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Introduction and question... #626564
06/23/08 03:58 AM
06/23/08 03:58 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
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b3groover Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
Hi all,

Firstly, I want to thank Jerry Groot, whom I found on this forum, for engaging in some nice discussion via email.

I recently lost my father, who was a piano technician in the Lansing, MI area for almost 30 years. For the last year or so he was teaching me the business. I already know many of the repair jobs since I helped him as a kid rebuild actions and the like. Tuning has proven to be challenging and I miss his guidance.

I have connected with other tuners in my area. My big question is concerning sequences; is there a collection of different sequences used to set the temperament? The sequence my father taught me works well enough, but I'm finding that I'm having a hard time with my fourths... I tend to want to set them flat. I'm wondering if another sequence might help. I'm also one to try different things; perhaps a different sequence will work better for me.

So far I've tuned two pianos for clients and both have been happy. Thankfully the pianos "knew" where they wanted to be; I just had to get them there and then they locked in. I have a series of test tones on my iPod for a correctly stretched A440 tuning that I use to check my work once I'm done doing it by ear. It has proven to be valuable for me in learning where my problem areas are.

I practice almost daily on my own piano and have tuned several friend's pianos (and re-tuned them!) I tuned several with my father before he passed as well, though not as many as I would have liked. I am still very green, but my ears are good.

Anyway, I enjoy reading this forum and don't have much to contribute, but I'm enjoying this work very much. I am a full time musician (Hammond organ) and father of two young daughters with a wife that recently decided to stay home with the kids (I was Mr. Mom with my first daughter), so this business is a blessing. My father has a nice clientele; I'm just lacking the experience! smile

Thank you,
----Jim Alfredson


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Jim Alfredson
Musician / Tuner
www.organissimo.org
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Re: Introduction and question... #626565
06/23/08 08:35 AM
06/23/08 08:35 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Hey Jim,

Nice to hear from you again and thanks for the compliments. I enjoyed our chats too.

Our first tuners meeting of the year will be the 2nd Tuesday in September at West Michigan Piano on 29th Street in GR at 7:30 PM if you're interested in attending... If you want more information, let me know..

You might check this thread for starters.

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/forum/3.html

Or, look at Bill Bremmer's web site, he's full of information on various ways and methods on tuning.

You'll find lots of nice people here, most will be ready to help people like yourself who are genuinely interested in learning how to service pianos.

I feel sorry for you that you lost your dad like that. I know the feeling. The difference was that I was fortunate to have been able to work with him tuning pianos for 35 years first so, I was luckier I guess...

By the way, as a formality, the owner of the forum likes us to sign our names as our profession in some way, Jerry Groot Piano tuner or whatever....

thumb


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: Introduction and question... #626566
06/23/08 09:08 AM
06/23/08 09:08 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,056
Chicagoland
RonTuner Offline
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RonTuner  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,056
Chicagoland
Hey Jim,

Welcome to "the fray"!

You may be a perfect candidate for an electronic tuning device.... No, I don't mean for you to give up on aural tuning; they can make great learning devices.

For temperament work, the big thing is NOT to tune the whole temperament and then check with the machine, it is to take each tuning step at a time, check, adjust and recheck until your ears become used to hearing what you need to hear - that way the errors won't multiply.

Tunelab may be the easiest to get going, but you may have access to any of the other platforms as well. Make sure you go with one of the machines that "listens" to the piano and adjusts for inharmonicity - not just a template tuner like the Petersen, or a needle type like a Korg.

The idea is to NEVER tune without a mentor looking over your shoulder during the learning process - even if this one is only electronic...

Ron Koval

Re: Introduction and question... #626567
06/23/08 09:16 AM
06/23/08 09:16 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,292
North Carolina
Ron Alexander Offline
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Ron Alexander  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,292
North Carolina
Hi Jim, welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about your father. The best way to overcome inexperience is just keep tuning. Tune your own piano, every day, and then branch out and tune as many as you can comfortably handle. Exercise care in who you tune for until you begin to gain more experience, so you dont get a bad rep.

But most importantly, join the Guild, go to those meetings, and you will find a world of people willing to help, and a wealth of information about the business. Keep in touch with "Ole" Jerry Groot. He seems to me to be one of the best teachers in the world!!!!


-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician
Re: Introduction and question... #626568
06/23/08 09:30 AM
06/23/08 09:30 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 839
North-East US
UprightTooner Offline
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UprightTooner  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 839
North-East US
Jim:

Welcome aboard! And condolences on your father’s passing.

There are some tests to determine how tempered your fourths are. Generally they should beat about 1 bps in the temperament. Also you can compare the beat rate of the two notes in the interval to the note either a major third below or a minor third above the interval. I prefer the minor third above, especially on challenging pianos. The beat rate with the lower note of the interval should beat a little slower than the beat rate with the upper note. The theoretical ratio should be 7:8. This is the same change of beat rate that two major third, a whole step apart, will have. The test note does not need to be tuned first, just close enough to be able to hear the beat rates.

I understand that Bill Bremmer’s sequences have enabled many tuners to pass the PTG exam. They are certainly worth a try.

Regards,


Part-time tuner
Re: Introduction and question... #626569
06/23/08 02:53 PM
06/23/08 02:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Mexico City
Gadzar Offline
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Gadzar  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Mexico City
Jim, welcome to the forum.

I am a beginer. What I can tell you is to try the sequence of the Dr. Albert Sanderson in his Two Octave A Temperament.

