How often do I need to have my piano tuned? Why does it go out of tune?
Generally, pianos should be tuned every 6 months or every year, even if they are not being played regularly. Pianos on the concert stage or in a recording studio may require more frequent tuning and attention.
The piano's main structure and soundboard are both made of wood, which expand and contract with climate change and humidity variation. Fluctuations in the wood net an out of tune piano. It is especially important to tune new pianos several times during their first few years to ensure that the string tension and piano structure reach a stable equilibrium.
What is a "pitch raise?"
All modern pianos are designed to be tuned and sound their best at "standard pitch," where A4=440 Hz. If a piano has not been tuned for an extended period of time (over 12 months) or has been through extreme climate fluctuations, or has been moved, the overall pitch of the piano may be significantly higher or lower than standard pitch and will require an overall pitch adjustment or "pitch raise."
As strings are adjusted, the tension of the strings change and greatly effect the piano's structure, causing the pitch of the strings previously adjusted to change. A pitch raise, in other words, is an adjustment of the overall tension on the piano.
A pitch raise is done prior to a regular fine tuning. Both can be completed in the same service appointment, but in very extreme cases, where multiple pitch raises are necessary, a second appointment may be necessary. The need for a pitch raise cannot be determined without assessing the piano in person.
Read more about pitch raises here.
Which areas do you service?
I service the area denoted in green on the map below. This includes, but is not limited to: the San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, San Marino, Altadena, Arcadia, La Cañada Flintridge, Eagle Rock, Sierra Madre, Alhambra, Burbank, & Glendale.
I'm moving. How can I move my piano safely and when should I have it tuned?
Moving your piano shouldn't be stressful and you most definitely should not attempt to move it yourself. Hire an
insured piano mover, not just any mover! The piano is a fragile instrument and permanent damage can easily be done by an inexperienced mover. I would be glad to refer you to someone in your city.
Generally, I recommend waiting about one month after your move to tune the piano, allowing the piano to acclimate to the new location. This will net a more stable tuning than had it been tuned immediately.
Can you tell me how much my piano is worth? Do you offer appraisals?
The short answer: Yes
The long answer: There are two options below.
As an add-on to a technical inspection, I offer a "condition report." The purpose of the condition report is to assist a buyer in the potential purchase of a piano, by providing a detailed perspective on the condition of the piano being considered, warn of any red flags, and suggest any treatment or repairs the piano might benefit from. The condition report does not state a monetary value of the piano. Please see more information about this service
at this link.
If you need your piano appraised, I work together with a Qualified Appraiser to present you with the official appraisal documents you need. Please see more information about this service
at this link.
What is regulation?
Despite frequent tuning, you may find that your piano does not respond and feel the way it did years ago. The piano "action" is composed of levers, felt, cloth, pivot points, and wood. As the instrument settles, is effected by climate change, and is played, these parts need adjustment so that the piano performs the way it was designed to perform. A well-regulated piano responds consistently from key-to-key, allowing for ideal playability and dynamic control by the pianist.
What is a RPT (Registered Piano Technician)?
The Piano Technicians Guild is a nonprofit organization that regulates the trade of piano technology. A RPT is a piano technician who has undergone and passed tuning, technical, and written exams according the the Piano Technicians Guild standards. The Registered Piano Technician certification is the only official guild certification for piano technicians in the United States. To find out more about Registered Piano Technicians, click
What type of payments do you accept?
I accept paper check, cash, and Square (which allows you to pay by credit card, debit card, or Apple Pay).
My piano is very dirty and dusty. Do you clean pianos?
I offer a piano cleaning package where I clean the entire piano inside and out. Despite string covers, piano covers, and a clean house, pianos are dust collectors and it is best to have them cleaned for the sake of your health and for the piano. I recommend that the piano is cleaned before a tuning, as to not disturb the strings once they have been tuned. I can clean and tune your piano in the same service call.
I am considering donating or gifting my old piano. What should I know?
I am contacted quite frequently by people who are moving or want to get rid of their poor, neglected piano that hasn't been kept up with. Generally speaking (exceptions do occur), these pianos often require extensive service, far exceeding the piano's current value, not to mention the cost of moving the piano. I recommend having the piano assessed before considering donation. More often than not, the owner assumes they are doing someone a favor by donating their old piano, but upon hiring a technician to tune and revive the instrument to playability, the new owner soon realizes it wasn't quite as good as they thought! If you are considering donating your piano, please give me a ring. I'd love to help.
What is "new piano prep?"
It may seem strange that a brand new piano, fresh out of the box, needs work. The reality is, there are so many intricate moving components in a piano, that every new piano could benefit from some level of attention when it arrives to a showroom and/or when it is delivered to the buyer's home. In addition to the complexity of the instrument's components, most pianos have taken a lengthy, sometimes overseas, journey to their new home. The changes in climate from one part of the country or world, to another, affects the piano significantly.
The amount of "new piano prep" and attention a piano may need varies from piano to piano. Certain manufacturers and piano dealers usually have a protocol that a local technician should run through, ideally before a new piano is sold to a customer. Despite manufacturers' checklists and suggestions, some piano dealers will skimp on how much new piano prep is done, in order to make more profit on the sale. It is important to consult with your piano technician and have them inspect the piano before purchase, so you are aware if the piano has been prepped well (or at all), and if it might benefit from any further adjustments.
Do you repair digital pianos and keyboards?
I do not service and repair digital pianos/keyboards. I recommend contacting the manufacturer to obtain a referral to a certified service center for your instrument:
- Casio - https://www.casio.com/support/musicservicecenters
- Kawai - https://kawaius.com/technical-support-division/warranty-repairs/
- Korg - https://www.korgusa.com/KorgDealers
- Roland - https://www.roland.com/us/support/service_repair/service_centers/
- Yamaha - https://www.yamaha.com/paragon/servicerlocator/?_ga=2.58150186.1409672612.1603078532-1276323694.1602884806