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The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. #2748898
07/02/18 09:18 PM
07/02/18 09:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 40
A
Adam. Offline OP
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Adam.  Offline OP
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I was wondering. As a piano tuner/technician - what are the most frustrating things that you find?

As a customer - I'd like to know what I can do to make life harder for my tech. wink

No not really. I jest. Conversely - I'd like to understand the more difficult or unpleasant issues that they may have to deal with, and if possible what I can do as a customer to help to avoid those frustrations.

Obviously there will be things that I can't help - that are naturally frustrating that comes with the game - but if some of the frustrations are caused by customers it would be handy to know what they are so I can make sure I don't contribute in that way.

Plus - it'd be interesting to see what a different vocation is like compared to what I have to work with on a day to day basis.

Also - whilst not the original question - what also blesses you the most as a piano technician? What are things that customers have done that stand out in a nice way as well that you recall that really made your day or that you appreciate?

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Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: Adam.] #2748924
07/03/18 12:49 AM
07/03/18 12:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 619
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Ed A. Hall Offline
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Several weeks ago, I scheduled 3 all day action regulations in a row and all 3 clients fed me lunch. I was amazed. And then another client said I didn't charge enough and gave me a $100 tip. I couldn't believe it.

I find it frustrating having to deal with pianos that are terribly neglected and haven't been tuned for ages. I've learned to have people send me photos if I suspect something but every once in a while, I get caught into dealing with one of these.

Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: Adam.] #2748933
07/03/18 02:06 AM
07/03/18 02:06 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,633
Scotland
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David Boyce Offline
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Quote
what are the most frustrating things that you find?



Pianos.


And sometimes their owners.

Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: Adam.] #2748957
07/03/18 05:35 AM
07/03/18 05:35 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,737
Kuwait
PhilipInChina Offline
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Kuwait
Interesting, Ed. My tuner was over on Saturday and spent all day here doing tuning and regulation on all 4 pianos. I gave him luncheon. He is a vegetarian, so I had to fit round that. When he left I gave him some new potatoes, marrows, courgettes, tomatoes, cucumbers and plums. These were all from my garden. Had he not been allergic to honey he would have got some of that, too.

He really works well when he is here.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
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Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: PhilipInChina] #2748987
07/03/18 08:55 AM
07/03/18 08:55 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 571
South Wales
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Colin Miles Offline
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South Wales
Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
Interesting, Ed. My tuner was over on Saturday and spent all day here doing tuning and regulation on all 4 pianos. I gave him luncheon. He is a vegetarian, so I had to fit round that. When he left I gave him some new potatoes, marrows, courgettes, tomatoes, cucumbers and plums. These were all from my garden. Had he not been allergic to honey he would have got some of that, too.

He really works well when he is here.


I am not surprised if you treat him that well!


Roland LX7

South Wales, UK
Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: Adam.] #2748993
07/03/18 09:24 AM
07/03/18 09:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,985
Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Customers who place the piano or furnishings such that there is insufficient room to remove the action or, (in the case of verticals), no room on the treble side to stand when tuning the treble.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: Adam.] #2749003
07/03/18 10:11 AM
07/03/18 10:11 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,215
Old Hangtown California
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Gene Nelson Offline
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False beats.
Trying to locate and separate a buzz from tinnitis.
Unable to hear what the client hears.
Stage crew that are not careful moving the instrument - finding dings and gouges and no-one knows what happened.
Artist complaints that have no basis in reality.
Competition for the air waves when trying to tune, being forced to ask for reasonable quite.


RPT
PTG Member
Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: Adam.] #2749028
07/03/18 11:37 AM
07/03/18 11:37 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,889
Bradford County, PA
UnrightTooner Offline
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Nicest thing is when siblings scuffle to be the first to try out the new tuning. Next nicest is when I am told where the bathroom is. I don't like to have to ask. A glass of water is also nice.

Most frustrating is when I misjudge how to manage a pitch raise and the treble break drops more that I can deal with on what I hoped would be a two-pass tuning.

Second would be someone mowing nearby.

Third is pianos that smell like ancient mouse pee.


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2749038
07/03/18 12:09 PM
07/03/18 12:09 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,079
Scotland
Beemer Online content
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Scotland
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Customers who place the piano or furnishings such that there is insufficient room to remove the action or, (in the case of verticals), no room on the treble side to stand when tuning the treble.

Hah! I just new that being left handed had a plus side! Who needs A0 anyway (well except some like Busoni lovers) 😆
Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: Adam.] #2749107
07/03/18 05:06 PM
07/03/18 05:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,944
Michigan
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kpembrook Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,944
Michigan
This is all relative. I like the work and am lucky to have this kind of way to serve in the world of work. I realize there are people in this world with real problems. However, these are annoyances:

Poorly marked house numbers -- either behind shrubbery or completely missing. If you gave me an address, how do you expect me to find the place if you don't put up a house number?

