Have you ever cracked the yellow pages or surfed the web in search of a piano tuner? Then you’ve probably found yourself wondering, “Which one should I choose?” What type of criteria do you use when finding a piano tuner? Do you look for the company with the largest ads, do you search online for the company located closest to you? Or do you simply go for the cheapest option? Or maybe the most expensive? Once you find your piano tuner, how often should you tune your piano? It can all be a little confusing! Let us shed some light on the entire process.
With regards to cost, the average piano tuner charges between $150-$200 for a standard piano tuning. They may or may not include other services at the time of the appointment. Artisan Piano Services includes a lot in our standard tuning “Bronze” package. The Bronze Package is a great service for someone who knows their piano needs more than just a tuning but isn’t quite ready for a fuller service. With this service, in addition to the tuning we will also adjust the action to be more responsive and take up the excessive slack in the parts. It will make a significant improvement in the way the piano sounds and plays – enhancing your enjoyment of the instrument.
This service includes Tuning, Preliminary Cleaning, Minor Repairs, Regulation of the Pedals, Assessment of the Piano’s Condition, and Touch Up Regulation & Voicing all for $250! To learn more about our other packages, Click Here.
In our opinion, the best way to find a qualified tuner is through word of mouth. You can do this by calling your most reputable piano retailer and asking for a recommendation. Google, yelp, Facebook and Angie’s list are also great resources to find qualified technicians. What you want to look for is someone with as much positive feedback and reviews as possible. You want the best and the best are usually shown in these basic directories.
Once you find your piano tuner, we recommend tuning no fewer than once a year. Twice a year is definitely ideal and will make it so that your piano sounds at its best and will help keep potential problems under control with more frequent servicing. The main factors that cause a piano to go out of tune are temperature and humidity fluctuations. So keeping your home as consistent as possible when it comes to the temperature and humidity is recommended. Ideally having the temperature fluctuate no more than about 5-7degrees and keeping the humidity between 45-55% humidity is best and will keep your piano in good health. Other factors that will lead to tuning stability are the quality of the instrument itself, frequency of maintenance and service as well as the skill level of the person performing the service.
Artisan Piano Services has offices in Oregon and Washington. We provide a unique blend of old world craftsmanship and care with today’s technology and convenience while delivering unparalleled piano service. We’ve built our reputation on the excellence of our artisans as well as the absolute quality of services we provide.
With our staff of highly trained technicians, we carry on the time-honored tradition of music, art and craftsmanship. Whether you are an accomplished professional, a budding artist, a teacher, or a family of beginners, our qualified piano technicians will create a memorable and worthwhile experience at each piano service.
Finally, what sets us apart from other piano tuners is that we offer a peace of mind guarantee. We guarantee that our expert piano tuners will leave you completely satisfied with your piano tuning service, or we will make it right. Our promise to you that if you ever have any problems after we service your piano, call us and we’ll send one of our technicians out free of charge to address your concerns. You have our word.
Contact us today to learn more about our services.
This year, Artisan Piano Services was excited to participate in Pianos in the Park in Seattle Washington! PIANOS IN THE PLAZA is a collaboration between One Reel and our good friends at Classic Pianos. The purpose of this event is to bring pianists and outdoor enthusiasts together for a fun occasion which takes place in South Lake Union August 3rd-30th. This annual event gives the general public the opportunity to view and play beautiful pianos which are painted by local artists. Artisan Piano Services’ own technician Josh was invited to participate in order to tune some of these one of a kind pianos. In the past, these pianos are displayed in different locations around the Seattle area including Queen Anne’s Kerry Park, 12th Avenue Arts and Seattle Center.
Our friends at Classic Pianos donated the three pianos on display for the first ever PIANOS IN THE PLAZA. The first is a piano designed by Rachel Sprague that was first introduced at Pianos in the Parks in 2017. The other two were designed exclusively for PIANOS IN THE PLAZA by Tim Detweiler and Joseph Steininger.
Artisan Piano Services is always interested in giving back to the local communities where we live, work and play. Please contact us if you have an event that might be a good match for us!
Josh Mayfield, our lead technician in our Bellevue, Washington location, had a unique opportunity this week. While doing a cruise ship tuning on board the Zaandam, one of Holland America’s luxury cruise ships, a King 5 Seattle news crew came aboard to do a news story on what the cruise industry does for the local economy and small business like ours at Artisan Piano Services.
