Piano tuning

    Joe Garrison

Tuner to the Stars


How Often?

New Pianos

Frequent Tunings

Why Go Flat?

Humidity Control

String Blankets


Computerized Tuning

Pitch Raise







Joe Garrison is an independent piano technician operating throughout all of San Diego County – from Chula Vista  to Oceanside to East County. He apprenticed at Acme Piano, San Diego’s oldest piano shop, under the direct supervision of Paul Robinson.  Joe has studied music at UCSD, Cal State Fullerton and received a Masters in Music from the University of Colorado.  He is an accomplished jazz pianist and composer.

At present he is proud to be associated with Greene Music, the sole dealers for STEINWAY and YAMAHA pianos in San Diego.  The service department, directed by Mark Adams (Steinway Certified Piano Technician) is second to none.

Joe is also an associate member of the Piano Technicians Guild.  The PTG is a national organization devoted to raising the quality of our industry by means of education and independent testing and registration.

How often should my piano be tuned?


Frequent tunings are a must. Due to the music wire stretching, frequent tunings are important during the first year for the instrument to reach a point of relative stability. Most piano manufacturers strongly recommend that the new piano be tuned three to four times in its first year to help the instrument through its “wire stretch” phase. Once the piano has gained some stability and, depending upon the needs of the pianist, a regular schedule of biannual tuning should suffice to help the piano through the seasonal changes in relative humidity that generally effect a piano’s tune.


Why do pianos go flat?  Many people are surprised to find that the major cause of pianos going out of tune is not how much they are played, but changes in HUMIDTY and other environmental conditions.


Humidity Control. Everything that holds a piano at pitch is made of wood and changes in relative humidity are what cause a piano to go out of tune. In some cases where climates of desert dryness or coastal humidity exist, a humidity control system, made especially for the piano called a Damp-chaser is a wise investment. These systems help your piano resist the extremes in relative humidity and ensure that your instrument will maintain its musical value through the years.


String Covers.  We recommend Edwards String Covers which:

-          completely cover the strings, soundboard, tuning pins and plate

-          Greatly reduce rust – moisture does not get on the strings

-          Improves tuning stability – moisture does not get to the soundboard

-          Keeps the piano clean – dust and debris stay on top of the cover

-          Improve the benefits provided by a humidity control system (we recommend Damp-chaser humidity control system)

The covers, which are custom made of the best woven wool, stay in place at all times and do not touch strings.


NOTE: A string cover combined with a Damp-chaser System is most effective and tuning stability and rust reduction are enhanced.


Computerized Tuning.

Joe uses the latest version of the Reyburn Cyber Tuner IN ADDITION to acute listening and aural checks, for consistently high quality and stable tunings.  Once again, the best of both worlds…high tech combined with the human element.


Pitch Raise.  If a piano has not been maintained and drops too flat it requires special measures before it can be brought up and tuned.  As a rule, a pitch raise is required when key A4 has dropped 5 or more percent.


Rates. What does it cost?

  Fine tuning:  $145.00

  Pitch raise:   $210.00