Macs Music Services
How do I find a qualified piano technician?
There is only one credentialing agency for piano technicians in the United States. The Piano Technicians Guild has 3 tests (Written, Technical and Tuning Tests) that can be challenged by someone interested in becoming a Registered Piano Technician. These comprehensive tests can usually be accomplished in a day or 2. There are a number of ways someone may achieve the skills necessary to pass the tests including attending manufacturer’s factory schools, apprenticeships, PTG conventions, and chapter training or attending a comprehensive 1-2 year program at an institution like the North Bennett Street School of Piano Technology in Boston, Mass. While you may find a good technician through your local college, university or symphony it is always good to ask if someone is a Registered Piano Technician with the Piano Technicians Guild.
Can you fix sticking keys?
Yes, there are quite a few possible causes for keys sticking most of which are relatively simple to correct by a trained technician. We usually address these and similar minor repairs within the context of tuning at no extra charge if the repairs require less than 15-20 minutes.
How often should a piano be tuned?
Most manufacturers recommend 2-3 tunings per year. A minimum of once a year enables the technician to also evaluate the other aspects of piano performance such as regulation, voicing, or gradual mechanical failure. A professional pianist may need the piano tuned monthly, weekly, or even before each performance as they may want the piano as close to perfection as possible.
What makes my piano go out of tune?
There are two most common reasons pianos go out of tune. Number one is the change in humidity from day to day. When humidity levels change, the moisture content of the wood in the piano swells or shrinks changing the tension of the strings and thereby altering their pitch. Pianos are designed to be in a stable humidity environment. Installation of a humidity control system can reduce the effects of humidity changes. The second most common reason a piano goes out of tune is if the piano is played a lot by athletic players. For example, pianos in universities may get played aggressively for hours a day. This can often cause a more rapid deviation in pitch. Moving a piano can also affect its tune.
What is a pitch raise or correction?
Sometimes a pitch raise or correction is necessary if the piano has not been tuned for several years. It is in addition to the normal piano tuning process and is performed prior to fine-tuning. The piano is designed to be at A-440 pitch. In situations where the piano has not been tuned in decades, more than one pitch correction procedure may be necessary.