Josh explained, “As chance would have it they caught me tuning one of several pianos on board the ship and asked if they could get a few shots of me tuning and ask some questions. I was bit caught off guard but had a great time with them.”
[See Josh starting at about 2:15 minutes]
Josh has been providing tuning and piano repair services on cruise ships almost every week for a number of years in Seattle. With all of the constant movement, changing atmospheric conditions and the amount of use the pianos get, Josh needs to regularly be using his years of expertise to keep them playing and sounding their best.
Whether it’s at home, in a church, a school or on a massive cruise ship, Artisan Piano Service has you covered in both the great Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon areas. Let us know if you need your piano tuned or other services! We even do complete piano restoration.
Angie’s List Press Release
Portland, Oregon and Bellevue, Washington, January 1, 2018 – Artisan Piano Services is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2017.
“The service providers that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award demonstrate the level of excellence that members have come to expect,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros are top-notch and absolutely deserve recognition for the trustworthy and exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year and overall.”
The Artisan team of highly trained technicians and customer relations staff have been providing outstanding piano tuning, repair, cleaning & appraisals, and even complete piano refinishing and restoration throughout the greater Portland and Seattle areas.
Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service
Angie’s List Super Service Award 2017 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade. The SSA winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check, record a current trade license attestation and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.
“We are just thrilled to be recognized as a Super Service Award winner every year we have been listed with Angie’s list,” said David Hayes, the owner of Artisan Piano Services. “Our teams in both Portland and Bellevue have done a marvelous job of focusing on the expectations of our customers and tailoring our technical expertise to the needs they have. We are grateful for all the support and excellent feedback we receive from our customers.”
Artisan Piano Services has been listed on Angie’s List since 2011 in Portland, Oregon and 2014 in Bellevue, Washington. This is the 7th consecutive that year Artisan Piano Services has received this honor.
Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.
For over two decades Angie’s List has been a trusted name for connecting consumers to top-rated service professionals. Angie’s List provides unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.
For over two decades, Angie’s List has provided trusted reviews and information to help millions of consumers make smart hiring decisions. Angie’s List offers more than 10 million verified reviews in over 700 service categories, providing its members a credible resource for researching and comparing local service providers. Angie’s List is based in Indianapolis, Indiana and is an operating business of ANGI Homeservices (NASDAQ:ANGI).
According to the Piano Technicians Guild, piano tuning varies according to manufacturers:
“While pianos generally fall into vertical and grand model categories, each manufacturer selects its own materials and utilizes its own unique scale and furniture designs. Every piano requires a different level of maintenance, depending upon the quality of materials used and the design and level of craftsmanship. Manufacturers can provide general advice on tuning frequency but your technician can give specific recommendations based upon your usage and locale.”
Here’s what some of the major piano manufacturers recommend:
Baldwin Piano Company (also Chickering, Wurlitzer)
Professional service is the key. In the first year, the National Piano Manufacturers Association recommends that you have your piano tuned four times. This is a period of environmental adjustment for a new instrument, and proper attention is important.
After the first year, the piano should be tuned at least twice each year, depending upon the frequency of use and atmospheric conditions. Contact Artisan Piano Services to schedule an appointment with our professional technicians to perform this service.
Artisan Piano Services has recently have been given the rare opportunity to do some restoration work on a truly classic instrument: an 1840’s Boisselot et fils piano. This period instrument is very rare, and it is an uncommon thing to be able to see one of these pianos, let alone work on one. Restoring this piano is a great thrill!
We will be doing a partial rebuild of the ACTION, including: recondition the action parts to proper working condition, possible re-pinning, replacing key-bushings and key-bed felt as necessary, surfacing the hammers, lubricating the knuckles, and doing a touch-up regulation and voicing. Included is new damper felt and damper regulation.
Artisan has also been commissioned to provide a full restoration of the BELLY: replacing the strings, tuning pins, and pinblock. We will repair and recondition soundboard and bridges, as well as refinish plate and replace the plate felt and recondition plate hardware.
Importantly, our technicians will provide numerous in-shop tunings before the project is completed, and another one when the piano is delivered to our customer.
