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Thank you for visiting the AMH Pianos Services London Frequently Asked Questions page. We have compiled a list of the most common piano-related questions. Hopefully you will find the answers to your questions without having to call or wait for a email response.

tuning of a large piano

Photography by Katie Fricker License: CC BY-SA 2.0

Below you can find our FAQ index which will help you navigat to many questions, and you can view the answers by clicking the questions labels to view the answer for that particular question. In the event you cannot find an answer to one or more of your questions then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team in London.

FAQ Index

Piano Tuning Questions


On average we charge between £80 and £150 for our tuning services for grand and upright pianos that are located in London. Sometimes this cost can increase depending on the age, condition and type or brand of piano.

Servicing and tuning your Piano on a regular basis with AMH Piano Services London is cost effective and saves you money, for example:

  • Bi-annual piano tuning is £70 and will only take one hour to tune piano.
  • Annual tuning is £80 and will only take one hour to tune the piano.

New customers or customers that have a piano which has not received a tuning for more than two years, or if the piano has had its location moved will cost £100. For pianos that have not had a service or tuning for more more than five years will be £150 minimal and will take roughly two hours to tune. Pitch moving a piano costs £150 and will take a two-hour appointment arranged at your convenience.

Booking an appointment for piano tuning couldn't be easier, give us a on 07500 661581 or an email, and we will give you an appointment as soon as you would like.

Piano tuning cost within the UK but outside of London will vary depending on where you live. Generally from my research and experience piano tuners charge from £40 to £200, depending on the amount of work that needs to be carried out. If your piano has not several years, it would take more time and effort and naturally costs more the piano tuning to be carried out.

We published an article about the costs of hiring a piano tuner a while back and is certainly worth reading for tips and advice.

Andrew Howard is our professional tuner who has worked in the industry for over 20 years, some people are surprised that what he does as a profession, they ask him are their many pianos out there any more to tune?

So we thought we would do our research on how many piano tuners operate within London and we made a few calculations.

In London, there are around 8 million people, and out of that of person, every 50 owns a piano. If they tune their piano once a year, considering that a good piano tuner can tune up to 5 pianos per day and can work 230 days per year, there should be around 140 piano tuners in London alone.

We always recommend getting your piano tuned after each season change. You could opt for your piano to get tuned every season, which is four times a year. If you opt for getting it tuned twice yearly then at the start of the summer and winter would be the best option, at the very minimum you should at least get it tuned once a year.

Please note that by delaying a tuning may not save you any more money than regular tunings, this is due to the fact the longer time goes on, the more strings need to be tuned, and the time required to do so takes longer, and therefore the price increases to reflect that.

Regular tuning not only keeps your piano hitting all the right notes but can help avoid string replacement which further adds to the costs of the service.

The primary reason the piano goes out of tune is because of a change of pitch which is due to contraction and expansion of the strings. Reason for this is due to temperature variation as a result of atmospheric variations and particularly humidity.

When the tension in string changes, the pitch will also change, resulting in a note that is out of tune. Tuning pins can lose tension and slip, thus allowing movement of the strings affecting the tuning of the piano.

Want to learn more about our Piano Tuning Services? then please visit our dedicated page for tuning grands and upright pianos in London.

There are different factors to why a piano goes out of tune a lot faster than you expected. You could install a lifesaver system to keep it in tune longer. Lifesaver systems are designed to keep the humidity within your soundboard at friendlier values.

Other preventatives that you can put into place to prevent tuning more frequently would be to keep your piano away from drafts, such as open doors and windows, heating and cooling vents and fireplaces. Always think to yourself that a piano needs the right humidity to keep playing for longer.

You can purchase a digital hygrometer which is designed to measure relative humidity accurately. A digital hygrometer will tell you what the room's humidity level is and allows you to make changes to suit your piano.

Most grand and upright piano manufacturers suggest their products should be professionally tuned every six months, to keep your instrument sounding perfectly in tune and on concert pitch.

