Q: What will it cost to tune my piano?
A: The price varies. Please see the "Services" page.
Q: What payment methods do you accept?
A: At this time, only cash or checks will be accepted, but I plan to accept credit cards in the future. You will receive a receipt upon payment.
Q: What is your service area?
A: I am based out of Darien, in DuPage County, and I serve the entire Chicago area.
Q: What are your regular service hours?
A: Service can be performed any day of the week, including weekends, at a mutually agreed upon time.
Q: What should I expect when you come to tune my piano?
A: Being punctual is important to me, but service calls occasionally take more time than anticipated. I will call you if I am running more than 10 minutes behind schedule. Once in your home, I will need to remove the front panel and top of uprights, and the music desk on grands; it is helpful if all objects are removed from your piano before I arrive. A typical appointment will be approximately 90 minutes, but will take longer if a significant pitch correction is needed; time permitting, I may perform a quick cleaning or make minor adjustments.
Q: Are there any types of pianos that you will not service?
A: I service most types of pianos, however, I will not service pneumatic-type player pianos (the ones with piano rolls) or historical instruments, such as harpsichords or fortepianos. If you need help finding someone to service these types of instruments, please contact me, and I will refer you to a specialist. I will also not service pianos that are un-tunable. If, upon arrival, I determine that your piano is not able to be tuned, the appointment is subject to the full tuning fee.
Q: How often should I have my piano tuned?
A: Yamaha recommends that new pianos should be tuned four times during the first year, and a minimum of two times per year after that. Steinway & Sons recommends three to four times per year. To put the issue into perspective, concert instruments are tuned before every performance, and recording studio pianos are tuned a few times per week as a matter of course. The more often your piano is tuned, the more stable it will be.
Q: Do you participate in activities that continually develop your training and expertise?
A: Absolutely! I am an associate member of the Piano Technicians Guild (Chicago chapter), which holds meetings every month, offers additional hands-on training and technical literature, as well as regional and national conventions. A significant portion of my income is invested in furthering my training and acquiring the best tools.
Q: What other maintenance does my piano need?
A: To be at its full potential, a piano's action needs to be regulated and its hammers need to be voiced. The frequency of this service depends on the demands of the pianist and the amount of use the piano receives.
Q: What is the best location for my piano?
A: Avoid placing your piano in direct sunlight as prolonged exposure will damage the finish and undermine tuning stability. Also avoid placing it near vents, radiators, and overly dry or damp rooms to prevent tuning instability, sticky or wobbly keys, regulation problems, cracked soundboards, and loose tuning pins. Adhering to this advice will prolong the life of your piano!
Q: Are there things I can do to increase tuning longevity?
A: Keep the temperature and humidity around your piano as constant as possible. My own grand piano has a Dampp-Chaser climate control system installed on it, and I fully endorse its use on any piano andI am a certified installer of Dampp-Chaser products. Closing your grand piano when not in use also helps, and it keeps the inside of your piano clean!
Q: How can I dust or clean the outside of my piano?
A: Use a feather duster or microfiber cloth (using light pressure) to dust your piano; never use anything abrasive. To remove finger prints, a leather chamois and water will suffice; harsh chemicals may damage your valuable piano's finish. Dirty keys can be cleaned by spraying a microfiber cloth or paper towel with Windex and gently wiping them. Please do not attempt to clean the inside of your piano! That requires special techniques and tools. NEVER attempt to clean or "brighten up" your piano's bass strings! They will get ruined.
Q: My child is starting piano lessons and we need to buy a piano; what should I get?
A: Giving your child a reliable piano is essential for his or her musical development. Your child is much more likely to quit if your piano is of poor quality. Spinets (very short upright pianos), consoles, and very old uprights are not acceptable for serious musical instruction. If you are hesitant to spend thousands of dollars on a good quality piano for your child, consider renting one; several dealers in Chicago have good rental programs. An excellent resource for piano buyers is Larry Fine's Piano Buyer, a biannual Internet publication, available free of charge. If you need further guidance, I am happy to help in any way I can!