Prices for repairs vary according to what may be required and I will not proceed without prior consultation. If a problem is encountered only on one or two notes this can be rectified with no extra charge whilst the tuning is in process unless replacement parts are necessary. See Pricing and info below for Piano Tuning Cape Town.
Piano manufactures recommend that tunings are done at least twice yearly in order to retain a reasonable level of perfection. The reason for this is that tuning is directly affected by any alteration in the tension of the strings. The expansion and contraction of the sound board during seasonal extremes related to moisture content will add or reduce tension on the strings and will therefore alter the tuning. Two completely separate bridges over which the strings pass are connected to the sound board. One bridge accommodates the steel treble strings the other bridge has the copper wound bass strings. The tension on the treble bridge will vary much more than the tension on the bass bridge because it is situated on the crown of the soundboard, whereas the bass bridge is placed near the edge of the soundboard and therefore does not respond as much to variations in humidity.
It is understandable that with the numerous activities in which children are expected to participate, a bi-annual tuning becomes financially out of reach for many parents. It has therefore become the norm for most people to opt for tuning once a year. However if the tuning is left for two years or more there is a likelihood that the tuning could cost more. This is due to the fact that the piano will require a second session immediately as the pitch may have dropped below A438cps.
A piano tuner needs to have served an apprenticeship with a company specializing in piano repairs for at least 3 to 4 years. During this time he/she will have engaged in supervised repairing activities in most aspects of the piano’s complicated and sensitive mechanism. During this time he/she will have engaged in procedures such as restringing, pitch-raising, keyboard and soundboard repairs and many other activities including the art of setting a temperament, and finally the complete tuning of dozens of pianos in the workshop environment.
All of the above needs to take place before a tuner is let loose on members of the public and he/she would also have accreditation with a tuner’s association /Guild.
It is my opinion that a tuner should definitely be able to play the piano well for the following reasons:
There needs to be an appreciation of the variance in the tone of each note which can only be detected by playing the piano once the tuning has been completed.
The touch factor which embraces repetition, depth of touch, weight of touch, can hardly be assessed if the piano is not played by someone who is a competent musician.
The efficiency of the pedal mechanism can best be assessed whilst playing the piano
Piano tuning is largely a scientific process the knowledge of which has to be acquired over a long period of instruction and practical application. Should a tuner with these credentials wish to use a machine as a cross reference this would be no problem at all. However if someone utilises the machine without the aforementioned background this would be totally unacceptable.