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Best Piano Tuners in Washington DC

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Butler & Sons Piano Restoration LLC logo
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Butler & Sons Piano Restoration LLC

Bowie, MD 20715
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Business Description

Butler & Sons Piano Restoration LLC in Bowie has been serving the DC metro area for over four decades. Butler & Sons Piano Restoration LLC handles everything from small piano repairs to complete restorations. The company specializes in Steinway grand pianos but has the knowledge to work on a range of brands. Rick Butler of Butler & Sons Piano Restoration LLC is a registered piano technician with the Piano Technicians Guild. Rick has served as president, vice president, and secretary for the local chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild, and has given numerous local, regional, and national lectures on tuning, voicing, regulation, and other subjects related to piano repairs and the art of rebuilding pianos.

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Downtown Piano Works logo
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Downtown Piano Works

Frederick, MD 21701
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Business Description

Downtown Piano Works in Frederick is a music school, piano servicer, and an authorized Yamaha piano dealer. The store carries models such as the Yamaha CX Series, Clavinova Digital Piano, AVANT Grand Hybrid Piano, and Yamaha Disklavier Piano. Downtown Piano Works offers tuning, voicing, and regulation services. The business’s piano technician received his Bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music and has serviced pianos for local school systems, universities, performing arts centers, and more for years before joining Downtown Piano Works. The store’s technician is an active member of the Piano Technicians Guild. Private lessons are available for ages five and up in concentrations such as jazz, classical, composing, and songwriting.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (362)
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4.4 / 5 (31)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (11)

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We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Harmonia Piano Tuning and Repair logo
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Harmonia Piano Tuning and Repair

Colesville, MD 20905
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Business Description

Harmonia Piano Tuning and Repair has been serving customers of Colesville and surrounding areas for nearly 30 years. The business’s piano technician has been servicing pianos since 1976 and has tuned thousands of pianos over the years. He also performs small repairs. Harmonia Piano Tuning can supply customers with climate and humidity control devices, piano covers, bench covers, casters, wheels, piano benches and stools, piano lamps, metronomes, and more. The company’s website has a page of answers to frequently asked questions regarding piano cleaning and maintenance.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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James Colwell logo
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James Colwell

Takoma Park, MD 20912
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Business Description

James Colwell is a Takoma Park-based piano tuner and restoration expert who has been serving the Washington DC metro with his son Alex Colwell for over 56 combined years. James was trained at Boston's North Bennet Street School, a premier technical institution known for its piano technology department, and used his woodworking background as well as his experience as a visual artist to become skilled in piano restoration and custom piano design. Alex Colwell is a graduate of McGill University and has worked alongside his father since childhood. The father-son team offers a full range of piano repair services and also works with clients on appraisals and high-end piano sales.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Paul Milesi logo
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Paul Milesi

Washington, DC 20017
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Business Description

Paul Milesi is a jazz pianist and a registered piano technician with the Piano Technicians Guild. As a young man, Paul majored in Jazz and Studio Music at the University of Miami. He started performing professionally at the age of 17 and later became interested in the mechanics of pianos and what needs to happen to keep them sounding new. He regularly tunes pianos for private residences, schools, hotels, restaurants, and jazz clubs. In addition to piano tuning, Paul offers piano repairs, regulation, voicing, and professional cleaning services. Paul also specializes in the installation of climate control systems. He offers annual service agreements for those who wish to keep their pianos looking and sounding beautiful. The master piano technician has tuned pianos for venues in preparation for artists like Jennifer Hudson, and regularly tunes pianos for jazz artists such as Andrew Adair, Bob Butta, Cyrus Chestnut, Eric Lewis, and many others.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Peter Cohn

Windsor Mill, MD 21244
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Business Description

Peter Cohn is a piano technician in Windsor Mill with more than 20 years of experience piano in tuning, repairing, restoring, and regulation. Peter has serviced pianos for professional performers, churches, universities, and individual customers in and around the Baltimore and DC areas. In addition to basic tuning services, Peter offers touch regulation, voicing and tone building, non-equal temperament tuning, custom hammer replacement, and the installation of humidity control systems. He also refinishes piano exteriors from cabinet touch-ups to veneer and ivory repair. Peter offers service contracts for institutions with pianos that need regular servicing.

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Steven Cunningham Piano Services logo
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Steven Cunningham Piano Services

Leesburg, VA 20177
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Business Description

Steven Cunningham Piano Services in Leesburg offers professional piano maintenance and repair services such as tuning and the installation of humidity control devices. The company’s piano technicians are factory trained and constantly working to stay up to date with the latest in piano technology. Steve Cunningham Piano Services works with all brands and models of pianos, though it specializes in acoustic pianos. In addition to tuning and repairs, the business offers complete piano restoration services. The company also specializes in installing piano humidity control systems.

