Frequently Asked Questions

How much do you charge?  

Please click here to see my rates.  

 

I've never had a piano tuned before.  What should I expect? 

I will need to open up your piano to gain access to the strings.  Please remove pictures or other objects on the piano.  You do not need to move the piano out from the wall.  Piano tuning involves turning each tuning pin, and adjusting each string so the piano sounds harmonious.  It takes about 1.5-2 hours.  I have to play every note many times, loudly.  I have to listen very carefully, so the quieter the house is, the better I can do my job.  I can't tune if there's any music playing - which includes TV commercials.  Ceiling fans change the sound and will need to be turned off if they are near the piano.  Vacuums and leaf blowers are very difficult to tune over, so please schedule cleaners and landscapers accordingly.  Thank you! 

 

Is it possible to cancel an appointment once I make it?

Yes, there will be a cancellation link in your confirmation email if you would like to cancel the appointment.  If you can't find the email or link, feel free to email me.  I have a few times set aside each week for reschedules - please let me know (email) if you need to move your time so you don't have 'get at the back of the line,' and schedule 4 months out again.

 

We're having a party - can you still tune the piano?

Unfortunately, if you're having guests over and would like to entertain, your piano tuning appointment will have to wait.  Piano tuning is not entertaining for guests - it's actually pretty annoying, for all parties involved.

 

My piano is a mess - it probably needs a lot of work, if it's even tunable.  What sort of appointment should I book? 

I recommend scheduling a basic tuning.  I can make an evaluation, perform small repairs, and tune the piano, if possible.  After this initial appointment, we can schedule other work, such as cleaning and regulation.  If the piano is not tunable, I simply charge my evaluation fee of $75.

 

How long after moving should I wait to tune my piano?

A piano takes about 2 weeks to acclimatize if it was coming from a similar environment.  If you just moved to Las Vegas from, say, Guam - please contact me about putting in a humidifier system ASAP.  The piano will take about 2 years to fully dry out from a humid climate, during which, it will undergo major changes.  The case may start separating, and the action will certainly have problems.  

 

Will moving the piano put it out of tune? 

Yes, even moving a piano a few inches can put it out of tune.  Please have it tuned when it is in its final place.

 

Do you recommend a moving company?

Yes, I recommend Erick from The Careful Move.  702-364-0101.

 

Are older pianos better?

Unfortunately, no, pianos DO NOT get better with age.  This is a widely believed myth that comes from the fact that top piano brands (Yamaha, Steinway, Kawai, etc.) do tend to hold their value.  If you bought a Steinway piano 30 years ago, you can probably sell it today for more than you bought it for due to inflation. However, the instrument itself has not improved.  Simply put, pianos are made of wood, felt and metal that are under enormous amounts of tension.  The wood goes through many cycles of shrinking and expanding which causes cracking, the felt wears down, and strings corrode and lose elasticity. Unlike violins and other instruments, pianos do not get better with age.  

 

The piano is currently in the garage.  Can you tune it there?

Please don't ever store your piano in the garage.  Weather changes and temperature fluctuations will wreak havoc on the piano.  Also, I cannot work in garages in the summer heat.

 

I inherited an old heirloom piano that doesn't play, but we don't want to throw it away.  What are our options?

If your piano has a lot of problems, it could easily turn into a money pit -  every 6 months something new breaks, and the piano never gets any better.  I can rebuild your piano - new strings, a new pinblock, new soundboard, and a new action.  This is entirely possible, but only really worth it if the piano is a great top brand.  Partially rebuilding or fully rebuilding a piano runs anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000, but it essentially gives you a brand new piano that will last another 100-200 years.  Another option that I've had several customers do is to install electronic hardware, such as ProRecord.  ProRecord is a sensor strip that sits underneath the keys and emits a piano tone (a real recorded Steinway piano,) through speakers.  The piano action is blocked from actually striking the strings.  So, you play the piano normally, it feels like it normally does, and now it plays in tune, beautifully through speakers hidden in the case.

 

Do you have a multiple piano discount?

Yes - I discount the bill $20 for two pianos, $30 for three pianos, etc.  The pianos must be in the same home.

 

What sort of payment do you prefer?

Checks are easiest for me, but cash also works.  I can also do Venmo or the Cash app.  

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How do I maintain my piano?

First off, tuning your piano regularly and having it cleaned by a professional will keep it sounding and performing at its best.  Manufacturers recommend tuning your piano every season, or 4 times a year.  Some show pianos on the strip are tuned every day, or even several times throughout the day!  For most customers, I recommend tuning every 6 months, or once a year.  In addition to tuning, your piano will need to be regulated every few years.  This involves turning screws and adjusting the action, lubricating parts, and many other adjustments that will keep your piano at factory specifications.  To polish your piano, I recommend Cory Care products.  Click here for their website.  I use "Super High Gloss" for polished pianos, and for wood pianos, I use "Harmony Detailing Oil."  I also use "Key-Brite" for the keytops. Their microfiber cloths are awesome!  

 

What should I look for in buying a used piano?

This is a very in-depth question, and the best way to ensure you buy a quality piano is to have a piano technician evaluate it before purchasing.  A general rule of thumb for old pianos: I recommend playing and listening to each key from lowest to highest.  If any note drops down low in sound, instead of rising in pitch, I would say it's not worth having an evaluation performed; the piano is probably junk.  This most likely means the pinblock is cracked, and the piano is not tunable.  However, click here for more information.

 

 

 

 

Kelly Dugger, RPT |  duggermusicservices@gmail.com

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Las Vegas Piano Tuner, Piano Technician