Frequently Asked Questions
How often should my piano be tuned and serviced?
It depends on your budget and how well you want to care for your piano. Annual service is a minimum requirement in most situations. If the pianist or venue is critical, two to four times per year works well. The Piano Technicians Guild has some good information here.
How much does it cost to have a piano tuned?
It depends on the piano to a large degree. Our preferred customers who regularly service their pianos get the best rate. Pianos that are not serviced regularly, have player units or are of unusual construction can be more difficult to service, take more time and incur higher fees. We strive to deliver the highest quality service that is possible under the conditions we are given. In our experience this is the best value for your dollar.
What can I do to take care of my piano?
You can make sure to have the piano serviced regularly, keep the piano, clean and place the piano in your home in an appropriate place. The Piano Technicians Guild has some good information here.
I use my piano to teach students, is there anything special I need to do to maintain it?
We believe that it is important to maintain your piano to a high standard. Your students will have the chance to learn what a properly maintained piano sounds and feels like. Many times your piano may be the best piano they ever play. The Piano Technicians Guild has some good information here.
My piano hasn't been serviced in quite some time, can it be tuned?
Pianos that have not been tuned regularly tend to drop in pitch. Most of the time we can raise the piano up to standard pitch and tune it in one visit. The piano will need to be tuned again in four to eight weeks for the best results. The Piano Technicians Guild has some good information here.
What is a Registered Piano Technician(RPT)?
The field of Piano technology is an unregulated trade. Therefore the Piano Technicians Guild has set its own standards of quality for piano technicians. The Guild has two types of members: Registered Piano Technicians and Associates. Associate membership is open to anyone with a "professional or avocational interest in piano technology." On the other hand, the title of "Registered Piano Technician" must be earned by passing a series of examinations. To attain the RPT classification, a PTG members must pass three examinations. A written exam tests basic knowledge of piano design, tuning theory, repair techniques and various other topics relevant to piano technology. Two separate practical, hands-on exams test tuning and technical skills. The practical exams are administered by panels of RPTs under the leadership of examiners trained and certified in standardized exam procedures. Exam procedures are designed to comply with standards of objectivity mandated by US anti-trust legislation, thus assuring that exams are fair and equivalent regardless of where or by whom they are administered. On the tuning exam the candidate must match as closely as possible a "master tuning" created by a panel of examiners who have agreed - after painstaking experimentation and analysis - on an optimal tuning for the test piano. The exam is scored by using extremely sensitive electronic equipment to measure the deviation of the candidate's tuning from the standard thus established. Candidates who use electronic tuning devices in their work must nevertheless demonstrate their ability to tune by ear, unaided by electronics. The technical exam requires the candidate to demonstrate professional-level skills in assembling a grand and a vertical piano action (the mechanical component of the piano) and in making all the complicated adjustments (called "regulation") so that they function properly. The candidate must also demonstrate facility in various common repairs involving wood, cloth, felt, piano wire and other materials commonly used in pianos. All the procedures on these exams must be completed in prescribed time periods - thus demonstrating the fluency required of a professional.
I know my piano needs a lot of work, what are my options?
We can repair most piano problems if the instrument is valuable to you. One service we offer is an on site evaluation of your piano. We will inspect your piano, determine what problems need to be addressed and what that would cost. We will attempt to establish an "as-is" value for your piano, give an estimate on needed work and what the piano would be worth after reconditioning or restoration. This will provide you with the data you need to make an informed decision. Due to the time and expertise involved, there is a fee for this service based on your location and the needs of your instrument. Please contact us for more information at (940) 691-3682 or by Email
My piano doesn't play easily, is there anything that can be done to improve the touch of my piano?
Our experience in regulating and restoring actions to maximum performance is unsurpassed in our area due to our extensive program of continuing education. Dale is a Precision TouchDesigntm installer with a license from David Stanwood RPT of Stanwood Piano Innovations. This process enables us to analyze and remedy many piano action problems such as this one here.The Piano Technicians Guild has some good information here.
