Tuning Questions

What causes a piano to go out of tune?
Contrary to popular belief, playing the piano does not generally cause it to go out of tune unless the piano player is playing extremely hard. Pianos go out of tune because of slight changes in temperature, humidity, and settling of the piano’s wooden structure itself.
How often should my piano be tuned?
A new piano less than a year old should be tuned 4 times a year because the strings and wooden structure are still settling. If a piano is not new, two times a year is recommended to keep the strings good and stable.
Should a piano be tuned after moving?
If moving a piano to a different room in the home, generally not. If moving to a different location however, then yes the piano should be tuned again a few weeks after the move so that the piano can adjust to it’s new environment in the mean time.
How long does it take to tune a piano?
A standard tuning runs around an hour and a half if the piano is at standard A440 pitch. However, if the piano is flat, around two hours. The piano is always tuned in one appointment.
Will you tune below standard pitch?
This will only be done if requested by the customer. While a piano can be tuned below standard pitch, if playing with other instruments or CD’s the piano will not match in pitch.
Do you tune by ear or with an electronic tuner?
While we do not have anything against electronic tuning devices in the hands of a properly trained tech, at Valley Piano Tuning we tune completely by ear for the time being. The smaller the piano, the less accurate the electronic tuning devices are.
What is meant by the term pitch raise or pitch adjustment?
If a piano has gone a long time without being tuned, the pitch drops from the standard A440. When this happens it becomes impossible for the piano to be properly tuned in one pass because the tension of 240 different strings are being adjusted. This puts a lot of strain on the structure causing the strings that were just tuned to change in tension as you go. So before a standard tuning can be carried out, all strings must be tuned back to their average tension levels, and then another pass through the entire piano to stabilize everything.
What do you do if, for some reason, my piano cannot be tuned?
No one likes to hear that their piano can not be tuned, but in rare cases, this can happen. This could be due to loose tuning pins in the wooden pinblock, or a few various other things. Generally, you find many “Free” pianos that can not be tuned because they haven’t been maintained in many years and were given away for that very reason. People just want them out of the home, but without realizing it has passed on a hefty expense to someone that might want to actually enjoy the piano. If your piano can not be tuned, we can assist you in finding a better piano, or give you an estimate on what it would cost to repair your current one. Here at Valley Piano Tuning, we sell used pianos. If yours is worn out we can help you find the right one for you and your family! (see our used pianos page for details.)
What should I do to prepare my piano for service?
Please remove all items and live kitty cats from the top of the piano. It is also easier to tune if the environment is quiet. Please do not run the vacuum cleaner.

Evaluation Questions

Why have a piano evaluated before purchase?
This is something we really stress to our customers when they contact us about purchasing a used piano! Most people do not realize how complex the piano is and believe since the outside looks good, the inside must be equally as good. This is why I find many pianos on Craigslist that the seller sincerely believes is in excellent condition. They will say ”It just needs a tune-up.” Many times the seller is not trying to be dishonest about the piano, but they just don’t understand how complex they are. If you are looking to purchase a piano, it is in your best interest to have the piano evaluated by a trained technician. This way you can ensure that you are not wasting your money on a piano that needs thousands of dollars worth of work to make it usable again.
How about a free piano I just found? Should I just get it?
Every now and then you may come across a decent piano that someone is giving away. As with any other piano, however, an evaluation before taking it is a good idea. There is no such thing as a “Free piano.” Many pianos are free for a reason. It is usually because no one has played or maintained the piano in many years. They just want the piano removed from the home. If you decide to take a free piano, then you might be the one having to pay for the lack of maintenance. All of a sudden that free piano isn’t very free anymore.
Do you give free estimates on work?
If called to estimate a piano for repairs or rebuilding purposes, we charge a standard service fee at the time of the appointment. However, if you choose to have work done on the piano after our estimate the service fee is waived.
Give Your Piano The Care It Needs

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