Prime Piano Services

Pianos Tuned on Weekends - Find out more!Piano image
Russell Gallman - Certified Piano Technician

Tuning

(770) 570-0356
contact@PrimePianoServices.com

 

Book Your Tuning Appointment Today!

$ 165.00 Basic Tune
$ 85.00 per Pitch Raise Pass
Repeat Biz Customer Discount
See Specifics Below & Card Charges

 

             Closed Sundays & Mondays

 

Russ honors Georgia's Hands Free Driving Law and does not to take calls when driving, and he tries not to take calls while in the customer's home tuning, but he's still easy to reach.

Email - Text - Voice Mail 

!! Now Booking April 2024 !!

Texting & Email are the most reliable during peak busy season!

 


Area of service –
As a resident of Gwinnett County, Russell's primary area of service is focused on Atlanta, and the North Metro surrounding areas.  See the Areas of Service Tab for your county.


Quick Note 1
 
- My Busy Season runs November through June.  My life is being complicated presently as I care for my 91-y/o father who is advancing with Parkinson's Disease.  I am finding that as his needs have increased in the past couple of years, the demand on my time to provide piano related services is also being compressed.  So, please plan in advance.

Quick Note 2 - In years past, I have adjusted my rates every 3 years.  Currently, I plan on continuing that pattern.  And my next scheduled Rates Adjustment is scheduled for January 2, 2024.  Depending on how inflation impacts my biz costs, my rates will apply for the next cycle from 2024 through 2026. 


How much does it cost to tune a piano? –


NOTE: New Pricing Structures Coming January 2, 2024

Effective January 2, 2024, the 2021 through 2023 price structure is being retired and replaced with the data below to coincide with the beginning of the new year.  I plan on applying this price structure from 2024 through 2026.  The next planned price adjustment will occur on January 2, 2027 and my current plan is to use that structure from 2027 through 2029.

(2024 - 2026) In general, I base my price structure on the amount of time that will likely be spent in the home or job site.  When I make a tuning visit, I may need to tune your piano 1 time or 2 times during that SAME visit depending upon the condition of the piano. Your tuning cost may be $165.00, or $250.00, or $335.00 for that day's tuning service. And Repeat Biz Customers will be grandfathered in with a thank you discount.  Here is how it breaks down for payments by either cash, check, or Zelle:

·         T1 (2024-2026) - Basic Tuning Service (per piano)                                                                        =   $ 165.00

·         T2 (2024-2026) - A Typical 1st Tuning w/ a Full Pitch Raise ($85.00) + Basic Tune ($165.00)      =    $ 250.00  

·         TS (2024-2026) - Technical Services Provided on an Hourly Basis                                               =    $ 125.00 per hour

·         RB (2024-2026) - Repeat Biz Customer Discount on a T1 Tuning                                DEDUCT  = (- $  15.00) 

·         DD (2024-2026) - D.O.A. - Dead on Arrival Pianos & Consultation                                               =    $ 125.00

·         CS (2024-2026) - Concert Services                                                                                               =    $ TBD

 

 

This does not mean that I will need to come to your home multiple times. The prices above are for a one-time only tuning visit. If the following information feels confusing, please feel free to call or text me at (770) 570-0356. Your input will help me refine how to rewrite this pricing information. I will advise you when you should expect to retune your piano - 6 months or 1 year etc.

 
For Credit Card & Debit Card Purchases, I use Square.com to process the payment. Below are the upcharges required to cover the swipe charges (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, & Discover):

·         T1 (2024-2026) - Basic Tuning Service (per piano)              ADD  $   6.25  

·         T2 (2024-2026) - Basic Pitch Raise + Basic Tune                ADD  $   9.25  

·         DD (2024-2026)- D.O.A. - Dead On Arrival Pianos              ADD  $   5.00    

·         Add 3.5% for additional services and hourly repairs.