Bad directions. Omitting a key element or incomplete information like "then take the next left" without telling me whether the next left is 100 feet or 10 miles. Of course when I take directions directly, I know how to query people and extract the information from folk who aren't good at giving directions. But If directions have been written down or left on paper with someone, that is sometimes problematic. (City people reading this may not comprehend, but I live in an area where GPS directions may not exist or may not be reliable. If Google doesn't have the address number, it directs you to the center of the street/road. If it doesn't even have the road in its database, it directs you to the center of the zip code. Even in town, it directs people to the other end of my block for my address.) This is all made worse when it gets dark before my last appointment of the day and I'm having to use a spotlight to read street signs and house numbers. (Not the customer's fault but missing street signs are also an annoyance).

Not coming to the door. This is bizarre to my thinking but I and other technicians in my chapter have tried ringing the bell when it is obvious that someone is home at the correct appointment time and no one comes. Sometimes calling their phone number gets their attention but I and others have had the experience of being there and knowing someone was at home but unable to attract their attention.

People parking their brains when it comes to pianos. Nobody would ask an automotive mechanic, "How much would it cost to fix my car -- it runs funny. No, I don't know the make, model or year but can you give me a ballpark estimate?" But I regularly get the equivalent.
It's nice if when you call, you can tell the technician whether the piano is a grand or upright, it's age.... at least in terms of era "It was a wedding gift to my grandmother" or "we just got it 5 years ago" or "we got it off craigslist but the owner got it when their daughter was 5 and she just graduated from college", for example. Also something like "It's been years since it was tuned" or "There's a funny sound on one note" or "most of the keys stick. They play the first time but won't repeat". That kind of preliminary information is helpful.

Splicing a string and another one breaks.

These are a few of my unfavorite things...


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
Editor Emeritus, Piano Technicians Journal
Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: Adam.] #2749324
07/04/18 05:18 PM
07/04/18 05:18 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,889
Bradford County, PA
UnrightTooner Offline
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UnrightTooner  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,889
Bradford County, PA
My Frustrating Things (to the tune of My Favorite Things)

Old Kimball spinets with mezzo-therm soundboards,
Tuning pins fixed up with pieces of cardboard,
Bi-chords don’t damper from missing a string,
These are a few of My Frustrating Things!

Mouse nests and dog food that make a key sticking,
Dampchaser with lights that always been blinking,
Dropping the hammer and leaving a ding,
These are a few of My Frustrating Things!

When it’s on pitch, when it sounds great,
With new Dampchaser pads,
I simple remember My Frustrating Things
And then I don’t feel - so glad!


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: UnrightTooner] #2749327
07/04/18 05:26 PM
07/04/18 05:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,944
Michigan
K
kpembrook Offline
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kpembrook  Offline
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K

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,944
Michigan
Originally Posted by UnrightTooner
My Frustrating Things (to the tune of My Favorite Things)

Old Kimball spinets with mezzo-therm soundboards,
Tuning pins fixed up with pieces of cardboard,
Bi-chords don’t damper from missing a string,
These are a few of My Frustrating Things!

Mouse nests and dog food that make a key sticking,
Dampchaser with lights that always been blinking,
Dropping the hammer and leaving a ding,
These are a few of My Frustrating Things!

When it’s on pitch, when it sounds great,
With new Dampchaser pads,
I simple remember My Frustrating Things
And then I don’t feel - so glad!

thumb thumb thumb laugh


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
Editor Emeritus, Piano Technicians Journal
Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: Adam.] #2749818
07/06/18 03:47 PM
07/06/18 03:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,827
USA
B
Bob Offline
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Bob  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,827
USA
I've experienced every imaginable frustration over the years and worked though them all. Life goes on. Each day is a new adventure. I know that any amount of frustration can be turned into a smile at the end. That's why I can't wait to get out in the morning and meet my first piano of the day.

My Ipod that I use for overpulls, temperament, and pitch went on the fritz as I pulled it out for the first of 4 tunings yesterday. It was very hot, and the battery was dead. No worries, I decided to tune aurally and used my iPhone for the first note. I actually enjoyed setting aural temperaments and doing an aural overpull - I need to do that more often. I reset the offending device when I got home, charged it, and it works fine, now.

Overcome the frustrations and move on. Nothing is perfect in this business.




Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: Adam.] #2749824
07/06/18 04:10 PM
07/06/18 04:10 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 58
italy
S
scanderbeg Offline
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S

Joined: May 2018
Posts: 58
italy
Bob what device do you use on your i-pod, if i can ask?


where there is a will, there is a path
Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: Adam.] #2749833
07/06/18 05:15 PM
07/06/18 05:15 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,750
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
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P W Grey  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,750
New Hampshire
Using CA glue for an ivory, humid weather, accidentally squirting too much out, on fingers, on ivory, top and bottom, time running out, didn't get it on straight, glue set...ARRRRGH!

NOW WHAT?

