The tuning of your piano can change for many reasons and regular tuning is essential to get the most out of your instrument. Environmental conditions, tuning technique, heavy usage and also the length of time in between tunings can all drastically effect tuning stability.
Average frequency for domestic piano tunings is 2-4 times per year and anything up to 2-3 times per day for pianos being used in a professional capacity.
A standard piano tuning will take approximately 1 hour to complete and a pitch raise will take around 1 hour 30 mins. A pitch raise generally involves a quick first tuning, and then a second pass to fine tune.
Should a pitch move in excess of a 2HZ be necessary, a second tuning is advisable within 8 weeks of the piano pitch raise to stabilise.
It is best to maintain a consistent temperature, and to be aware of the effects that fluctuating temperature and humidity can have on pianos. Due to the nature of materials used in piano manufacture (wood, felt,leather, metal) sudden changes in temperature or humidity will result in unstable tuning, regulation and sometimes voicing.
Be aware of underfloor heating, positioning your piano close to a radiator, near sunny or drafty windows, next to cold walls or walls with hot internal pipes and be sure to use a humidifier/dehumidifier if your humidity is variable or outside of most manufacturers recommendation of 40-60% humidity.
Despite taking many years learning to tune an equal temperament scale by ear, using a mixture of intervals and checks, I currently use a piano tuning app called TuneLab. I find the results to be not only more accurate, but also much more stable.
I tune many makes and models of pianos throughout Herts, Beds and Bucks for domestic customers, schools, churches, recording studios and concert venues, with prices starting from as little as £70 for customers within a 15 mile radius of Milton Keynes.
PIANO TUNING & MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS
I currently have over 100 pianos on rotation for tuning & maintenance contracts at various locations nationwide including schools, churches, institutions and concert venues.
I can advise on tuning and maintenance frequency and provide strategies to keep on top of servicing requirements in high use enviroments. If time and access are an issue, I can offer teams of piano technicians to allow large volumes of tuning and technical work to be carried out in short periods of time.
If you want the tone of your piano to sound different, this is made possible by manipulating the hammer felt. Piercing the hammer felt with needles can vary the attack, brightness, sustain, openness and clarity of the sound.
It is also possible to add more power, attack, or brightness to the tone by needling, applying a hardening solution or ironing the felt.
The re-shaping of a hammers profile and in turn, reduction of the amount of felt that comes in to contact with the strings can also drastically improve the sound. Careful filing of each individual string groove on the nose of the hammer also makes for a much more direct and focused sound with greatly increased sustain when the piano is properly voiced and in tune.
Voicing needs to be done straight after a tuning and so it is not possible to book a stand alone voicing appointment. If it is not a piano that I usually look after, I will need to come and see it first to gauge condition of the hammers (usually most economical to book a tuning appointment)
If the hammers have not been regularly shaped, or if the piano has been heavily used, the hammers will most likely be flat and in need of reshaping. This can take anywhere from 1-2 and half hours. It is possible to voice flat hammers but this will not produce the best results and I would not advise wasting your money.
Your piano is made up of thousands of small parts. It is Important that they are all adjusted correctly and evenly to allow your piano to respond in the way that you want it to.
Regulation changes gradually over time and poor regulation can cause unresponsiveness, bad repetition, sluggish keys and a heavy, uneven touch.
It is advisable to have your piano serviced regularly to correct any wear to parts that may have occurred, and to minimise excessive wear of any parts in the future.
It is advisable to have a piano in a domestic setting serviced at least every couple of years. This would generally include, tuning, cleaning, hammer shaping and fitting to strings, voicing, lubrication of pedals, action, and regulation.
Service work can usually be carried out on site although more extensive work may involve removal of the piano, or the piano action to my workshop. Although I am a Yamaha specialist, I also have vast experience servicing Steinway, Boston, Essex, Bosendorfer and Kawai pianos.
I service pianos in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
I specialise in Yamaha pianos, although I do have wide experience working on most other makes and models.
Services I offer include:
- Piano Hammer replacement
- Action Refurbishment, key weighting and complete felt replacement
- Replacement of key bushings
- Replacement of strings and tuning pins
- Damper felt replacement
- Fitting new, or upgrading existing castors (wheels)
I collect pianos for restoration from Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire although nationwide assessment and collection can be arranged.
PIANO CASEWORK REPAIRS - I use Rags & Riches piano polishers for my casework repairs and restoration. Please contact email@example.com
to arrange a repair.
PIANO CLEANING - This is included as part of a service appointment but can also be arranged individually for the interior of the piano.
TRANSPORT & STORAGE - I use piano transport specialists Hartwell Haulage for all of my piano moves.
Please email Darren Hartwell to discuss your requirements at firstname.lastname@example.org
INDEPENDENT PIANO ASSESSMENTS & INSURANCE REPORTS - I have wide experience in examining pianos and preparing professional reports on the condition of pianos for many reasons including manufacturer warranty reports, assessment for restoration or filing for insurance claims.