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(800) 738-8633 (800) RE-TUNED

The Largest Piano Tuning and Service Organization in the Western United States Exceeding Your Expectations Since 1976

  • An association of piano technicians, working under the guidance of Shawn Skylark, a highly acclaimed concert tuner with over 36 years of experience
  • The only piano service to offer a money-back, 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Whatever type of piano you have, whatever level of service you require, we have the right technician for you!
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New Piano Owners

Congratulations! Purchasing a new piano is almost always a significant moment in people's lives, and we are glad to be a part of that process.

Many people buy their first new piano for their children, hoping that they will learn to play and make music a part of their lives. Sometimes children have been playing for years, and the new piano is a reward for the efforts they have made, and part of a commitment to helping them reach a higher level of excellence.

Many adults dream of owning a piano, and finally one day decide to make that dream a reality.

Whatever your story is, we look forward to helping you learn about your piano, take care of it, and in time turn it into the best instrument it is capable of being.

Schedule An Appointment

If your dealer referred you to us for your first tuning, click here to reach our Schedule An Appointment page.Make sure to click the third choice at the top indicating that you are were referred by a dealer.

There is no "rule" for when to have the first tuning. It is a good idea to let the piano acclimate for a few weeks, but after that, the sooner the better.

Common Questions

If this is your first piano, you probably have a lot of questions about tuning, cleaning, maintenance, and peraps problems. Please browse through this site and you may find most of those questions answered, especially the FAQs and the article "Basics of Piano Maintenance."

The best source for these answers is your technician. If you can be there when your technician arrives that is usually the best time to have these questions addressed.

It is not unusual for new pianos in all price ranges to have some minor problems after they are delivered. These problems almost never indicate anything serious and should not be cause for too much concern.

Sticky keys, buzzes, clicking sounds, etc., are all symptoms of the piano “settling” as it adjusts to the conditions in your home. Remember, a piano is a musical instrument, not an appliance.

To make things easier, we have reprinted on this page some of the information from elsewhere in this site that may be of particular interest to new piano owners.

How often should my piano be tuned?

Simple answer: Every six months if you have a "good ear" and need it to be "right," once a year if you just want to maintain it at a reasonable level, acceptable to the average listener.

Better answer: Depends on many factors. It is not unusual in a professional situation, (such as recording or performance) to tune the piano once or even twice PER DAY. Many hotels and restaurants tune their pianos once a month. Manufacturers recommend that new pianos be tuned a minimum of every 3 or 4 months until the strings stabilize. Older pianos that are stable and have had regular tuning and are not often used can sometimes do fine with tuning every 2 or 3 years. We will assess your situation and give an honest recommendation, based on your piano and your needs.

Why Does a New Piano Need Tuning?

For anyone who is new to the world of pianos, it is sometimes surprising to learn how much service a new piano requires. Most of the time when we buy something new it arrives in perfect condition, and we expect that to last for a while before we have to invest any more money into its maintenance or repair. Pianos are the opposite. A new piano requires much more care and service when it is new. If it receives proper care in its early years of use, it will remain in better condition, and stay in tune better for years to come, and is likely to require less frequent tuning in the future.

Why is this? Because pianos use tightly stretched steel wires to generate their tone, and each one of these strings is under about 200 lbs. of tension! Once the string is pulled tight it immediately begins to stretch, slowly reducing its tension and lowering its frequency, or pitch. It will keep dropping in pitch, but less so as its tension is lowered, until it is tuned again.

The process of tuning and stretching usually takes about six to eight tunings before the new strings are fully stretched out. At that point we say the piano is stable, and will stay in tune much longer. So, if a new piano is tuned only once per year it may take up to six years or longer before the piano actually tends to stay in tune!

It is for this reason that almost all manufacturers recommend that new pianos be tuned at least twice per year, and most recommend three or four times the first year. The more you tune a piano in the first two years, the better it will sound for the rest of its "life."

Why Does My New Piano Have Sticky Keys?

The mechanism, or action, of your piano is made of wood. The parts that move do so in a collar of felt (bushing) or with some kind of felt cushion. Both wood and felt tend to pick up moisture from the air and can swell, causing the new parts to get a little tight. This is the most common problem in new pianos. It is very easy to fix and in no way indicates any serious defect. It's just one of the things new pianos sometimes do.