At AMH Piano Services London, we only use traditionally trained piano tuners with multiple diplomas such as AEWVH and M.I.M.I.T. Andrew Howard uses a tuning fork to check the pitch of the piano. He has gained the skill to tune your instrument purely by ear, having trained for over three years to a very high standard.

You can find out more by visiting a blog post we made back in 2015 all about how often you should get your piano tuned.

Good question! The question is yes but only if you are willing to spend lots of time learning how to do it, even then, the quality of the tuning would not be equal to someone that has been tuning pianos for a very long time. If you are looking for professional results, then choose a trained and professional piano tuner. Piano tuning services are cheaper than most people would think they are.

Not all pianos can be tuned to pitch due to neglect and age; strings will lose their elasticity in time. An upright piano has 20 tons of pressure at concert pitch and can start to break if you put too much pressure on them.

Adding too much pressure to the strings can also damage the bridging system on the soundboard, which means a repair may be required to correct such issues. If the damage is intensive, it may be more affordable to replace the piano.

All musical instruments are set or tuned to a specific standard, for pianos this is known as concert pitch, A440 Hz tuning, or just A440 which are all the same thing but said different ways. If you need your piano tuning, make sure they follow A440 Hz tuning guidelines to ensure your piano is hitting all the right notes.

A440 is the international pitch standard and stands for 440hz. When it comes to pianos, it means that the strings of the A note above middle C vibrate at 440 cycles per second which is the recommended and perfect pitch for pianos. It is also known as concert pitch to some.

The international standard pitch is A440 Hz. Tuning pianos to any other pitch other than concert pitch will cause the piano to play incorrect notes and tones and could even damage the strings. Your piano tuner should always advise you on whether you should schedule repeated tuning sessions or if your piano needs to be restrung.

While many could argue, it is a subjective topic for the most part, and people believe that tuning by ear is the best method. Due to the fact, these apps will often be limited by the quality of the microphone within the device, such as a tablet, laptop or smartphone.

Unless you have a studio-grade microphone and one that can correctly filter out interference, then the app is never going to match the power of a finely tuned ear.

There are pros and cons of each, but at AMH we only tune using the ear, and when checked by independent parties, they always fall within the gold standard of A440 Hz tuning, while many apps fail this task.

AMH is a firm believer that tuning is done best by the ear!

We have a long reach for our piano tuning service. We cover most boroughs throughout Greater London. We have compiled a breakdown of all the boroughs that we are currently providing tuning services to:

Piano Tuning in Central London

Piano Tuning in East London

Piano Tuning in South London

Piano Tuning in West London

If you have any questions, then please get in touch.

Even if you don't play your piano, it is always best to keep up with the maintenance and tuning on it to ensure it doesn't get too neglected which can cause expensive rebuilds or restorations down the line.

If your piano is not required in your home or you have fallen out of love with your instrument, then why not find it a home where it can be enjoyed and played again.

Piano tuning is regarded as an art form; however, this can't be appreciated until someone plays the piano. There has to be a stable setting with the pins, and you have to build the tempered scale, and you will have to decide on the compromise of stretching the octaves.

Piano tuning companies will sometimes use apps to tune pianos faster, but no tuning app will match a beautiful concert pitch that a real piano tuner can create. At AMH Pianos we only offer the best tuning available, which is A440 Hz concert grade piano tuning.

There are three main tools when it comes to tuning a piano, and they are as follows:

  1. Lever
    • this is the primary tool we use as it is the piano tuning lever, hammer wrench and key
  2. A variety of mutes
  3. Tuning fork or an electronic tuning device.

A person would need to enrol into a course within a certified college or institution which usually last for three years. As a piano tuner uses their skills and knowledge over the years, their strengths become sharper and better as the years go on.

