How often should I tune my piano?
Most manufacturers recommend every 6 months. For new pianos it is recommended every 3 months. A decent number of pianos can go once a year.
I don't use my piano. That means I don't have to tune it, right?I don't use my piano. That means I don't have to tune it, right?
Wrong. While a piano does go out of tune faster the more it is played, natural changes in humidity make it go out of tune more. Here in Southern California, it gets dry in the summer, causing the wood in the piano to shrink, lowering the pitch. The opposite happens when it gets rainy in the winter. Getting it serviced once every year or 2 isn't a bad idea for the long term health of the piano.
Do strings break while tuning?
On occasion strings break. Any string can either be spliced back in or replaced entirely. I do charge based on what string broke.
How long does it take to tune my piano?
That can vary widely based on the quality of piano, environment and how far off the piano is. I schedule regular appointments for 2 hours and 1st time clients for 3 hours. The median time to do a final pass is 70 min.
Why does my piano need to be pitch raised?
Pianos that have been untuned for years are typically very low, meaning that the strings aren't as tight and make a sound well below what is expected. A big shift up will increase overall tension by 1000lbs or (much) more, which bends the wood in the piano, distorting previously tuned notes. In order to leave the appointment with a piano sounding great, 2 tunings are required: 1st is to load tension up, the 2nd is to fine tune.
My piano squeaks or buzzes. Can you fix that?
Yes! Most of the time I fix those for free. Most of the time it's a screw that's loose or something else that's simple.
My piano has sticky keys. Can you fix that?
Yes! Most of the time I do it for free. This includes broken key stick, lubrication, reaming a bushing, adjusting action part alignment or regulation. Some sticky key scenarios have bigger underlying issues that need to be further addressed after an initial inspection.
My piano's high notes continue to sustain even without the pedal or keys down. Can you fix that?
It's supposed to be like that! The top 20 or so notes don't have dampers. Sometimes the chance from dampened to undampened notes can be a little jarring, but it's how it was designed.
Can I paint my piano myself?
Yes, but I don't recommend it unless you have experience painting furniture. Making sure all the piano parts are painted and dried separately and not getting paint on the action, strings, soundboard etc. is key. Painting a piano as is will result in the paint binding the parts together.
I'm looking to buy a piano. How do I know if I'm getting a good deal?
I will come out and inspect it for you! This is a service I encourage all piano buyers to take advantage of. I am not affiliated with any piano dealer or manufacturer and have no bias in helping you get the best for your money. My recommendation is to shop around to see what you like, then have me look at the one(s) you found. There are a lot of moving parts in a piano, plus a lot of "inside baseball" that buyers need to be aware of.
My piano is tuned but I still don't like the sound. What can be done?
If you don't like how it is tuned, I will come back and fix it for free (for basic tuning packages only). If you don't like the sound quality, we can discuss how to either regulate the piano and/or voice the hammers. I usually bring up these issues after tuning.
Is it ok to put my piano in my garage?
I wouldn't recommend it. Garages have all the humidity fluctuations of the outdoors, along with bugs that eat felt, rodents, etc. Many parts of the piano can become unglued from exposure to extreme heat, many of which require labor intensive and expensive fixes.
I moved. When should I get my piano tuned?
There isn't really a consensus amongst tuners about this, but I generally say 2-4 weeks in the new environment before the piano gets tuned.
Do you sell pianos?
Do you service electric pianos/keyboards?
No. If it doesn't have tuning pins, I don't service it.
How do you accept payments?
Check, Cash, Venmo, Cashapp, Card (w/3.5% fee).
Which piano brands are the best?
This is a question I get asked a lot. A lot of it comes down to personal taste, budget and space constraints so there aren't any "right" answers. If you got a lot of money, the German high-performance brands never disappoint (Bechstein, Bosendorfer, Hamburg Steinway, etc.). The new Shigeru Kawais are also quite nice. For those of us who can't spend 6 figures on a piano, the Japanese brands (Yamaha, Kawai) make decent pianos and they can take a beating and be just fine. I personally have a Boston UP-126 that is quite nice.
What areas do you service?
I have a large service area that is generally southern Los Angeles and northern Orange County. I am based near DTLA so basically 40 miles in any direction. Can travel further for a fee.
Something fell in my piano. How do I get it out?
If you are unsure, please give me a call! A lot of times things fall behind the fallboard of a (grand) piano. Sometimes taking it off can be easy, but sometimes it can take some finesse. Yamaha has ones that are spring loaded and the Steinway-style ones are obnoxious and it's easy to ding the finish if you're not careful. Please give me a call if you are not 100% sure!
Do you offer discounts?
Yes. If you have multiple pianos or recommend me to enough people I will give you a discount.