Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is your Service Area?


I regularly service the Greater Philadelphia Metro Area, New York City, portions of New Jersey, as well as New Castle County, Delaware. I live centrally in lower Bucks County, PA and service within 90 minutes of my location.

Pennsylvania:

- Philadelphia Metro Area

- Bucks County

- Delaware County

- Lower Montgomery County

New Jersey:

-Newark-Union Metro Area

-Trenton-Ewing Metro Area

-Burlington County

-Camden County

-Essex County

-Gloucester County

-Hunterdon County

-Hudson County

-Middlesex County

-Monmouth County

-Mercer County

-Portions of Ocean County

-Somerset County

-Union County

New York

-Bronx

-Brooklyn

-Manhattan

-Staten Island

-Queens

Delaware:

-New Castle County




What forms of payment do you accept?


I accept Cash, Cards, Checks, as well as electronic payment through PayPal, Venmo, and Zelle.




Are you Certified Piano Technician?


Yes, I am certified through the Piano Technician Academy. I am also a member of Master Piano Technicians of America, the Apex Piano Technician Network, and Piano Technicians International. Additionally I am a Thumbtack Top Pro with over 100 reviews from past satisfied clients! (See my profile, past reviews, and top pro status here)





What is Tone Regulation or Voicing


Voicing, also known as tone regulation, is the process of adjusting your piano's hammers to optimize their tone. The process involves shaping the hammers, aligning them with the strings, and hardening or softening the felt. The end result is a piano that has rediscovered its voice!




I see grooving on the piano hammers. Do they need to be replaced?


As the piano is used, the hammers will develop grooving that effects the piano's tone. Additionally, the hammer felt will compact, distort the hammer shape, and alter the tone. In many cases the hammers can be saved by filling them down, reshaping them, and voicing them. This is a cost-effective alternative to complete replacement for most instruments.

If the hammers need to be replaced (either because the hammers have already been filed in the past, or because of the artistic demands on the instrument), that process usually takes about 4-6 weeks.





Tuning

How often should my piano be tuned?


Your piano should be tuned at least every six months to correct the seasonal changes that happen. If the piano is not regularly maintained, there is risk of damage to the instrument.

Think of like a regular check-up with your doctor, but for your piano.




My piano hasn't been tuned in many years? Is it tuneable?


In most cases your piano should be tunable, but it will require some extra work. Since it has been a while since your piano was last tuned, it will likely have fallen significantly under pitch. Because they are significantly out of tune, these pianos require multiple tuning passes during the same appointment in order to stay in tune.

Your piano has 200+ strings, and each of those strings is under 150-200 lbs. of tension. That's roughly 20 TONS of tension.

When one string is adjusted, it affects the surrounding strings as well. Pianos typically go flat over time, and so a major adjustment to the piano's pitch could be adding several hundred (or even thousands) of pounds of tension.

In order for the piano to stay in tune, the tension across a string needs to be the same, which isn't possible to achieve in just a single pass in these situations. (remember, adding to tension to one string also affects neighboring strings too!) That's why the only way to get a stable tuning is to do multiple tuning passes!

Usually, this tuning process takes around 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

Contact me or schedule an appoinment easily online!




How long does an appointment take?


Although there are many factors, usually it takes me about 90 minutes to do the tuning, as well as clean the piano and make minor repairs and adjustments. Obviously, every piano is different and the amount of time varies from piano to piano. Additionally, if your piano hasn't been tuned in a while or has mechanical issues it will take a little longer.

Contact me or scheule easily online!





Why do pianos go out of tune?


The piano strings are several tons of pressure which is supported by the pianos rim, plate, pinblock, tuning pins, bridges, and soundboard. Anything that affects the position of any of these parts will cause a change in tension and make the piano go out of tune. When the humidity changes, air seeps into and out of the wood components of the piano, causing the piano to go out of tune. This is the most prevalent factor for pianos in good condition to go out of tune. A piano typically falls flat in the winter when the low humidity draws out the moisture, and then goes sharp in the spring and summer months when the air conditioning comes on. Temperature changes also cause a piano to go out of tune. Intense changes in temperature such as from direct sunlight, stage lighting, or opening a door or window during the winter or summer months all can cause rapid changes in the tuning. In new pianos, the strings have to stretch significantly during their first few years in a piano. It is not uncommon for a piano to sink a quarter step flat in just a few months due to the elasticity of the strings. The louder and more frequently you play a newly-strung piano, the faster the strings will stretch, and the sooner the piano strings will stabilize. In older pianos, the tuning pins can slip which cause the piano to fall out of tune. If the piano has been regularly exposed to changing temperatures and humidity the pin block will lose its tight grip on the tuning pins causing them to slip out of tune.




The piano isn't played often, so it stays in tune longer, right?


Not really, no. The biggest thing that makes pianos go out of tune is humidity and temperature changes. Although regularly playing the piano will influence the tuning, it is normally a very small amount in comparison.




How much does a tuning cost?


If your piano has been tuned less than 12 months ago, the standard tuning is a flat rate $125. If it has been longer than a year, or if your piano has gone significantly sharp or flat (usually from having your piano moved, garaged, or from large temperature and humidity fluctuations in your home) your piano will require a Double Tuning which is a flat rate of $175.

The tuning appointments also include minor repairs and adjustments such as fixing a sticking key or adjusting the pedals, as well as complimentary cleaning and dusting of the piano.

