Here are the most common services, and pricing where quotable, that I offer. It’s not unusual for a unique circumstance to present itself, one that would require flexibility and specialized pricing. Such exceptions would be discussed at the time.
On pricing and quotes for work
A well-maintained piano is tuned, at a minimum, once per year. When neglected, a Pitch Raise is often required (see below). In contrast, many pianos may need to be tuned more frequently, depending on both the piano and the client’s needs.
I offer discounts to Music Educators and Loyal Clients. Last-minute (“Emergency”) jobs (determined at my discretion) may not be eligible for discounts.
Tuning, Pitch Raise: $200 ($120/first visit, $80/second visit)
When a piano hasn’t been tuned in several years or more, it likely will need a Pitch Raise to get back up to standard pitch (A440). The piano’s strings necessarily adjust and react to the sudden “new” tension they are subject to; thus, two visits from a tuner is required to achieve a stable tuning, the second a minimum of 3 weeks after the first tuning. If a follow-up stabilizing tune isn’t able to be scheduled within 2 months of the pitch raise, any following tunings will be charged at lesser discount.
Depending on your piano, there can be as upwards of 1,000 different contact and hinge points in your piano’s action, and they all need to work perfectly for it to play correctly. Thankfully, a basic, yet thorough, cleaning and lubrication doesn’t take as long as you might initially guess. Clearing dust that has settled, removing foreign objects lodged within, and lubricating those many points will make for a much more pleasant, and smoothly playing piano.
Other Action Services: Variable
On older pianos, especially, any of the various wood, metal, cloth, and felt parts may need replacing or adjusting: Bridle Straps, Hammers, Dampers, and Strings all may need to be replaced after a piano has reached a certain age. Hammer Reshaping is sometimes a less expensive alternative to replacement. Targeted Regulation is similarly a less expensive alternative to a Full Regulation (see below). Most of the single recommended services in this vein take between 1-2 (though sometimes more) hours of labor, at a rate of $80/hr. The cost for any parts is added to this amount.
Bundling, or combining, any two or more of the single services listed above (including a Lubrication/Cleaning) can make the overall job quicker and easier for me, and I make sure to pass that along and reduce the price accordingly, depending on what you want for your piano.
This is a painstaking, exhaustively thorough service, involving special, specific attention to all the minutiae of each the ~1,000 moving parts, hinges, and contact points in your piano’s action, and can often require 2 to 4 multiple-hour visits to your piano. While for middle-aged and older pianos the benefits are many, even a (nearly) new piano, once it has had time to “settle” into its environment, can improve, sometimes drastically, from a Full Regulation. A Targeted Regulation (mentioned above) can often serve as an effective compromise when a full regulation would be otherwise cost-prohibitive for many older pianos.
On pricing and quotes for work
After a thorough assessment, I prefer to quote fixed prices for work to be done. This allows me to take the extra time, if necessary, to the best job I can without causing potential worry to a client or their checkbook. It is unlikely, though possible, that my quoted estimate will be grossly over or under what was quoted. If a job is quicker, I will amend any quoted price in the client’s favor. If the actual time a job takes shows it is at risk of running far longer than estimated, or if a more serious problem reveals itself, I will take the time to speak with a client before any unforeseen charges accrue.
I’m happy to discuss piano moving options with you. I have reliable, expert moving help available to me. In the unlikely event that a move isn’t possible, for whatever reason, I also can make further recommendations on excellent local moving companies.
A few things I don’t currently offer include Pin Block Restoration, Refinishing, and Player (Pianola) Action repairs. There’s, of course, a chance I haven’t updated this portion of the website, so it’s not wrong to ask!
4 thoughts on “Services & Pricing”
How much lead time do I need to make a tuning appt.? I want our 100+ yr. old piano – which hasn’t been tuned in many years – tuned (in time for a visit from musical family members) by early March. It will probably need a “pitch raise” so I’d like to schedule the 1st tuning appointment for early February/late January.
You can call (phone #s, below) or email me back. We live in Portland.
Hi Amy, to be on the safe side of worst-case scenarios, let’s schedule something soon, and if a follow-up visit (likely) needs to happen, we can be most prepared for it. And while it may not be the case, I want to advise you at the outset that 100-year-old bass strings are fully past their expected lifespan by several decades, and are at high risk of breaking. In the event that they absolutely need to be replaced, there may be higher costs than just a pitch-raise. But, I’ll refrain from making further guess or predictions at this time. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, where we can continue this conversation, and start making plans for some time in January. If you can include any information about the piano (style, manufacturer, repair/tuning history, that would be great, but not entirely necessary.
Hello I’m looking at moving a piano, close to 40 years old, from a house in Scarborough to a first floor apartment in Westbrook. The measurements are 57″ long x 25″ wide x 37″ tall. I’m sure it needs a tuning, but at least the moving. Wondering what the costs would be.
My apologies, I really need to update this website! I’ve since taken over ownership and management of Starbird Music, Portland’s sole new & used piano store, and Maine’s leading piano moving service. Call us at 775-2733, or email me at email@example.com