How does humidity affect my piano?
Because pianos are constructed primarily of wood and felt, humidity will have an effect on your instrument. If humidity changes are extreme we recommend the Piano Life Saver.The Piano Technicians Guild has some good information here.
I don't like the tone of my piano has now, can it be changed?
Generally the tone of your can be adjusted by a process called voicing. Voicing should be done on a periodic basis to protect the tone of your piano. As you play the piano, the hammers wear and the tone changes. We can extend the life of your hammers by maintaing them regularly. The Piano Technicians Guild has some good information here.
What can I do to protect the finish on my piano?
Placement of your piano at home is important to avoid the effects of sun and rapid temperature changes. This is why it's important to place the piano away from windows, heating/cooling vents and fireplaces. The Piano Technicians Guild has some good information here.
Can my piano be reconditioned or rebuilt?
Yes, reconditioning is a very cost effective method of improving your piano's performance. Normally the majority of the work can be done without moving your piano to our shop. Rebuilding is a more labor intensive procedure and is generally done in our shop. We suggest you have your piano evaluated for us to determine which course is the most practical for you. The Piano Technicians Guild has some good information here. For more information, please contact us at (940) 691-3682 or by Email
I am interested in buying a piano, how do I know if the piano I am considering is a good one for my needs?
Buying a piano is a major purchase for most of our customers so we offer a consultation service regarding the pianos on the market. We strongly suggest having an evaluation done on used piano, it has saved our customers thousands of dollars in some cases. Currently it is a buyer's market so it is a great time to consider a piano purchase.
Can I move my piano myself?
Pianos are heavy, unbalanced instruments that have beautiful furniture cases. If you have experience moving such items, you probably can move a small verticle piano. Be aware that piano moving is a difficult and dangerous activity if you are not experienced. Physical injury to movers and the piano are common. Our Restoration area has some examples. Large vertical pianos and grand pianos are more difficult and require special equipment and handling. We recommend hiring a professional piano mover for these instruments. We offer this service locally and can recommend other reputable firms for long distance moves.
Will it hurt my piano to store it in a garage?
It would be better to store the instrument in an climate controlled area. The large swings in temperature and humidity in your garage or any other storage without climate control could damage your piano. We have a limited number of climate controlled spaces for piano storage available. For more information, please contact us at (940) 691-3682 or by Email
The case on my instrument is not as attractive as it once was, can I refinish it?
Most professional refinishers find that pianos and organs are time consuming and difficult to refinish so they avoid this work. The original finish put on these instruments is of the highest quality and requires skill and experience to restore. If you do decide to refinish your instrument please consider having it evaluated to make sure it is worth all the work you will put into it.
My player piano doesn't work, can it be repaired?
We repair and restore pnuematic players regularly. These instruments can be brought back to new condition by rebuilding. See our Restoration area for some examples. We also have training on the major digital systems, including Yamaha Disklavier, PianoDisc and Pianomation. Regular service on these systems keeps them playing well and can be combined with a tuning for efficienct, cost effective service.
I have an old pump organ, can it be repaired or restored?
Reed organs are commonly known as pump organs, melodians and harmoniums. We have been repairing and restoring these instruments for over twenty five years. A recent example can be seen here . For more information contact us at(940) 691-3682 or by Email
Can my electronic organ be repaired?
We work on many electronic organs and pump organs but do not service pipe organs- you have to draw the line somewhere! Please contact us with the make and model of electronic organ that requires service at (940) 691-3682 or by Email
Can I learn to play on a digital keyboard instead of a piano?
It may be possible if you are motivated and willing to work hard enough. Having worked on digital keyboards since they became popular, we have our own opinions. Feedback from piano teachers we service indicate that it is difficult to develop a pianistic touch on a keyboard. Our direct experience is that digital keyboards are like computers and have a life span that is short compared to a piano. Most manufacturers support digital keyboards for about seven years- the legal requirement. After that, it can be difficult if not impossible to service them. Pianos can last over fifty years for comparison and are restorable indefinitely.
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