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RENAISSANCE PIANO SERVICE & RESTORATIONS, Boulder & Denver, Colorado

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Beautiful piano tuning, done by ear!       
 
A piano sounds so much better when it's in tune, and the touch and tone have been properly adjusted!  Have your piano tuned by someone who really cares about pianos and who loves music! If you're shopping around, don't forget to ask each piano technician you speak with if they are a Registered Piano Technician (RPT) member of the Piano Technicians Guild (PTG).  PTG is the  only organization in North America that offers certification exams for piano technicians. Only an RPT has been independently tested in a series of three rigorous examinations and is certified by the world's largest piano technician's organization.
 
 
My 24 years of experience and passion for pianos and music are at your service! 
 
 

 
What makes my piano go out of tune?

Even the most beautiful piece of music will sound jangly and discordant if the piano is out of tune.  And even the most expensive concert grand piano will sound bad if out of tune.  Pianos are paradoxical things: they look sturdy - and in some ways they are - but they're also incredibly sensitive and delicate!  For example, it takes as little as a 10% change in Relative Humidity to make a piano go out of tune. 

 

There are many things that constantly conspire against your piano, causing it to go out of tune:

 

* Seasonal changes in humidity (more humid in summer, extremely dry in winter)

 

* Daily fluctuations in humidity inside a home (furnace turning on and off, doors opening, etc.)

  

* Changes in temperature (daily changes from night to day, and seasonal changes, being near a heat register)

 

* Playing the piano (because of the leverages involved, a hammer hits the strings at five to six times the velocity of your finger, and can knock the strings out of tune)

 

* Moving the piano. 

  

* Sunlight falling across the piano during the day and warming it.

  

* Being placed on an outside, south-facing wall, especially in older, less-well-insulatedhouses.

 

 



How often does my piano need to be tuned?

When you understand the above factors it's easy to see why a piano needs a tuning every 6 months in most cases (many musicians have their piano tuner come every 3-4 months, and performance and recording studio pianos are tuned before every single performance).  The Boulder and Denver area of Colorado is well known for being dry, especially during winter, when indoor humidity can drop to 5-15% RH.  This causes the soundboard to shrink, and the strings slacken, causing the middle two octaves to become discordantly flat in pitch compared to the rest of the piano.  For reference, the average humidity in the Sahara Desert is 25% RH!  Colorado's dryness can be really hard on your piano. 

 

In spring and summer, however, humidity in this area of Colorado zooms up, sitting around 60% RH most days, with occasional spikes up to 100% RH during thunderstorm season.  This causes the soundboard to swell and expand greatly, pushing up against the strings and stretching them, causing the same middle two octaves to go sharp in pitch, and out of tune with the bass and treble. When a piano goes out of tune, notes and chords that should sound harmonious, pure and clean become discordant, jangly, sour and unpleasant.  When that happens, it's annoying to play, discourages practicing and, especially in the case of children, trains the ears to accept the discordant sound as correct.

 


How do I choose a piano tuner?

A gifted piano technician is not easy to find, since piano tuning involves many skills that take years to master, and which require natural aptitude.  And since the piano tuning profession is not regulated by government, literally anyone can take out a big ad in the Yellow Pages without ever having so much as touched a piano.  

 

The only piano technicians who have actually been independently tested are those bearing the "Registered Piano Technician" designation.  In order to receive this certification, a technician must pass a series of three rigorous exams.  I have been tuning pianos for 24 years, and have been a member of the Piano Technicians Guild for 23 years, 22 of those as a Registered Piano Technician.  When I come to tune your piano I check and adjust, by ear, one by one, each of your piano's approximately 230 strings.  Because I am also a pianist (B.A. in Music) I think like both a pianist and a piano technician and want the piano to sound and play its absolute best, from both the perspective of a piano player and a piano technician.  When the job is done, the discordant notes sound harmonious again and the piano once again can produce beautiful music!  

 


Above and beyond tuning to full service.

I have also been restoring pianos for 21 years, so I when I tune your piano I approach it from a holistic perspective.  I'm not going to just whip through a tuning and dash off to my next appointment.  I want your piano to be giving you the richest, most rewarding musical experience it's capable of, so I also check the strings, hammers, dampers, keys, soundboard, bridges, cushioning felts, leathers, etc., and ask myself questions such as: Is the tone as rich and full as it it can be?  Is the touch as velvety, silky, sensitive and responsive as it can be?  Are there any other ways that this piano can be improved so that playing it will truly be a joy?   If there are any ways the piano can be improved, I'll let you know what they are and what they would cost.  A piano is a big investment; I want you to be able to enjoy the best your piano has to offer. 

 

If you'd like to have a piano tuning or other piano service, such as voicing, regulating or restoration work, you can schedule an appointment by contacting us at 303-641-TUNE or Contact Us via email.  As a piano tuner and technician, I primarily serve the greater Boulder, Colorado, area, including the communities of Louisville, Lafayette, Superior, Broomfield, Westminster, Erie, Niwot, Longmont, Lyons and Nederland, Colorado.  I also provide piano tuner and technician services to most areas of Denver, Colorado.  I am also often able to travel further afield to accomodate your needs and for restoration work I can have your piano shipped here from anywhere in the country or world. 

 

Pictured above: A lovely 1923 vintage Steinway Model B (7 ft), shipped to my shop in Boulder from Pennsylvania.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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