Having Your Piano Tuned Twice a Year

You may already be familiar with the importance of having your piano tuned regularly. However, one common question is always directed towards me: How often should I have my piano tuned? Conventional wisdom, as well as textbook training generally gears men and women within our profession to give a piano a bi-annual once over. However, this figure is only a theoretical guide, and not the be all and end all. Real world factors, the environment, and even your level of interaction with the instrument, all play important part in determining the level of care that is essential for your piano’s optimum health.

Your piano is made of different materials, both metallic and non-metallic that contract and expand according to seasonal variations. Changes in weather impact each material differently, and the difference in thermal expansion/contraction values, heat absorption, and consequently the continuous effect of climate change on the inter-connected instrument components,, inevitably takes its toll on the overall sound and tonality of your piano. Couple this with the often unavoidable presence of thermostats, central heating systems, air conditioners and coolers, and night storage heaters within our homes, schools and other buildings housing the piano. The perfect pitch cannot be maintained ad infinitum, unless of course, one was to simulate something akin to a temperature controlled lab surrounding the piano.

Perhaps however, the most important factor within the whole equation carries more weight than any other points discussed above: Humidity! Not only does the presence of high humidity causes the instrument to lose its level of sound, the exposure of your instrument to high humidity and moisture can cause ever lasting damage to the instrument.

Below are some of the factors that will ensure you only need to have your piano tuned twice a year.

• Location

Finding the perfect and stable environment for your piano will ensure that you only have it tuned twice a year. Look for a location where there is no air conditioning, fire place, radiator, direct sunlight or any type of heating devices. Place your piano away from outside walls and in a place where the humidity doesn’t change all the time.

• Material and humidity

The primary material of your piano is wood: one that is highly affected by small seasonal changes in humidity. Humidity change also contributes somewhat to the natural heat related material expansion and contraction. This swelling and shrinking can cause cracks within the wood and affects the tuning stability of your piano. Placing your piano in a location where humidity is stable, and minimal, will ensure that the tuning of your piano lasts longer and on the whole, stays relatively close to the twice yearly tuning cycle, whilst curtailing the need for full scale restoration.

• Professional piano tuner

Finding a good, capable professional to tune your piano is another way of avoiding unexpected tuning. A qualified piano tuner will tune your piano and let you play for at least two hours straight or even more. If the sound quality stays constant after this initial test, as long as other factors are stable and you do not carry out a move of the instrument, you will only need to have a professional tune it twice a year to preserve its tune.

Even though a piano that is well maintained and kept under favourable, stable climates, may demo good sound over a calendar year without being tuned, it is advisable to have a professional tune it twice a year. The good quality of the keys will be maintained and your piano will remain well preserved; besides you will avoid repair costs in the future.

What makes for the best piano tuning in Kensington & Chelsea?

The art of Piano tuning requires an expert. Such a person is not only qualified, they additionally possess the experience to work with all makes and models of pianos. We provide the most wide ranging piano tuning service in Kensington and Chelsea. If your piano sounds underwhelming or out of pitch, then it needs to be tuned, no doubt. In fact, the sooner, the better, since timely maintenance would allow the instrument to last longer, preventing damage due to wear and tear, whilst also saving you spending more cash long term.

Whilst we strive to provide a great experience, locally, to our friends in Kensington and Chelsea, let’s talk about what makes for a great service experience.

Tools

The most important consideration, in tuning your piano, is a no brainer. The importance of the right tools used for the job is self-explanatory. A range of mechanical implements make up our working gear. Owing to the varied tastes in piano models in Kensington and Chelsea, a good tool bag must be able to tackle all kinds of pianos, especially if the service provider does not know the instrument type beforehand. Therefore, be it a grand piano, an upright piano used at home for the family, or a rare square piano used for some of those Bach concertos. A competent service provider must have the common tools such as tuning hammer and lever, a variety of mutes, and a tuning fork or electronic tuning device. Furthermore, in case of a complicated job, one must be able to source the appropriate tools quickly, and preferably, locally within Chelsea and Kensington.

Honesty

Honesty is perhaps the most important virtue in every successful business. A good piano tuning service provider should employ honest technicians, who tend to look after your piano as if it was their own property. Success boils down to delivering on promises, and value for money. Honest communication becomes paramount in this industry, given that one of us would normally be working inside your premises.

Pre-Assessment

The best piano tuning service providers operating within Kensington and Chelsea will always assess the condition of your piano before even beginning the tuning process.We at AMH Pianos offer this free of charge, and the appraisal determines the nature of the work to be carried out, along with any additional costs to be incurred in the event of substantial work being required. A technician finds the strings that need to be tuned and using dampers, the healthy and loose strings are temporarily muted and secured. This assessment also determines the condition of the wood holding the strings. Poorly presented wood may demand that the instrument would first need to be repaired before tuning may commence. Always remember to ask your piano tuner for a full breakdown of their diagnosis. This ultimately determines the cost and time for the work to be completed.

