I call this a Frankenstein revival, and run into this scenario somewhat regularly. This type of tuning is exhausting, but it is important to do multiple tunings so as to reduce risk of breaking strings. If your piano is 30% or more off, I will probably need to do two pitch raises to prep for an accurate fine tuning.
Three or More Pitch Raises & Fine Tuning
When three pitch raises are necessary, which I don't come across too often, this is a serious job to undertake--it's exhausting and time consuming. This is the case sometimes when a piano has been sitting a decade or more.
Player Pianos (Upright)
$140 minimum for fine tuning; $30 extra per pitch raise
Upright player pianos are more challenging to work on and typically take longer as a tuner needs to work around the player mechanism (or some disassembling may be required depending on the make/model). I start at a minimum of $130 for simply a fine tuning, though most player pianos I come across need more than one round, which is not fun to work on considering the obstructions.
Grand-style player pianos are typically much easier to work on than upright player pianos as the mechanism does not typically interfere with the tuning process. If that is the case, normal prices would apply.
Follow-up Fine Tuning
6 to 9 months after previous services:
1 - 2 hrs
I'll do a Fine Tuning for this price if we schedule the follow up between 6-9 months after. Manufacturers recommend getting your piano tuned every 6 months.
12 to 15 months after:
1 - 2 hrs
Fine Tuning, plus minor
repairs and adjustments (if done at least annually).
1/2 hr - 3 hrs
Removing and vacuuming beneath the keys, really shining up each key, brightening strings with steel wool, dusting beneath the hard-to-reach grand strings, vacuuming throughout entire piano, nice cabinet polish with cheesecloth to finish up.
1/2 - 1 hr
Purchasing a new or used piano and want its condition assessed? I will evaluate it for you before you purchase it and give you a detailed review of the piano's over-all condition, focused condition of the 1000s of working parts, inherent sound quality, keyboard touch and sensitivity, and overall musicality to suit your needs and budget. Cost may be a little higher if travel time is significant.
Pitch Raise: 1/2 hr - 1.5 hrs
Bringing a piano's mean tuning back up to the standard A440... what most pianos should be tuned to. Tuning a piano to itself can leave it dull rather than the brilliance that the piano can offer. Might take a piano a little time to settle in to the new overall tuning, requiring a follow-up visit for touch ups.
Adjusting the tone quality, dynamic range, evenness from note to note, and balance from section to
Regulate, Voice, Repair
1) You should
allow two to three hours (may be on the longer side if the piano has not been maintained)
2) Please plan on having a quiet home during the tuning: no vacuum cleaners, loud TV in next room, lawn mowers, loud fans, don't do the dishes or run the dishwasher, garbage disposal, loud conversation, rotary saws, etc.
should be made
at the time of service
4) Please remove all items from the top of your piano in advance
I took this snapshot from a great book called "The Piano Book" by Larry Fine. About 7 months flat, and 5 months sharp. I feel like New Jersey is more like 8 flat and 4 sharp...maybe near the ocean. Also greatly depends on the climate within a house: air conditioned summers and dry heat winters.
your piano has not been tuned for a long time (a year or more), it
be a quarter step (or more) out of tune. As a result,
the piano up to pitch could add over two tons of pressure to
frame and plate. This might require tuning the piano two or
times to equalize the tension along the entire harp of the
piano. If the piano is way out of tune and this is not done, as one section of the piano is tuned, the warping
effect causes the other sections to go out of tune -- the piano fights itself.
If there are
with your piano, such as cracked bridges, tuning pins that are
loose, rusted or corroded strings, it might not be possible to raise
pitch to the correct tension (without some major repair or rebuilding
work). There also might be the possibility of breaking strings.
If you would
like to know
in advance if your piano needs a pitch raise, you can call and play
of your notes over the phone, I will be glad to measure the difference
from the standard (A=440HZ). If the note is 10% or more off, it
need a pitch raise. I generally prefer doing a fine tuning only when the coarse tuning is within 5%...then I can do a really accurate fine tuning.
two to four times a year should help in alleviating most major pitch
I charge about $30 for each pitch raise (pre-tension adjustment), which is way lower than I should charge. If a piano is severely out of
tune (50% of the way toward the next 1/2 step down), we might want to consider a gradual
over a few months to a year depending on the stability of the piano's strings and how much time we are available for that session. This would allow the strings to
to the tension increase of tuning it probably 3-4 times, and help in avoiding the cost of replacing
strings. Though the upper wire is not wildly expensive, each wound low string is a special order from Mapes - $30 each.