If you press a key down and it comes back up slowly, or just stays down, that is what is generally called a "sticky" key. Every part that moves in the piano has an optimum "fit." If it is too loose the mechanism can be noisy and hard to control, but if any of the moving parts has too much friction the key will be slow.

Often it is just the actual key, and sometimes the cause is deeper in the action. Sometimes this is a warranty issue, if the factory failed to properly fit the parts, but usually it is a normal part of piano "acclimating." Only a trained technician can tell the difference, and only a technician who is recognized by the manufacturer will usually be allowed to make a warranty claim. The good news is that these are almost always simple problems that stay fixed once they are addressed.

Why Does My New Piano Have a "Ringing" Sound?

When you play a key and lift your finger, the note stops because a felt pad is pressed against the string, assisted either by gravity or springs. These pads are known as dampers. It is not unusual for the dampers to need adjusting to properly fit the strings, and if they are misaligned they will let some tone "leak" through. Often in new grands the wires that support the damper heads are too tight in the guide felt. This too is common, but easy to fix.

Occasionally a client will describe a "ringing" in the bass strings. especially when they are hit hard. Sometimes these frequencies are coming form harmonics that are a normal part of the tone, but not always desirable. A good technician should be able to quickly identify this source of "ringing." Usually it cannot be completely eliminated, but sometimes it can be reduced.

Why Does My New Piano Have a "Buzzing" Sound On Some Keys?

A piano puts out a great deal of energy when played. Any part of the cabinet, or metal parts, (hinges, etc.) can vibrate if loose, and often in new pianos the cabinet is also settling as a result of changing average humidity. Once the loose part is located and tightened the buzz goes away.

Sometimes it is coming form debris inside the piano which can be located and removed, and occasionally the buzz is coming from a source outside the piano; a window pane or picture frame glass on a nearby shelf, for example! Very rarely, there is some structural defect, such as a loose sound board, which in a new piano would be a warranty issue. Only an experienced technician can best determine the cause and remedy.

What is voicing?

Simple answer: Voicing refers to the tone quality, which is often described with words like bright or mellow. It can be adjusted more than most people realize, but is not generally changed simply with tuning. Not all tuners are skilled at this complex art.

More details: This is the most important and least understood area of piano service. Even after the piano is tuned and all the strings are producing the correct pitch; even after the action is adjusted so that the keys function flawlessly, the instrument can still sound terrible. Why? Because the hammers that hit the strings can produce a tone that is sweet and clear, or harsh and bright, depending on how hard they are. A hard and brittle hammer will produce a harsh and thin tone, while a soft hammer will fail to produce any power or sparkle.

Does your piano sound uneven, with some notes noticeably harsher than others? Does it sound dull and muted? Even though there are 88 notes, each one should "sing" as if it was produced by the same singer, with the same "voice," or tone. Many otherwise competent technicians are not adequately trained in this skill.

First, an experienced voicer will listen to the overall tone to see if it can be improved throughout, or just needs touching up in spots. Then he or she needs to understand why the tone is the way it is. Do the hammers need to be fit better to the strings? Does the felt need to be manipulated in spots to open up or mellow out the tone? Do the hammers need to be filed, so that the "dead" layers of felt will not interfere with the sound?

Even the humblest of pianos can be improved with voicing, and often it does not take very much time at all, and can be very inexpensive, with a huge benefit in improved sound. And the finest, high end instruments can never achieve their true potential unless they are being serviced by a technician who is trained in the art of voicing.

What is regulation?

Regulation is the general term that refers to any work that keeps the mechanism, (or action), working properly. When a key is played, a felt hammer strikes the strings. This is accomplished through a complex assembly of levers and springs which can be adjusted with extraordinary subtlety. When working at its best, the piano can achieve an enormous degree of responsiveness.

When properly adjusted, the key only travels down a small distance, (approximately 3/8"). While that small motion occurs under your fingers, a lot is happening inside that enables the instrument to be played tenderly and expressively, or with power and passion; with either lightning speed or smooth "legato." A well trained tuner is more than a tuner, he or she is a piano "technician" with extensive training in the skills needed to achieve and maintain the correct functioning of the piano mechanism and pedal systems.

We Specialize in:
  • Bosendorfer
  • Steinway
  • Petrof
  • Schimmel
  • Yamaha