Most people call or email me because their piano is out of tune. I make an appointment convenient to them (Mon-Sat) arrive at the door and tune their piano! Tuning takes about 1 hour…depending on how much the customer likes to visit ;-). In the extreme climate of the upper Midwest, pianos usually need tuning once or twice per year, depending on how stable the humidity is in the home. Most of my customers ask me to send or email them a reminder each year so they don’t have to think about it.
Pianos which haven’t been tuned for many years will normally be very flat and need a pitch raise to bring them back up to A440, and then they should still have a regular (fine) tuning. This procedure is like tuning the piano twice, and I charge 1 ½ times my normal fee. Some customers prefer that the pitch raise is done today (regular fee) and the second (fine) tuning is done within 90 days for ½ the regular fee. Again, “pitch raises” are only needed when the piano is quite flat, caused by several years of neglect.
Some of the common repairs Bob deals with are sticky keys, clicks, noises and rattles, fixing and adjusting pedals, hinge, fallboard or case problems, replacing hammers, replacing or splicing broken strings, replacing or fixing broken action parts, fixing loose tuning pins, fixing benches.
Regulation and Voicing
As a piano is used over the years, many parts within the action compress and wear and change their shapes. As this happens the piano begins to feel and play differently than it did when it was new. Regulating a piano involves adjusting the action parts so that the specifications and geometry of the action is again in like-new condition. A well regulated piano will give the pianist efficiency and control, as they express themselves through their music. Bob will do partial or full regulations on vertical or grand pianos. Voicing is a procedure to change the tone quality on a piano. Bob will alter the mellow or bright qualities of notes, based on what the pianist prefers.
At the end of my tuning I normally clean the piano keys with non toxic and non abrasive cleaner (at no extra charge). I can also do a more thorough cleaning such as vacuuming out the inside of your piano, cleaning dust and debris from the action and cleaning the soundboard under the strings on grand pianos.