Can I tune a piano myself?

Have you ever wondered if you could tune your own piano?

While hiring an experienced piano tuner should be your first option, this simple method can fix a sour note and create an enjoyable way to learn more about this fascinating instrument. 

How to Properly Tune a Piano

Step 1: Obtain the Proper Tools

It’s impossible to tune a piano without a few basic, specialized tools. At minimum, you will need to purchase three things:

  1. Tuning lever 
  2. Electronic chromatic tuner 
  3. Several tuning mutes 

Step 2: Remove Cover to Access Tuning Pins 

Once you gather the basic piano tuning tools, you’ll want to remove the cover to access the strings and tuning pins.

On grand pianos, the tuning pins can be accessed by sliding off the music stand above the keyboard.

Upright pianos typically have a hinge that allows the top of the piano to open up. 

Step 3: Practice Tuning Single Notes

First, use rubber wedges to silence the strings you’re not working on. Place your tuning lever on the top of the pin and gently turn.

If you need to raise the pitch, turn the pin clockwise. If you need to lower the pitch, turn the pin counterclockwise.

Your electronic tuner will ensure that you avoid tuning the note too sharp or too flat. 

Remember to always tune in octaves relative to the first note tuned. For example, once you’ve tuned middle A, use middle A to tune lower A. Plus, pianos are designed to sound their best when tuned to A-440, which means that the A4 is tuned so that sound waves vibrate at 440Hz. 

Piano Tuning Software

Thanks to advances in technology, it’s easier than ever to ensure each note is tuned correctly. There are a variety of professional piano tuning software that offer more control than a chromatic tuner.

Perhaps our favorite piano tuning app is Entropy. This free and open-source application will record how the keys sound on your piano and automatically figure out the best tuning. You can then adjust your piano using the application’s electronic tuner.

Contact Ogden Piano Gallery for Piano Tuning Specials

By properly maintaining your piano, you create long-term tuning stability and ensure proper ear training. We recommend tuning a new piano four times in the first year and twice a year thereafter. So if your piano is rusty, it’s time to give it some love.

While you may be able to do so with proper tools and guidance, an experienced piano tuner can provide a first-class piano tuning. In fact, professional tuners spend a career perfecting their skills.

The professional piano tuners at Ogden Piano Gallery can service any piano, acoustic or digital. We’ll help keep your piano in tip-top shape and playing beautifully.

While the average price for piano tuning in Northern Utah can reach up to $140 per tuning, we do it for less. In fact, our basic tuning services start at $80. Contact us today to schedule your appointment! 

1 Comment

  • Wow, thank you so much for your suggestions on how to tune a piano properly by turning the pin to the right to raise the pitch! I recently inherited a beautiful grand piano from my late uncle. I am super excited to start learning how to play but I think it went out of tune as it was moved. I will have to look for local tuners in my area to help me because, though I appreciate your advice, I am not sure what an ‘in tune’ piano sounds like.