Frequently asked questions about piano tuning and repairs

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Dean Diers Piano Service
A Full Service Piano Technician 
Serving the Twin Cities, northern metro, and West Central Minnesota.
763-444-6683

Q   I was told my piano may need a pitch raise.  What is this?
A   A piano that has not been regularly maintained can become so out of tune that it is not possible to bring back to its original condition in a single tuning.  For a piano that is so out of tune, the strings have to be stretched so far that they will spring back so much that is goes back out of tune. You may have noticed this phenomenon if you have ever installed new strings on a guitar.  As soon as you tune it, it immediately goes out of tune again.  A pitch raise is an initial first tuning to get it up to pitch so that a proper fine tuning can then be done.
Q   I think my piano has a cracked soundboard, so it can't be tuned. Is this true?
A   No.  Cracked soundboards are actually quite common, especially in this climate.  The good news is that this has nothing to do with the tuning.  In extreme cases, cracked boards can produce a buzzing sound, but this can be corrected through repair.  You may be referring to a bad pin block which does directly affect tuning.  This is a rare and serious condition, but some remedies exist for this as well.

Q   I know my piano needs tuning, but I may be moving soon. Should I wait to get it tuned until after I move?
A   Contrary to popular belief, moving a piano will not put it out of tune.  Moving to a different climate can affect the tuning somewhat, but remember the climate in Minnesota changes every few months anyway. You should get it tuned regularly regardless of the move.

Q   Is it true that I should not put a piano on an outside wall?
A   This may have been true 100 years ago, but modern homes are generally not drafty so this isn't a problem.  However, it is very important not to place the piano in front of heat registers or air conditioning vents.  This can ruin a piano very quickly.  I cannot emphasize this enough!
Q   Do you repair organs?
A   No, but I can recommend someone who does.  I can also recommend piano teachers, movers, refinishers, and others for your numerous piano needs.

A full service piano technician * All makes-old & new 
Serving East and West Central Minnesota
763-444-6683

Click here to contact us.

  

Q   I was told my piano may need a pitch raise.  What is this?
A   A piano that has not been regularly maintained can become so out of tune that it is not possible to bring back to its original condition in a single tuning.  For a piano that is so out of tune, the strings have to be stretched so far that they will spring back so much that is goes back out of tune. You may have noticed this phenomenon if you have ever installed new strings on a guitar.  As soon as you tune it, it immediately goes out of tune again.  A pitch raise is an initial first tuning to get it up to pitch so that a proper fine tuning can then be done.
Q   I think my piano has a cracked soundboard, so it can't be tuned. Is this true?
A   No.  Cracked soundboards are actually quite common, especially in this climate.  The good news is that this has nothing to do with the tuning.  In extreme cases, cracked boards can produce a buzzing sound, but this can be corrected through repair.  You may be referring to a bad pin block which does directly affect tuning.  This is a rare and serious condition, but some remedies exist for this as well.
Q   I know my piano needs tuning, but I may be moving soon. Should I wait to get it tuned until after I move?
A   Contrary to popular belief, moving a piano will not put it out of tune.  Moving to a different climate can affect the tuning somewhat, but remember the climate in Minnesota changes every few months anyway. You should get it tuned regularly regardless of the move.
Q   Is it true that I should not put a piano on an outside wall?
A   This may have been true 100 years ago, but modern homes are generally not drafty so this isn't a problem.  However, it is very important not to place the piano in front of heat registers or air conditioning vents.  This can ruin a piano very quickly.  I cannot emphasize this enough!
 
Q   Do you repair organs?
A   No, but I can recommend someone who does.  I can also recommend piano teachers, movers, refinishers, and others for your numerous piano needs.
Q   My child is going to start piano lessons, so I'm thinking of getting an inexpensive electronic keyboard for now and see if he sticks with it.
A   Sounds like a recipe for failure. Inexpensive keyboards don't have the correct touch to simulate the feel of a "real" (acoustic) piano to learn proper technical skills.  They also tend to have a lot of "toys" on them.  Children end up playing with these instant gratification gizmos instead of learning to play the piano.  For these reasons, most piano teachers insist that the child practice on an acoustic piano.  A good quality, used piano is a much better option and will also have some resale value if things don't "work out."  Let me also say this:  Please put this piano in a prominent part of your home.  This sends the message that piano lessons are important to you; which is essential for them to be important to your child.  This is a serious investment of time and money and your child needs to learn one of life's important lessons: to stick with something with patience and diligence even when results don't come quickly and easily.
Q   Can you help me choose a piano to purchase?
A   Today there is such a vast array of pianos on the market, both new and used, that it is very advisable to secure the aid of a piano technician in the selection process.  I see so many different pianos in my day to day activities that I can help sort between the flashy duds and the hidden gems.  I enjoy helping people find a great piano for the right price.  I will advise you on the phone for free or I can go evaluate a piano for an nominal (but well worth it) fee.

Q   I want to sell my piano.  Do you have any suggestions?

A   First, have it tuned.  While this may seem like a waste, remember that a well cared for piano will bring more and be much more saleable than a neglected one.  We have all seen ads like this:  Piano for sale, needs tuning, you haul.  What message does this send?  Would you want to buy this and bring it home?  If I do a presale tuning on your piano, not only does it sound much better, but I can assist you on pricing and marketing it as well as give technical assistance to any potential buyers.
A full service piano technician * All makes-old & new * Isanti * MN * 763-444-6683
Associate member of the Piano Technicians Guild

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