Acoustic pianos need tuning from time to time in order for them to provide the best quality sound, and tuning the instrument is not the simplest thing to do. In fact, it takes plenty of know-how and practice to achieve the best quality results and keep it sounding great all the time.
So, how long will it take for you to learn how to do it properly?
The answer to that question lies in whether you want to just learn the basics or learn to do it professionally. Learning the basics would probably give you the means of getting your own piano tuned from time to time in order to make your own music.
Why pianos need tuning
It is widely accepted that pianos require a professional and thorough tuning twice per year; once after the beginning of the warm season, and a second time after the beginning of the cool/cold season. That could be spring/autumn or summer/winter, depending on conditions where you live and your own schedule. Pianos tend to go out of tune for a number of reasons, among which changes in humidity/climate are a huge factor.
The basics of piano tuning
Being able to carry out minor tune-ups in between professional tunings, or in emergencies, is recommended for most people who use it to make music or for performances. Here is what you need to know:
- High-quality tools are needed. Using cheap tools can result in improper tunings or, worse, damaged pins and/or broken strings.
- You will need a good tutorial or course to follow. The best information will help you produce the best results.
- Patience is necessary. Learning how to keep your piano tuned to perfection (and to keep it in tune for longer) is a skill that requires a commitment to keep learning.
Professional piano tuning
You would need more in-depth training if you intend to become a professional at piano tuning, and possibly make money from it as a side hustle or fulltime job. With that said, it does take a long time to develop the finer skills needed, such as playing by ear or raising pitch. An online tutorial on how to tune a piano by Scott Detwiler notes that it can take perhaps more than a hundred attempts to get accurate and stable outcomes from tuning a piano, and that’s just at the beginners’ level.
If you want to do it professionally, you will need to enroll in a course at a certified college or institution, and courses can last for three years, going to school full-time. In recent times, there have been a few places that offer courses online. Resources you might want to check out, if you want to learn piano tuning professionally, include the Piano Technician Academy, as well as the Randy Potter School of Piano Technology.
The intensive level of knowledge required to get good at piano tuning is why most experts tend to agree that the practice should be left up to, well, the experts, as it is much more than just turning pins. Peter Janssen, who runs a piano tuning business, notes that true piano tuners are those who are also technicians, as in being able to do repairs when there is damage.
This is something to bear in mind when setting out to get a piano, especially if you have the intention of tuning it yourself. If all that sounds like too much for you, know that you can still make music using real pianos. Tunedly makes this possible, whether you want to connect with world-class pianists and other instrumentalists to create demos or full songs. By connecting with professional session musicians, you don’t have to worry about the tedium of keeping pianos tuned yourself. « return to blog