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Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning #2901398
10/17/19 06:17 PM
10/17/19 06:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 67
San Francisco Bay area
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Coda9 Offline OP
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San Francisco Bay area
I would very much like to learn how to do touch up t I would like to learn how to do touch up tuning so I can return pitch focus to various notes throughout the keyboard. I’m not expecting professional results but just need to improve pitches that have slipped on certain notes . Can you recommend essential tools , videos , approaches to DIY spot tuning? The piano is a 6 foot Grotrian-Steinweg 1951). It’s in line with a front door and I’m wondering if proximity to temperature change plus it’s age could contribute to notes flipping two weeks after professional tuning?

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Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: Coda9] #2901408
10/17/19 06:43 PM
10/17/19 06:43 PM
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Howard Piano Industries has this very good series of videos for amateurs. Check them out. Here's the link to the first one ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPeef2_yhko

Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: Coda9] #2901455
10/17/19 11:11 PM
10/17/19 11:11 PM
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Coda9 Offline OP
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Thank you for the recommendation of the videos from Howard piano industries — I had already discovered them and find them to be very well presented .
But if it’s possible could one learn to do SPOT tuning of individual notes throughout the keyboard ?

Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: Coda9] #2901467
10/18/19 02:23 AM
10/18/19 02:23 AM
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Hakki Offline
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Coda9 can you elaborate on what you mean by SPOT tuning.

Do you mean just touching up unisons?

https://youtu.be/NZh245Qcp2k

Last edited by Hakki; 10/18/19 02:28 AM.
Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: Coda9] #2901513
10/18/19 07:48 AM
10/18/19 07:48 AM
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Posts: 1,967
Scotland
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David Boyce Offline
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Being in line with the front door could trigger instability because of changes in humidity.

Fixing the odd faulty unison is one thing, but if by "spot tuning" you mean something other than that, then I don't think it really exists!

Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: Coda9] #2901753
10/18/19 03:53 PM
10/18/19 03:53 PM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 180
Vienna, Austria
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OE1FEU Online content
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From my experience of tuning my own piano I can give some pieces of advice on the way.

First of all: Please decide whether this is acceptable tuning:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cjwTByM5sq7F7OcR5MYpt-DMiFYHjtMV

It's an 1886 Steinway B and while it plays well, it does have some problems where really clean tuning is impossible. In the treble section there is this annoying b due to a crack in the bridge, but this will be finally fixed by thorough application of epoxy on that one pin. Some notes in the treble do not sound out of tune, but they do not sound 'clean'. Nothing I can do about it other than replacing the strings (40 years old), filing the capo, replacing the agraffes. Not gonna happen.

The recording is the result of tuning the whole piano, i.e. not touching up single notes, but that's how I started.

* Spend some money on a really decent tuning lever that fits your piano. Best bet: Ask your regular tuner what he uses for your piano and then buy exactly the same model. It's known to work, thus worth the money. Don't go cheap.

* Use felt wedges to dampen strings, not rubber

* Press the sostenuto pedal before putting in the felt wedges

* And the important part: Listen to a single string and try to catch its overtones by ear. There are dominant ones and some are less so. Those are the ones to determine your tuning quality in terms of sound. As soon as you tune a second string in a unison, listen to the overtones and their oscillations. Minimize them, get a feeling for compromise.

* Stability of tuning is important, but since you touch up yourself and don't need to wait for a date with your tuner, touching up can be done on a regular basis and give you a learning experience.

* Pound the piano, i.e. give it a real fortissimo when you think you've found the sweet spot.

I can tell you, it's real fun to tune your own piano and it will give you tons of insights into the quality of sound of your own piano. Won't take long until you look into regulation and voicing.

Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: OE1FEU] #2901758
10/18/19 04:08 PM
10/18/19 04:08 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,020
Santa Fe, NM
AaronSF Online content
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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
* Press the sostenuto pedal before putting in the felt wedges


This is a new one on me. I've tuned a lot of pianos and have never done this nor ever learned to do this. How does this help with muting the strings with felt wedges?


August Förster 215
Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: AaronSF] #2901784
10/18/19 04:56 PM
10/18/19 04:56 PM
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Vienna, Austria
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OE1FEU Online content
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Originally Posted by AaronSF
Originally Posted by OE1FEU
* Press the sostenuto pedal before putting in the felt wedges


This is a new one on me. I've tuned a lot of pianos and have never done this nor ever learned to do this. How does this help with muting the strings with felt wedges?



It keeps the dampers above the strings which translates to not having them influenced or impacted by putting the wedges between strings which means that you move the horizontal position of the strings and away from what a well regulated set of dampers is set to. You want to minimize any active deformation of the damper felt, especially in those delicate wedge-like 3-string unisons.

Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: Coda9] #2901789
10/18/19 05:07 PM
10/18/19 05:07 PM
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Vienna, Austria
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OE1FEU Online content
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Holy Moly!

