If you are reading this article, it’s probably time to tune your piano. Maybe the notes sound a bit strange or you cannot remember the last time it was tuned. The dreaded cost and an afternoon with a stranger in the house causes most people to put it off. But it is extremely important for your piano to have regular tunings. Even those who aren’t professional musicians need to tune their pianos regularly. Not only will the sound drive anyone insane, but it’s also important for a healthy piano.
It costs money, but don’t try to do it yourself!
Piano tuning can be pricey. We get it. But it’s just one of those things you have to do! I mean, no one like going to the car dealership for an oil change and a tune up, but you have to do it if you want your car to last! Since you made such an investment in owning a piano, you want it to last forever! And no, you shouldn’t try to tune it yourself. Professional piano technicians, a.k.a. piano tuners, take courses, do apprenticeships, and have to pass exams before they tune. So unless you want to go through all of that, (and spend even more money), just find a local piano technician. Be prepared to pay between $65 and $225. This cost is well worth the result, we promise. Before we discuss how often your piano needs to be tuned, we will cover the importance of tuning them.
Firstly, tuning your piano regularly avoids future costly repairs. If you neglect tuning, you may have to spend a fortune down the road to fix it. Just avoid the trouble and tune it regularly!
Secondly, a well-tuned piano is important for pianistic growth. Trying to learn on an out-of-tune piano will slow down the learning process. Not only will it be difficult to play and learn when things don’t sound quite right, you may have trouble playing on other pianos that are in tune. If you become used to a wonky sound, chances are, if you perform on a well-maintained piano, you may be distracted by the sound you’re supposed to be hearing.
Lastly, if you aren’t tuning your piano, you’re ruining your experience of music! If you are going to be hearing it, (hopefully every day!), why not have it be a pleasant sound? A well tuned piano will make you love music, not hate it!
Now we know why, so how often?
Okay, on to how often you need to tune. Climate change has a huge effect on this. Pianos contain wood, felt, metal—all materials that will expand and contract during temperature changes. Naturally, our biggest climate changes are the summer and winter seasons. With this said, for a piano that you’ve had for a while, or over a year at least, it needs to be tuned twice a year, minimum. Within the first year of owning a new piano, it needs to be tuned four times. And of course, you can’t over-tune a piano, so you may do so whenever you see fit! However, twice a year is the minimum.
If you have other questions regarding your piano, and its particular brand, comment below or check out more specifics on the Piano Technicians Guild website.
*Disclaimer: Just because your piano is out of tune does NOT mean you shouldn’t practice or have lessons, but seriously–just tune it.*