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Piano Tuning Cost

How Much Does Piano Tuning Cost?

low costLow: $60 high costHigh: $155
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With hundreds of strings and other working parts, a piano is an extremely complex and sensitive musical instrument. Because fluctuations in humidity can cause delicate soundboards and other parts to swell and affect sound quality, experts recommend tuning a piano once or twice a year.

Typical costs:

  • Piano tuning typically costs between $60 and $155. These costs can vary depending on how long it has been since the piano was last tuned and the instrument's overall condition.
  • Some tuners charge a flat fee for routine tunings of pianos in average to good condition. Additional fees may be charged for pianos that are in poor condition or have not been serviced for many years.
Related articles: Piano Lessons, Piano

What should be included:
  • Professional piano tuners use various tools to adjust strings to tune a piano to the international pitch standard of A-440, defined as the musical note A above middle C equal to 440 vibrations per second. Some use a strictly aural method, meaning they tune pianos by ear using a tuning fork; others, a combination of the two methods.
  • The Piano Technicians Guild[1] also offers a guide on how to properly maintain a piano between servicing.
  • The Piano Technicians Guild, a nonprofit trade organization for piano tuners and other music service professionals, offers tips from several major piano manufacturers[2] .
Additional costs:
  • Depending on the piano's condition, a tuner may decide the instrument needs additional preliminary service before it can be tuned. Basic tuning sometimes does not include services such as fixing squeaky pedals.
  • The cost to repair or replace broken strings can vary depending on the type of string, with prices ranging from $20 to $98.
  • Pianos that have not been serviced or played in many years may need more than one tuning, according to Piano Finders[3] .
  • More advanced service may include a significant adjustment to pitch, commonly referred to as a "pitch raise"[4] , which can range from no charge to $150 depending on the extent of raise needed.
  • Humidity control systems can help maintain a consistent relative humidity inside the piano. The Piano Life Saver[5] system by Dampp-Chaser, a leading manufacturer of humidity control systems, uses a humidifier to add moisture to the air and a dehumidifier to reduce moisture as needed. Prices range from about $325 for a vertical piano to $720 for a grand piano system. A directory of independent installers[6] can be found on the company's website.
  • Some tuners offer discounts for schools, universities, religious institutions and other nonprofit organizations. Beethoven Pianos[7] , for example, provides a 15% discount for tax-exempt organizations.
  • How-to books on piano tuning[8] and courses[9] are available for those interested in learning how to tune their own pianos.
Shopping for piano tuning:
  • The Piano Technicians Guild [10] recommends hiring a piano tuner who has passed the series of examinations necessary to become a Registered Piano Technician. The organization maintains a searchable database of registered technicians[11] .
  • To find a qualified tuner, ask for references from friends and fellow musicians.
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