It is as simple as that. There are many variables when it comes to the cost of a piano tuner or piano tuning. What region of the world do you live in? As I can’t be the authority on the actual economics of your town I do have some pro tips.
It is safe to say that the average age of a piano tuner is 70 years old. Piano tuning is a lower-impact profession so many tuners work well into retirement. My mentor is 83. There isn’t a huge demand for piano tuners currently due to the decline of the acoustic pianos industry. Because so many of the tuners out there are older and many are now on social security they have not need to raise their prices due to cost of living expenses. Many older tuners will charge $80 for a tuning which is the price they set back in 1980. What many piano tuners don’t realize is that keeping their price the same can negatively affect the new technicians entering the field. If the market expects the cost of a piano tuning to be less than $100 it can be hard to build a clientele base. I would argue that this is one of the main reasons piano tuners are not entering the market. If I only charged $80 as my piano tuner cost I would have to leave the industry too. Piano tuning is a high-level skill and takes a lifetime to fully master. The art of piano tuning is a skill that must be preserved for future generations.
The cost of a piano tuning is also dependent on the last time your piano was tuned. We recommend tuning your piano at least annually. I go into depth in this other article on how often you should tune your piano. When a piano tuner comes to service your piano, he will look for a number of “red flags.” When was the last piano tuning? Are there any sticking keys? Do the pedals work? How long have you had the piano? There are many more, but this covers the basics and depending on your answers will help the piano tuner get an idea of what your piano needs. Just as there are many different pianos brands there are many approaches piano tuners will make. I will speak about my business practices. Most issues like sticking keys or dysfunctional pedals are very minor problems that are easy to resolve. I include minor fixes with my basic service package. Often it’s a toy or pencil that falls between the action and keys making it impossible to play. If something is broken, usually I will have to buy a part and will talk with my customer about the costs of fixing the issue. If your piano needs to be cleaned or is far out of tune it will need to have more work done and may need a follow-up appointment.
In conclusion, it really does vary on the piano tuner cost. Go to the PTG website to find a local tuner near you. If you are in my service area I would be more than happy to help you figure out what is going on with your piano and make a game plan for your piano needs. Check out my service here for pricing and details on my piano tuner cost.