Why do I need to tune my Piano?

There has never been an acoustic piano made by any company, at any price, that does not require a schedule of regular tunings. It is also a fact that a piano will go out of tune whether it is played or not.

The main reason pianos go out of tune is the changes in humidity from season to season, affecting all pianos, new and old, played or unplayed. Pianos go flat in the winter months when dry heat expelled from a heater draws moisture out of the piano's soundboard. In the spring, when you turn the heat off, the air is usually more moist. The soundboard absorbs this moisture, expands and causes the piano to go sharp by the time summer comes. These seasonal changes in tuning are often most obvious in the mid-range of the piano.

Fluctuations in room temperature surrounding the piano cause less of a change in tuning than humidity changes do. But, direct sunlight or direct heat from other sources can cause rapid changes in tuning.

When you move, it is not so much the transportation of the piano that throws the tuning out as much as the piano acclimatising to its new room environment. It is best to wait about 2 weeks after you move before you get the piano tuned.

If both humidity and temperature are controlled in the room where the piano is situated, these swings in tuning virtually disappear and the tuning (and the overall consistency of the touch response) is much more stable.

New strings can cause the pitch to go flat. New music wire is quite elastic and starts to stretch as soon as it is pulled up to pitch. This is why new pianos or pianos that have been restrung need to be tuned more frequently in the first year. Each time the wire is pulled up, the amount of stretching decreases and the tuning becomes more stable.

Slipping tuning pins can cause a piano to go flat. Older pianos that have been exposed to regular seasonal humidity changes over the years can have loose tuning pins and as a result, have poor tuning stability.

The louder and more often you play a piano, the faster it goes out of tune by a small amount. The force of a hammer repeatedly hitting a string can affect the equalization of tension along the string's length, and cause its pitch to be slightly altered.

To put the matter of tuning in perspective, remember that a concert piano is tuned before every performance, and a piano in a professional recording studio, where it is in constant use, is tuned 3 or 4 times every week as a matter of course.

How much does it cost to tune a piano?

Piano Tuning (Local)
  • Upright: $120.00 or Grand: $150.00
  • Half Price Tuning with any Piano Move
Piano Tuning (Over 30 mins Drive from base)
  • Upright: $125.00 or Grand: $155.00
  • (Minimum 4 pianos in area)
  • (Discounts may be available)
Piano Tuning (Interstate)
Piano Repairs
  • from $20.00

Discounts may be Available - please enquire
Half Price Tuning with any Piano Move

NOTE:

All piano tuning outside of Melbourne area is only available at certain times.
Please enquire about availability
Payment is to be made when the piano is tuned, or can be prepaid via direct deposit.
Businesses (Schools, Nursing Homes, Churches & Councils) may be sent a 7 day account.
Cash preferred. Cheque accepted.
Contact us to organize your piano tuning.

What is Concert Pitch?

Concert pitch (A440 - A above middle C vibrating at 440 times per second) has been universally accepted as the pitch to which all instruments should be tuned. It ensures that when instruments play together, they will all be in tune with one another. Pianos are designed and built to sound their best when tuned to A440. So when your piano's pitch drops due to lack of tuning, the quality of tone suffers.

Something happens when you don't tune your piano for a long time: every year that passes by, the pitch drops further and further away from where it should be, and it becomes harder for a piano tuner to pull it back up to its proper tension levels.

Technicians have to increase the tension of over 200 strings, which puts a lot of strain on the piano's structure. It is impossible to make such a big jump in pitch/tension and have the piano stabilize perfectly the first time. Thus, it can take a number of tunings before the pitch will settle and the piano will stay in tune.

Don't attempt any "home repairs" on your piano. Although it may appear easy to fix yourself, an innocent mistake can be costly. Let a technician do it - they have the right tools, replacement parts and expertise to do the job right the first time.

How Often should I tune my Piano?

Keep in mind that every piano is subject to one or more factors that will make it go out of tune, including:

  • Humidity changes
  • Temperature changes
  • Stretching of strings
  • Slipping tuning pins
  • Heavy or excessive use

How often you should tune your piano depends on its condition, the environment in which it is located, and the musical demands of the owner.

A piano used mainly as a furniture piece probably won't "need" to be tuned more than once a year. A piano that is played regularly and is in good condition would be better off with 2 tunings per year. A piano given a daily workout by a professional or serious student might need to be tuned more frequently, maybe 4 times a year or more. At this level of use, it's really up to the individual and at what point the tuning starts to bother them.

Steinway & Sons...
"...no matter how expertly a piano is tuned, atmospheric variations and the nature of the piano's construction constantly conspire to bring it off pitch"
Yamaha Pianos...
"...a piano should be tuned at least twice a year."
Baldwin Piano Company...
"After the first year a piano should be tuned at least twice each year."

Do you tune my brand of piano?

We tune any brand of piano, including:

  • Yamaha
  • Kawai
  • Beale
  • Alex Steinbach
  • Wertheim
  • Older German Pianos
  • Modern Pianos
  • Upright Pianos
  • Grand Pianos
  • Pianolas (Player Pianos)
  • YOUR Piano!
  • Contact us now!