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Tuners who play vs tuners who don't #2044654 03/07/13 05:14 PM
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Mark... Offline OP
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I didn't want to mess with the other tuner thread, but was curious.

I seem to have a better feeling about tuners who play vs tuners who don't. It's like they understand what you are hearing and looking for in the tuning or other work. When a tuner plays a beautiful piece on a freshly tuned piano, when they are done, it just seems they get it.

I'm quite amazed at tuners who aren't players, seems strange.

Do you feel a tuner who plays can do a better job vs a tuner who does not play?

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Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Mark...] #2044657 03/07/13 05:19 PM
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There have been very many non-playing tuners. There is no doubt about it.

However, I prefer a tuner who can play and really assess a piano from the pianist's viewpoint. I wonder about action regulators who don't play?


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Mark...] #2044661 03/07/13 05:26 PM
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Interesting. I assumed most tuners were players. Seems like a natural progression.

Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Mark...] #2044664 03/07/13 05:28 PM
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The majority of tuners I've run into don't play - to speak of. I'm ok with that, but a little concerned about their piano recommendations, which are pretty much based on clarity - how clearly they can hear the beats. An important criteria, for sure, but hardly the only one. Color, attack - they don't really think about that much. Can be excellent tuners, though, in my experience.

Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Mark...] #2044668 03/07/13 05:39 PM
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I play, but I do not play particularly well. However, my judgement is clouded by comparison with those who do play well, sometimes spectacularly so, that I tune for.


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Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Mark...] #2044671 03/07/13 05:47 PM
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Playing well definitely helps, but isn't necessary... many pianists have no concept of what constitutes good touch or tone. My mentor can't play the piano to save his life, but he's one of the best techs in North America.

Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Mark...] #2044675 03/07/13 05:54 PM
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I have had a number of technicians work with me over the years - several dozen, in fact. Some had masters degrees in piano performance and others had little to no musical experience. I see no correlation between the repair and tuning aspect and whether or not a technician is a player.

However, when it comes to concert preparation and fine voicing I see a leaning towards technicians who are musical. This does not necessarily mean that they are pianists but that they are able to discern musical differences, particularly in tone from note to note.

I have also seen professional level pianists that could not master these skills, so although they are somewhat related IMHO they are not steadfast in any way.

My 2 cents,


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Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Mark...] #2044681 03/07/13 06:13 PM
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For my clients, it's an advantage for me to run through a few songs after tuning. I am not at a pro level, but clients still enjoy listening. For me, I'm checking octaves, unisons, repetition, regulation, pedals, listening for tonal issues, buzzing, feeling for any sticking I missed while tuning. It's just one more level of checks that helps me prevent call backs.





Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Bob] #2044821 03/07/13 10:31 PM
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I play just well enough to have a feel for what a virtuoso experiences. The advantage in playing mainly is the speed with which you can diagnose. Tech's who don't play have to separate each element to verify how the piano is operating. There are techs that are excellent pianist but not great techs-so I don't think you can judge a tech by his playing chops alone.

There are tuners who are oblivious to fine musical nuance-because all they listen to are, how partials intersect.

Last edited by Ed McMorrow, RPT; 03/07/13 10:33 PM.

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Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Mark...] #2044823 03/07/13 10:42 PM
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Just because someone can build an airplane doesn't mean they can fly it. smile

Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Mark...] #2044862 03/08/13 12:59 AM
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Of course, airplanes have been built that nobody can fly, and even more that nobody can fly safely!


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Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Mark...] #2044959 03/08/13 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark...
I didn't want to mess with the other tuner thread, but was curious.

I seem to have a better feeling about tuners who play vs tuners who don't. It's like they understand what you are hearing and looking for in the tuning or other work. When a tuner plays a beautiful piece on a freshly tuned piano, when they are done, it just seems they get it.

I'm quite amazed at tuners who aren't players, seems strange.

Do you feel a tuner who plays can do a better job vs a tuner who does not play?


Reverse that. Should an excellent or even a medeorice pianists be able to tune a piano in order to play one? Of course not., why? Because one has nothing to do with the other. I am not playing while I am tuning. I am tuning. Nor am I tuning the piano while I am playing it as that task has already been accomplished.


Jerry Groot RPT
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Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Mark...] #2044960 03/08/13 09:14 AM
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How about dancing?
Should tuners be able to dance?
wink


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Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: malkin] #2044961 03/08/13 09:19 AM
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You see this a lot in sports. Just because someone was a great player does not make him a great coach.
Still, not sure how one could dedicate to tuning pianos and not play them...feels odd to me. lol

Last edited by shaolin95; 03/08/13 09:25 AM.

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Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: malkin] #2044966 03/08/13 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
How about dancing?
Should tuners be able to dance?
wink


No, but dancers should be able to carry a tune.

Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Mark...] #2044969 03/08/13 09:42 AM
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Dancers should be able to count, but somehow some of them manage without.


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Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Mark...] #2044981 03/08/13 10:03 AM
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I dont think theres no direct relation - more like a natural progression that people assume.
my high school physics teacher teaches piano but he could not even play, and he couldnt play badminton but hes a coach for my high school badminton squad also University of Toronto badminton squad.

Last edited by Steven Y. A.; 03/08/13 03:37 PM.

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Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: Jerry Groot RPT] #2045133 03/08/13 03:33 PM
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Very interesting discussion ... I would argue that a pianist should at least understand how to tune and regulate their piano, and a piano tuner/tech should know how to play, at least at a mediocre level.

If both the player and the tuner better understood each other, I think both would be more satisfied with their work and would be better able to communicate with one another.

The piano is one of the few instruments where the musicians that play it often know very little, or even nothing, about their own instrument. It is also one of the few instruments where the people who work on them often can't even play them.

As someone steeped in the world of acoustic and electric guitars, this seems bizarre to me. I would NEVER hire a guitar or amplifier tech who didn't play guitar (at least at a mediocre level), and honestly, I'm not sure there ever ARE any techs like that.

Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: fishbulb] #2045169 03/08/13 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by fishbulb
Very interesting discussion ... I would argue that a pianist should at least understand how to tune and regulate their piano, and a piano tuner/tech should know how to play, at least at a mediocre level.

If both the player and the tuner better understood each other, I think both would be more satisfied with their work and would be better able to communicate with one another.
What advantage is there to playing at a "mediocre level" vs. not playing at all?

I think tuning a piano is far harder than tuning most other instruments. For non pianos, it's a given that players have to learn to tune because this is necessary each time they play. So it shouldn't be surprising that violinists, for example, know how to tune their violins.

A good piano tech knows how to communicate and explain things about a piano since it's just a fact of life that at least 90%(but probably much closer to 100%) of pianists don't know how to tune or regulate a piano.

In theory what you say is makes sense, but for many reasons including the complexity involved in tuning and regulating I doubt it will ever be true that more than a handful of pianists will understand this.

Re: Tuners who play vs tuners who don't [Re: fishbulb] #2045175 03/08/13 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by fishbulb
Very interesting discussion ... I would argue that a pianist should at least understand how to tune and regulate their piano, and a piano tuner/tech should know how to play, at least at a mediocre level.

The problem with this statement is that the comparison is not of equal concepts. To be fair, 'the piano tuner/tech should understand how to play,' would need to be used.

Understanding a concept, or having the ability to execute it, is totally different in practice.


Marty in Minnesota

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