2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.9 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Free Trial
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

Who's Online Now
32 registered members (dbudde, barbaram, Beemer, Animisha, ChrisGoesPiano, DrPaul09, Colin Miles, AYS, CyberGene, 6 invisible), 276 guests, and 407 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Called to tune the Piano....but it's in tune #2908046 11/03/19 05:55 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 221
Duaner Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 221
This has happened to me more than once. A customer calls me to have their piano tuned and when I get there I find it is has not moved hardly at all (if at all). So I go through the motions really and try to get an hour at least in but in actual fact I feel awful because on the one hand I'd like to say to them "...your piano is fine give me $20 for gas and I'll be on my way...." but I think that would not sit well with the customer probably or whatever..... I'm sure this has happened with you also so the question I have to ease my troubled conscience is ".....how do you handle such a visit to a piano that needs very minimal work done to it ....tuning or otherwise? How long do you stay and what do you do to make it all look productive?"


Duane Graves


"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Called to tune the Piano....but it's in tune [Re: Duaner] #2908052 11/03/19 06:16 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,472
G
Gene Nelson Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,472
If the tuning was that good that no correction was necessary I’d ask what it is about the tuning that they were unhappy with?
If there were still no needed corrections and the customer was in error, I would kindly let them know and maybe say something like I have a 1 or 2 (your choice) hour minimum. No tuning required but I can spend my time doing something else.
Can’t think of a perfect piano, I can always find 1or 2 hours of work to do that is necessary and would be appreciated.
I’d also, if the tuning was that perfect, like to know who the previous tuner was and look him up and ask for a few tuning pointers.


RPT
PTG Member
Re: Called to tune the Piano....but it's in tune [Re: Duaner] #2908059 11/03/19 06:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,462
E
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,462
Well said Gene!


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: Called to tune the Piano....but it's in tune [Re: Duaner] #2908061 11/03/19 07:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,132
K
kpembrook Offline
Platinum Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
Platinum Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
K
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,132
Originally Posted by Duaner
This has happened to me more than once. A customer calls me to have their piano tuned and when I get there I find it is has not moved hardly at all (if at all). So I go through the motions really and try to get an hour at least in but in actual fact I feel awful because on the one hand I'd like to say to them "...your piano is fine give me $20 for gas and I'll be on my way...." but I think that would not sit well with the customer probably or whatever..... I'm sure this has happened with you also so the question I have to ease my troubled conscience is ".....how do you handle such a visit to a piano that needs very minimal work done to it ....tuning or otherwise? How long do you stay and what do you do to make it all look productive?"


I've had that situation only a few times in my career. The point that has already been made is a good one: look around and see what can be done. Which relates to my next suggestion...

Find out (by looking if you can or asking if you need to) what prompted the call. To 99% of customers, the definition for "tuning" is "any kind of service a piano may need". It is important that we not be one-dimensional. If we conceive of ourselves as "tuners" then we may miss something because we are looking narrowly at what we conceive to be tuning ... adjusting the pitch of strings by turning tuning pins. But there's a bigger picture...

One example is when I've been called to tune a piano and discover a sluggish key in the center section of the piano. I immediately know that that is why I'm there. That is the customer's pain point. Maybe the piano user (child taking lessons) didn't even say there is a sluggish key when they complained to the piano owner. Or maybe they did but the piano owner simply asked for a "tuning" assuming that covered a whole basketful of needs -- sort of like the old automotive "tuneup".

Another example is that almost all pianos NEED to be voiced but almost nobody does it. Numerous times I have spent 5-10 minutes voicing after tuning and then had the customer remark that nobody else have ever been able to "tune" the piano so well. "It never sounded so good". Yet previous tuners who were technically competent at putting the strings in right relationship with each other never bothered to think outside the narrow box they had conceived themselves to be in thus leaving the piano in perfect tune but sounding bad. In fact, in one PTG article, I used the term "tuning with a needle" to speak of this very phenomenon.


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 of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Called to tune the Piano....but it's in tune [Re: Duaner] #2908062 11/03/19 07:16 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,903
P
P W Grey Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,903
Duane,

Good comments by all. Remember that it's a SERVICE call, not a "tuning" call (per se).

Something that often goes unnoticed by tuners is the fact that a piano serviced at "exactly" the same time each year (within a month) will in fact need less attention than the same piano tuned twice a year at opposing seasons. If left alone and minimally played, the tuning will "come back" to about 80% or better from its previous year's tuning. If humidity control is added to the picture, you will be able to "hone it to a razor's edge" each year.

(The above does not apply to a new piano less than three years old or a restrung instrument in similar time frame which will lose pitch and need correction).

I like to get my most of my client's pianos to a point where they only need to see me once a year.

A service call is still a service call and costs the same.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Called to tune the Piano....but it's in tune [Re: Duaner] #2908135 11/04/19 04:57 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 6,064
UnrightTooner Online Content
6000 Post Club Member
Online Content
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 6,064
Many good comments, especially Keith's about getting a piano tuned is often equated with getting a car tuned-up.