 



Service Descriptions -


How do piano techs measure a piano? I use an app on my iPad called Tune Lab to get an idea of the present pitch position of a piano prior to tuning. You may hear a piano technician use the words “Your piano is 10 cents sharp” or “Your piano is 25 cents flat.” But what does that mean? In our industry, a single piano key is assigned the value of 100 cents. Just like a single Dollar has the corresponding value of 100 cents. For example, most pianos will move around 8 cents if tuned once per year. And I have some pianos in churches that jump 25 cents between seasons. And a piano that has not been tuned in 10 to 30 years will easily be out of tune between 50 cents to 100 cents flat on average. When we see a piano that is 100 cents flat, we use the expression “it is one full key flat.” If you have a guitar tuner, it may give you an idea what the pitch position of the piano is. Choose a note on the piano that corresponds to a note played on the guitar. What does it read? Customers are welcome to observe while I take the measurements.

 
All pianos are created differently, and each has its own individual needs. For pianos that are regularly maintained, an owner can anticipate a standard, one-pass finish tuning visit that will require 1hour 15 minutes to 1.5 hours. In contrast, for instruments that do not receive annual or bi-annual tuning visits, an owner may need to budget additional time and money for multiple tunings to get reliable service.  Prior to tuning, your piano will be measured with a computer to determine its present pitch position.
  

·         T1 (2024-2026) Piano - Basic Tuning Service Visit is normal for the Regularly Maintained Piano.  These are pianos tuned every 6 to 12 months and will apply to most repeat business that are tuned within 24 months. (1 tuning @ 1hr 15min to 1hr 30min = $165.00 or Repeat Biz Customer @ $165.00 - $15.00 = $150.00). A typical T1 Piano measures between 0 cents to 10 cents flat/sharp. The T1 Piano accounts for about 55% - 60% of the pianos that I visit.

·          T2 (2024-2026) Piano - A Typical 1st Tuning Service Visit (1 quick pitch raise tuning followed by 1 basic finish tuning) applies to the Moderately Maintained & Completely Ignored Piano.  For pianos that have been recently moved, or they have not been tuned in the past 3 years or more, you may need to budget this category for the additional time and work involved.  If you have waited 4 to 5 years to tune, it is like starting all over again; so, budget the additional time and money just in case. ALL tuning pins (approx. 220 strings) must be turned 1 time to pressurize the sound board prior to the Basic Tuning/Finish Tuning. (2 tunings @ 1hr 45min to 2 Hours = $165.00 + $85.00 = $250.00 and DEDUCT $15.00 for Repeat Biz Customers = $235.00) The Gray Zone for needing to provide a T2 Tuning Service with a pitch raise starts around 18 cents flat/sharp. The T2 Pianos are about 25% - 30% of the pianos that I visit.

·         TS (2024-2026) - Technical Services & Repairs –  This section under revision.  Under most situations, a repair that requires 10 minutes or less is performed at no additional charges.  For example, it is not uncommon to see one or two sticky keys that need attention.  Russell remedies such situations during the course of the tuning process.  However, there are a lot of hand-me-down and Face Book Market Place freebie pianos out there that have been ignored and un-played for a long, long time, and those pianos may require much more than a 10-minute passing glance.  In such cases, Russell will inform the customer of any issues needing attention.  Please note that Russell does NOT have a reputation of charging for conversation with his customers.  We all need a little empathetic human connection.  It's medicine for the heart and soul.  And also note that Russell does NOT use "Up-servicing Sales Techniques" like car dealer service shops as part of his business model or business practices.

For repairs and technical services beyond the 10-minute grace period, Russell calculates the cost on an hourly basis of $125.00 per hour during the tuning visit or an extended repair visit that exceeds 1.5 hours.  Note that a minimum charge of $165.00 for a Repair Visit will be applied for the first 1.5 hours and less.  Repeat Biz customers receive the $15.00 discount as advertised.


·          CS Piano (2024-2026) - The Concert Services Piano – In most circumstances, Russell does not step into the Concerts, Artists, and Artisan Piano Technician Services Lane. His preferred lane is the General Services Piano Technician. However, there are real occasions when the local artisan techs are booked out and are not available to assist. So, Murphy’s Law is the risk. For example, there is one highly specialized field repair that Russell may not be adequately equipped to provide. A case in point may be failed and broken agraffes. It’s a rare repair, but when they break, it will likely be moments before an artist’s performance. Concert venues are welcome to reach out to Russell when their preferred techs are not able to assist. We can certainly discuss your particular needs and see if Russell can be of assistance.  


