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New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano #1317894
12/03/09 08:48 PM
12/03/09 08:48 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 141
Seattle, Washingon
Neil Sundberg Offline OP
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Neil Sundberg  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 141
Seattle, Washingon
Hi, thanks for reading

I'm not a piano tuner, and maybe you aren't either, but perhaps what a group of us knows collectively can at least bridge the gap between Piano Tech visits.

With the advent of the Electronic Tuning Devise, tuning one's own piano has become much closer to reality than it used to be.

But there is still quite a bit to learn.

Check out the site if you like. It just started a few days ago, so there are only a hand full of posts and a half dozen members.

It's DIY piano tuning in yahoo groups

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/DIYPianotuning/

Neil


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Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Neil Sundberg] #1318167
12/04/09 10:04 AM
12/04/09 10:04 AM
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Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Hi Neil,

I can tell you that the real piano tech's here ain't gonna like this thread one bit. In fact, I can see the Yahoo DIY site is already getting attacks from RPT’s.

My suggestion is that if you tune your own piano (even between real-tech visits), good for you, (I do too) but I wouldn’t spend too much time talking about it here… This is a taboo subject on these PW forums and will only garner rude comments and arguments.

Take care,

Rick

Last edited by Rickster; 12/04/09 10:06 AM.

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Rickster] #1318262
12/04/09 12:13 PM
12/04/09 12:13 PM
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Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Well Rick,

For some of us this subject is not taboo at all. For the ones who post rude comments about people tuning their own pianos, well, that does not make Neil look un-professional.

I have read through the comments on that new group and let the RPT’s posting there demonstrate to the rest of the general public how un-professional some of them can be....

If folks want to explore their own instruments, there is nothing incorrect about this. The incorrect part is when they make a mistake and damage parts. This results in further costs, which is something I don’t mind at all......I like more service calls.......


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Silverwood Pianos] #1318499
12/04/09 06:13 PM
12/04/09 06:13 PM
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Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Your point is well taken, Dan.

By-the-way, I appreciate your advice and assistance to me, as someone really interested in piano technology. Yes, one can do more harm than good to their own piano, if they are not very knowledgeable about what they are doing.

I actually tuned another baby grand piano, other than my own, yesterday. So, I guess I’m no longer a DIYer! grin

Take care, and thanks again for all you help!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Rickster] #1318694
12/04/09 11:29 PM
12/04/09 11:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,458
Albuquerque, NM
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
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Originally Posted by Rickster
This is a taboo subject on these PW forums and will only garner rude comments and arguments.


Gosh, Rick, there's a current thread on self-tuning over on the Technicians Forum right now.

People can learn to do anything, from tuning pianos to transplanting hearts. The problem with an online forum is to balance giving information while protecting people from doing harm to their pianos. Information appropriate for one person might be misunderstood by any number of people reading the post in the future. So I don't think this is the best venue for learning a physical and aural skill (can you learn tennis by mail?).

But speaking for myself, I'm certainly not threatened by people wanting to have at their own pianos. In fact, touching up unisons is something that many people can learn without too much effort.

Tuning a whole piano is another topic. ETDs help, but also require knowledge to use them correctly. But it's how I got started, and we need more techs.

Info on becoming a technician:
http://ptg.org/becomingATech.php

--Cy--


Cy Shuster, RPT
www.shusterpiano.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director, PTG Norfolk 2016 Technical Institute
http://convention.ptg.org
Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Cy Shuster, RPT] #1320337
12/07/09 01:30 PM
12/07/09 01:30 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 141
Seattle, Washingon
Neil Sundberg Offline OP
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Neil Sundberg  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Cy Shuster
Originally Posted by Rickster
This is a taboo subject on these PW forums and will only garner rude comments and arguments.


So I don't think this is the best venue for learning a physical and aural skill (can you learn tennis by mail?).


I think this may be only partly true. I do think I would be much better off if and when I can find a tech willing to help me with technique on a one on one basis since this really is greatly a physical thing much like learning to play a piano. On the other hand, I think, given that words on the net sometimes can be misunderstood, that many things can be discussed and defined through a forum platform. And this is what the yahoo group is about. It's also a place for collecting lists of net links to software, supplies, and even tuners willing to teach these things.


Quote

But speaking for myself, I'm certainly not threatened by people wanting to have at their own pianos. In fact, touching up unisons is something that many people can learn without too much effort.


I tuned a large part of my piano yesterday for the first time using Verituner. The Verituner worked fine. The hard part was moving those strings to the correct tension without it taking all day.So, in my mind, there is no reason at all for techs to fear that this will become some large movement for this reason. For a beginner it simply takes a lot of time out of a day to do it even with the software. I don't see large numbers of people seriously taking this on. I simply like being involved in my piano to this degree, so I'm willing to put in the time and do the learning. ( I'll add this too, I'm a DIY in all aspects of my life. I work on my cars, my house, make my own music, on and on. I just enjoy learning these things.)

Quote

Tuning a whole piano is another topic. ETDs help, but also require knowledge to use them correctly. But it's how I got started, and we need more techs.