It is not custom to tip a piano tuner, and by no means should you feel obligated to do so, in fact, it is our policy not to accept tips. If you want to reward a piano tuner, then it is more appreciated if you leave them, or the company a review. Piano tuners prefer customers to leave reviews because this helps build trust with future customers, and improve on their online presence.

A piano tuning service will generally not include free repair or parts unless the fault is very minor that causes a little delay or additional costs. We published an article regarding this question some years ago about Does Piano Tuning Service Include Repairs and Parts? which is a worthy read for a detailed explanation.

Piano Repair Questions


You're best of Googling for piano tuners or repairs, depending on the service you need, followed by the area where you live then the search engine will reveal all local providers for that particular service.

Take your time in selecting one, and ensure they have lots of positive reviews and a website that demonstrates their work. At AMH Pianos Services London we cover the following London Boroughs for all our tuning and repair services:

Central London

East London

South London

West London

Give our friendly team a call on 07500 661581 or an email today, and once you explain the fault and issue you have with your piano, we will give you a free no-obligation quote. Once you are happy with going ahead, we will work around your schedule and book an appointment.

You want to look for a piano technician who cares as much about your piano as you do. When you make the first call to a piano technician, make them take a little time for them to talk about themselves. You want to know about their experiences with pianos and their training, and the best technicians out there will gladly do so.

You should always ask if they are DBS checked as you don't want someone in your home that has convictions of theft, or violence. Furthermore, it's essential to ask if they have public liability insurance or any other policies that cover injuries and piano damage.

There are many different reasons you may be experiencing sticky keys such as things getting wedged between or under them, tight bushings, swollen keys and more. Sometimes keys can stick due to temperature, humidity and then return to normal the following day.

To check if you have a sticky key, push and hold down the right pedal, then whilst holding the pedal downplay the key lightly.

If the key returns to its original position, then you do not have a sticky key however if the key did not return to its place, hold the key halfway down then push hard on the keys immediately to the left and right.

Repeat this action multiple times, then release the original sticky key. Repeat playing the key whilst holding down the pedal. If it returns to its original place, you have fixed the key, otherwise, its time to give our team a call and we can normally fix the issue on the next working day, or sometimes same day if called in the early hours of the morning.

When you start feeling the notes changing mainly when playing softly or when a note will note play after repeated attempts to press the key down, then its time for a piano regulation service.

It is essential to ask piano technicians if they are affiliated with professional bodies when looking around for the company you are going to choose. A good technician will always want to tell you about their experiences and qualifications before any work being carried out.

A professional tuner will be willing to share their qualifications and skills with you. Every qualified tuner will be certified, and their information will be on Association trade websites.

You should look for a piano tuner that has had many years of experience with different brands and models of pianos.

Piano Removal Questions


We offer competitive pricing for our professional piano removal service in London. Pricing for our removal service will vary depending on where the Piano is and where it needs to go. For example, moving the piano from one room to another is going to be fair cheaper than moving it from one building to another.

There are many variables such as:

  1. How difficult the move will be.
  2. How heavy the piano is and if it needs dismantling.
  3. The distance the piano needs to go from one location to another.

For further information or more fine details on our pricing for piano removals, please get in touch by calling us on 07500661581.

If you give our friendly and professional team a call on 07500 661581 or an email, we will get back to you promptly and arrange the service quickly and efficiently. Our team is DBS checked and fully insured to carry out all piano moving-related services across Greater London.

Moving a piano is a specialist job! I would suggest not moving your piano yourself for many reasons, as the actual size and weight of the instrument needs to be handled with care. Also, the piano has many moving parts which could suffer damage during transit.

Our professional piano removal team have the working knowledge and equipment to safely move your musical investment, while also being fully insured and DBS checked.

If you have an upright versus a grand piano, then it is far easier to move from room to room. For grand pianos we strongly recommend you seek professional help from a piano company as it is remarkably like the piano will need to be partially disassembled to ensure the piano will not be damaged, and it fits through all doorways.