Of course, If I come across additional issue that will take longer than 20 minutes, I will consult with you before proceeding.

If you're ready to have your piano tuned, contact me or use my easily online booking system!





Repairs

What is regulation and how do I know if my piano needs it?


Your piano is made up of over 9,000 parts which need to be serviced and adjusted from time to time. If your piano has an uneven touch, a limited dynamic range, or sticking keys it is time to have your piano regulated.

The regulation process goes through all these different parts and makes sure they are perfectly aligned, and that the timing of all the moving parts happens at exactly the right time.

When the action is properly regulated, your piano should have an even touch across the whole keyboard, controllable over its full dynamic range, and be smooth, consistent, and sensitive across the whole keyboard.

Remember, no amount of practicing can compensate for a poorly maintained action.




How long does it take to regulate the piano? How much?


This question really depends on what kind of piano you have, and how long it has been since it was last regulated. If your piano just needs a touch-up, this can take around 2 hours of so, and is a flat rate of $200 However, if your piano needs a full regulation, this can usually take 4-8 hours depending on how many adjustments need to be made. For complete regulations, I charge a flat rate of $650




Why does my piano need to be regulated? How often?


The piano action is a complicated machine of thousands of parts. Over time the temperature and humidity fluctuations, wear-and-tear, as well as the use of the piano will cause the regulation to suffer.

Under normal circumstances, your piano should be fully regulated once every decade or so.





What kind of repairs do you do?


As a Certified Piano Technician, I'm trained in all aspects of servicing your piano. I often fix sticking keys, re-glue or replace worn or broken parts, fix broken pedals, and make adjustments to your piano's action regulation, as well as voicing adjustments to the piano hammers.

I also provide more extensive services such as complete action regulation, action rebuilding, hammer replacement, and complete restringing and other restorative work.




Can you restring my piano? What about new hammers?


Absolutely! If your piano is a good candidate for restringing or other restorative work I'd be happy to help. Usually this kind of work is done on quality grands or uprights (such as Steinway, Mason & Hamlin, Yamaha, Bluthner, etc. or a family heirloom)

Reach out to me for more information and I'd be happy to put together an estimate for the work, as well as a timeline!

My email is ryan@legrandpiano.com and my cell is (818) 268-3232




My piano has some issues. Is it worth fixing up?


Almost always, I can bring pianos like this back to life with a Double Tuning and some additional repair and voicing work. Of course, I will confer with you about your options, along with their costs before proceeding on additional work. In most cases, not only is the piano brought back to life, but the cost is much less than replacing your piano!





Regulation

What is regulation and how do I know if my piano needs it?


Your piano is made up of over 9,000 parts which need to be serviced and adjusted from time to time. If your piano has an uneven touch, a limited dynamic range, or sticking keys it is time to have your piano regulated.

The regulation process goes through all these different parts and makes sure they are perfectly aligned, and that the timing of all the moving parts happens at exactly the right time.

When the action is properly regulated, your piano should have an even touch across the whole keyboard, controllable over its full dynamic range, and be smooth, consistent, and sensitive across the whole keyboard.

Remember, no amount of practicing can compensate for a poorly maintained action.




How long does it take to regulate the piano? How much?


This question really depends on what kind of piano you have, and how long it has been since it was last regulated. If your piano just needs a touch-up, this can take around 2 hours of so, and is a flat rate of $200 However, if your piano needs a full regulation, this can usually take 4-8 hours depending on how many adjustments need to be made. For complete regulations, I charge a flat rate of $650




Why does my piano need to be regulated? How often?


The piano action is a complicated machine of thousands of parts. Over time the temperature and humidity fluctuations, wear-and-tear, as well as the use of the piano will cause the regulation to suffer.

Under normal circumstances, your piano should be fully regulated once every decade or so.





How often should my piano be tuned?


Your piano should be tuned at least every six months to correct the seasonal changes that happen. If the piano is not regularly maintained, there is risk of damage to the instrument.

Think of like a regular check-up with your doctor, but for your piano.




My piano hasn't been tuned in many years? Is it tuneable?


In most cases your piano should be tunable, but it will require some extra work. Since it has been a while since your piano was last tuned, it will likely have fallen significantly under pitch. Because they are significantly out of tune, these pianos require multiple tuning passes during the same appointment in order to stay in tune.

Your piano has 200+ strings, and each of those strings is under 150-200 lbs. of tension. That's roughly 20 TONS of tension.

When one string is adjusted, it affects the surrounding strings as well. Pianos typically go flat over time, and so a major adjustment to the piano's pitch could be adding several hundred (or even thousands) of pounds of tension.

In order for the piano to stay in tune, the tension across a string needs to be the same, which isn't possible to achieve in just a single pass in these situations. (remember, adding to tension to one string also affects neighboring strings too!) That's why the only way to get a stable tuning is to do multiple tuning passes!

Usually, this tuning process takes around 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

Contact me or schedule an appoinment easily online!




How long does an appointment take?


Although there are many factors, usually it takes me about 90 minutes to do the tuning, as well as clean the piano and make minor repairs and adjustments. Obviously, every piano is different and the amount of time varies from piano to piano. Additionally, if your piano hasn't been tuned in a while or has mechanical issues it will take a little longer.

Contact me or scheule easily online!