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A day with a piano tuner. #1083053
12/04/06 08:36 PM
12/04/06 08:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,583
Pennsylvania
Ken Knapp Offline OP

2000 Post Club Member
Ken Knapp  Offline OP

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,583
Pennsylvania
A few weeks ago I noticed the bass strings on my piano getting a little flat so I decided it was time to get it tuned. Before I had the tuning scheduled, a couple friends asked me if I could get them on my teacher's schedule too (he teaches, sells, and tunes). So as it worked out today was the day and I went with him.

First stop was for a friend's Wurlitzer console. It needed a pitch raise, then adjustment to the hammers because they weren't striking correctly. Then one damper section wasn't working so he fixed that, all the while explaining to me what he was doing and showing me the adjustments he was making.

Next stop was the local church to tune that piano. Since the piano and organ often play together he had to tune the piano to the organ. But a couple problems presented themselves. The piano was about 15 cents flat and the organ was about 5 cents high. Solution? Tune the organ then the piano. Since tuning the organ is a two person job I had to play it as he tuned each key. Once that was done he did the pitch raise on the piano, showing me what he was doing at every step.

Last, but not least we went to my house and tuned mine. It wasn't too bad but he did have to pitch raise the bass strings. All in all a very busy and educational day.

Ken Knapp


Ken

Hammond Organ Technician
Piano Torturer
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Re: A day with a piano tuner. #1083054
12/04/06 11:25 PM
12/04/06 11:25 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,342
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,342
Lexington, Kentucky
Sounds like fun. Any time I start thinking to myself, "you know, Kern, you could save some money by buying a tuning hammer and touching up your piano yourself," I just watch my tuner at work and realize that it is WAY more complicated than it looks. In my mind they are all vastly underpaid.

Re: A day with a piano tuner. #1083055
12/04/06 11:34 PM
12/04/06 11:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,583
Pennsylvania
Ken Knapp Offline OP

2000 Post Club Member
Ken Knapp  Offline OP

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,583
Pennsylvania
Quote
Originally posted by Monica Kern:
Sounds like fun. Any time I start thinking to myself, "you know, Kern, you could save some money by buying a tuning hammer and touching up your piano yourself," I just watch my tuner at work and realize that it is WAY more complicated than it looks. In my mind they are all vastly underpaid.
laugh I know what you mean Monica. I subscribe to the PTG Pianotech mailing list as a way to learn all I can about the inner workings of a piano. There is a tech on there that commented that he has a standing offer to give any of his customers a FREE tuning hammer. His logic is that once they mess things up and have to pay him to fix it they will never complain about the cost of tuning again. laugh You're right - there is a lot to it and I have a lot of respect for all good tuners.

Ken


Ken

Hammond Organ Technician
Piano Torturer
Re: A day with a piano tuner. #1083056
12/05/06 07:54 AM
12/05/06 07:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 438
Canberra, Australia
M
Mountain Ash Offline
Full Member
Mountain Ash  Offline
Full Member
M

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 438
Canberra, Australia
Ken that sounds like a fascinating day, especially the tuning of the organ. I might have to tag along with a tuner myself someday. f

Re: A day with a piano tuner. #1083057
12/05/06 09:06 PM
12/05/06 09:06 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,522
Portland, Or.
G
gabytu Offline
1000 Post Club Member
gabytu  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,522
Portland, Or.
Forget trying to learn to tune pianos by yourself. If you can apprentice to a Tech, you might learn something. But one of my friends who tends to be rather bull headed at times decided that he would be able to tune his own piano. So armed with a "how to" book and and some tools, he began to "tune" it. The more he worked at it the worse it sounded.

Three weeks later, it was a total mess. He had to call a professional to straighten it all out.

Gaby Tu

Re: A day with a piano tuner. #1083058
12/06/06 12:45 PM
12/06/06 12:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,483
Ohio, USA
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member
signa  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,483
Ohio, USA
yeah, it sounds like a good opportunity to learn tuning! it must be a good thing to learn.

Re: A day with a piano tuner. #1083059
12/06/06 06:25 PM
12/06/06 06:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,583
Pennsylvania
Ken Knapp Offline OP

2000 Post Club Member
Ken Knapp  Offline OP

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,583
Pennsylvania
I know what I learned on Monday didn't begin to scratch the surface, that's for sure. But every little bit helps in understanding that instrument we love!

Ken


Ken

Hammond Organ Technician
Piano Torturer
Re: A day with a piano tuner. #1083060
12/06/06 07:12 PM
12/06/06 07:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 616
Monterey, Ca
Zormpas Offline
500 Post Club Member
Zormpas  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 616
Monterey, Ca
About the only thing I'll allow myself to do is to touch up a unison - and only if its way out, driving me nuts, and then I'm VERY careful. I haven't had to do it since I "acquired" my latest tech...


-Zorba
"The Veiled Male"
http://www.doubleveil.net
1918 Hobart M. Cable "H"
"No-one would knowingly provide Franz Liszt with a mediocre piano." -E. M. Good
Re: A day with a piano tuner. #1083061
12/07/06 08:06 PM
12/07/06 08:06 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 86
Plano, TX
Mr.Joshua Offline
Full Member
Mr.Joshua  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 86
Plano, TX
So how much does a tuning cost ?

Re: A day with a piano tuner. #1083062
12/07/06 08:16 PM
12/07/06 08:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,583
Pennsylvania
Ken Knapp Offline OP

2000 Post Club Member
Ken Knapp  Offline OP

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,583
Pennsylvania
For me it was $80.00. Not bad considering that he came 30 miles to my house and was here for about 2 hours. Of course he spent part of that time playing my theremin!

Ken


Ken

Hammond Organ Technician
Piano Torturer
Re: A day with a piano tuner. #1083063
12/08/06 05:06 PM
12/08/06 05:06 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 10
Bay Area, California
sizzzzlerz Offline
Junior Member
sizzzzlerz  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 10
Bay Area, California
Quote
Originally posted by gabytu:
Forget trying to learn to tune pianos by yourself. If you can apprentice to a Tech, you might learn something. But one of my friends who tends to be rather bull headed at times decided that he would be able to tune his own piano. So armed with a "how to" book and and some tools, he began to "tune" it. The more he worked at it the worse it sounded.

Three weeks later, it was a total mess. He had to call a professional to straighten it all out.

Gaby Tu
I'd say he learned something after all! laugh


There is no reality, only perception.

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