Tucker's Piano Service logo
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Tucker's Piano Service

Washington, DC 20744
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Business Description

Tucker’s Piano Service in Washington DC has over three decades of experience servicing pianos of all types from new to old, grands to uprights. Tucker’s Piano Service specializes in piano tuning and other maintenance services such as voicing and action regulation. The company’s piano technician can diagnose problems and perform any necessary repairs. He often keeps a supply of commonly used parts with him when he goes on a service repair call, which allows him to complete certain repairs the same day. Tucker’s Piano Service also offer full restoration and refinishing services.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

All pianos require tuning periodically. The strings of a piano are under very high tension and over time, they begin to stretch. A professional piano tuner can tighten the strings, so the piano plays well. Scheduling this type of maintenance regularly will also extend the life of your piano.

If you’re going to trust someone to tune your piano, you want to ensure you hire a qualified professional who knows what they’re doing. After all, your piano is an investment piece, and you don’t want anything to harm it. Keep reading for answers to all the commonly asked questions about piano tuners so you can make an informed hiring decision.

What does a piano tuner do?

Piano tuners make minor adjustments to the tension on a piano’s strings. These adjustments help ensure the piano’s musical intervals between the strings are in tune. A piano tuner isn't the same as a piano technician, who can do more extensive repairs on the instrument. 

How do you know if your piano is out of tune?

How does someone tune a piano?

Tuning a piano is a very delicate process that takes a slow hand and a careful ear. Piano tuners use a tuning lever tool to slowly adjust the piano pins. The pins are turned to loosen or tighten the strings until the piano plays notes clearly.

How often do you tune a piano?

Generally speaking, it’s best to have a piano tuned twice a year as part of regular maintenance. However, if you live in a climate with extreme temperatures or high humidity, you may need to have your piano tuned as many as four to six times a year.

How long does it take to tune a piano?

Most piano tuners will schedule your appointment for two hours, although the actual work should only take around an hour and a half. If your piano is extremely out of tune or hasn’t been tuned in a while, it might take two and a half hours.

What makes a piano go out of tune?

  • Age: With age, a piano's steel wires tend to soften and stretch. Manual tuning can retighten the wires.
  • Humidity: High humidity can make the wood of your piano expand, causing the strings to tighten, so it produces high-pitched notes.
  • Regular use: With use, piano strings vibrate more and loosen.

Is it hard to tune a piano?

Yes, tuning a piano is hard. The tuner has to test every string and listen if the sound produced is off-note. Piano tuning requires a good ear, a steady hand, and patience. If done incorrectly, the piano can continue to pay off-note. Or, even worse, the strings may snap.

How can you tune a piano yourself?

You'll need to buy specialized tools to tune your piano. It’s not impossible to do it yourself, but it will take considerable time and patience. If it takes a professional two hours to tune your piano, you can expect it’ll take you twice as long. You can watch some online tutorials to get started.

Can you tune an electric piano?

Electric pianos don't usually require tuning the way an acoustic piano does. However, electric pianos do require other types of maintenance work, usually around the mechanical aspects of the instrument. An electric piano can go out of tune, but it’s rare. If this happens, tuning will be necessary.

How does someone tune an upright piano?

To tune an upright piano:

  • Remove the instrument's external panel.
  • Start with the middle C string. Turn the pin until the string plays the correct note.
  • Set the pin.
  • Continue to tune the rest of the strings, working in octaves.
  • Play the piano to test whether it's in tune.

How does someone tune a piano with a tuning fork?

Start by playing the piano key while ringing the same key on the tuning fork. If the piano is out of tune, there'll be a warble between the two sounds. Keep tightening or loosening the string until the piano plays the same note as the tuning fork.

How much does it cost to tune a piano?

A piano tuning can cost between $65 and $225. The final price will depend on how out of tune your piano is and, therefore, how much work it needs. Additionally, prices can vary based on your location, whether the piano also needs repairs, and if it’s regularly maintained.

How much does it cost to tune a grand piano?

A grand piano is much larger than a regular piano, so it naturally costs more to tune. On average, a grand piano costs $200 an hour to tune. Since piano tuning can take 1.5-2.5 hours, the total cost may be between $300 and $500.

Do you tip a piano tuner?

No, it’s not common or expected that you tip your piano tuner. If you use the same piano tuner repeatedly, you may consider giving them a tip or a gift around the holidays. Or, if you ask your piano tuner to do something extra, such as moving the piano, you might consider tipping them.

Why is it impossible to tune a piano?

Tuning a piano perfectly is technically impossible because no one has a perfect ear. So, even after a tuning, a piano may still be slightly off note. Additionally, a piano’s strings are so sensitive that immediately after a tuning, something may change the string positioning again, such as a sudden spike in humidity.

What is the difference between a piano, a tuna, and a pot of glue?

This is a popular joke:

  • John: What is the difference between a piano, a tuna, and a pot of glue?
  • Jane: No clue.
  • John: You can tuna piano, but you can’t piano a tune.
  • Jane: And the glue?
  • John: I knew you’d get stuck there.

How do I become a piano tuner?

Individuals who want to be a piano tuner will need to complete a training course, usually followed by an apprenticeship. Piano tuners have to practice on thousands of pianos before becoming an expert in their field. It also helps to have a basic understanding of how to play the piano.

How much does a piano tuner make a year?

The average annual salary of a piano tuner in the United States is $48,796. Of course, this can vary greatly depending on the person’s experience, location, and hours worked. Most piano tuners work for themselves as freelancers, so ultimately, they dictate how much they earn by how much work they take on.

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