What is Piano Tuning?
Piano tuning is the adjustment of the strings on your piano. Or in other words it is tuning the strings on your piano. Just like tuning a guitar, which has 6 strings and has to be tuned every so often, a piano has 240 strings and has to be tuned every six months to a year. Because there are so many strings, the piano can be hard to make “stable” or stay in tune. This is because sometimes when your piano tuner is adjusting the strings as he moves one string another string may move out of adjustment because of the tension change. This especially happens when you have not tuned your piano in several years. To overcome this the tuner will need to perform a pitch raise…
What is a pitch raise?
As you read above, the tuner is going along tuning all 240 strings on your piano and he is sure that he is setting them correctly, but when he finishes and checks it, and everything has changed. Why? This happens when it has been a long enough time since your piano has been tuned that the overall pitch of the instrument has dropped. When you attempt to bring it back to pitch the strings don't want to stay in tune. This is where the pitch raise comes in. The tuner will tune the piano quickly one time, and then tune it a second time so that he can correct any of the notes that have moved around in the first pass. So instead of tuning 240 strings on that visit he will have to tune 480 strings, tuning each string twice. Typical fee for pitch raise is an additional $50.
What is normally included in a “piano tuning”?
Across our industry you will generally find that when a piano technician is hired for a piano tuning, it will include tuning all 240 strings on your piano once and some minor repairs taking less than 10 mins. The included repairs might be things like adjusting a squeaky pedal or some very quick repair. If it takes longer than 10 mins there is a small fee of $25 per every 15 mins of repair/pitch raise work. Pitch raises are not included in piano tuning. They are typically around $50, but we do charge by the hour as stated above. These are the guidelines that we work within, but above all we are there to help you with your piano and are trying to do the most we can without having to charge you anything additional. Technicians use their discretion, but if there is an additional amount of work that has to be done we charge reasonably and appropriately for it.
How much does piano tuning cost?
In the Dallas area piano tuning cost can range for many reasons. Since there is no license required to advertise that you are a piano tuner, it is a well known fact that our industry has many hobbyists and beginners. Piano tuning from those who are hobbyists usually are around $100. Professional piano technicians who have years of training and experience under their belt typically charge between $175 and $250 for piano tuning in the greater Dallas area. If you have gone many years without tuning your piano you can expect that it will cost around $250 - $300 regardless of who you hire. Many tuners will say they charge a low rate to get in the door and then hit you with larger additional fees for pitch raise and repair. Our pricing is simple and straightforward. Professional piano tuning is $175 plus tax and pitch raise is $50. So if you have gone many years without tuning your piano it will likely be around $225 plus tax. You can take my word that 90% of piano tuners are going to charge at least that or much more but they will not let you know upfront. My suggestion is to pick a piano tuning and piano repair company that has experience and is trustworthy. Choose Dallas Piano Tuners!
Will I be able to tell if my piano is out of tune?
Yes and no. You may be able to hear certain notes that are out of tune, but you most likely will not be able to tell if the overall pitch of the piano has moved from A440. This is where you need professional equipment to measure the pitch of the piano and determine if it needs tuning. Generally the pitch of a piano starts to change within 6 months of a tuning. So for those who really play a lot and need the piano on pitch and in tune, they have their piano tuning twice a year. The standard recommendation is once a year for tuning so that the pitch will not drift too far from A440, which is the standard pitch.
Whats the difference between “piano tuning” and “tune up”?
Thanks to the auto industry there is sometimes some confusion over this. A piano tuning is what is stated above “piano tuning will include tuning all 240 strings on your piano once and some minor repairs taking less than 10 mins”. This is not to be confused with a “tune up” for your car where a mechanic may go over many different aspects of your car giving it an overall “tune up”. A piano may have hundreds of things that are wrong with it and a piano tuning does not mean fixing all of those problems. It simply means to tune the strings on the piano, or in other words tuning means to work on correcting the sound of the piano via adjusting the strings.
What is the action of my piano?
The action of your piano is a complicated mechanism that bridges the gap between when you press the key and when you hear the sound. Most manufacturers recommend having the action serviced every 5 years. So if you have keys that are sticking, or the piano feels sluggish or heavy, it may be time to service this important component. Action work would not be included in a piano tuning. We may fix a sticking key or something simple as a courtesy to you while we are tuning. But a required action maintenance is not included in your annual tuning. Action repair is priced either by the job or if it is a small repair, by the hour. $25 per every 15 min increment.
How do you move a piano?
Piano moving can be a very labor intensive task if you do not know what you are doing or have the right equipment. However I learned when I was working at Steinway Hall Dallas that it is actually quite simple and easy if you are set up correctly. The piano movers first thoroughly wrap the piano with moving pads and plastic wrap to ensure it is padded and safe. The grand piano has three legs and a pedal lyre for a good reason. We will remove one leg and tilt the piano on its side and then remove the remaining legs. If the piano had four legs this would be more difficult. When pushing the piano up on its side the two piano movers are actually only lifting around 75 lbs each on average. Its a lot less than you would think. This is because you are not lifting the entire weight of the piano at once. Correctly trained piano movers will use leverage to their advantage so they don't have to waste their energy working harder than they have to. Then all we have to do is lift the piano a few inches to get a four wheel dolly under it and wheel your piano out of the door. When there are stairs or steps involved our piano movers will utilize ramps to move these heavy instruments up and down them.
How much does piano moving cost?
There are several factors that can affect the cost of piano moving such as going up a flight of stairs, or whether it is a grand or upright, location, etc... Despite our competitors charging nearly $400 per piano move in Dallas, our typical rate is around $200 to $250 for a standard piano move.
Are you insured?
Yes! Lots! Piano movers do not have to carry insurance by law. However the smart ones do. We carry a commercial auto policy that covers your piano while it is in transit as well as a million dollars worth business liability insurance that covers the piano and your belongings while we are moving your piano into your residence. The limits of our insurance make sure that we are secure in moving pianos in and out of the most wealthy neighborhoods, carrying the most expensive pianos.
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