Hearing the piano is soothing enough so what more if you could actually play it, right? We all know that playing the piano is no child’s play.
As a matter of fact, it is considered as one of the hardest instruments to play. But with excessive use or if it becomes unused in a long period of time, the piano in all its elegance and beauty could be out of tune too. Of course, the recourse is to tune it up but how much will it cost you?
Why do you need to tune a piano?
There are a lot of reasons why a piano needs to be tuned but it all boils down to one immediate reason: key tension.
You see, when a piano is overused or underused, the piano becomes subjected to very high tension and as time goes by, the strings tend to stretch. When the strings stretch, the tone registers will be out of hand and will not make good music at all.
Yearly maintenance is recommended for piano strings to achieve the desired A440 vibrating frequency. This brings the pitch up and will harmonize the strings correctly.
Strings tension is particularly attributed to not being used since it becomes exposed to many contributing factors of strings tension. The most common of these factors would be humidity and temperature. It is due to the fact that the wooden parts of the piano will expand and the contract causing pressure change on the strings, thus, resulting in over tighten strings.
How often should I tune my piano?
As have been mentioned, piano tuning should be done once a year to maintain its good pitch and harmony. Special consideration is done for new pianos though. Since the wooden parts need to settle first, tuning the piano must be done three to four times in the first year that you acquired it.
Can you tune a piano on your own?
While it is convenient to tune a piano on your own, thousands of personal testimonies (you can check these on Google) already showed that it is more than just plyers and wrenches and irreversible damages that you will regret in the end.
First off, are you using the right wrenches? Did you tighten them just enough or too much? Strings that were not tightened enough are easy to identify because even the keys get loose when you play them. But the overtightened strings cause the key itself to pop out if forced causing you more for key replacement.
Other than this, would you know if the tuning pin has been properly stabilized? And if your piano is kind of old or you purchased it second-hand and did not bother asking for the piano’s age, what would you do if the strings get broken?
You might have seen one DIY their piano tuning but not all models are the same and age is an important variable. While there is software that helps piano tuners now, most of the tuning is still manual labor and if you do not know how it is properly done, you will end up damaging your piano more.
How long does it take to tune a piano?
When a piano is tuned once a year, tuning might take one to one and a half hours. When your tuner fix up the tuning in less than this range, you might want to check another piano tuner because for sure, your piano did not get the proper tuning. In some instances when the piano has underlying issues on pitch, tones and strings, piano tuning could extend to up to four hours.
Can I tune a piano that has not been used for 10 years or more?
It may be a bit of a relief to know that almost all pianos can be tuned regardless of the age, a lot of risk comes with old ones. For starters, unused pianos for more than ten years or longer could have rusty strings and tuning them up will only cause them to finally break.
Most often than not, the strings snap while leveling the pitch and results in almost dead tunes especially in the bass register.
How much will it cost to tune a piano?
More or less, piano tuning could range from $70 to $250 depending on the condition. But this range is not that fixed though. Sometimes you can go more than this range especially when the piano requires multiple tuning sessions or repairs.
To conclude, piano tuning might be easy when you imagine it but actually doing it requires professional tuning skills and that doing it on your own is not recommended. There are various reasons as to why pianos need to be tuned but mostly, it is due to the piano’s age, how often it is used and the environmental factors it is exposed to.