Tuning a Piano: Questions and Answers

If you own a piano, over time it may sound a bit out of tune. The process to correctly tune a piano requires a good ear and real experience. In order for your beautiful instrument to sound correctly, it's important that it be tuned regularly so you can have years of enjoyment with it. Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about having your investment tuned properly.

How Much Will it Cost?

More than likely, there are several professionals in your area you can call to come in and tune your piano. Prices can vary depending on the size or age of the piano, how much it's gone out of tune, or other factors. Generally, the price to have it tuned can range anywhere from $75 to $200. If there is any damage to the piano such as broken strings, there will be an extra cost incurred to get those issues corrected and repaired.

Can I Tune it Myself?

While it's certainly possible for you to try and tune the piano yourself, it is not recommended. A special tool called a tuning lever is used to help tighten or loosen the pins and strings inside the piano. If you use tools like a wrench or pliers, you can damage the pins inside the piano and this can cause expensive damage. If you turn the pins too tightly, they can cause too much tension on the strings, causing them to snap or causing the pin to break off.

How Do I Know it's out of Tune?

As you're playing the piano, you may notice certain notes sound out of key. To the untrained ear, it might sound fine but an experienced piano player knows what the correct sounds should be. You can use software designed to recognize notes that might be out of tune, but it is not as accurate as a real tuner. There are many pocket sized handheld tuners you can purchase that will help you determine if your piano is out of tune. A chromatic tuner is modestly priced, and makes it very easy to recognize if a note is out of tune. 

How Often Should I Tune my Piano?

In general, an annual tuning is necessary to help protect the life and health of your piano. If you play it heavily, you may need to have it tuned more frequently. Since the weather can have an impact on the piano's strings, it is recommended to have it tuned twice per year, once during the summer and once during the winter. You should also have your piano tuned any time you move and the piano needs to be transported, since this can disturb the mechanics inside the piano. For more information, contact Cannon Pianos.