Hammer Reshaping (click to enlarge)

Tuning - Your Piano

The most common and most overlooked service pianos need is tuning. Simply put, piano tuning is the process a technician uses to adjust the tension of each string in order to bring them into harmony with each other.


How Often Should You Tune Your Piano? 

This mainly depends on how often the piano is played and the amount of seasonal humidity changes in your home. The general rule for pianos in our region is to have them tuned at least once or twice each year.


How Much Does a Tuning Cost?

A standard piano tuning runs between $125 and $175. This does not include pitch raising/lowering or major repairs. If your piano has not been tuned in over a year, it will more than likely require a pitch raising or lowering.


Pitch Raising and Lowering

Most pianos that have gone more than a year between tunings go markedly flat and in some cases sharp due to drastic changes in string tension. The result is a piano that sounds either dull or harsh to the ear. This condition requires more than one tuning in order to make the piano stable enough to hold the tuning. The first piano tuning brings the piano close to correct pitch, followed by a second tuning after allowing the piano to settle.


How Much Does a Pitch Raising or Lowering Cost?

The initial pitch raising or lowering costs between $200 and $250. A follow up visit should be scheduled within 3 to 4 months to perform a fine piano tuning.  In severe cases more than two piano tunings may be required, which I cover with the customer on a case by case basis.



Pianos can have between 6,000 and 10,000 parts and like most mechanical devices parts will wear out and break. Some examples are:

  • Replacing Broken or Damaged Strings
  • Replacing Broken Action Mechanisms and Other Internal Parts
  • Repairing Small Cracks
  • Fixing Stuck Keys


Most of these repairs are done on-site, but some may require off-site repair work.


Regulating - The Action and Keys

Over time parts in the piano action (keys and hammer mechanisms) will settle, compact, and shift due to years of use and humidity changes. These parts require adjustments to get them back to the original manufacturer's performance standards.

Some examples are:
  • Reshaping Hammers to Remove Grooves
  • Aligning Hammers to Strings
  • Setting Proper Hammer Stroke
  • Resetting Keys to Proper Height and Spacing
  • Removing Lost Motion


When completed the piano will have the dynamic control and response you expect regardless if you are playing the softest or most powerful notes.


New pianos should be regulated within two years of purchase or the piano may wear poorly throughout the rest of its life cycle.


Voicing - The Hammers

Voicing is performed to compensate for compaction and wear of hammer felt that result from repeatedly striking the strings. If your piano has started to sound harsh, brassy or too bright, it may need voicing to adjust its tonal qualities to your liking.


Installing Humidity Control Systems

As covered on the Caring for Your Piano page of this web site, a humidity control system protects your piano from drastic humidity swings and helps keep your piano more stable between tunings. I am an experienced installer of systems on vertical and grand pianos.