As your piano tuner Wilmington DE, I am occasionally asked about the possibility of tuning one’s own piano. It is not something that I recommend for several reasons.

One reason is that those who attempt to tune their own piano often break strings. There are several reasons for this. When a piano string is at the proper pitch, the tension is at about 70% of breaking tension. That does not leave a lot of leeway for error in the tuning of the instrument.

Additionally, there is a bearing point near the tuning pin that offers resistance to the movement of the string. If you watch a professional tuner, each change of tension is accomplished by a very small, quick movement of the string in order to break the resistance at that point. In contrast, an amateur typically simply pulls steadily on the string. Because of the resistance, the string will frequently break when that is done.

If a string breaks, replacement of strings is not something that an amateur can do without a lot of training and experience, and it requires numerous specialized and expensive tools. An improperly replaced string does not hold its pitch. Replacement by a professional is expensive, and can cost as much or more than a tuning.

If all that is not enough to discourage you, there are videos on the internet that purport to teach one how to tune. It will take several hours, and usually the piano ends up further out of tune than it started, such that a professional may need to to charge more for the correction than the cost of a normal tuning.

There are correspondence courses for taking up piano tuning as a career, but they are expensive and will take months to years to complete, so they are not appropriate for tuning just your own piano.

If you have any questions about pianos, please ask us. We are your Wilmington DE piano tuning experts.