Note By Note Tuning 2019 Best of Culpeper Award in the Piano Tuning Service category




Basic Tuning                                                                                                                                                   $135

Piano Tuning requires each of the piano’s approximately 200 strings to be adjusted to the proper tension 

to achieve a pleasant musical sound.  Pianos are usually tuned so that the A above middle C, is at a pitch of 440 Hz.  This results in the piano being in tune with other musical instruments and recordings.


Pitch Adjustment Tuning                                                                                                                               $185

This tuning  is for pianos that are 8% to 25% off the standard A440 pitch Above or Below pitch.

Pitch Raise Tuning                                                                                                                                          $225

If the piano has not been tuned for several years or has been subjected to extreme humidity changes, it may require a pitch correction in addition to a tuning.  The longer a piano has been neglected, the more it is out of tune. Typically, the pitch of a neglected  piano is much lower than it should be.   The goal of pitch correction is to get the entire piano within about 5% of the desired final pitch. Tuning can then be performed by making only very small adjustments in string tension.  Without the pitch correction, tuning would require very large changes in string tension. This would result in flexing of the piano frame. As each string is adjusted, the frame flexes, and all previously tuned strings become slightly out of tune. The end result is a piano that is still not in tune.


Pitch correction must be performed so that change in string tension does not result in one section of the piano being at a grossly different tension than another section of the piano. If not done properly, the piano could possibly be damaged during the procedure.  Because tuning and pitch correction takes longer than tuning alone, the cost is higher.  It cannot be determined if a pitch correction is needed until the time of service.


Adjusting Pianos Performance  (Regulation) 

All pianos contain many mechanical parts that cause the strings to sound when the keys are played.  Collectively, these parts are called  the “action”. Regulation is the process of adjusting the action for the most efficient operation possible.  There are a number of signs that tell you that your piano needs regulation:   


  1. Keys that are not Level, some that are higher or lower than the rest.
    Keys that are sticking.
    Sluggish Action
    Lack of dynamic range.
    Uneven touch.
    Loss of playing power.
    Inability to play quick passages.

Regulating the action parts compensates for wear and tear of parts, settling of felt and leather, and changes in dimensions of wood. The cost of regulating depends on the use of the piano and the demands of the pianist.   Some musicians want the piano to play at the best level possible, while others just want the piano to play a little better than it does.  The first option requires much more work than the second option and is priced accordingly.                                                                                                                            

If you want to delay the cost of a complete regulation, it can be performed gradually over time.  This way the most needed adjustments can be addressed first and less critical items addressed later.                                                                                                       

Ideally, a "touch-up" regulation should be performed every few years to prevent the piano from becoming wildly out of adjustment.    The cost of regulation does not include repairs or parts replacements.

Price: $400 - $800 Upright Piano.

Price: $1200 - $1800 Grand Piano.

Pre-Purchase Inspection

Russ can assist you in the purchase of a piano, new or used, at both piano retailers and private locations. In addition, he can advise you on the best piano to meet your artistic needs while maintaining your budget constraints.

During the purchase consultation, Russ will explain each part of the piano that is inspected and what is discovered during the process. If repairs are needed, a cost estimate for the repairs will be provided.

Price: $100.   (with in service area) 


Climate Control System and Installation

Pianos go out of tune because changes in humidity cause expansion or contraction of the piano’s soundboard. The soundboard movement changes the tension of the strings, which causes the piano to go out of tune.  The expansion of the wood in the piano can also cause soundboards and bridges to crack.  A Climate Control System, also known as the Piano Life Saver System, helps maintain the humidity of your piano around 42%. Maintaining a consistent level of humidity for your piano helps reduce the significant fluctuations in pitch by stabilizing the crown of the soundboard which can increase and decrease with the changes in weather. In addition, reducing the significant fluctuations in relative humidity can help reduce the aging process of the wood parts of the piano. For more information, visit    

The Piano Life Saver™ system keeps the humidity inside your piano at the proper level all year long. This maintains tuning stability and increases the life of your piano.

Price: $550 for most upright pianos and $600 for most grand pianos.


Over time, pianos accumulate dust and debris both on the inside and outside. Inside the piano there are many mechanical parts that make up the piano’s action. Dust and debris cause the action to be sluggish and respond poorly to playing. In addition, dust and debris cause premature wear on parts, thus shortening the piano’s life. Cleaning the action, vacuuming under the keys, and polishing keypins can improve performance and longevity of the piano.

Most cleaning emphasizes  the inside of the piano, where most piano owners are not able to reach. If desired, the outside of the piano can also be cleaned at a slightly higher rate.

Price: $100

Half-day and Full-Day Service

New pianos come from the factory with all adjustments set to the factory specifications. This assures that the piano is playing at its  best. Over time, the piano’s adjustments change and parts wear and the piano does not play as it once did. Older pianos will be  out of adjustment to a greater degree than a newer piano and possibly need repairs.

Scheduling a large block of time allows several areas of need to be addressed in a single appointment.  Maybe the piano needs cleaning, hammer filing, regulation touch up, maybe a couple of hammers have broken off. Perhaps the piano needs voicing because its tone is unpleasant. Maybe you want more than just the piano tuned but don’t know what is needed.

Requesting a block of time will allow the technician to determine the need and priority of  the service needed to bring the piano into much better playing  condition. Neither option permits enough time to fix everything, but it will bring the  performance to a higher level.

Price: Half-day service (4 hours) $360

Price: Full-day service (8 hours) $640


All pianos require repairs or adjustments from time to time. Many of these services can be performed on site.

Price: Accurate estimates can only be made after looking the piano to determine the exact nature of the service required to return the piano to a usable condition.