McKaig Piano Service

Bill McKaig, RPT

Specializing in Restoration and Repair | 813–831–4179


Piano Tuning

A piano is a very complex mechanical device that is made up of thousands of parts that have to work together to perform properly. Playing a piano, moving a piano, and even weather changes affect the performance and tuning of a piano. Pianos that sit idle for long periods of time lose their tuning, their actions can become sluggish, and they can become infested with unwanted visiters like moths or worse. This is why it’s important to have your piano maintained on a regular basis. Your piano will sound better and play better when you invest in its upkeep.

You can schedule an appointment by reaching out to me at or at 813–831–4179. I provide tuning and repair services in the Tampa and surrounding areas. I make a point of arriving for appointments on time. Don’t you wish everybody did?!

Other Services

Below is a list of additional services I provide. Some of these services can be performed at the customer’s location, while others are done at my workshop. I provide tuning and repair services to most of the Tampa area as well as Brandon, but pianos may be brought to my workshop from anywhere.

  • Action Geometry Analysis — determination of action design issues
  • Action Regulation — adjustment of playing mechanism
  • Dehumidifier — installation
  • Dolly — installation of uprights and grands
  • Keys — repair and replacement
  • Keytops — restoration and replacement
  • Refinishing — grain-filled finishing, natural wood and satin ebony
  • Restoration and Rebuilding — complete or partial repair and replacement
  • Soundboards — replacement
  • Voicing — adjustments to address the tone of the piano

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I tune my piano?
Pianos go out of tune for a number reasons. New pianos (or any piano with new strings), lose their pitch from the stretching of the piano wire. Frequent tunings are needed to stabilize these new strings. Changes in humidity and temperature are also significant factors in causing a piano to go out of tune. And of course hours of piano playing takes its toll as well. When a piano is not in tune, the sound is noticeably different; chords are not as clear, the sustain is shorter and the piano does not “sing”. A young person develops their ear for music as he or she plays the piano, and could very easily learn the wrong pitches if listening to an out of tune piano.
How often should my piano be tuned?
Manufacturers recommend tuning new pianos two to four times a year. After the break–in period, they should be tuned on a regular basis of once or twice a year. If a piano is tuned at least twice a year, it will always sound in tune. Tuning the piano once a year will successfully maintain it, but the sound won’t always reach its full potential.
What is regulation?
Regulation is adjusting the touch of the piano so that each note plays identically from top to bottom when using the same amount of force. In a grand piano there are 37 separate steps in each key that have to be adjusted in order for the action to play properly. Many of these adjustments are interrelated where one adjustment affects another. A technician must go through these steps multiple times to make sure the steps are working in harmony.
What is voicing?
Voicing is adjusting the tone of the piano so that it is pleasing to the musician. That is accomplished through adjusting the density of the hammers, as well as manipulating the strings and regulation. A properly voiced piano should have a very large dynamic range, allowing the musician to play from a delicate pianissimo, to a resounding forte on command.
A family member is starting lessons, what kind of piano do I need?
The piano needs three major elements to be a good candidate for taking lessons. It needs to have equal touch, equal tone, and be in tune at the proper pitch. This means that the keys produce the same volume with the same force from not to note, have the same tone throughout the piano and be properly tuned at concert pitch. Any piano that meets these minimum criteria is acceptable for lessons.
What is “concert pitch”?
Concert pitch is the international standard that the note ‘A’ is 440 cycles per second. It is what most modern pianos are designed to be tuned to. This is the pitch that I tune to unless there is some reason why I cannot, such as the piano being too old or it is being tuned to a non–standard instrument.
Can I move my own piano?
Moving pianos requires special equipment and techniques. I know how it’s done, and I still hire professional movers. That alone should give you an idea. The company I use is Precision Moving, Inc. They can be contacted at 813–554–3288 or 727–544–3386.
Will my piano go out of tune if I move it?
The number one factor that affects the tune of the piano when it is moved is the changing environments and temperatures the piano is exposed to at different locations. So for example, moving a piano from one side of the room to another would have a minimal effect, while moving one from Nevada to Florida would likely have a large impact on the stability of the piano.
How do I clean my key tops?
General purpose cleaner, such as 409 or Fantastic, will not affect either ivory or plastic key tops. Spray the cleaner on a soft rag and wipe the keys. For heavy stains, like from a marker for instance, you can use a mild abrasive such as Soft Scrub.
How do I clean the exterior of my piano?
Using a soft rag that is slightly dampened with water is recommended. I’m not a fan of furniture polishes, but they will add a shine to very old wood finishes. If furniture polishes are used, once a year is sufficient.