The very step with moving a piano is to prepare your piano and all rooms that you move the piano through. If your piano has a lid, you must make sure it is closed. Next cover all over the piano with blankets if you can and securely tape the blankets making sure all keys and pedals are covered.

You will need a piano dolly to move a piano successfully or risk causing damage to your piano and to your home. You will also need a minimum of two people moving the piano to support the piano as best as you can. If you cannot move the piano or it doesn't fit then, you must seek a professional piano mover.

If you have a piano in Greater London and need a piano moving service, then please get in touch.

Your piano is sensitive to climatic change, so piano care is necessary. If possible, avoid positioning your piano in the path of a radiator. Be aware of air conditioning systems and heating vents. Avoid direct sunlight as this may bleach the case finish and expand the metal strings causing the piano to go out of tune. When moving the piano check the humidity and temperature of the new room or building, wait a couple of weeks for the piano to adjust.

It would be best if you always allowed your piano to settle for two weeks to adjust to the humidity and temperature of its new location.

Piano Servicing Questions


Piano servicing is the process of making adjustments to the action inside of the piano. Regulating the piano keys and action enables the technician to change the touch, consistency and physical performance of your instrument. There are many moving parts within the piano which from time to time will need attention, regulating and servicing due to wear and tear.

This process is like having a Car MOT but for Pianos which keeps the piano performing and responding to its full potential. Please check the Piano Servicing Page.

Servicing a piano has many varibles but on average it takes between half to a full day to properly service a piano. AMH Piano Services London charges:

  • Half-day Piano Servicing: £280
  • Full-day Piano Servicing: £390

Try using a piece of clean cheesecloth lightly dampened with water to clean the keys. Make sure any excess water is quickly removed to ensure water does not run between the piano keys. When cleaning the exterior of the piano, follow the instructions above, again, with a soft dry cloth, remove excess moisture from the piano casework.

If the piano has a wood finish, always wipe in the direction of the grain. Wiping the wood grain will help to remove any build-up of dust. Internal cleaning can be carried out at the time of appointment, if and when required.

Alongside tuning, pianos require periodic servicing called piano regulation. Regulation plays attention to the mechanical parts of your piano that cause the strings to sound when the keys are played.

Wipe the keys with a clean, damp cloth, and when you are not playing, the keys should always be covered to prevent dust. Clean fingerprints off with a damp clean cloth and dry immediately. Professional cleaners and polishes are readily available and something that your local piano tuner should be able to provide you with a low-cost.

There's no agreed standard when you should clean your piano, but if you have a dusty room, it will require more cleaning, than one that is not so dusty. Investing in an air filter can help your piano dust-free, and improve the quality of air in your home, or building.

Avoid placing drinks on the piano, and avoid eating, as crumbs can easily fall between the keys which can build up, cause stick keys, and develop more severe faults.

Internal cleaning of the piano should be completed regularly, but it always best to have this done by a professional piano technician. Ask your piano tuner if that's something they can offer you, as that would be the perfect time to give the piano an internal clean.

Pianos are made up of thousands of moving parts that all require regular adjustments to keep it playing. Without regulation, the piano will result in wear and tear more quickly and could cause faults down the line.

What is involved with a piano service?

Our piano servicing checks for tuning, voicing, regulation, keys, pedals, and internal components such as tuning pins, strings, dampers, felts, hammers and more.

Piano Voicing is the process in which the hammers are either made softer or more challenging to create the tone when playing the piano. Smooth hammerheads will help to produce a more mellow tone, and a harder hammerhead will create a brighter sound to your piano. Should you wish the tone to be changed, please check our piano servicing in London.

Our friendly team can offer you monthly, bi-monthly, tri-annually and annually piano servicing solution. We can set up a regular schedule with yourself to ensure your piano is always playing its best. Contact us today for the very best quote.

Buying a Piano Questions


Great question and we are pleased to inform you, yes we do. Please visit our pianos for sale page and bookmark the page as we will regularly update the page as we clear out stock and get new stock in.

