please call ArtistPiano:


503/715-2910 (tuning & repair)

3555 SE 67th Ave, Portland, OR 97206

skillful ears!
Three questions involving Tuning Frequency:

My answer to the question "how often should my piano be tuned?" is to let your piano tell us how often it should be tuned. This requires that I have a track record on the tuning stability of your piano. And that we are both clear about the 3 questions I describe, highlighted on the left.

Because I don't prescribe a preset tuning frequency, I have clients who vary how often they choose to get their piano tuned. I have some clients who get their piano tuned every 3 weeks (sometimes every day) and others who tune their piano every 5 years. In both of these extreme situations, the pianos have told us how often they need tuning. Many folks are curious about the pianos that need only a tuning every 5 years. I can't explain why they are so stabile. (An accident of the piano gods?) There were two pianos: a Kawai grand and a Wurlitzer spinet. I tuned them each three times over 15 years. Not only did the owners claim I was the only tuner of their piano but I could hear my own previous tuning still noticeable in the piano. You might be interested to learn that every tuner who tunes a piano by ear has a certain signature that is very specific to the way he or she tunes the piano.

What I do request, as your tuner, is that you keep the pitch of your home piano within 5 cents of standard pitch, or within 3 cents of standard pitch if you have a concert instrument. If your pitch is allowed to drift outside these ranges, my experience is that the piano cannot be brought back to stability without undergoing the extra expense of a double-tuning, or series of tunings.

Another frequent question I am asked regarding piano tuning is what I think about electronic tuning devices. For the first 15 years that I tuned pianos, I refused to use anything but my ears and one tuning fork to set the pitch. When I took my tuning test to qualify as a registered member of the Piano Technicians Guild, I passed at the highest level they measure. As a result I was invited to become a tuning instructor and examiner for Guild tuning tests. To reward myself for this acheivement I purchased the best available electronic tuning device I could find. I was interested to discover that despite the wonderful advances in electronic hearing devices, the human ear is still supreme. Currently I use (in addition to my ears!) TuneLab, Cybertuner, and Verituner. For my purposes, Verituner gives me feedback that helps produce the best possible tunings. But there is no substitute for skillful ears!

©Clark Foerster

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