Q. What is an RPT?
A. A Registered Piano Technician (RPT) has passed a series of rigorous examinations on the maintenance, repair, and tuning of pianos. Only RPTs are authorized by The Piano Technicians Guild to display the logo containing the words “Registered Piano Technician”. CLICK HERE for a full definition. Or here to for my personal RPT Page.
Q. How often does a piano need to be tuned?
A. Pianos should be tuned yearly at a minimum, however it is important to consider the use of the instrument. For those who only play the piano sparingly, or perhaps only use it as a piece of furniture, then they may only get it tuned every couple years. Concert venues, however, often get their pianos tuned multiple times per year (sometimes even twice on the same day!).
Q. What causes a piano to go out of tune?
A. There are various factors that affect the tuning stability of a piano. The two primary causes of going out of tune are changes in Temperature and Humidity. When the temperature goes from warm to cool a piano can even go out of tune overnight. A piano usually needs to be tuned after being moved as well. And of course if there are technical malfunctions with the piano (i.e. a cracked bridge or loose tuning pins) that could also affect the tuning stability of your piano. We will check all of these factors for you and make recommendations for keeping your piano in the best condition possible.
Q. I need to move my piano, should I do that myself or hire someone?
A. You can feel free to do it yourself, but I have always hired that job out to the professionals. I have used Thresher Piano Movers for years and successfully referred them to many clients who have also been happy with their services.
Q. Do you tune the piano by ear or do you use a machine?
A. My response to this is always the same: I use both. The first pass or two I use my device and then I always complete the fine tuning by ear to make sure it sounds the best possible. As a Registered Piano Technician we are required to pass a rigorous aural tuning exam, as well as regulation and repair exams. Using a tuning device is kind of like doing long division with a calculator instead of by long-hand; it saves time and the end result is beautiful.
Q. What is a pitch raise?
A. Pianos are tuned to a standard of A440. When a piano hasn’t been tuned for a while though, the pitch of the entire piano (measured in cents) drops, sometimes significantly. A drop of one ½ step equals a 100 cent drop (e.g. from F to E). In most cases if a piano has dropped in pitch more than 4-5 cents (yep, pretty small tolerances) then it needs a pitch raise.
It’s essentially an initial “rough pass” followed up by a fine tuning. If no pitch raise is necessary, then I spend extra time regulating, voicing, cleaning and/or repairing things that are of concern so that you can ensure your piano is in its optimal playing condition at all times.
Q. How much do you charge and what is included in your service?
A. For pricing CLICK HERE
Q. Do pianos need anything else besides the yearly tuning?
A. Yes, pianos also need overall regulation and voicing, as well as hammer filing, action replacement, and even rebuilding. We offer all of these services which are done either entirely by me or in conjunction with my partners. These services can take a ½ day, a full day or more depending on what needs to be done. If the piano needs new action, or rebuilding then I will educate you on what your options are and how best to proceed in getting your piano into the condition you want and need.
Sometimes your piano might need a new piano bench, music desk, or a humidification system. Again, you will find my experience and education process refreshing and enlightening, as I empower you to make the most logical decision on how to best service your specific piano’s needs.
Q. Do I need to remember to get my piano tuned next year or will you remind me?
A. Leave it up to me. I make it a point to call you each year to schedule your tuning. One thing less that you have to worry about in your otherwise busy schedule!
Q. How long will I have to wait for you to come tune my piano?
A. Sometimes we can get to you in the same day if there is an emergency. In most cases you’re looking at a few days (sometimes weeks) out, but we’ve been known to get my clients in before they can bat an eye. So CLICK HERE to see our availability or give us a call/text at (801) 410-0018 and we’ll get you in pronto.