure out which one is middle C while striking the key firmly repeatedly.
- Place the wedge mute gently to mute the other two strings in the set.
- Follow that string up to the pin. Then turn the pin clockwise very slightly. This step is the hardest part. It may take some time until you get the hang of it. So keep practicing.
Tune the Remaining String
After you get one string in the set tuned, now it’s time to tune the other two strings.
- Move the wedges mute to the right side of the string set. Now you can ignore the chromatic tuner since you already got one string in the set tuned.
- You need to Put your lever on the second string’s pin. Move the second pin slightly until it sounds like a single note playing.
- Repeat the step for the third-string until the three strings sound like one cohesive note.
Once all the strings in the middle octave have been successfully tuned, you can use them as a reference for the rest of the keys. We call this relative tuning where you tune the piano to itself.
- Put away the tuner. Now you will no longer tune to the tuner but to the C that has already be tuned.
- Tune one string of each set to the middle octave.
- Tune other strings to the first string in the set like describe above
- Continue to tune the entire keyboard, octave by an octave.
To help you get a better idea about how to tune the piano yourself, you can refer to this video
Tips to Properly Taking Care of Your Piano
If you maintain the tuning schedule of your piano properly, you have taken one step to maintain the quality of your piano in the long run.
In general, a piano can last around 30 – 50 years. Your piano can last longer than 50 years. But it can also fall apart quicker. If you want your piano to last as long as possible, you need to pay attention to the maintenance.
You need to pay attention to the cleanliness since it is very important to maintain your piano. Make sure you clean the piano frequently from dust and dirt. Clean the surface of the piano using a piano duster or soft cloth.
Be very careful when using wax or polish on your piano. It will be better to consult with a professional before using any wax or piano polish. Try to consult with the store where you used to buy your piano.
You can also consult with a specialist piano dealer. This is an important step to take since some type or brand of wax or piano polish may not be suitable for your piano model.
Temperature can affect your piano. Since the piano made of wood, it is very responsive to any changes in the environment. Try to avoid placing the piano exposed to direct heat and cold.
Put your piano away from direct sunlight, heater, open fireplace, or air conditioner. Maintain the humidity level to between 40 – 45 percent and ensure that there is sufficient ventilation in the room.
FAQ’s Of How Much Does It Cost to tune a piano?
How often do I need to tune my piano?
A piano needs to be tuned at least once a year. Since regular use will affect the stretch of the strings, the more often you use the piano the more tuning frequency you will need. Teachers and professionals usually tune their piano 3 – 4 times a year.
Do I need to tune my piano every time it is being moved?
If you just move your piano to a different room or across the town. It is not necessary to get it tuned. When you move it the far distance where varies weather. Then your piano will need to be tuned after two weeks.
Where can I find a qualified piano tuner in my area?
You can contact the piano dealer where you used to buy your piano or you can find a registered piano technician here
How can I tune the piano at home?
A lot of effort is required to learn the steps and will take some time to get used to the process. if you want to do the tuning yourself then you can refer to the DIY piano tuning provided in this article.
A piano is a musical instrument that consists of thousands of delicate parts. Therefore, it is important to tune your piano regularly, at the very minimum once a year. If you play it often, it is worth checking if your piano needs more schedule for tuning.
You can find a competent technician to help you get your piano tuned. But remember that it will cost you quite a big amount of money.
Do not hesitate to ask your technician to get any clarity regarding the piano. A qualified technician might check the overall condition of your piano. Be open to listening to what she or he tells you.
If you have a lot of spare time, you can also try to learn how to tune the piano at home. You will need some time to get better at tuning your piano, but it will save you some money in the long run.
Whether you choose to hire a competent technician or do the tuning yourself, make sure you maintain the regular schedule for tuning your piano. This way, you and everyone at home can enjoy playing the piano that produces incredible sounds.