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: Adam.] #2749843
07/06/18 06:00 PM
07/06/18 06:00 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 715
Wisconsin, USA
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Lakeviewsteve Offline
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Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 715
Wisconsin, USA
Adam did you get what you wanted?


Bösendorfer 170
Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: scanderbeg] #2750096
07/07/18 06:35 PM
07/07/18 06:35 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,827
USA
B
Bob Offline
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Bob  Offline
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B

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,827
USA
Originally Posted by scanderbeg
Bob what device do you use on your i-pod, if i can ask?


I use Tunelab - Nearly every piano requires a pitch raise and/or overpull, and Tunelab is pretty accurate up to 25 cents flat. Final passes and fine tunings are usually by ear.




Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: UnrightTooner] #2750146
07/08/18 12:36 AM
07/08/18 12:36 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,377
KZ
Maximillyan Offline
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Maximillyan  Offline
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KZ
Originally Posted by UnrightTooner
My Frustrating Things (to the tune of My Favorite Things)

Old Kimball spinets with mezzo-therm soundboards,
Tuning pins fixed up with pieces of cardboard,
Bi-chords don’t damper from missing a string,
These are a few of My Frustrating Things!

Mouse nests and dog food that make a key sticking,
Dampchaser with lights that always been blinking,
Dropping the hammer and leaving a ding,
These are a few of My Frustrating Things!

When it’s on pitch, when it sounds great,
With new Dampchaser pads,
I simple remember My Frustrating Things
And then I don’t feel - so glad!


hi, UnrightTooner
I hope that a method using corrugated cardboard shim is brought here neither as a( frustrating thing for a tuner ), but as for the rhyme of your poem.
The use of this method is normal for the US, Pennsylvania, I'm think.
I modest dare thinking of that if this is true so, then the piano owners reads our forum and make a right choice for themselves. Is it so?
regards,

Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: Maximillyan] #2750171
07/08/18 05:09 AM
07/08/18 05:09 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,889
Bradford County, PA
UnrightTooner Offline
5000 Post Club Member
UnrightTooner  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,889
Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted by Maximillyan
Originally Posted by UnrightTooner
My Frustrating Things (to the tune of My Favorite Things)

Old Kimball spinets with mezzo-therm soundboards,
Tuning pins fixed up with pieces of cardboard,
Bi-chords don’t damper from missing a string,
These are a few of My Frustrating Things!

Mouse nests and dog food that make a key sticking,
Dampchaser with lights that always been blinking,
Dropping the hammer and leaving a ding,
These are a few of My Frustrating Things!

When it’s on pitch, when it sounds great,
With new Dampchaser pads,
I simple remember My Frustrating Things
And then I don’t feel - so glad!


hi, UnrightTooner
I hope that a method using corrugated cardboard shim is brought here neither as a( frustrating thing for a tuner ), but as for the rhyme of your poem.
The use of this method is normal for the US, Pennsylvania, I'm think.
I modest dare thinking of that if this is true so, then the piano owners reads our forum and make a right choice for themselves. Is it so?
regards,


As "Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder", so too does humor and frustration. I would not tell you, nor anyone else, what to find funny or frustrating. If that is what you are trying to do to me, I find it boorish.

But yes, I would be frustrated to find a piano with cardboard used to fix tuning pins.


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: The most frustrating things you find as a piano technician. [Re: UnrightTooner] #2750174
07/08/18 05:57 AM
07/08/18 05:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,377
KZ
Maximillyan Offline
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Maximillyan  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,377
KZ
Originally Posted by UnrightTooner
Originally Posted by Maximillyan
Originally Posted by UnrightTooner
My Frustrating Things (to the tune of My Favorite Things)

Old Kimball spinets with mezzo-therm soundboards,
Tuning pins fixed up with pieces of cardboard,
Bi-chords don’t damper from missing a string,
These are a few of My Frustrating Things!

Mouse nests and dog food that make a key sticking,
Dampchaser with lights that always been blinking,
Dropping the hammer and leaving a ding,
These are a few of My Frustrating Things!

When it’s on pitch, when it sounds great,
With new Dampchaser pads,
I simple remember My Frustrating Things
And then I don’t feel - so glad!


hi, UnrightTooner
I hope that a method using corrugated cardboard shim is brought here neither as a( frustrating thing for a tuner ), but as for the rhyme of your poem.
The use of this method is normal for the US, Pennsylvania, I'm think.
I modest dare thinking of that if this is true so, then the piano owners reads our forum and make a right choice for themselves. Is it so?
regards,


As "Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder", so too does humor and frustration. I would not tell you, nor anyone else, what to find funny or frustrating. If that is what you are trying to do to me, I find it boorish.

But yes, I would be frustrated to find a piano with cardboard used to fix tuning pins.

Do you maliciously deride the method in your poem and at the same time accuse Max of rudeness and a his boorish ?. Sorry, where is yours formal logic here?
You not like that method. Draw your conclusions against it and writing about here. But please do not make fun of it.
Every method has the right to be here, I'm think.
without respect, Max

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