Below are some of the most common questions I receive from new and existing customers. If you don't see the answer you're looking for, please contact me.
How often should my piano be tuned or serviced?
It is usually recommended to have your piano tuned at least twice a year. Brand new pianos and some older instruments require tuning more often. The pitch of a piano will drop if a piano is not tuned on a regular basis and the stability of its environment will determine how often it needs to be tuned. It also depends on how much use the piano receives. Many pianos only need tuning once a year while others need continuing maintenance.
How much does a piano tuning cost?
A standard concert tuning costs $100. If the piano hasn't been tuned in awhile, a pitch raising might be in order and that runs $50 additional. I always let the customer know first thing how badly out of tune their piano is before I proceed. If there are other repairs required to make the piano playable, that is also mentioned up front.
Is a digital piano just as good as a regular piano?
Some digital pianos can be quite good, just like there are bad ‘regular’ pianos. Most piano teachers do not recommend digital pianos due to their difference in touch from the keyboard. A digital piano, however good as it may seem, still produces sound through amplified speakers. There is no comparison with the real thing when hearing the two side by side. Real strings and a real soundboard are the preferred choice of most pianists.
What is voicing?
Voicing, also referred to as tone regulating, primarily involves making changes to the tone of the piano. Manipulation of hammer hardness is done with the use of needles, shaping, the use of chemical hardeners and a number of other techniques. Voicing is a highly technical procedure requiring experience and expertise and is as important as tuning in bringing out the potential of the instrument and in giving tonal control to the player. The customer's personal preferences ultimately dictate tonal levels.
Should I spend a lot of money on a piano if I’m not sure my son/daughter will continue?
Your child should have a quality instrument to start with. That doesn’t mean buying a $50,000 piano right away, but even the most proficient pianist cannot perform well on a worn out piano. Whether it’s a piano, guitar, or band and orchestra instrument, don’t go "cheap" or free. Your child will know the difference. Check out my '5 tips for buying a used piano' in the piano buying tips section.
Do you have piano teachers in the Front Range area you recommend?
Choosing the right teacher is very important. I will gladly give you a list of recommended teachers in your area. Parents also have the responsibility of encouraging their child during practice times and adhering to a regular practice schedule.
What kind of information should you look for when purchasing a quality piano?
You should strongly consider the following three points. First, you want to be sure that quality materials were used in the construction of the piano. Second, you should get information on who actually manufactured the piano (for instance, does the company have a high level of experience and expertise, does the factory meet worldwide standards for quality and craftsmanship, etc.). Third, you want to be sure you are purchasing your piano from a trusted, service-oriented dealer.
Where should I place my piano in my home?
The ideal place for your piano to be is against an inside wall, away from anything that could possibly affect the humidity levels. Best to avoid windows, doors, cooling/heating systems vents that direct air at or near your piano, and proximity to fireplaces. Exposure to direct sunlight over a period of time can absolutely ruin your piano's finish. Severe swings in humidity and temperature caused by the above listed hazards can be harmful. Overly dry environments cause cracks or glue joint failures to develop in your piano's wood parts, and exposure to too much moisture causes rust on the strings, tuning pins and other metal parts. If you find yourself restricted in your options for placement do not despair, just do your best to minimize the danger. Installing the Piano Life Saver System will also increase the longevity of your piano tuning. Contact me for more information about this system.
How does the climate in Colorado affect my piano?
We are blessed to live in quite a moderate climate here in Colorado. That doesn't mean that the temperature or humidity stays the same year round. In fact, humidity is the number one reason for piano pitch fluctuation. Too little humidity results in a dry soundboard with strings that go flat, especially in the winter months when the heat is on. Too much humidity causes the soundboard to swell pushing the strings sharp. This happens in the summer months. Also, people who have an evaporative cooler or swamp cooler find it nearly impossible to keep their piano in tune during the summer. Colorado does have quite a large humidity swing from summer to winter by as much as 20% relative humidity in the winter up to 70% in the summer or greater! 42% relative humidity is the recommended level for any piano. If your piano experiences large pitch variances between summer and winter, consider installing a Dampp-Chaser Piano Life Saver system.