Thursday, December 31, 2009

Piano Tuning Fees: How Much Do You Charge?

That's probably the most frequent question I get asked. Am I being asked about tuning, technical work, voicing, cleaning, appraising, refurbishing, rebuilding, partial rebuilding or other types of piano work?

When you call a dentist, if you were to ask: "How much do you charge?", the receptionist might well ask if you are having your teeth cleaned, if you have any pain in your mouth, cavities that need work, root canals that are failing, denture work, etc.

Before giving out any fee information, I need to know where the customer lives (they might be too far away and another technician may be much closer), what the make of the piano is and when it was last tuned.

Fine tuning (2 HOUR APPOINTMENTS that include minor adjustments and vacuuming UNDERNEATH KEYS), my fee is $150 GST included. That price is for Vancouver, North and West Vancouver. For Richmond and Burnaby, the fee is $160.

Pitch raising or lowering IS INCLUDED, but you must understand that if your piano has not been tuned regularly, 2 times per year, every year, you should schedule another appointment in about 1-3 months. There is no way a piano can stay in tune after many years of neglect. When you attend a piano concert, you'll notice that the piano tuner comes on stage during intermission to make minor adjustments. So, if a piano goes slightly out of tune during the first part of a performance, imagine how far out of tune it will be in 6 months!
Some customers have gone a step further in supplying me with information by taking photos of their piano playing mechanisms (as well as photos of the entire piano) with cell phones. Even more high tech customers have recorded the pitch of all notes from the bass to the high treble.

The more information I have, the more prepared I am to supply the customer with my fee structure.

http://www.paulbrown.org  Email: paulbrn@telus.net 
Tel: 604-324-7013 (no texting)