Most manufacturers recommend tuning at least twice a year. Pianos have over 200 strings with about 150 lbs. tension each, totaling to around 30,000 lbs. of tension. As a result, pianos are constantly dropping in tension and pitch. If your piano has not been tuned within 12 months, it may have dropped in pitch too much to be brought back up in one tuning. If so, you can send a request for a quote or call on the phone to discuss your options.
Extra tuning is required because for every amount I raise the pitch on a string, it changes back 10-38% in ten minutes. A pitch raise, then, consists of rough tuning the instrument above standard pitch by a calculated amount, so that the pitch ends up close enough to A-440 that on a second tuning, it can be tuned optimally.
Types of Tuning – When you make your appointment to have me come and tune your piano, the ﬁrst thing Iʼll do is measure your piano to see how far out of tune it is. How out of tune the piano presents will determine the approach needed to return the piano to standard pitch.
Fine Tuning – This technique of tuning can be used if the piano presents as being barely out of tune, 1/16 of a step or less.
Stretch Tuning – The piano has moved more than a 1/16 of a step but presents in such a fashion that a pitch alteration is not needed.
Pitch Alterations – When a pianoʼs pitch has moved substantially sharp or ﬂat, some form of a pitch alteration is needed to help stabilize the instrument. A pitch raise is needed when the piano has fallen ﬂat. A pitch down is needed when the piano has pulled sharp. There are varying approaches to take with pitch alterations depending on how the piano presents.
Regularly scheduled maintainence tunings are the key to having your piano presenting at its best. How out of tune the piano presents will determine the cost of tuning. The more in tune your piano is, the less time it takes to tune and the lower the cost. Conversely, the more out of tune your piano is, the more time it takes to tune and the higher the cost. The difference is time.