Finally, to preserve the original beauty and integrity of the cabinet finish, we will simply touch up the case and re-install some loose decorative brass trim pieces.
HISTORY of the Boisselot & Fils
“Boisselot & Fils [i.e. & sons] was a French piano manufacturing company established in 1831 in Marseille, France, by Jean-Louis Boisselot and sons, Louis-Constantin and Xavier Boisselot. The rapid increase in the production capacity of the factory with 70 workers to 300 pianos per year from 1834 shows that father and son had prepared their plan carefully. The constant expansion led in 1848 with 150 workers for the production of about 400 pianos a year. Highlighting this success, he was awarded with a gold medal at the French Industrial Exposition of 1844 (the 10th Paris Industrial Exhibition). Among other innovations Boisselot presented for the first time at the exhibition a mechanism by which individual notes and sounds were identified as Tonhalte or sostenuto pedal today.” (Wikipedia for Boisselot & Fils)
According to Pianos Romantiques, “Marseille turned out to be a good choice for setting up a piano factory: salaries were lower than those of the Parisian rivals, cheap exotic wood was [close] to hand thanks to the importance of the town as a port, and there was easy access to important export markets: Italy, Spain, and the colonies via the Mediterranean.”
The famous pianist and composer Franz Liszt was a patron to the Boisselots. He owned and performed on a Boisselot Fils. According to Alan Walker, Liszt traveled in October-November 1844 in Spain with his lifelong friend, Louis Boisselot, for a series of concerts. “Liszt played on a Boisselot piano, a powerful instrument especially brought in from Marseille by Louis Boisselot, which accompanied him on his journey across the Iberian Peninsula.” (Franz Liszt: The virtuoso years, 1811-1847)
[youtube width=”580″ height=”326″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhCwsrHT-zg[/youtube]
Finally – Enjoy a Chopin Nocturne performed on a 1842 Boisselot!
We just finished restoring a 100+ year old Hamburg Steinway & Sons model “O” piano. Fred Riley, of Classic Pianos, recorded this video of Ruby Hall playing Beethoven’s Sonata op.2 no.3 in our shop.
Artisan restored this piano for our partners,Classic Pianos, to showcase in their “Classic Collection.” The pianos that we restore for this collection are second to none in terms of quality of workmanship, materials and tone.
With a full piano restoration, we not only refinish the cabinet
…but also completely restore the belly, including new strings
…the keys and action are reconditioned
…and we even polish up and regulate the pedals!
Although we do all of our piano restoration work out of our Portland, Oregon location, we have had several come to us from the Seattle, Washington area, and from other parts of the United States and Britain.
We do shop tours daily, and would be delighted to show you around!
We were recently featured in a news segment on a local ABC news affiliate in Portland, Oregon. It highlighted our piano restoration and rebuilding efforts, and was entitled:
A labor of love: ‘Completely redoing a piano is kind of where my heart is’
We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to involve one of our customer’s family story in the feature, which really helped to illustrate how important it is to us to help our customers “Continue The Story” of music in their lives. “We’ve had this piano in our family for 91 years, and my mother is 91 years old coincidentally,” explained the owner of this beautiful piece of history. After all these year, the piano is being given to the original owner’s grandson as a wedding gift!
After weeks of refinishing, re-stringing, regulating the action, tuning and all manner of detailed attentions – we were privileged to have the whole family present for the unveiling. It was such a thrill to see how happy they are will their newly restored piano.
For more than 10 years we have serviced families, schools, students, teachers and professional musicians in telling their story of music in the world. In addition to our local piano tuning, repair, evaluation and appraisal work, we have a growing number of customers from all over the United States for piano rebuilding, refinishing and restoration. We just started work on a 115-year-old piano that was shipped to us from the United Kingdom!
A little over a year ago Artisan Piano Services unveiled its new “Restoration Center.”
We are now proud to show the world “The Piano Shop”
In the video you can see our hard working and talented technicians completely rebuilding pianos in our remodeled and refreshed Piano Shop. We provide full piano restoration services, as well as less involved piano reconditioning services, including action rebuilding, refinishing, cleaning and re-stringing.
Artisan Piano Services is pleased to provide support this year for Pianos In The Park. Our very own Josh Mayfield has gone to several of the locations to tune and repair some of the various pianos. Click here to see an video about the development of this exciting arts and culture project!