Frequency of Piano Tuning | How Often Should you Tune it?

When a piano is correctly tuned, the sounds it produces can be heavenly, especially if the piano is well crafted and rightly positioned. However, with time, the quality of sound produced by the piano will degrade, and the music that once inspired a love for music starts to repel listeners.

It is important for your piano to keep producing reliable and accurate notes. That is why you need to regularly tune the piano. Even as a pianist with no technical knowledge of how the piano works, you need to know when your piano needs tuning.

In this article, we discuss how often your piano should be tuned and when to contact a piano tuner. For further information, visit our company website.

The basics of piano tuning

For a piano to be tuned, the tension on each string of the piano needs to be adjusted by the technician until they vibrate at the appropriate rate.

A piano’s standard tuning is A440. For this to be achieved, the A note above the middle C must vibrate at the rate of 440 cycles per second.

There is a specific frequency on which each not on the piano must vibrate. So, once the A above the middle C has been properly tuned, it would only take a simple calculation to tune the rest of the notes. For example, the A below the middle C vibrates at 220 cycles per second, and the A after the one above the middle C should vibrate at 880 cycles per second.

This standard tuning is important because it helps pianists to perform in harmony with other instruments.

Signs that your piano is out of tune

The following are some of the signs you need to look out for to know whether your piano is out of tune and needs the attention of a piano tuner:

  • If the piano sounds bad, then you can be sure that it is out of tune.
  • If the A notes do not match the A440 standard tuning system.
  • If single notes are not in tune with themselves, or a note is sounding twangy.
  • If the octaves are not in tune with themselves.
  • If the major chords do not sound pure.
  • If your piano has not been tuned in a year, it’s most likely out of tune.

Causes of Piano intonation

The following are some of the reasons why a piano may go out of tune:

  • Excessive use of the piano
  • Regular changes in humidity or temperature
  • Natural changes over a period of time
  • Jostling while moving the piano
  • When the piano is not placed on an inside wall

How often should you tune your piano?

Tuning is an integral aspect of piano maintenance. Regularly tuning your piano ensures that the tension in the strings does not loosen too much. It also helps the technician to check the piano for signs of any soundboard damage or action.

While the general recommendation by most piano manufacturers is that you get your piano tuned at least once in six months, there are times when additional tuning will be necessary within this duration.

When it comes to brand new pianos, three to four annual tunings are advised. This will allow the strings to stretch and settle for optimum performance. As a result of how the strings are affected by excessive playing, more regular tuning may be needed for pianos that are more frequently used such as those in churches, practice rooms, and piano studios.

A typical piano used for recording or performance is tuned before each use. Also, more frequent tunings will be necessary for pianos that go through extreme humidity changes, and those that are often moved from one location to the other. According to pianoworld.com, some concert pianos are tuned every day!

How much does piano tuning cost?

When your piano is regularly maintained by a piano tuner, its value and sound can be retained for years. So, tuning your piano will cost you some money; it’s part of the cost of owning one.

The following are some of the factors to consider when calculating how much it would cost to tune your piano:

  • A typical piano tuner will charge you per hour. If your piano is seriously out of tune, the pitch will have to be raised before the piano is fine-tuned. This will require the technician to adjust the strings to vibrate faster than the standard tuning of A440. With the strings stretched beyond normal, they will eventually settle at A440, after which the technician proceeds to fine-tune them. All these take time, and so will the cost of tuning the piano.
  • Repairs and replacements can sometimes be needed before the piano is tuned. This kind of work may include repairing a damaged soundboard, getting worn or old strings replaced, or correcting loose tuning pins. All these problems must be fixed before the technician proceeds to tune the piano. This extra work will increase how much you will need to pay.
  • When you delay in tuning the piano, it gets affected by temperature and humidity change, leading to the expansion and contraction of the soundboard. The will require the technician to tune the piano to itself, ensuring that there is a match in the notes at each octave. After this process of rough-tuning, the fine-tuning can then be completed. Again, time is a cost factor here.

It would cost you between $65 to $225 to tune a piano. If the tuning sessions or repairs needed by your piano are many, you can expect to spend hundreds of dollars.

The best way to know how much it would cost you to tune your piano is to contact a technician to inspect the piano and give you quotes.

The Bottom Line

Your piano is a complex machine with a lot of regulated parts. It is important that you treat it well so that you can enjoy it for many years. How often you should tune your piano will depend on factors such as how often you use the piano, when last you turned it, the humidity changes, etc.

The best way to maintain your piano is to engage the service of a professional piano tuner. They will listen to the sound produced by the piano and fix whatever needs to be fixed.

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Home Base Project Team
At The Home Base Project, we offer practical, real-life tips and inspiration about DIY, decorating and gardening. The Home Base Project provide the best information about home renovation and design, connecting home design enthusiasts and home professionals across the world.

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