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Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
HansC2 #2500171 01/14/16 09:10 AM
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The most common mistake that amateur guitarists make is to tune all the 4ths on it pure. It causes the thirds to be 22 cents wide and therefore virtually anything played on it sounds "sour".


Bill Bremmer RPT
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Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
Bill Bremmer RPT #2500186 01/14/16 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Bremmer RPT
The most common mistake that amateur guitarists make is to tune all the 4ths on it pure. It causes the thirds to be 22 cents wide and therefore virtually anything played on it sounds "sour".


I'll preface this by saying that I am a guitar teacher of 25 years experience and having taught over 300 students over that time. It's not true that "amateur" guitarists tune pure 4ths and just accept playing a sour guitar. Some will try tuning by pure 4ths and realise that it doesn't yield the double octave between the outer strings - which means all bar chords sounds terrible, as does pretty much everything else except parallel 4ths (Smoke on the Water, anyone?).

So what happens then is players gone one of two ways:

1: they conclude that they can't tune a guitar and buy and electronic tuner, or put a tuner app on their smartphone.

2: people start to develop a new way of tuning that isn't just based on the pairing of strings and accumulating errors as you proceed through them.

I was in the second camp. I intuitively knew that using pure 4ths and 5th to get a guitar in tune didn't work - it didn't result in the right spacing between all the notes. So I developed a method that is self checking and always works. I've seen other guitarists who have developed a different method, but also involving some cross checking of all strings tuned.

I honestly don't know any guitarists who tune badly and aren't aware of and persist with it. They all know something is wrong and they either figure it out or they use an ETD.

Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
ando #2500192 01/14/16 10:10 AM
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Method 1 relates more or less to the topic of the OP 😉. Probably there are more bad playing than bad tuning guitarists...

I expect to receive a Reyburn Grand CyberHammer for review soon. I will post my experience in my other post that has this hammer as a main topic. I will try how easy it is to tune keys to a reference recording using EPT.

It looks as I am hijacking my own post now LOL. I love this forum!

Cheers,
Hans


Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
HansC2 #2500198 01/14/16 10:18 AM
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Just out of interest, do you teach ET tuning theory for the standard ET fretting?

Last edited by prout; 01/14/16 10:19 AM.
Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
HansC2 #2500200 01/14/16 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by HansC2
Method 1 relates more or less to the topic of the OP 😉. Probably there are more bad playing than bad tuning guitarists...

I expect to receive a Reyburn Grand CyberHammer for review soon. I will post my experience in my other post that has this hammer as a main topic. I will try how easy it is to tune keys to a reference recording using EPT.

It looks as I am hijacking my own post now LOL. I love this forum!

Cheers,
Hans



Funny how easily threads go off topic. It could mean that the Reyburn GCH holds less fascination for posters than the other stuff. For one thing, the other stuff is cheaper. crazy

Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tun
prout #2500218 01/14/16 11:31 AM
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Hi prout,

I don't teach anything. I am involved in the development of complex substation control systems... (But maybe you refer to the post of Ando...)

My father was a violin player. He told me not to try to play the violin: to difficult. He advised me to play the clarinet. The piano was not preferred because of the neighbors. Didn't like a monophonic instrument and stopped. Build a synthesizer from scratch for the band of my twin brother (lost a year of my university study but it was well spend) and tried to play a bit myself. Didn't like the 'digital' temperament? Found a VERY thick book about temperament at the university library and decided to leave it for what it was. Finished university (unfortunately just after my father died).

At the age of 46 I discussed the build of the synthesizer with a Dutch professor who build a clavichord when he was a student. Driving back home I decided to start playing the piano and take lessons (now or never!). I am 55 now and still playing an having lessons. The (second) best I did in my life (the best was starting my relation with girlfriend Tanja 24 years ago 😜). Bought a Yamaha C2 a year ago after realizing that one should only play a grand...

Also heavenly interested in music theory and history. Of course I don't have time for it. Managed to regulate my Yamaha C2 (in the end it was easy) after bad experiences with Dutch piano technicians. Found on this forum with VERY knowledgeable (non-Dutch) piano technicians and other experts. Wondered if tuning should be the next step. Wish I never found this forum...normally I watch it in the middle of the night...

