How Long Does It Take to Tune a Piano – Cost and Expectation

Pianos require care and maintenance to function at a consistently high level. While some instruments, such as trumpets, can be tuned simply by moving a slide on the instrument, acoustic pianos require more time and effort when being tuned. 

So how long does it take to tune a piano?  Find out today.

You may be wondering, how long does it take to tune a piano? Well, in this article, you will find the answer to this question, and will also learn who can tune a piano, how often pianos need tuning, and much more!

How Long Does It Take to Tune a Piano?

There are two facets to this question. 

The first is how long it will take for the piano tuner to come over and tune the instrument. This depends entirely on the piano tuner’s schedule and availability. If the piano tuner is busy, you may need to schedule your appointment several weeks in advance. If you are using the piano for a performance, this is a good reason to call the tuner a few weeks ahead of the scheduled performance to ensure the piano is ready to go! 

The other facet is how long the tuning itself will take. This can vary from forty five minutes to around an hour and a half. The length of the tuning will largely depend on how out of tune the piano is. 

If you are getting your piano tuned regularly, it will likely take around forty five minutes to an hour. If the piano has not been getting tuned regularly, it may take a little longer. 

Unexpected Delays: Pitch Correction

How much longer it will take to get your piano tuned depends on the particular issue that might arise unexpectedly—and how difficult it is to fix. 

If your piano requires pitch correction work, it could easily take two to three hours for the technician to tune your piano and complete the necessary work. The piano technician will assess the issue and give you an estimate for how long it will take to complete the repairs. 

How much does it cost to get your piano tuned?

Who Are Piano Tuners?

There are two types of people who are qualified to tune a piano: piano tuners and piano technicians. Piano tuners can only tune the piano. They are not qualified to fix other issues the instrument may have. Piano technicians are trained not only to tune the piano, but fix other issues that may arise, such as doing pitch correction work, repairing the lid, and any number of other things that may need to be fixed. 

If you suspect your piano needs repair in addition to tuning, be sure to call a piano technician, as they will be qualified to take care of all of your needs! 

How to Find a Piano Tuner?

There are a few ways to find a piano tuner or technician. The most obvious answer in our digital age is by searching online. You can search for piano technicians in your area, or you can use a directory, such as this useful resource compiled by Piano Acoustics

Another good technique for finding a piano tuner is using “word of mouth.” Do you have friends and colleagues who own acoustic pianos? They will likely have great suggestions for who to contact. 

Lastly, another great strategy for locating a piano technician is to get in touch with your local music store. Most music stores will have contact information for local technicians, or they may even have one on staff. 

Do you know how to find a piano tuner?  Find out today!

How Often Do I Need to Tune a Piano?

While the answer to this can vary, a good rule of thumb is to get your piano tuned at least twice a year. That being said, there are many variables that may require you to need it tuned more frequently. 

Humidity changes are the biggest culprit for necessitating more frequent tunings. If possible, try to keep your piano in a space where the humidity does not fluctuate very much. Similarly, temperature changes can also cause your piano to go out of tune more quickly. 

If the piano is exposed to a window that faces the sun, or is in other settings where the temperature can fluctuate daily, then it may need to be tuned upwards of four times per year. 

If you just bought a  piano, or if you just had a piano moved from one house to another, you will want to have it tuned four times in the first year of either circumstance. If you have moved the piano from one house or building to another house or building, it will need to be tuned after it has been moved. 

This is because the changes in humidity and temperature will cause the piano to go out of tune. It is usually best to wait at least two weeks after moving the piano to get it tuned, as this will give it time to adjust to the changes in humidity and temperature. 

The same is true if you have just bought a piano, whether it is new or used, as it will need to be moved from the place where it was purchased into your home, school, performance space, etc. Getting a piano tuned four times in the first year after having it moved will help it adjust to being in tune in the humidity and temperature of its new location. 

How Much Will it Cost to Get My Piano Tuned?

The cost of a piano tuning can vary. Factors such as geographic location, the experience level of the tuner, and how far out of tune your piano is will all impact the final answer. 

Typically, you can expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $200 to have your piano tuned

Getting your piano turned regularly is very important to the health of your instrument

Can Other Problems Arise, Costing More Money?

Yes, it is entirely possible. This is one of the benefits of having a tuner or technician tune your piano! 

They are able to notice issues your instrument is having that you may not have noticed yourself. While these issues will require more time and money to fix, you do not necessarily have to have the repairs done the same day as the tuning. 

If the technician points out other issues, you can schedule another appointment for them to return and fix the issue. When discussing the issue, the technician will be able to give you an estimate of how much it will cost to be repaired, and how much time it will take for the repair to be completed. 

Conclusion

You now have all of the information you need to make informed decisions about your piano tuning needs. Several questions you may have had, such as how long does it take to tune a piano, who is qualified to tune a piano, and how much it costs to have a piano tuned, have all been answered! 

The next step is to use the information above to guide you when contacting a piano tuner or piano technician. Whether at home, a school, a church, a theater, or anywhere else, it is important to make sure your piano is getting proper care and maintenance, and the first step is getting it tuned by a professional! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it is still able to be tuned! That being said, it is common for pianos that go years without being tuned to also require pitch correction. When contacting the piano technician, let them know how long it has been since your piano has been tuned. This will help the technician prepare to take proper care of your instrument. 

As we touched on above, humidity and temperature fluctuations are the biggest culprits for why a piano goes out of tune; however, there are other factors that can affect the piano’s tuning. 

If you play your piano regularly and loudly, the frequent use the piano is getting will likely make it go out of tune more quickly. 

Another reason pianos go out of tune is because the strings stretch. This stretching will eventually make the notes go flat (sound lower than they are supposed to sound). 

Yes, you can! There are many great options for learning how to tune and repair pianos. The Piano Technicians Guild has compiled a wonderful list of schools and companies that offer training in piano tuning and repair. 

With the proper training and experience, it is possible to make a full-time living as a piano technician! This blog post from the Piano Technician Academy has great information on the financial realities of entering the business of piano tuning and repair. 

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