Gibbons said most people have their pianos tuned about once a year.
“It varies,” he said. “I did some every couple of weeks for a while at a club in Chicago, and I’ve gone to tune for people who haven’t had their pianos tuned in 10 years. The quality of pianos has increased considerably over the past 10 to 20 years.”
Gibbons said tuning is affected by seasonal changes.
“The temperature outside affects the environment inside,” he said. “It’s really the humidity that has the biggest impact on the tuning. How often you play really doesn’t have much of an impact on the tuning, although it can matter if you’re really banging things out over a period.”
As is the case with many things, technology has resulted in the biggest changes over the years in piano tuning.
“It’s still basically the same process, but there are some electronics that are relatively new,” he said. “They haven’t replaced the tuning fork; they have supplemented the tuning fork.”
Gibbons even has a couple of apps on his cellphone that are designed specifically to aid in the tuning of pianos.
“A good technician has to be conscientious and can’t be in a hurry,” he said. “Good customer relations is very important, too.”
Gibbons must be doing something right, as he has had some clients for several years.