Is it hard to tune a piano by yourself?
Unlike guitars or violins however, the piano tuning process is incredibly complex and actually requires years of training and practice to master. When buying an acoustic piano or second hand piano, a lot of people fall into the misconception that you are able to easily tune the piano yourself.
Although anyone can be trained to learn piano tuning, it's best to hire a professional piano technician to do this important maintenance on your instrument.
Most musicians can tune their instruments whenever they like. The exception is the pianist, who typically isn't trained to tune the piano's 200-plus strings. Instead, both amateur and professional piano players must hire a technician to get their instrument in shape.
According to the Piano Technicians Guild(Opens in a new window), which offers certification to its members, it takes two to five years of training and practice to develop competence in piano tuning and repair.
If your piano has gone without tuning for an extended period of time, its pitch may have dropped well below standard pitch at which it was designed to perform. It may require a procedure called a "pitch raise"or "pitch correction".
After calling seven piano tuning companies, independent technicians, and taking extensive notes, we determined that the average cost to tune a piano is between $50 and $175. Additional services and repairs add more to the overall cost, depending on the condition of your piano.
An acoustic piano needs regular care if it is going to work well. If a piano has gone five or ten years without being tuned, then tuning it once won't be enough. Pianos get set in their ways as they age. A piano that hasn't been tuned in a long time will go out of tune again very quickly.
Octaves on a piano are not tuned pure. Because of inharmonicity, the higher partials of a single piano string are slightly sharper than theory would predict. The higher the partial; the sharper the pitch. Shorter piano strings have a higher inharmonicity.
While you may be able to do so with proper tools and guidance, an experienced piano tuner can provide a first-class piano tuning. In fact, professional tuners spend a career perfecting their skills.
You'll notice, the yellow dot moves around quite a bit, so the pianist is not focusing on only one hand at a time, but rather, splitting their attention between the two when it is necessary! So it's clear, that pianists DO look at the piano keys when they play!
Do pianists still use sheet music?
That's just an example, but the technique required to play each style, the change in rhythmic approach and more can slow down the memory process. For this reason, you will often find pianists performing Contemporary music with sheet music.
Pianos are built with natural wood which is susceptible to humidity and temperature swings. High humidity causes wood to absorb moisture. This expands the instrument casing, which can alter the sound. During drier months, piano strings slack, creating an overall tune that just sounds off.
While it is not customary to tip a piano tuner since the price reflects the service level, it is truly a personal choice.
Pianos Fall Out of Tune over Time
Pianos need regular tuning at least once a year to keep them up to pitch and playing the correct notes. In particular, piano strings stretch a great deal during the first year after purchase, and the piano should be tuned twice during this one-year period.
Most piano tuners would probably admit to having a degree of relative pitch but most do not have perfect pitch. It is certainly not a prerequisite for becoming a piano tuner.
10-20 years: Depending on use and environment, sometimes pianos feel brand new while at other times, they might feel subtly broken in. At 30 years: the difference between the new, tight and succinct feel of a piano can change depending on use. With light use, pianos will feel like the 20-year version.
Humidity and temperature swings, drafts, sunlight, and exposure to moisture all damage the wood. All of this means more tunings for your piano. If you'd like to see me no more than twice a year for regular tunings, protect your piano from unnecessary damage.
If the piano is older than 40 years old, generally, take a pass on that piano. The exception to this is owner care. If the owner had the piano service annually, then a 40 year old piano is much better than a 25 year old piano that hasn't been serviced even once.
Age of piano
Older or more neglected pianos may require more extensive repairs and refinements before tuning, which will make the overall cost higher than for a standard tuning. Also, the more out of tune a piano, the more the tuning might cost.
Even so, to avoid disappointments as your piano is passed down to your children, you need to know that the average manufactured piano lasts about 30 years, whereas a handcrafted piano like a Steinway can go well beyond 50 years.
How long do piano strings last?
How Often Should A Piano Be Restrung? A general rule of thumb is that all of the strings in a piano should be replaced every thirty years. This is recommended by many piano builders and professional piano tuners. This loose recommendation applies to single-string changes and complete replacements.
Why the best time to tune a piano is either spring or fall. As you know, pianos are very sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity, and the biggest changes happen as you change over from winter to spring, and then again from summer to fall.
Test: Play a simple scale (start at middle C and move right playing all the white notes until you hit the next C). If a note is particularly twangy, that note is out of tune with itself. Additionally, you can tell a note is out of tune with itself if: It doesn't have a pure or rich tone.