I believe the problem is not hijacking a post, the problem is where to start a new one and ending the current. Ending is difficult with passionate people.

And yes, tuning (with or without a GCH) is a stupid subject. Temperament is the interesting subject!

(Please forgive my limited English. I don't have the time and talent correcting it)

Cheers and thank you all for inspiring me!
Hans


Last edited by HansC2; 01/14/16 11:33 AM.
Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
prout #2500220 01/14/16 11:39 AM
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Dear prout, the cost of a GCH is nothing compared to the cost of a Yamaha C2, two digital piano's, VST piano's, other software, 10 years of lessons etc. etc. But above all...nothing compared to the joy of playing a lovely song by your self and like it yourself (and even by other people).

Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
HansC2 #2500226 01/14/16 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by HansC2
Dear prout, the cost of a GCH is nothing compared to the cost of a Yamaha C2, two digital piano's, VST piano's, other software, 10 years of lessons etc. etc. But above all...nothing compared to the joy of playing a lovely song by your self and like it yourself (and even by other people).


You are correct, and you have the correct attitude. Passion is everything.

Enjoy the process of learning, and your English is great. So many wonderful posters here whose first language is not English, yet are able to communicate so well. I am always amazed and feel privileged to speak with people from all over the world.

Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
HansC2 #2500535 01/15/16 11:25 AM
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Prout, thanks!

And to all of you tuning: I didn't meant to be disrespectful with my statement that tuning is a stupid subject...I tried to say that the purpose of tuning is to deliver the intended temperament. And that takes a lot of skills and experience.

(That's why I referred to my limited Englisch...)

HansC2

Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
HansC2 #2500927 01/16/16 02:23 PM
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Since there's been discussion about stringed instruments, guitars in particular, I thought it'd be interesting--and not too terribly off topic--to post a link to this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2xnXArjPts

James Taylor discusses his take on tuning, and strategies for overcoming what he refers to as the vagaries of the instrument. He talks about the impacts of intonation, action, string gauge, etc, and his approach to finding the best compromise (I'm paraphrasing).

I've been watching some of his guitar lessons on YouTube, and frankly been struck by how humble someone of his stature seems to be!


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Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
HansC2 #2505522 01/30/16 11:30 AM
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This week I received my Grand CyberHammer. Today I made a recording with EPT and tuned my Yamaha C2 with it after about two hours of calculation. Of course it took together about four hours and the unisons of a couple of high notes were tricky. But I am very pleased with the end result! What a difference and what's a great program EPT is. And I must say that I even more respect the skills of aural tuners that do this without any machine and definitely will hear and tune in a more sophisticated way.

Concluding this post: this is how one can keep the piano in tune without a regular expert tune. I am happy with the result because locally I can't find expert tuners or piano technicians that are really committed to there profession.

Again, I thank all positive and less positive input 😉 that was given to me in this post. I also learned interesting things about the tuning of string quartets...

It helped me to do what I have done with a very good result.

Thanks!

Hans

Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
Retsacnal #2505601 01/30/16 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Since there's been discussion about stringed instruments, guitars in particular, I thought it'd be interesting--and not too terribly off topic--to post a link to this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2xnXArjPts

James Taylor discusses his take on tuning, and strategies for overcoming what he refers to as the vagaries of the instrument. He talks about the impacts of intonation, action, string gauge, etc, and his approach to finding the best compromise (I'm paraphrasing).

I've been watching some of his guitar lessons on YouTube, and frankly been struck by how humble someone of his stature seems to be!


LOL! James Taylor stretches the tuning of the guitar! Just as we do with a piano!

-3 cents for the high E string
-6 cents for the B string
-4 cents for the G string
-8 cents for the D string
-10 cents for the A string
-12 cents for the low E string


Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
HansC2 #2506953 02/03/16 05:38 PM
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Hmmm.... missed this post... somehow.

You're ALWAYS going to need piano tuners, because serious "tuning" is about so much more than just "tuning"... so to speak.

The hugely complex issues of touch-weight, let off, hammer drop, spring tension, etc., etc., etc., affect the "sound" of your piano as much as having it "in tune."

And tuning itself is an art......

Sure... a terrific ETD like Verituner (I own it and love it) will work UP TO A POINT.