This past week I had a common back-to-back tuning of two old uprights - a Church's and the pianist's. It had been 3 years and she felt they should be tuned whether they needed it or not. Also the Church now had a Yamaha Clavinova that is played with the old upright and wanted them tuned together, in case they weren't. She thought they sounded fine. I checked the pitch on the Yamaha and it was A-440. Went and listened to the old upright and, 'ya know, it seemed on pitch and pretty much in tune. But when I checked. I found it 20 cents sharp. After leaving it about A-441 due to the higher humidity lately, I went back to listen to the tuning of the Clavinova. If it had been a real piano, I would have re-tuned it. All the 12ths were stretch wide and the temperament really wasn't that great. There were some pure 4ths and obviously uneven RBI progressions.

Two points to make here. First, once you get to actually tuning, instead of just evaluating, any piano that hasn't been tuned in a month could use it - even high thought of, untunable, electronic pianos! Second, many, or even most, customers get their piano tuned because they think it is "time" not because they think it is out of tune. Few can really tell.

So my answer to the question: ".....how do you handle such a visit to a piano that needs very minimal work done to it ....tuning or otherwise? How long do you stay and what do you do to make it all look productive?" I just tune it and enjoy the occasional freebies (strings that really, truly are on pitch and need no correction). I keep in mind that I am not there to service the piano. I am there to provide a service to the customer. If the customer feels it is "time" for the piano to be tuned, then it is "time" for me to tune it!


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: Called to tune the Piano....but it's in tune [Re: Duaner] #2908163 11/04/19 08:13 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 361
A
adamp88 Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 361
Quote
how do you handle such a visit to a piano that needs very minimal work done to it ....tuning or otherwise? How long do you stay and what do you do to make it all look productive?


I've never met a piano that wouldn't benefit from 1-2 hours of work (if not a whole lot more). And that includes several concert grand that I visit several times a week and keep in excellent regulation and voicing. There is always room for improvement - it's just a matter of how detailed you want to get.

So I guess my answer to the above questions would be: get pickier about the condition of the piano. If the piano, as it sits when you get to it, is acceptably in tune, regulation, and voicing, strive to push it beyond acceptable into excellent. There is always room for refinement (in the piano's condition and in your own work, knowledge and skills), and for me, that's one of the big things makes this career so rewarding.


Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
Piano Technician, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
ASB Piano Service
Re: Called to tune the Piano....but it's in tune [Re: Duaner] #2908247 11/04/19 01:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 28,071
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 28,071
Any piano can be tuned better. These jobs are the ones that make you better.


Semipro Tech
Re: Called to tune the Piano....but it's in tune [Re: Duaner] #2908263 11/04/19 03:37 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,649
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,649
I've run across a few pianos that sounded very good and toyed with the idea of suggesting that they call me in six months. I always decided against it and was mildly surprised at anomalies I found in the actual tuning process, and very glad I had done the tuning.


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----
Re: Called to tune the Piano....but it's in tune [Re: Duaner] #2908396 11/05/19 04:52 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,672
C
Chris Leslie Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,672
When I am tuning a piano for the first time and come across a string that is near enough to the correct pitch I will not trust it's stability. I will always give it a slight setting wiggle in order to ensure that the string is not at the edge of the friction window, and to try to improve it.


Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au
Re: Called to tune the Piano....but it's in tune [Re: Duaner] #2908646 11/05/19 06:55 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 221
Duaner Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 221
I have found that on this forum if you are crazy (and perhaps brave) enough to ask a question like the one I just asked "....you will be rewarded...." You might get a "poke in the guts" along the way but it's worth it when I think of the great comments. I'm that nut I guess but boy there are some unique posts that come to light when you all get to thinking it over. I like what Jeff said that he just enjoys the occasional freebie and just accepts it and carries on. Peter says it's a "service" call not just a tuning and I suppose it has to be if you can't do much to the strings. Thanks to you all for, as always, you give me and a lot of others (who read it all but you'll never hear from them) including those who have posted even as they come back with "....I like what so-and-so said....." We all learn and prove again what King Solomon said 3 millennia ago that "...iron sharpens iron....." and that is so evident here especially.

Last edited by Duaner; 11/05/19 06:55 PM.

Duane Graves


"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."

Moderated by  Piano World 

What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Our January 2020 Newsletter Available Online Now...
Free Piano Newsletter
----------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Shop our Store for Music Lovers!
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Alicia Keys - Moonlight Sonata
by Pathetique1 - 02/25/20 03:09 AM
Int/Midi button on Kawai MP11
by giu - 02/25/20 02:56 AM
New bass strings sound hollow
by Emery Wang - 02/25/20 01:01 AM
About Yamaha cx
by Fer15 - 02/24/20 11:48 PM
grades of pieces
by Kaori Miyamoto - 02/24/20 05:40 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics197,177
Posts2,929,705
Members96,104
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2019 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3