RPT-Emblem-webfinal
These are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding piano care:
_____________________________________________________
How often should I tune my piano?
Protect your investment with regular tunings (at least annually). Whenever humidity makes a drastic change, the piano will react with varying pitches (due to the swelling and shrinking of the wood). Here in the Houston area, we basically have two distinct humidity changes - one in the Spring, and one in the Fall. Therefore, two tunings per year are ideal, one tuning per year is minimum maintenance. Manufacturers recommend twice a year (four times for new pianos). Keep the humidity steady, and you will require less tunings. Email or self-schedule for an appointment.

Why does my piano need to be tuned twice?
Sometimes, when a piano has not been tuned in a while (several years), it must be brought near proper pitch before it can be fine-tuned. This pre-tuning pitch raise will initially put the piano at pitch, but the instrument will tend to drift out of pitch immediately (like 10 minutes). A second tuning will stabilize most pianos. Generally, the longer a piano has gone without tuning, the more it will need subsequent tunings to completely stabilize

Should I put a bowl of water in the piano to help maintain proper moisture?
No! Never! There are specific items designed to do this properly. We recommend the Piano Life Saver System®. This system stabilizes pitch, prevents rusted strings, reduces harsh tones, and protects your investment. It’s the same system used on Leonard Bernstein’s piano!

Nobody plays the piano any more. Do I really need to have it tuned?
Yes. Moisture can collect on the strings and the rust will ruin the tone. Restringing is a costly process. A good tuning will not only keep each string at its optimum tension, it will also allow the strings a chance to be played by the tuner. Protect your investment by keeping your instrument in playing condition.

What is Regulation?
Like a fine automobile, various parts of a piano show wear and tear over time. The moving parts eventually need to be readjusted, a process called regulation. Most older pianos have never been regulated. Many of them left the factory with minimum regulation! Regulation affects the way the keys respond to your touch. While your piano is being tuned, the feel of your piano is tested and compared to normal factory specifications. If your piano is far from the recommended specifications, you will be given enough information to decide if you want to schedule a regulation.

How much is my piano worth?
This question has no concrete answer. Pianos are not like used cars where a standard is set according to mileage, upgrades, etc.. Qualified tuners can give you a good idea of the shape your piano is in, and your piano’s age can be determined by its serial number, but supply and demand will dictate its actual worth. Incidentally, just because a piano was made in a previous century does not necessarily mean it has more value. However, if a piano was completely worn out, but had been used by Abraham Lincoln, it would be worth a lot of money! :-)

Which pianos does Glenn work on?
All pianos. Equal care is given to grands and spinets alike. Practically all parts are replaceable or repairable. Regardless of your brand, chances are, repairs can be made. Most pianos can be tuned to A-440 (an international standard) unless there is a rare major problem such as a damaged pin block, loose pins. If the piano has excessive rust on the strings (water damage), the technician may tune it a bit low to avoid breaking strings. In these cases, the problems are evident up front and you would be informed.

Can I move my piano myself?
Sure you can if you don't care about your back or your doorway! You’ll lose your friendship after they break your stair rail. Pianos are bulky and very unstable when they are moved. A sudden shift in weight will sent your instrument through a wall, or on top of your friends! Call a qualified piano mover (not a furniture mover)! You (and your back) will be glad you did.

My soundboard has a crack. Is the piano ruined?
No. Depending on the length and location of the crack, you may not even notice any difference in tone. A good technician should be able to offer some solutions to repair the damage.

How often should I change strings?
Probably never in an average home. Unlike guitar strings, piano strings are very expensive and difficult to install. This is something that is done when a soundboard needs replacing (major work), or if the strings have had excessive rusting (too high humidity). Strings are usually changed during a restoration process. If the strings are changed, new hammers, hammer shanks, and flanges need to be installed as well. Plan on $3,000 for this kind of undertaking!