Info on becoming a technician:
http://ptg.org/becomingATech.php

--Cy--


Thank for the encouragement and the link. Interesting that you say more techs are needed. I gained a real insight into that just spending a day tuning mine.

Neil


Light Touch Piano Moves LLC
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Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Neil Sundberg] #1320354
12/07/09 01:49 PM
12/07/09 01:49 PM
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New York City
pianoloverus Online content
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I think it's interesting that some people want to try this. I don't think many techs will be concerned because:

1. I think most people would not think they can do this.
2. There is risk involved that many would not take, especially if they have a good instrument.
3. If it's true(as I've heard)that one has to do a 1000 tunings to be able to tune really well, all but the most curious and those with exceptional natural ability will probably not practice on their own piano.

A question for piano techs:
About what percent of your customers try to do any tuning, even just touch up tuning on their pianos?


Last edited by pianoloverus; 12/07/09 01:53 PM.
Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: pianoloverus] #1320364
12/07/09 02:04 PM
12/07/09 02:04 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 141
Seattle, Washingon
Neil Sundberg Offline OP
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Neil Sundberg  Offline OP
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Seattle, Washingon
I'll add another thing here. I realize that maybe piano technology changes quite slowly. But where is the piano technology to modernize the pin blocks so that they are easier to tune? Seriously, a tech that could do this and patent it would become a millionaire. I say this while understanding that the pin block has gone through an evolutionary process and perhaps what we have is simply all that is possible. I don't know what is possible, but aren't there so many new materials and mechanisms that could be tried? In my view, improving this area of the piano could dramatically speed the tuning process. Just my uneducated, unpracticed viewpoint talking? Probably. But what about this?

Neil


Light Touch Piano Moves LLC
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Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: pianoloverus] #1320389
12/07/09 02:29 PM
12/07/09 02:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 141
Seattle, Washingon
Neil Sundberg Offline OP
Full Member
Neil Sundberg  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 141
Seattle, Washingon
Quote

1. I think most people would not think they can do this.

This sort of attitude changes slowly I guess. People get used to thinking certain things and may not realize, because they haven't tried, that it's not that hard to do.

Quote

2. There is risk involved that many would not take, especially if they have a good instrument.

I think it's important to both understand the risks involved and also not overstate them so that if you want to do this you are not intimidated by it. This is like many things, proceed carefully, don't rush into it, learn as much as you can before getting started, set aside plenty of time, get personal instruction from a tech if you can find one willing to help, AND join a suitable support group. Do as many of these things as you can and then proceed. This is not rocket science. But first time and probably several times after will take lots of time. That may be the biggest risk one takes. That you will purchase expensive software and other equipment and then find that it takes too much effort and/or time. From personal experience so far though, I can say that good results can be achieved early on.

Quote

3. If it's true(as I've heard)that one has to do a 1000 tunings to be able to tune really well, all but the most curious and those with exceptional natural ability will probably not practice on their own piano.


Break a string?- This can be avoided simply by paying strict attention to your software. If you are moving the wrong string, the software will not be registering any changes or locking on to a note.

Bend a pin? Ultimately not something unrepairable. Worst thing here is having a new one installed by your tech. And I imagine he or she will be happy for the business.

Other than that, your worst scenario probably is that you totally muck up the tuning and end up paying an added fee to your tuner to have it retuned, But most likely you have learned something in the process.

As I said in a previous post, I think this is far from something very many folks will take on. On the other hand, I know from what I do for a living that there are so many uprights in this world that get no attention at all. I always want to play them for my customers until I start playing and find out that they are terribly out of tune. If nothing else, here is a place where there is very little risk and plenty of potential enjoyment for people.

best regards
Neil

Last edited by Neil Sundberg; 12/07/09 02:45 PM.

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Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Neil Sundberg] #1320469
12/07/09 04:00 PM
12/07/09 04:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,071
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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There are a few piano technicians who are members of this forum that I would not hesitate to contact and ask for help. They are super nice individuals and know their craft like the back of their hand.

However, I still say that many piano techs on these forums don’t take too kindly to DIYer’s when it comes to tuning your own piano. I could site some examples and go into the archives and pull up some old threads regarding this subject to prove my point, but I won’t. There is no need to open up old wounds.

Who knows… maybe attitudes on this subject have changed for the better. (Mine included)

By-the-way, to avoid broken strings, always turn the tuning hammer counter clockwise and listen for a change in pitch toward flat, just to be sure you are on the right pin. For good tuning stability, turn the tuning pin clockwise until the note is slightly sharp of pitch and bring it back down (counterclockwise) to pitch as you initiate test blows. Speed will come with practice and experience, just like anything. I went from taking 8 hours to tune my piano down to two. I guess I’m making progress.

When in doubt, call a real piano tech! grin

Take care,

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Rickster] #1320522
12/07/09 05:02 PM
12/07/09 05:02 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 141
Seattle, Washingon
Neil Sundberg Offline OP
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Neil Sundberg  Offline OP
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Seattle, Washingon
yes, Rick.