It all comes down to the craftsmanship of a piano, consider what materials have been used to create this elegant instrument. It has always been known that a player will always know when a piano belongs to them. If your piano doesn't suit you, then it's not for you.

If you want an excellent piano without extensive research and testing, then you can't go wrong with a decent high-end range Yamaha or Kawai, these are among the most popular in London and the UK because frankly they're designed so well.

First, you need to decide if you want to go acoustic or digital, both have pros and cons. Digital pianos are more suitable for people that want to produce all types of sounds and want to be able to edit those on a computer, while an acoustic produces a set amount of tones and pitches.

Learning either will mean you should be able to switch from one to the other without a huge learning curve, its like learning to drive a car, and then having to learn to drive a truck, learning to drive anything, is going to help you learn the other, faster.

You will also need to consider space since a digital keyboard takes up far less space than an acoustic piano. Once you have to decide which type of piano you wish to learn, its time to choose the brand and model.

For digital keyboards, you can't go wrong with a decent Casio, Yamaha or Roland. We recommend the Casio CDP-S100 Slimline Digital Piano since it has a realistic playing feel, powerful performance, impressive connectivity and is perfectly portable.

For acoustic pianos, decide what type you want, e.g. upright, baby grand or grand. Then pick manufacture, we recommend going with a Yamaha or Kawai as they make incredible sounds, and they hold their market value far more than the less known brands. For beginners, we recommend the Yamaha U1 as it has a 10-year warranty, it is built to last, solid investment and great for learning.

A skilled technician will have worked on many pianos sounding out of shape. Most pianos may need a tuning service to bring the life back where others may need to be restored. Our highly experienced technicians can take a look and bring back even the most neglected piano back to life.

We do not actively buy pianos direct from the public as we have limited storage and only obtain pianos when we have space to store them. You can view many of our pianos for sale in London online.

If you can't find something you like, then we recommend reputable piano re-sellers on eBay. It is always best to purchase a piano through these parties as you can have full confidence with the piano.

You should try and avoid purchasing a piano privately unless you have had it inspected by a technician as often there are more problems then stated.

Pianos should always be inspected thoroughly internally and externally before any decision is made. A quality seller will let you try out the piano, make sure all keys are healthy, and there are no issues.

As long as you keep up with maintenance and give you piano a healthy life in the right environment, your piano will give you a lifetime of enjoyment.

You will need to contact a second-hand piano shop for a valuation on your piano. You will need to take into consideration the age, condition, damage and other factors during this. Certain brands and models of pianos will exceed a better valuation than others.

There are main types of pianos, these are acoustic pianos and electric pianos which are also known as keyboards. AMH Piano Services London only deal with acoustic pianos, and these types are upright, grand and baby grand and may include modifications such as silent mods.

Silent pianos are an acoustic piano where there is an option to silence the strings by stopping the piano hammers from striking them, this is known in the industry as a silent modification.

When it comes to upright, the strings of the piano are strung vertically, this allows the instrument to be more compact and can be placed in a limited space.

With a grand piano, the strings are strung horizontally and have a better potential for expression. When it comes to size, the more you play the grand piano, the more advantages you get from it.

The mechanics within a grand piano move with gravity whereas an upright piano is aided by the strings to reset the keys being pressed. A grand piano will always be superior, but that doesn't mean an upright doesn't sound fantastic, to most, untrained ears, there is no difference.

The difference between an acoustic and digital piano is the mechanism that produces the sound. A digital piano has no strings; each key is a switch to produce a sound which is amplified by a speaker. In comparison, an acoustic piano has hammers and steel strings that when hit cause a vibration to produce the sound.

Piano Restoration Questions


Once we have an appointment with yourself, we will come to inspect the piano to see how much of a restoration you need. During the inspection, we check the damage and establish the cost of hours it will take to rebuild and repair.

We also factor in the costs of things such as parts, materials and transportation. We will pick up the piano and take it to one of our piano workshops in London, where all the magic happens.

