If you are new to the area or new to owning a piano, you probably did a google search for "piano tuner near me" and hoped for the best. I'm glad you found this page! St Louis is fortunate to have several good piano technicians, and without anyone to give you a referral - how do you know who to choose? My advice is to give the most weight to testimonials / reviews and to look at how much experience a tech has. Education is very important, but there are no substitutes for experience. I also recommend that you choose a company with up-front pricing - you don't want any surprises when you are handed the bill. Some local techs will charge you by the hour and not give you an idea of how long the service will take - others will charge you for each individual sticky key they fix, pedal they adjust, or action that they perform. This often results in a service with a seemingly inexpensive base charge, but that ends up costing considerably more in the end. Of course we hope you will choose St Louis Pianoworks to take care of your piano, but we encourage you to do your research before making the decision - piano service businesses are not equal.
I strongly encourage you to think twice about the free piano you just saw on craigslist or facebook marketplace. Every single month, I have to deliver bad news to customers who have paid $300 or more to have a free piano moved to their home only to learn that it is tired and worn out, or has major issues such as a cracked soundboard, or tuning pins so loose that it won't hold a tune. These pianos are free for a reason - often they've been told by a piano tech that the piano is no longer serviceable and they are hoping that someone will take it off of their hands. If you've found a piano on a classified site that seems promising to you - do what you would do before buying a used car - have a mechanic look it over first! We offer this service for the same price as a piano tuning, doing so might save you a lot of heartache.
We occasionally have pianos for sale - our pianos are thoroughly gone through and free of issues. We focus primarily on service though, we like to keep your piano going for as long as possible. In St Louis, we have stores that sell brand new pianos, but we also have a couple of places that rebuild and refurbish pianos up to high standards - pianos that were built in a previous era and whose quality of construction is unmatched today except by a few great piano makers. I encourage you to seek these pianos out, they often deliver more "bang for the buck" than brand new pianos do. If these instruments are out of your budget, we can help you find a decent piano that is. Having a piano inspected by us before making the purchase is a wise investment.
There is no delicate way to put this - beginners who start on an old worn-out piano will often not enjoy playing the piano. Young students will know there is something wrong, but usually won't know that the problem is the piano and not them. They may develop bad habits from trying to compensate for shortcomings of the piano and many will become frustrated and quit. My advice is to buy the best and newest piano that fits your budget.
Some may raise an eyebrow at me for saying this, but if it's a small upright piano and you have some helpers, proper equipment (tie down straps, piano dolly), and an enclosed truck with a ramp - yes, you'll probably be fine. In all other cases, especially with grand pianos, I encourage you not only to hire a mover, but to hire a piano-specific mover. Aside from the damage that an accident might cause to the piano or property, your spine is not worth saving a few hundred dollars.
In the Saint Louis area, I highly recommend Rodger's Piano Moving.
For interstate / cross-country moves, I recommend S&P Piano Moving.
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