Perth and Mandurah Piano Tuning

Perth Piano Tuner Adrian McDonald has been trained by Yamaha’s top Australian Concert ¬†Tuner Mr Brent Ottley at the Australasian School Of Piano Technology. Adrian has been trained in aural piano tuning but has adapted a hybrid method that involved both technology based tuning followed by aural checks by ear. The outcome is a very accurate yet musical tuning. Adrian tunings have been tested by the Australian Piano Tuners & Technicians Association for accuracy and stability and has passed both rigours Tuning and Work bench tests to become a Australasian Registered Piano Technician. By trusting your piano to an ARPT Tuner you can rest in knowing that your tuner has the highest skills to get your piano sounding it’s best and not making it sound worse or damaging your piano as has so often happened by inexperienced piano tuners in Perth. Sadly the piano tuning profession is not government recognised as a trade, so any person holding a tuning hammer can call them self a piano tuner.

Q: Why Does my Piano go out of tune?

A: The Piano’s 200+ strings are under a great deal of tension, about 20 tons in total. Strings are supported by the piano’s iron frame, pin block, tuning pins, wooden bridges and soundboard. Anything that changes the condition of these parts will cause change in the string tensions causing the piano to become out of tune. Humidity and temperature changes are the biggest cause for your piano to go out of tune. The wooden soundboard and bridge absorb moisture in humidity, this expand the wood putting more tension on the strings causing pitch change. Come dry weather the wood expels its moisture causing the soundboard to dry and shrink, causing the piano’s pitch to become flat and sometime tuning pins can become loose in the wood pin block. Temperature has a mild effect on steel strings causing contraction and expansion of the steel and this cause changes in the stings pitch. New pianos and newly re-strung pianos will not hold a solid tuning until the strings stretch with time and repeated tuning. Many new pianos drop a semitone flat withing a few months after tuning, this may happen for 2 to 3 years untill the piano settles and the strings stop stretching. Regular playing is one more factor for a piano becoming out of tune. The louder and more often a piano is played, the faster it goes out of tune. A piano with tight tuning pins will not loose tune as fast as a piano with loose tuning pins, but playing is a factor in even the best quality pianos.

Q: Can all pianos be tuned?

A: No not all pianos can be tuned well. The piano was invented about 300 years ago. The most advances and stability in piano production came with the industrial revolution. Pianos before this were some what of a experiment in building. Some pianos have wood frames and can’t support the tension of modern tuning or even hold tune. Some actions were very simplistic and fail to live up to expectation of todays pianists. Some pianos are straight strung wich causes problems with a phenomenon know as inharmonicity, it is near impossible to achieve a pleasing tuning from such instruments. If your piano is made after the 1940’s we can predict that your piano may hold pitch and maybe worth tuning. If your up-right piano is pre 1920’s then you will most likly have a over damper action. You will discover that most piano tuner will refuse to work on such an instrument due to its age and difficulties in tuning, Pianotech somewhat agrees with this approach but brands such as Thurmer or Bluthner may be of quality build and worth the effort and cost of tuning.

Q: How often should my piano be tuned?

A: The industry recommends a tuning at the least once a year. Keep in mind humidity, temperature and how often you play the instrument have a big impact on the tuning stability of your piano. Your geographic location or the physical piano location within the home may cause humidity and temperature extremes, so your piano may require more tuning than the recommended once a year. Piano teachers and schools and institutions may require even more frequent tuning.

Q: My piano was last tuned 30 years ago, can you tune it?

A: Many customers state that they last had the piano tuned 20 to 30 years ago, this is a problem as the pitch would have dropped so far that the piano will require many tunings or what is called pitch raises to get the piano to hold at concert pitch. What the customer has saved in not tuning over the decades is now consumed by the expense of pitch raises and unnecessary strain on the instruments iron frame and strings that may break under this new tension. It may be recommended to tune the instruments to its relative pitch and not up to standard concert pitch. Pinotech will remind such clients that playing along with other instruments or recordings will not sound in tune, and its not ideal for students to learn of instruments below concert pitch as it confuses the aural learning and developing perfect pitch.

Q: How long will tuning my piano take?

A: About 1.5 hours for a normal tuning, more time may be required if the piano is well below pitch and pitch raises are required. Old style player pianos (pianola) will take more time to tune due to limited access to the strings caused by the obstruction of the player mechanism. Adrian will asses your piano on arrival and inform you if job is going to take longer than 2 hours.

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