Have you ever touched a piano, hoping to be blessed with an eargasm, but suffered a completely different fate- the unbearable, wretched noise of an off-tuned piano? It’s hard to believe that the piano is ever off its game, but perfection is a myth. If you’re a player with big plans for the future, you should know that managing a piano is not the sweet, saccharine experience you’re thinking of.
Despite its strong and sturdy build, the piano is made up of one too many delicate parts. These parts will wear and tear and the slightest shifts and swells, and the notes will end up out of tune. Changes in the weather and regular use seem to be the most common factors that prompt a piano into winding out of tune. Like taking a child for health check-ups, you’ll have to get your piano tuned regularly.
Through maintenance, your piano will retain its rich and full sound for years to come. This is the cost of being a piano-owner.
How A Piano Is Tuned?
Piano tuning is a skill of professionals. An experienced technician will tune your piano by adjusting the tension on each piano string until they’re vibrating at the required pace. This is a long and complex process.
Generally, a piano is standardly tuned at “A440”. By this, we mean that the A note above the middle C vibrates at a rate of 440 cycles per second. Once you know this, tuning the rest of the piano pertains to quick math and deft hands. For instance, the A in the next octave will vibrate at 880 cycles, while the A below “A440” will vibrate at 220 Cycles. All there’s left to do is to tune these strings accordingly.
Should You Tune Your Piano?
An in-tune piano is great because an in-tune piano sounds like it’s supposed to- sweet and mellifluous. Not only is this a crowd-pleaser, but an in-tune piano is also the backbone of any musical group. Its standard tuning can be used to support and tune other instruments.
An unused piano can stay in tune for years together. But the point of buying a piano is to use it, so the difficulties of tuning are inevitable. You might be great at taking care of your piano, but high-quality maintenance isn’t enough to keep your piano devoid of its downfalls.
Throughout their course, pianos are bound to experience some swelling, like internal expansion, contraction, and shifting. Environmental factors like humidity, climate change may influence your piano.
How you use your piano also matters. The intensity at which you play can also lead your piano into losing tune. This is why regular tuning is advised. This keeps the tension in the strings from slacking and is also an opportunity for your technician to scan your piano for any damages incurred.
Most producers suggest a routine two-time tuning every year to give your piano the best maintenance.
The Cost Of Tuning Your Piano
You now know that tuning your piano is a requirement and a highly efficient process to keep your playing clean. At this point you’re probably thinking about the win-win situation of tuning a piano, but- “How much will this cost me?”
Well, the cost of piano tuning varies across different regions in the world. This is because of both the lack and abundance of piano technicians in the different highs and lows in the world. You’re hardly going to find an apt piano tuner in remote and off-the-grid areas, but if you do- it’s likely that they’ll charge high.
However, you’re sure to find a good amount of willing tuners in cities and other busy areas.
Similarly, different piano tuners are varying levels of professionals. A highly knowledgeable and advanced tuner will probably name a higher price than most. But if you mind overpriced and expensive, you can go for your everyday tuners who will ask for moderate payments.
Don’t forget though, it takes two to tango. The responsibility of the cost is as much yours as it is of the tuner. Technicians take into consideration the condition, quality and usage of the piano as this determines the work needed to be done. Based on this, they will command a price.
However, the average cost of tuning an average piano of 230 strings ranges between $50- $175. This pertains just to tuning, additional charges may incur based on the piano condition.