Agreed. I simply think there is a place for the piano owner here to take on whatever they are comfortable with. I'm not sure why it matters what techs on this forum or anywhere else think about it, except where it involves one's own tuner. In that event, I'm sure talking it over with him or her makes a world of sense.

I don't happen to be doing so because I happen to have confidence in my own hands on abilities given what I have accomplished in the past.

To each his own, just go about this with some common sense, but my suggestion is don't be too intimidated by it. I'm sure I'm quite the exception working on my own Mason Hamlin though.

Best regards,

Neil


Light Touch Piano Moves LLC
Lighttouchpianomoves.com
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https://www.facebook.com/Pianolift-USA-227200424150713/
Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Neil Sundberg] #1320533
12/07/09 05:20 PM
12/07/09 05:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Grandpianoman Offline
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As one who has taken the road to tuning my own piano, I applaud Neil for starting a thread like this. When I started tuning my own piano, it would have been great to have had a forum for DIY's. I have joined and I look forward to participating. smile



Last edited by grandpianoman; 12/07/09 05:20 PM.
Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Grandpianoman] #1321227
12/08/09 04:46 PM
12/08/09 04:46 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 141
Seattle, Washingon
Neil Sundberg Offline OP
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Neil Sundberg  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by grandpianoman
As one who has taken the road to tuning my own piano, I applaud Neil for starting a thread like this. When I started tuning my own piano, it would have been great to have had a forum for DIY's. I have joined and I look forward to participating. smile




Thanks GP,

And I'm happy you joined.

Neil


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Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Neil Sundberg] #1321322
12/08/09 07:25 PM
12/08/09 07:25 PM
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Marty Flinn Offline
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Putting a good solid tuning on an out of tune piano is somewhere between giving a tune-up on a pre-1970 American car and performing an appendectomy. Ask the mechanic if you should try this yourself? What's he gonna say? Ask the surgeon? Well, don't ask.


Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.
Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Marty Flinn] #1321341
12/08/09 07:54 PM
12/08/09 07:54 PM
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Georgia, USA
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Hi Marty,

Your comment on this topic is the exact attitude I was referring to in my first response to this thread.

I disagree with your analogy about the pre-1970’s American car tune-up and the surgical appendectomy. Tuning an out of tune piano ain’t near as greasy or bloody! thumb

Take care,

Rick

Last edited by Rickster; 12/08/09 09:18 PM.

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Rickster] #1322130
12/09/09 08:18 PM
12/09/09 08:18 PM
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Marty Flinn Offline
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Respectfully Rickster,

I do not tune for pay any more, and could care less if a piano owner tunes their own piano. No attitude on my part. I just fear for the damage that can be done by a neophite thrashing around with a $50 beginner kit and instruction over the internet.


Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.
Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Marty Flinn] #1322209
12/09/09 09:45 PM
12/09/09 09:45 PM
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Hi Marty,

I meant no disrespect regarding the attitude comment. You make a valid point.

I might add that my beginner tuning kit cost $79.95 and I upgraded the tuning hammer which made it a little over $100… The Arthur Reblitz book was about $30 and has been an excellent investment.

The information I’ve gleaned from the fine piano tech’s on the PW forums… priceless!

Take care,

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Rickster] #1322323
12/10/09 12:23 AM
12/10/09 12:23 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 141
Seattle, Washingon
Neil Sundberg Offline OP
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Hi Rick and Marty

I just think this is something that people simply see from different view points which are both valid. It's not like the points you are making are points we who want to tune our own pianos haven't thought of. It's just that we find it easier than you seem to think it is.
I also don't expect to convince you of my view point. I am simply providing the support, in the form of a forum, to those that want to avail themselves of it.
So, you and others like you will go ahead and continue to hire piano tuners, and some of us will start to tune our own pianos for reasons we find worthwhile. But I imagine the two actions and viewpoints can coexist quite well. And I think that's just fine really.

Neil



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Re: New Yahoo group for tuning one's own piano [Re: Neil Sundberg] #1322478
12/10/09 08:41 AM
12/10/09 08:41 AM
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Hi Neil,

Thank you for your articulate and polite points of view, which I share whole heartedly.

I might also add that Marty is a professional piano technician, as well as an industry pro, and author. He could certainly tune his own piano, if he so desired.

I might also add that piano technology, as a field of study, can be very sophisticated and requires a lot of study, hands-on experience and skill development to be a competent piano technician. I’ve gained a tremendous respect for professional piano technicians, based on my own interest and study on the subject, and learning to tune and service my own pianos.

I’ve also learned to be reserved with my comments here on the subject of piano technology because there are individuals here who know so much more than I do. That is one of the reasons I hang out here so much; I learn a lot just by reading and participating in the forum. Plus, some of the real techs here have helped me out with their professional advice and opinions.

I don't mean to brag, but I can put a pretty good tuning, regulation and voicing on my own pianos!

Best regards.

Rick

Last edited by Rickster; 12/10/09 08:44 AM.

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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