Rhapsody Piano Service

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

1. Are you certified?

2. What do I receive during a "standard tuning/service call"?

3. Do you tune organs?

4. What are your rates?

5. Do you give discounts?

6. Do you offer gift certificates?

7. Do you charge a service fee for pianos that cannot/should not be serviced?

8. What should I do to prepare my piano for service?

Tuning FAQs

1. How often should I have my piano tuned?

2. Why should I have my piano tuned?

3. Do you tune by ear or with a tuning device?

4. Will you tune a piano above or below standard pitch A440?

5. What is a pitch raise/ pitch lowering?

6. How much does a pitch raise/pitch lowering cost?

7. Which was first, the chicken or the egg?

8. The last time my piano was tuned, the tuner had to come back after a few days while the piano stabilized. Do you do this?

9. What is inharmonicity?

10. Do you tune in alternative temperament or historical temperaments?

Everything Else

1. Do you repair organs?

2. If a tree falls in the woods and noone is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

3. Why is a properly regulated piano so important?

4. Will regulating make my piano play better?

5. Will regulating make my piano sound better?

6. Better than it did when it was new?

7. How much do regulating services cost?

General Questions

1. Are you certified?  If a piano technician ever says that he/she is "certified", ask , "by whom?". The fact is, unlike other professions, no official certification for piano technicians is required or recognized by any local, state, or federal governments. Home-study courses or residency schools in piano technology generally issue "certificates" indicating the completion of that particular program, but not all piano technology programs are equal. The Piano Technicians Guild is the only organization in the U.S. that administers a series of voluntary exams in tuning, repairing, and regulating to members interested in becoming "Registered Piano Technicians". Choosing an "RPT" gives piano owners added assurance that their piano technician has a competent level of knowledge and expertise in piano service. Back

2. What do I receive during a "standard tuning/service call"? Every piano receives a complete inspection and pedal regulation (assuming the dampers themselves don't need regulating). A typical tuning and service call lasts around 1-2 hours, depending on the condition of the piano. It is recommended that piano owners inquire about extended service. Extended service provides more time for other adjustments to the piano that tuning alone doesn't usually take care of. Back

3. Do you tune organs? Yes. However, bear in mind that some organs are not easily tuned and must be serviced by factory trained technicians. Back

4. What are your rates? Please contact us for our current rates. Rest assured, the ratio of cost to the services rendered to your piano is very piano-owner friendly. A major effort is put forth to give every piano owner the best service and the lowest prices feasible. Contact Eric Davis for any questions about rates and fees. Back

5. Do you give discounts? Since it is very easy for a business to discount itself out of business, and since there are so many variables that have to be dealt with, discounts, when given, are done so on a case by case basis. Back

6. Do you offer gift certificates? Gift certificates are available and are a great for birthdays, Mother's Day, or any other occasion. Send a message via the contact page to purchase a gift certificate. Back

7. Do you charge a service fee for pianos that cannot/should not be serviced? It is never pleasant to have a piano technician tell you that your piano is not worth the cost involved to make it playable, then add insult to injury by charging you for the unwelcome news. However, given the time and expense spent traveling to, from, and with the piano, it is necessary to charge a small service fee. Back

8. What should I do to prepare my piano for service? Please remove any song books, sheet music, picture frames, etc. Also, your piano will be tuned much faster and with greater precision if your tuner is allowed to work in a quiet environment. Back

Tuning FAQs

1. How often should I have my piano tuned? While it would be great if pianos could be tuned four to six times a year, the average non-performing pianist usually does not have the budget for such a luxury. Piano manufacturers and technicians agree that a new piano in a home should be tuned four times the first year after leaving the dealership, and then every six months thereafter. Back

2. Why should I have my piano tuned?  Not only are pianos scaled and constructed with the expectation that they will be keep at standard pitch, but it is also detremental to anyone's capability and desire to seriously pursue piano playing with obnoxious sounds coming from it. Having your piano tuned frequently will force your ear to become more discriminate of out-of-tuneness, thus making you a better musician. Back

3. Do you tune by ear or with an electronic tuning device? I will always tune with my ears, since it is the human ear that listens to music and is the final judge of what is in tune and what is not.  However, I do take advantage of the latest man-made technology and employ computer software that not only allows me to set a temperament quicker (esp. in noisy environments) but also allows me to calculate a tuning that is specific to your piano. Back

4. Will you tune a piano above or below standard pitch A440? The only time I prefer to leave a piano flat, is if the strings are so rusted that raising pitch would break too many strings. All modern pianos are designed and constructed to sound best at standard pitch. Modern wind instruments are crafted to play at A440. If a piano is pitched  too sharply or flatly, wind instruments would not be able to compensate and play in tune with the piano. There is some leway and it is generally safe to set pitch at A440 +/- 1 Hz. Back

5. What is a pitch raise/ pitch lowering? There is a very good explanation here. Back

6. How much does a pitch raise/pitch lowering cost? While a pitch raise/pitch lowering requires the same amount of work, the fact that it does not have to be precise allows for faster work. Therefore the cost is about one-half of the cost of a standard tuning. Back

7. Which was first, the chicken or the egg? This piano technician firmly believes the chicken was first. Back

8. The last time my piano was tuned, the tuner had to come back after a few days while the piano stabilized. Do you do this? No. Your piano will be ready the day that it is serviced. Not only do you get to play a finely tuned piano sooner, but you don't have to worry about additional costs due to an extra visit. Back

9. What is inharmonicity? There is no way to concisely define what inharmonicity is without first explaining the science and mechanics behind how a string produces sound when struck or plucked. Remember this though-- inharmonicity is the culprit behind why two pianos of different designs cannot be accurately tuned to each other since the differences in piano wire length, mass, tension, and diameter cause the notes in Equal Temperament to be slightly different for each piano design. Here is a decent explanation regarding piano acoustics and inharmonicity. Back

10. Do you tune in alternative temperament or historical temperaments? "Sure do. Some folks simply don't like the sound of Equal Temperament, especially for period music like a Bach Invention.You may request that your piano be tuned in virtually any temperament without additional costs. Back

Everything Else

1. Do you repair organs? Not at the moment. Back

2. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? There are some that might argue all day about it; but based on the Acoustical Sciences, the answer would have to be ...yes. Back

3. Why is a properly regulated piano so important? Like a car engine, when parts become worn, it is necessary to make adjustments so that everything works together like it should. That's what "regulating a piano" means. If the parts in a piano action do not interact with each other properly, parts might stop functioning, or worse, become damaged. However, saving money, is not the only benefit of having a properly regulated piano. Back

4. Will regulating make my piano play better? Yes, the piano will respond to your touch with more emotion and feeling. Back

5. Will regulating make my piano sound better? Absolutely...after the tone has been regulated (also called "voicing") to the acoustical environment that the piano resides in...Back

6. Better than it did when it was new? Quite possibly...Back

7. How much does it cost to regulate a piano? Prices vary since different pianos need more or less work done to them than the next piano down the road. Your piano would have to be examined thoroughly before a price could be quoted. Back

 

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