The high-quality materials of your permanent lifetime piano substantially contribute to its cost. They also distinguish your piano from its less expensive mimickers. The type and quality of the wood, particularly in the soundboard, determine the quality of your piano's timbre.
it's possible that the tuner set a temperament that is noisier than it might have been. you could ask the dealer for a tuning with less "stretch" and see if that helps. or possibly you do need some voicing. but voicing is usually not resorted to until all tuning and regulation issues have been resolved.
Scientific studies and research show that playing musical instruments, like the piano, can even have a positive impact on your IQ. Studies that have been done throughout the years show that after about a year of weekly piano lessons and practicing, on average, children's IQ went up about 4.3 points.
Studies find that there is a very high correlation between IQ and musical ability: Many studies have shown a link between musical training, intelligence, and verbal abilities in general and verbal memory in particular.
It's all about practise!
In practise the pianist learns to remember all phrases, bars and notes. Then they start to gain the muscle memory. Without having the muscle memory the brain will be simply overloaded with a lot to think of, at each bar which results in lack of fluency in performance.
Yes, you can play the piano without reading music by listening to music and memorizing which pattern of keys to play. Not being able to read music limits what songs you can play. Most music is written in notation, so you will need to learn how to read it to be able to play anything new.
So why is sheet music so expensive? Sheet music is expensive because it costs a lot of money to produce. Many people are involved in the publishing of sheet music and they must be paid at every stage. Composing, engraving, editing, publishing, printing, shipping and selling at stores drive the cost of sheet music up.
How long should a piano sit before turning?
A piano needs at least 3 to 5 days to fully acclimate before tuning. After this time period, you can have the piano tuned. There's a common misconception that pianos need two or even three weeks to adjust before tuning. The reality, however, is that pianos can acclimate in as little as 72 hours.
The final aspect of tuning is setting the unisons (the two or three strings which comprise one note) so that they sound as one. It is the unisons that are the first to be noticed going out of tune by most people and that is when they sound 'twangy'.
The first music genre to be commonly known as honky-tonk music was a style of piano playing related to ragtime but emphasizing rhythm more than melody or harmony; the style evolved in response to an environment in which the pianos were often poorly cared for, tending to be out of tune and having some nonfunctioning ...
Most professional piano tuners will do about 3-5 tunings a day if they are working in home. This usually comes out to a 7-8 hour day with driving. Let's assume they spend about $400 a month in advertising and about driving about 50 miles a day with a 5 day work week.
[JanHerman] knows that tuning musical instruments is all about precision and that precision is measured in a logarithmic unit called a cent. A cheap tuner unit might be accurate to 1.5 cents which sounds good until you look at one for ten times the price and find it is accurate to 0.1 cents.
Generally speaking, when you turn off your heating in the spring and when you turn it on again in the Autumn you will not be far away from needing your piano tuned. Pianos under 'industry standards' should be tuned twice a year. We allow pianos to go up to 6 months between a tuning under the terms of our guarantees.
What is the best time of year to tune my piano? There really is no 'best' time, since humidity is constantly fluctuating. If you tune more than once per year, perhaps the best times would be after each major change in the heating/cooling seasons.
Are old pianos better than new ones? The answer is: it depends. Old pianos can continue to sound wonderful for many years with regular maintenance and care, but even pianos that have deteriorated can often be restored to their former glory, and in many cases made to sound even better than when they were new.
Out of every 10,000 musicians, however, between 100 and 1100 (that's 1-11%) may have the gift. Perfect pitch is also observed to run in families, which suggests it's at least partially genetic.
And we can similarly calculate that the average piano tuner performs: (50 weeks/year)×(5 days/week)×(8 hours/day)×(1 piano tuning per 2 hours per piano tuner) = 1000 piano tunings per year per piano tuner.
Is it OK to move a piano yourself?
At least four people are needed to properly and safely move a piano, whether it's a baby grand or an upright. Ask friends or family members who you believe are physically capable of moving a heavy object and don't have any existing injuries.
PianoMeter is a piano tuning app that will transform your device into a professional quality electronic tuning aid. The "free" version of this app is primarily for evaluation, and it only allows you to tune notes on the piano between C3 and C5.
Every time your piano's hammer strikes a string, the steel is stressed. The more you play, the more stress the string endures, so you'll need frequent tunings to keep up.
Reason #1: Movement affects the sound
Surprisingly, this often goes unaddressed over many years of piano training. Young students are encouraged to be expressive in whatever ways come naturally to them, and that can include a lot of movement beyond what is useful for playing the piano.
The average time recommended to tune a piano after moving is about three weeks. Most experts say from two to eight weeks is how long you should wait to tune a piano after moving. Of course, some experts say you need less than two weeks, and some experts say more than eight weeks.
When trying to move a piano out of narrow doorways or into smaller areas, like pickup trucks or around tight corners, you may have to turn it on its side. This will not harm or damage the piano but should be done with care.