But achieving really refined adjacent M3 progressions, while keeping the more remote intervals in check, are (as yet) completely beyond the reach of piano tuning software.

So let's say you get that kind of tuning from a licensed tuner.... yup... gotta be trained...

Let's say you "memorize" it with your EDT (Electronic Tuning Device)....

Fact is... once the action of the piano changes over time... the felts of your hammerheads, etc., etc., etc., that tuning WILL NO LONGER BE VALID.





J. S. Bach Well-tempered Clavier, complete preludes and fugues (with significant MIDI analysis):

https://soundcloud.com/johnlgrant

https://www.youtube.com/user/dohgrant/playlists (slightly better sound quality)



Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
johnlewisgrant #2507265 02/04/16 04:39 PM
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John, I totally agree with you. That's why the title of my original post refers to '... without a regular expert tune...' and not to '... without an expert tune...'

Although I find regulation not that difficult. But I have to admit that I read a lot about it before changing things. And please also note that I don't speak about felt or pin replacement or voicing. That requires more skills and experience. Although I understand that Bosendorff managed to control that as well. And of course a 2007 Yamaha C2 does not need a lot of complex regulation. That's why I was very disappointed that three piano technicians did not solve a double strike problem and in the end I did...

Tuning a temperament is not easy because of inharmonic partials. I also agree. But when one can be pleased with the temperament EPT produces...

But anyhow a let's say yearly tuning in combination with EPT recording/tuning and the Grand CyberHammer will give me a properly tuned piano all year long. And that is wonderful!

And it is really fun that I was able to create a stable tuning after two weeks using the Grand CyberHammer while never tuned a piano before...It is great fun to be able to do this!

Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
Bill Bremmer RPT #2509601 02/11/16 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Bremmer RPT
If you ask me, an impact method is therefore the most mechanically correct way to manipulate a tuning pin. I learned this very long ago from the late George Defebaugh RPT who was a self proclaimed "jerk tuner".


Impact tuning is what I learned from Leon Levitch at UCLA, over 40 years ago. I still have the tools, I'm considering trying it again.



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Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
JohnSprung #2520427 03/13/16 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by Bill Bremmer RPT
If you ask me, an impact method is therefore the most mechanically correct way to manipulate a tuning pin. I learned this very long ago from the late George Defebaugh RPT who was a self proclaimed "jerk tuner".


Impact tuning is what I learned from Leon Levitch at UCLA, over 40 years ago. I still have the tools, I'm considering trying it again.



+1


Bob W.
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Conway, Arkansas
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Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
HansC2 #2520615 03/13/16 02:41 PM
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To the OP:

I think one really good part of your opening post has pretty much been put aside as a bit of an afterthought, a Dampp Chaser system.

In the late 1990's, I had the pleasure of taking care of a 6'3" Kawai grand in a church sanctuary. They basically allowed me to do whatever I thought would be good for the piano. It did have a cover that was normally on for most of the week but the heat and air were not.

I installed a complete Dampp Chaser system, both humidifier and dehumidifier systems and made sure they added water as needed.

That piano held its tune VERY well. It was not uncommon to plan on a 3 month tuning and really not find that it needed much of any tuning at all, maybe touch up a couple of unisons.

I know complete Dampp Chaser systems aren't cheap but a good system and its basic care can be good for your piano, your ears and your wallet.

Just my opinion. Best of luck!

Last edited by Bellyman; 03/13/16 03:19 PM.
Re: How to keep your piano in tune without a regular expert tune
Bellyman #2520629 03/13/16 03:20 PM
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Bellyman, I absolutely agree. A still consider such a system. However, it has been about a year now that my Yamaha C2 moved to my house. And like my former Yamaha UX30A upright it is getting very stable now. Humidity levels changes over the season between 45%-65% with exceptions to 85% in the summers for a few days. So the humidity changes are not extreme.

But besides of that, I found that tuning your own piano is a really nice thing to do. You better understand and appreciate the beautiful construction and sound of the instrument. And after many many years I started reading about temperaments again. So tuning has brought me a nice hobby besides of playing the piano.

I will post here again might I decide to install a Damp Chaser.

Cheers,
Hans


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