It's hard to give you a rough estimate as you can imagine but to give you a rough idea, a restoration typically starts between £2,000 and £3,000 then upwards. Sometimes its cheaper to buy a new piano than it is to restore one.

Particular branded piano antiques or classical pianos can be worth restoring if they are a particular type of piano that is highly desirable by collectors, and pianists.

Another reason could be the piano has been within the family for many generations making it priceless and something they want to keep traditional to pass onto their kids, and then their kids after that.

But whatever the reason you may have to want to restore your piano, know that our team can fully build all types of pianos from the ground upwards. Replacing parts, repairing, or replacing the frame, or woodwork.

AMH has a renowned reputation in restoring all types of pianos. Our team love a restoration project and can get very tired pianos back to full health again. Please take a look at our restoration page for more details.

Piano General Questions


The number of strings will depend on the model of the piano, but usually, the number is 230.

Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655 - 1731) of Italy, he created the first modern piano in the year 1700.

Piano pedals are foot-operated levellers that are situated at the base of a piano. These pedals change the sound of the piano in various ways. Modern pianos will have three pianos (from left to right) the soft pedal, the sostenuto pedal and the sustaining pedal.

AMH Specific Questions


AMH opening hours are as follows:

  • Monday 8.30am - 22.00pm
  • Tuesday 8.30am - 22.00pm
  • Wednesday 8.30am - 22.00pm
  • Thursday 8.30am - 22.00pm
  • Friday 8.30am - 22.00pm
  • Saturday 8.30am - 22.00pm
  • Sunday 8.30am - 22.00pm

We are open bank holidays; however, this is due to booking in advance and by appointment only.

AMH Piano Services London operates all over London, and we have offices in Brixton, Eltham, Greenwich, Hammersmith, Holborn and Twickenham.

AMH Pianos Services London provides piano tuning, repairs, restoration, removals. Alongside all of our professional services, we value all of our customers and will give the very best maintenance and servicing to ensure you can give the best care to your piano, keeping it playing for longer.

Our technicians are available seven days a week to ensure that we can be as flexible as we can be for our customers and their piano needs. We often can fulfil short notice bookings, and for busier periods we can typically fit you in the same week.

Please note that if you have just moved your piano, then we may need to wait for two weeks for the piano to adjust to the new climate of that room or building. Please talk to our technicians for further advice and questions.

All quotations that are given and prices listed on the website include VAT, including additional costs such as transportation. In some cases, there will be additional fees involved if we have to provide additional services, or parts, but we will always consult with you first beforehand.

At AMH Pianos Services London, we only use the human ear to tune our customer's pianos. If you're wondering what is better, software tuning or ear tuning? Then please see our question What is better App or Ear Tuning?.

Yes, however, we will always make sure they are qualified, fully insured and have an up to date DBS check.

Who is the managing director of AMH Pianos Services London? Andy Howard is the managing director of AMH Piano Services London and still enjoys his life work and going to see customers who have now become family friends.

chicken or the egg

We can’t answer that question, but we can answer all questions relating to servicing, repairing, tuning and moving pianos, so get in touch with us for some free and friendly advice.

AMH Piano Services London does not believe in any hidden extras or surprises, and we will always provide you with an accurate quote and everything included within that one quote.

There may be a rare occasion where we may find faults or issues whilst completing a service; however, we will always consult with you and agree on a price. We will never start additional work without informing the customer first.

We believe in transparent pricing, and we are humans too, and hate when someone gives you a quote and then all of a sudden, it is much higher, we keep this to a minimal, and will never surprise you with any hidden fees. If we find more significant issues, you are welcome to search around London and compare our rates before we proceed further.

It would be effortless to tell you that we are fantastic and very reliable, but we are biased. We urge our customers to check us out on google and have a look at our testimonials page. AMH Piano Services London are proud to be renowned for providing the best piano services across Greater London.