 

What is not included in the Tuning Service fees? -


The Tuning Fee only applies to the tuning process and product. Repairs for sticky keys, broken strings, vacuuming, cleaning, applying lubrication to sluggish action parts etc. will be assessed separately, and are costs beyond the tuning service. As a rule of thumb, for repairs that can be done in 10 minutes or less during a tuning visit, no additional charges will be applied to the invoice.  When repairs are performed during the tuning visit, the current hourly rate stated on the 
Repairs tab will be applied to cover the cost of the additional services.  Please review Repairs for more information. 



When will we need to tune again? -

I have some customers who are very, very pitch sensitive artists, and they may book as many as four piano tunings per year to cover their needs. I have some pianos that do a serious jump in pitch as the heaters and air conditioners adapt the spaces to the relative humidity levels. Those pianos I usually suggest tuning after July 4
th as that marks the return of summer levels of humidity. And those pianos change once again when the heaters turn on and dry out the air. The start of winter can vary. In my younger years, it started in November, but now winters may not really bite until February. So, in some cases, biannual tunings are quite routine.


As a general rule of thumb, I tell customers that if the piano bugs you in 6 months, reach out to schedule a tuning visit. Otherwise, plan on tuning your piano at least once per year as long as the piano is being used. Try NOT to wait past 24 months to tune again.

And finally, I do have customers who wait 3 to 5 years between tunings. When resources are tight, or the piano has been sitting unused for a long time, then I totally get it. But be aware!! I may have to treat the piano as a T2 Typical 1st Tuning Visit.

 

Appointment Times -


Please see my Business Hours tab for specifics.  I am a full-time piano technician.  I am open to schedule tuning and other services to fit your schedule.  I like to keep Sundays open to nurture my own spirit and I usually close on Mondays to do all the catch-up work around the house, but I will consider special requests and needs.


Price Changes and Price Structures -

Over the years, I have tried to adjust prices every 3 years. The current price structure will be in place from January 2, 2024 until December 31, 2026. I may modify them to adjust to market forces and inflation.  Fingers crossed that our Congress, the Treasury Secretary, the Federal Reserve, and our POTUS do better jobs at managing the economy than they have in the past. 


Owner’s Risks (Good News and Bad News)
 -


As piano owners, there are two risks that are always present. Metal either stretches or it breaks.

·         String Breakage - With instruments that are not tuned regularly, or they have acquired rust, there is the ever-present risk of string breakage. All products have a life cycle. Whether clarinet reeds, trumpet valves, drumsticks, or music wire, man-made objects eventually go into a state of decay. Piano wire basically has an 8-year life span. After that, metal fatigue is a reality.  All precautions will be taken to avoid breakage (i.e., the application of lubrication at friction points).

·         Plate Breakage - The second concern that all piano owners face is plate breakage. Since the late 1800s pianos have been manufactured with cast iron plates that provide the piano with sufficient structure to resist the force of highly tensioned piano wire. Despite refined quality controls, occasionally a plate is installed that either has an inappropriate mix of ore or it was not properly cooled once it was poured into the mold. Hence, weak points were inadvertently created during the manufacturing process.  One of Russell's acquaintances has been tuning for more than 40 years.  During the span of his career, only one plate has broken.  Though a rare occurrence, it can happen.

 


So, there is good news and bad news about the above. The good news for broken strings, most of those situations can be repaired. Unfortunately, the bad news for plate breakage is that the piano is done if/when the plate has had enough. If the plate breaks, the piano may be a great piece of furniture, a perfect place for potted plants, or it can be converted into an ingenious media center.

The Piano Technician’s Disclaimer -
Piano technicians DO NOT break strings and plates. Strings and plates break.

Thanks for visiting!

"Mr. Rusty"

 

 

 

 

 

(770) 570-0356
contact@PrimePianoServices.com