Tuning and Repair
Ello Piano Service has been professionally tuning, repairing and rebuilding pianos in the Houston area since 1981. Michael Ello and Joshua Ello are a father and son team. They are each Registered Piano Technicians with the Piano Technicians Guild (www.ptg.org.) The PTG requires each technician to pass three rigorous examinations. These exams assess the knowledge and skills required to maintain pianos with proper tuning and repair.
Piano tuning is a difficult skill to master. It takes years of experience to acquire the ability to do it well. A piano is an inharmonic instrument. This means that the intervals (thirds, fourths, fifths, etc.) are not tuned pure, but are tuned tempered. The most common form of tempered piano interval tuning is known as equal temperament. After a piano tuner understands equal temperament, he or she must then acquire a physical coordination with their arm and tuning hammer. This is known as tuning hammer technique. Becoming a professional piano technician is much like becoming a professional artist or singer. Artists are able to use their hands to paint a masterpiece. Singers are able to control their vocal abilities allowing a pleasant performance for their audience. A professional piano technician is able to restore a piano to its maximum potential as a music producing instrument.
Most manufacturers recommend that pianos be tuned twice a year. A new piano requires a minimum of three to four tunings in the first year to compensate for the breaking in and stretching of the new piano strings. Pianos that are not tuned for more than a year often require a pitch adjustment before they can receive a tuning that will be stable at A440 pitch.
Our technicians have tuned for concert artists and venues such as the Houston Symphony, the Fort Bend Symphony, the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Houston Grand Opera, Stafford Centre, Carol King, Michael W. Smith, Ray Price, the Vienna Boys Choir, and Paul English.
Ello Piano Service carries a large number of piano parts in its service vehicles which allow for many types of onsite repairs.
Below is the typical tuning schedule for some of our residential and commercial customers. Some pianos require more frequent tunings depending on the amount of use the piano receives.
6 Month Tunings
for a home piano where family members are taking piano lessons and practicing 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
3 Month Tunings
for churches or synagogues that use their piano for two services a week and play with other musical instruments and artists.
1 Month Tunings
for venues like Perry's Restaurant, Sugar Land location, where the pianist plays in the evenings for entertainment.
Tuning Before Each Artist Event
for venues like the Stafford Centre Theater, where famous artists perform on the Steinway concert grand.
OUR TUNING FEES
Our current tuning rate is $200 plus sales tax. A regular tuning takes about an hour to complete. If a piano technician has not tuned your piano in a long time, it will probably need a pitch adjustment before it can receive a final tuning. This is necessary when all of the notes have drifted too far flat, or high humidity has made all of the notes go too sharp. This typically takes another 1/2 hour to an hour to complete. This extra work runs $100 for another 1/2 hour of work. Some severe cases (piano 1/2 step flat) might require two separate service calls. Each service call lasts about an hour, and the fee is $200 plus sales tax for each visit. It is important to use a Registered Piano Technician so that you have assurance that all work is done correctly.
OUR REPAIR FEES - usually assessed during the service call after the need is determined. We have a minimum service call fee of $200 plus tax, so the best value on repairs is when scheduled with a tuning. An example of this in one service call is: Tuning fee $200 with fee to replace two segment treble string unison $35.
Please note: Special events, concerts, programs, recitals, and holiday parties are usually planned in advance. We do a lot of pre-scheduling for our customers. Please let us know in advance of your event so that we can accommodate your tuning needs in a timely manner.
Call us today to schedule an appointment, or click above on the Self Schedule Button to reserve a spot on our calendar.
Ello Piano Service 281-633-0622