Frequently Asked Questions:
(Things you want to know but are afraid to ask)
What kind of piano do I have?
There are two categories your piano might fall into. You may have a type of "Grand Piano", or it may be a type of "Vertical Piano". Those two categories can be split up into subcategories according to the size of the piano. If you're really curious to know exactly what kind you have, you can check the website below and measure your piano, or...you can just ask me when I come for a tuning!
What does it mean to get your piano tuned?
“Tuning” is the process of adjusting the tension on the strings of the piano so that they all vibrate in pleasing harmony with one another. The strings are stretched, using a wrench called a “tuning hammer” to slightly turn each peg that holds a string place. Although the tuner may also perform other adjustments to the piano at the same visit, strictly speaking, only the above process constitutes “tuning.”
How do I know when my piano needs a tuning?
For most people, one to three times per year is about right. Many people in western New York get their pianos tuned every six months, since temperatures change so drastically between seasons in this area. These temperature changes affect how quickly your piano goes out of tune.
How do I know if my piano needs a repair?
Well, there are some problems you can see and there are some problems you can hear. If your piano has some chipped keys, for example, then you can clearly see the problem. Now, if you play a key and instead of hearing a beautiful tone, you hear a "thump", or a "twang", some other strange sound, or nothing at all, then you know there's a problem that might need some repair.
What is a "pitch correction" or "pitch raise"?
This is a service that is performed when a piano hasn't been tuned for a long time and/or it sounds quite out of tune. After your first tuning, your piano should sound much better but not perfect. If you get your piano tuned regularly (every six months or so) after that, each tuning will have your piano sounding better and better. If you don't want to wait that long, I can do an initial tuning and then come back a few weeks later to tune it up a second time. This is called a "pitch correction" or "pitch raise". After that, your piano should sound like you want it to.
How do I know if I should get my piano cleaned?
Cleaning your piano is a part of piano maintenance that people sometimes forget about, but it is very important to the upkeep of your instrument. If it has been a few years or longer since you have had your piano cleaned, then the dust and filth inside the piano will start collecting on the inner workings of the instrument and breaking them down. When I clean out a piano, I take it apart and use special instruments and products to make sure that everything is treated properly. Many of the inner workings of your piano are tiny and delicate, so don't try to do this yourself. Hire a pro!
When I contact you, what do I need to tell you about my piano and any problems with it?
I don't need much information from you when you call. If your whole piano just doesn't make a clear beautiful tone, then you need a tuning. If there is a specific problem that might need a repair, give me any information you can. But don't worry, I don't expect you to be Sherlock Holmes!
My piano is old and doesn't sound great. Is it worth fixing?
Usually the answer is YES! Most problems can be fixed, but I can come over and take a look if you're on the fence.
How much is it going to cost to get my piano into shape?
You can check out my prices by clicking on the “services” tab. But you will never spend more than you want to. I’m a “no pressure” kinda gal.
How long does it take for a tuning?
Set aside 2 hours for a tuning. It might take less than that, but I don't want to rush your tuning. Quality is always my number 1 goal!
What should I do before you get here?
Thank you for asking! The following would be helpful: Please remove music, pictures, and anything else that’s on top of the piano. Try your best to make sure it’s as quiet as possible during your tuning. Some of the sounds that we just “tune out” (pun intended) can really mess with a Piano Tuner’s ears. Some sounds you might not think of would be: the neighbors doing yard work, other service providers at your home, the TV, talking on the phone, and cooking. The best thing is to schedule your visit for a time when your house is quiet. If your house always has something going on, just do your best.
I'm thinking of getting a piano. Any advice?
Sure. Shop around! If you’re buying a piano, ask to hear it played or bring someone with you who can play it. If you are getting a free piano from someone, check it out before you say "yes". You don’t want to pay for it to get shipped to your house and then find out that you have a lemon. Or better yet, bring me with you! I’ll make sure you get a good instrument.
So Rebecca, if you're a Tuna, how can you tune a piano?
Actually, it’s just a name. I’m not really a fish!