Don't click on the first link. That's actually the first recording from the day the piano arrived here in a bad state regarding both tuning and the complete action set-up. Sorry, my bad.

This is what Mr. Tinway and my tuning actually sounds like:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QU9RqkoG8868EVA6f_iq-KeqFYH1s184

Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: OE1FEU] #2901794
10/18/19 05:15 PM
10/18/19 05:15 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
It keeps the dampers above the strings which translates to not having them influenced or impacted by putting the wedges between strings which means that you move the horizontal position of the strings and away from what a well regulated set of dampers is set to. You want to minimize any active deformation of the damper felt, especially in those delicate wedge-like 3-string unisons.


You are thinking of the sustain pedal, not the sostenuto pedal.


Semipro Tech
Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: BDB] #2901829
10/18/19 06:34 PM
10/18/19 06:34 PM
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Vienna, Austria
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Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by OE1FEU
It keeps the dampers above the strings which translates to not having them influenced or impacted by putting the wedges between strings which means that you move the horizontal position of the strings and away from what a well regulated set of dampers is set to. You want to minimize any active deformation of the damper felt, especially in those delicate wedge-like 3-string unisons.


You are thinking of the sustain pedal, not the sostenuto pedal.


You're right.

Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: OE1FEU] #2902118
10/19/19 03:59 PM
10/19/19 03:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 67
San Francisco Bay area
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Coda9 Offline OP
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The discussion everyone has contributed has been encouraging for me to try turning seven or eight notes throughout the base and made treble. Yes I began watching a video of tuning a few notes that had lost their focus on an upright piano . So I’ll watch the entire of that video .
Any more observations about placement of the piano which is in line with the front door opening ? In the San Francisco Bay area there’s not a wide variance of temperature extremes and generally it’s a dry climate except for fog at certain periods of the day.
As this piano is almost 70 years old I’m wondering about need of replacements —pin block , bass strings —etc.?— possibly affecting the professional tuning to lose pitch two weeks after wards.

Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: Coda9] #2902125
10/19/19 04:46 PM
10/19/19 04:46 PM
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Vienna, Austria
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OE1FEU Online content
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Originally Posted by Coda9

As this piano is almost 70 years old I’m wondering about need of replacements —pin block , bass strings —etc.?— possibly affecting the professional tuning to lose pitch two weeks after wards.


You should definitely have a professional concert technician over to your piano to give you a clear idea about the state of those parts of the instrument. My pin block is 130+ years and holds the tuning without any problems - and that's with the original set of pins.

Your focus should be on all aspects of the action - this is where the music takes place.

Last edited by OE1FEU; 10/19/19 04:49 PM.
Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: OE1FEU] #2902139
10/19/19 05:30 PM
10/19/19 05:30 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,020
Santa Fe, NM
AaronSF Online content
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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by OE1FEU
It keeps the dampers above the strings which translates to not having them influenced or impacted by putting the wedges between strings which means that you move the horizontal position of the strings and away from what a well regulated set of dampers is set to. You want to minimize any active deformation of the damper felt, especially in those delicate wedge-like 3-string unisons.


You are thinking of the sustain pedal, not the sostenuto pedal.


You're right.


Oh, well that makes a lot more sense!


August Förster 215
Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: Coda9] #2902338
10/20/19 12:24 PM
10/20/19 12:24 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,646
New Hampshire
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P W Grey Offline
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It is very possible that your Grotrian has frictional issues in rendering the strings. They tend to have very wide expanses of felt on the upper counterbearing area (from what I have seen). At almost 70 years old this can create serious tuning stability issues since even the best among us will struggle trying to move the strings smoothly and successfully create a stable tuning (in some parts). This MAY have something to do with why you seem to experience notes going out fairly quickly. Rest assured that if this is the case, YOU are going to have to wrestle with this issue and you (being inexperienced) could very quickly end up creating a far worse situation and be unable to correct it. Then, an uncomfortable relationship develops between you and your tech...etc.

IF this is the case (and it very often is...repeat IF), lubrication of the counterbearing points and surfaces is the best way to deal with it. However this is NOT something for you to do. It has to be done properly (and I'm not going to get into it here). Jon Page has an outstanding product for this purpose. He can instruct in its use. He can be contacted at: jonpage@pianocapecod.com.

This should be discussed with your piano technician.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Pianist wants to learn “touch-up” tuning [Re: Coda9] #2902940
10/21/19 09:16 PM
10/21/19 09:16 PM
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Posts: 67
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Coda9 Offline OP
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Thank you Peter great for your speculations about what might be the underlying cause of notes going out of tune so quickly —-2 weeks. I promise I will not touch a tuning hammer to this instrument until I talk everything over with the technician that has tuned thoroughly two times, replaced the hammers, and regulated the action.


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