Portland Piano Tuning – Call us Now (503) 877-5798

Who ever thought that getting your piano to sound great would be such a challenge? It really doesn’t have to be, and we’re here to help. We know that turning common instruments like guitars, ukuleles, violins and cellos is usually an easy process using a tool designed specifically for the job, and that is a great thing! It makes playing stringed instruments easy and convenient, and really fun! Almost any time a musician picks up an instrument that needs to be tuned before a practice session, or a performance, or a rehearsal it’s usually a really easy thing to do.

But pianos are a bit more tricky. One of the best things about a piano is that it doesn’t need to be tuned nearly as frequently! But getting them into tune in the first place can be intimidating and really expensive! That’s why we’re here to help. We’re professional piano tuners, with fundamental experience in getting any piano sounding great. We service the entire Portland Metro area, from Vancouver to Salem, from Gresham to Forest Grove. Please give us a call or fill out the form for a speedy quote specific for your situation.

Why Do Pianos Go out of Tune?

One of the most common myths about pianos falling out of tune is that somehow playing them is the cause of the problem. That is not correct! Usually, unless someone is striking the piano keys with very excessive force, a daily playing by adults and children will not cause a piano to lose its tune. In fact one of the biggest reasons that a piano does lose its tune is due to changes in the atmosphere. Humidity is typically the most common cause of a piano going out of tune, and if you’re familiar with Portland weather, you know that there is a very humid season and a very dry season, both of which affect the tuning of the piano.

Is My Piano Out of Tune?

Usually someone very easily knows the answer to this question, because they sit down to play a piece on the piano, or they begin to learn the piano and find that it just doesn’t sound quite right. If a piano hasn’t been tuned in a long time the changes in pitch can be very difficult to detect, and small changes in the pitch can cause a big difference in the tone.

Another interesting thing that happens to any stringed instrument that starts to go out of tune is called beating. This is a strange and uncomfortable sound that can happen when you play notes that are close together in frequency, but that are off just a small amount, and it causes a dissonant beating sound, that can vary in intensity depending on how far out of tune the instrument is. There is only one way to remedy the beating sound, by getting the piano tuned so that the frequencies stop colliding and causing the dissonant sound.

How Often Will it Need Tuning?

As I already mentioned, a piano should stay in tune unless there are significant changes to the atmospheric conditions in the area. What that typically means is that most customers in the Portland area, or surrounding areas get their piano tuned twice per year. Our most busy times are right after the heavy rains of winter, usually late spring, and again right after the heat of summer, usually late fall.

There may be additional times that you notice your piano needs tuning, which may be after moving it.

What about Neglected Pianos?

Pianos that haven’t been tuned in many years can have significant problems in getting them back into tune. We understand that an older piano is usually a family heirloom and treasured by many people in the family. That’s why we will do our best to bring the piano into tune. If you have a very old piano that hasn’t been tuned for a long time, please make sure to let our technicians knows. These pianos may require multiple tunings to achieve the desired sounds, including tuning twice during the first session. We can make sure that your piano sounds good through pitch raising. This process includes tuning the piano once to restore standard tension to the steel strings, putting tension on the system, then returning and tuning the piano again so that no damage is caused to the instrument.

What if I’ve had Problems with My Piano Staying in Tune?

There may be several reasons a piano might not stay in tune, some of which we’ve discussed already on this page. Big fluctuations in temperature and humidity levels are usually the culprit when it comes to pianos not staying in tune. If your piano has been tuned but seems to quickly fall out of tune, it may be that you need to position the instrument in a different place in your residence. If the piano is too close to windows that allow humidity or temperature variations, you may need to move it away from the windows, or install a dehumidifier to keep the humidity in the room at an appropriate level. If you have a strong heat source nearby such as a wood stove, it also may need to be moved away from the stove.

If you’ve tried these tactics already and are having problems with tuning still, you may need to contact a piano repair technician. A piano has a piece called a tuning pin block, and this tool is used to create friction in the piano tuning pegs so that the pegs can be turned while keeping strong tension on the piano wire. If the tuning pin block’s hole that the pin sits in ceases to create the friction needed to hold the wire at the correct tension, tuning the wire will end up doing no good. Fortunately replacing the tuning pin block for strings that won’t stay in tune is typically a relatively easy job for a piano repair technician, and there are several qualified ones in our area that we would be happy to refer you to.