Tuning, Concert Prep, and Recording Piano Service

Mario Igrec offers a standard, one-pass tuning, or a two-pass pitch raise for a small additional fee depending on the pitch and anticipated stability of the piano.

Tunings for concerts and recordings are available with or without an extended prep service that includes lubrication, small corrections in action regulation, damper tuning, and spot voicing.

Please make the piano accessible from all sides, provide sufficient room to pull out the action if necessary, and remove all objects from the lid prior to the scheduled appointment.

Click here to schedule an appointment.


The standard pitch today is 440 Hz (vibrations per second) for the middle A. Some modern pianos, however, were designed for a higher pitch. Bösendorfer, for example, recommends A 442. When a piano is tuned below its optimal pitch, it loses its tonal luster and its voicing becomes less even. Tuning to or close to the standard pitch is a requirement if the piano will be used with other instruments, especially those that can't be tuned (e.g. marimba, vibraphone, celesta, etc), or those that can be tuned only within a narrow pitch range (e.g. all woodwind and brass instruments). Let us know if you prefer a particular pitch.

Humidity and Temperature

Concert technicians learn to tune stage pianos slightly sharp in the middle to compensate for the warming of the piano by stage lights. They also slightly detune unisons, anticipating a greater drop in pitch in right-most strings during the performance. If your piano sits under (or, worse, over) an A/C vent, near a radiator or window, or gets hit by direct sunlight even for just a few minutes every day, the piano will react just as it does under stage lights, and the tuning will constantly change.

Whereas temperature has an almost immediate, but limited effect on the tuning, changes in humidity have more pronounced long-term effects. The piano soundboard is under a controlled amount of compression, exhibited by its upward curvature or crowning: it flattens out in dry weather and swells up during the humid season. These changes—known to throw the pitch of the middle A by as much as a quarter tone or more—affect the tenor and middle sections much more than the low bass and treble, causing the intervals between the bass and middle sections to expand, and those between the middle and treble to contract. The result is an unbearably bad tuning. Interestingly, once the humidity returns to its original levels, a well-performed tuning tends to return close to its original state.

For more information on the effects of humidity and temperature, and how to control them, see the Maintenance page.

What Time of Year Is Best for Tuning?

If your piano is well protected from the swings in humidity and temperature, any time will work. If it isn't, the best time is a couple of weeks into the longest season with most stable climate conditions. In the South of the United States, for example, that tends to be between April and May, after air conditioning has started running continuously, and around December 1 when the heating is likely to be needed for the next two or three months.

How Often Should I Get My Piano Tuned?

If you tightly control humidity and temperature, a fine tuning can last a year or longer, but when humidity and temperature change, even the most rock-solid tuning will be thrown out within days or hours. The best advice is to keep humidity and temperature as constant as possible. Your piano will stay in tune longer, and when you get it tuned won't matter.

Please send comments and inquires to info@igrecpiano.com