Cleaning

Your piano is a delicate instrument and dust can hinder the performance of the keys. When you hire a professional piano tuner in Kensington and Chelsea, please request for the piano to be professionally cleaned at the same time. Avoid cleaning inside parts of your piano yourself;the internal mechanism is delicate and susceptible to irreversible damage if not handled correctly. However, cleaning the outside of the instrument is perfectly fine – in fact, highly recommended.

Conclusion

When you need your piano tuned, please avoid tackling the task yourself. Tuning a piano is markedly different from tuning a guitar, and professionals like ourselves have spent years perfecting our expertise for your convenience. Additionally, we are also able to assess and advise on the most efficient and cost-effective solutions in case there is such a need. Besides, such piano tuners have the right tools.

Visit AMH Pianos if you want to know more about the best piano tuning service in Kensington and Chelsea. Alternatively, why not look at our coverage checker to see if you are covered.

Is Fixing My Piano Part of the Tuning of the Piano?

People love freebies too much. Some have even come to love free things with an un-understandable keenness. People have almost learnt to wait for free things all the time, so much so that they begin to expect them automatically. Many people then have been quoted asking whether fixing their pianos is part of the process that includes tuning of the pianos.

The answer to that very common question is a No. The reason is that fixing of pianos is done whenever a piano has been damaged in any way. That is the scenario that calls for a specialist to repair it. If it is found to be beyond repair, it is then thrown into the lot where recycled materials are thrown.

Tuning though, is a gradual process that takes place regularly where an expert seeks to align the pitch and keys properly. Such an expert has the musical ear to know how to align and tune the keys, so that they produce the notes in the best way possible.

Inside a piano about to be tuned

Another huge difference between fixing pianos and tuning them is in the costs. Depending on the kind of damage that is being fixed, the cost could either be extremely high or extremely low. Tuning though, is a uniform process that may not vary very much in costing unless the demographics are too far apart. This is not a frequent occurrence. One cannot replace the other and it cannot complement the other.

Summary

Fixing pianos is quite demanding and takes quite a bit of time; therefore it cannot be considered to be part of the tuning process. The two are very different processes and they also require different specialisms too, to some extent.

Conclusion

Visit http://www.tuningpianos.co.uk/faq.html and have an audience with the experts who will tell you whatever else you would like to ask.

Should You Tip a Piano Tuner?

The issue of whether or not it is good manners and proper etiquette to tip piano tuners, is very controversial. No one seems to agree on how the issue should be handled. There is no “one size fits all” here. Some feel that the tuner should be rewarded for his/her effort while others believe it is too much for them to expect gratuities; and there is another group that does not lean either way.

People usually have no reservations tipping other service providers, like valets, butlers, concierge staff or even hairdressers. Yet they seem to have a particular hangup when it comes to people within my industry. I wonder what difference there is between these individuals except their professions of course. Be that as it may, they are still service providers, and if it is right to tip some, then I think it is right to tip them all.

Due to the heated exchanges that ensue whenever this controversial topic is discussed, many have learned to resort to diplomacy when the subject is too much for them to handle. It is then you will hear them concur, saying that the choice should belong to the individual receiving the service, to decide whether to tip or not.

Gratuity Jar

For most service users, it appears that there is an unwritten rule: it’s ok to tip the tuner if they are self-employed but not if they are working for a large agency. It is not understood where these sentiments originated but since these make people feel better about not tipping piano tuners, there is nothing more that can be said. After all, the customer is always right. However, to reward good service, is an age-old incentive for even better receipt of provisions in the future.

Summary

If you have contracted the services of a piano tuner, it is up to you to decide whether the work they have done for you deserves a tip or not. If it does, tip them graciously, and you can expect your reward in return.

Conclusion

Remember to tip service providers if they have delivered satisfactory services for you. If you wish to know more about this and more, please log on to http://www.tuningpianos.co.uk/blog/, or get in touch. And finally, remember that you can always expect outstanding services from us on every occasion.

How to Help the Piano Tuner When They Come to Your Home

When a piano tuner comes into your home to tune your piano, it is essential that you provide a conducive environment for him/her to do their work in peace. If you distract or fail to support them you will have failed yourself greatly, with your instrument and your pocket bearing the most damage. There are many things that you can do for them. They don’t necessarily have to be huge tasks. After all, it is the small things that matter. These things include;

 No noise

When piano tuners come to your home to work for you, it is vital that you provide a serene environment for them. This kind of atmosphere will enable them to concentrate on the task they are carrying out. If there is noise they will keep on getting distracted and this loss of concentration could have serious implications on the task at hand.

 Hospitality

When service people are within the confine of your home, they are like guests. It is therefore polite for you to cater to their needs. If they need a glass of water give them one and if it’s meal time give them food although it is not expected or required of you. It is all just a matter of common courtesy.

 Distractions

Ensure that there are no distractions during the period that the tuner is doing work on the piano. Dust it for him/her beforehand and make sure there are no objects placed on top of it. Also restrict your activities to other rooms in the house, and away from the piano’s proximity to accord the tuner time to work in peace.

Summary

It is important to support tuners when they come to your home to work on your piano. It helps to make their work easier to some extent.

Conclusion

Visit http://www.tuningpianos.co.uk/faq.html to find out more ways to help piano tuners in your home, and read more helpful advice. And if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.