Tuning is the act of adjusting the tension on the piano strings to achieve a sound that is pleasing to the ears. The standard tuning pitch is A440Hz where the ‘A’ note just below middle ‘C’ on the piano is tuned to this frequency. The remaining notes are then tuned in relation to this middle ‘A’. At Master Piano Services we tune aurally – that’s by ear, not electronically. A well tuned piano requires a human touch, and that all starts with the ability to hear what the piano has to say – tuning a piano is just like having a deep conversation.
A piano should be tuned at least once a year, and for those who regularly play it is recommended that tunings be done at least twice per year. If a piano has not been tuned for an extended period of time (more than a few years), typically the overall pitch (frequency of the notes) will drop and require a pitch adjustment prior to a standard tuning.
A pitch adjustment (called a ‘pitch raise’ when the pitch has dropped) involves more movement of the strings than when tuning a piano. The general rule is that the more you move a string, the less likely it will stay at that pitch. Often many of the strings will need to be revisited during the pitch adjustment. Think of this as conditioning the strings. A newly strung piano takes many passes through all the strings to get them to be stable at the desired pitch.