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Piano Repair

How often should a piano be tuned?

This is a great idea, and it’s real good for the tuner’s budget. If you can afford it, do so. It will be good for your piano. I suggest once a year very faithfully at the same time every year. Churches and music performance areas must tune more often for professional reasons. Some churches have slim budgets, and the music suffers. Military chapels can’t figure out who is supposed to pay the bill, and years can transpire while they debate this great defense budget question. This kind of decision is especially difficult at Military “Intelligence” Installations.
A music teacher also should be tuning at least every six months to be sure her students are hearing correct pitch. A music teacher who tunes less than once a year is— well, what nice thing can I say? She is just not very serious about teaching.
If you are in an area of extreme humidity swings through the year, you should consider six month tuning. If you wait until you hear obvious twangs in your piano, you are waiting too long. Your piano is loping through extreme swings of pitch, and it will never hold pitch well.
I call customers after a year, to remind them to re-tune, and some will say, “It still sounds good. Let’s wait another year.” I say this lovingly and gently my dear friend— that is silly and absurd. Anyone who waits to change the oil in his car until he hears metal grinding deserves all the pain he gets. Tune your piano regularly— minimum, once a year.
One more note about tuning— spinets and consoles go out of tune much quicker than uprights and grand’s. The short wires and light frame of the spinet cannot hold the tension nearly as well. A piano which is up to pitch with the world (A440) has as much as twelve tons of tension on it. That’s a load for a dump truck. Think about that when you consider buying one of these little runts that will look so subdued and cute over in the corner of the living room.