If you don't want to tune the two octave temperament you can tune only a one octave temperament A3-A4 or better F3-F4, by following the idea of first tuning a set of contiguous major thirds and then the nine note mini-temperament depicted in his article.

I find that this sequence is great for beginers because it gives a way of determining the correct width of thirds and fourths for a given piano taking into account it's specific inharmonicity.

You can read the instructions for this sequence at Appendix E of the manual of the Accu-Tuner, here is the link. Read the "Aural tuning" section at page 43.

http://www.accu-tuner.com/pdfs/2007_SAT_III.pdf

I have found that for some small pianos you can not tune A2-A3 as a slightly wide 6:3 octave, as Dr. Sanderson says, because it will beat noticeably. But by tuning a beatless octave this sequence still works marvelously.

In fact I don´t tune the two octaves. What I do is an F3-F4 temperament using the same sequence of Dr. Albert Sanderson. That is:

Tune A4 to the fork
Tune A3 to A4. A slightly wide 4:2 octave
Tune F3 to A3
Tune F4 to F3. A slightly wide 4:2 octave
Tune C#4 to A3 and F4 in order to have the 4:5 ratio in the contiguous major thirds F3-A3-C#4-F4-A4. In this step it will be necessary to adjust F3, F4 and C#4 in order to have a smooth, even progression of the contiguous major 3rds.

You have now established the correct size of the major thirds for this piano, within the chosen width of the initial octave A3-A4, taking into account its particular inharmonicity.

Once this is achieved you are going to establish the correct width of the fourths:

Tune A#3 to F3 (up a 4th)
Tune F#3 to A#3 (down a 3rd)
Tune B3 to F#3 (up a 4th) AND STOP!

now:

Tune G#3 to C#4 (down a 4th)
Tune C4 to G#3 (up a 3rd)
Tune G3 to C4 (down a 4th) AND STOP!

Check the third G3-B3 by comparing it to its adjascent thirds: if it is beating too fast your 4ths are too wide. If it is beating too slow your 4ths are too narrow.

All you have to do now is adjust the width of your 4ths in order to have a correct G3-B3 3rd. Repeat the last 6 steps making fine adjustments to the 4ths until you have a good G3-B3 third.

Don't tune B3 directly from G3 (or G3 direcctly from B3). The trick is to adjust the width of your 4ths: F3-A#3, F#3-B3 and G#3-C#4, G3-C4. This is the more accurate way I know to get correct size 4ths for a given octave size. It will work no matter how stretched (or non stretched) your inintial octave is and it takes into account the inharmonicity of the piano. It gives you 4ths that not only sound good and are slightly tempered to the wide side, but it also gives you the correct tempering of the 4ths that make up a major third of a given width previously determined and proven correct for this octave size and for this piano's inharmonicity.

You'll get a nice mini-temperament of nine notes from F3 to C#4, very accurate, with a smooth progression of major thirds and a consistent set of 4ths! There is no guessing, not "knowing in advance how the 4ths should sound". Here the piano itself is telling you what it needs of thirds and fourths. The only decision you have to make is the width of the initial octave A3-A4. The rest is a matter of accuracy in setting the beat rate of the 3rds and 4ths, hammer technique and stablity of your tuning. No more guessing.

You finish the temperament by tuning the remaining thirds, as indicated by Dr. Sanderson and you are done.

I've found this sequence beeing by far the more accurate I can tune aurally, and I must say I have tried many sequences...

For tuning an accurate set of the contiguous major thirds F3-A3-C#4-F4-A4 the article by Bill Bremmer at his site is the best explanation I have ever read, here is the link:


http://billbremmer.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/midrange-piano-tuning.pdf

Also read this thread, in which you'll find more on tuning the "Contiguous Major Thirds Set":

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/3/3610/2.html#000030


I hope this will help.


Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx
Re: Introduction and question... #626570
06/23/08 08:14 PM
06/23/08 08:14 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 839
North-East US
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member
UprightTooner  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 839
North-East US
Gadzar:

I think that is the best CM3 sequence I have read. It solves the problem of getting the other 3 sets of contiguous major thirds properly spaced for the piano’s iH and chosen octave stretch.

I have a question for you similar to what I have asked other hybrid tuners. I hope I can get a more definite answer than I have gotten so far.

How close to ideal pitch (in tenths of cents), according to your ETD, do you typically tune a set of contiguous major thirds, without tuning any additional notes as checks?

Regards,


Part-time tuner
Re: Introduction and question... #626571
06/23/08 09:32 PM
06/23/08 09:32 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
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b3groover Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
Thanks to all for the replies. RonTuner, I have been setting the temperament by ear and then checking it once done with my test tones. Your post makes much more sense; checking things along the way. I will start doing that.

I don't have the funds for an EDT right now. I have read and heard good things about the RCT. For the time being I think I'll stick with my ears and the test tones on my iPod.

Gadzar, the Sanderson sequence sounds interesting. I will read more about it via the links and give it a try. Thank you.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Jim Alfredson
Musician / Tuner
www.organissimo.org
Re: Introduction and question... #626572
06/24/08 01:26 AM
06/24/08 01:26 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Mexico City
Gadzar Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Gadzar  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Mexico City
Upright,

As you know, I am not an experienced aural tuner. In most of the work I do for clients I use my Verituner. However recently I have made an effort to tune aurally, at least the first pass on every piano I tune, and I make the fine tuning with my ETD. And so far I had seen the best results when using the Sanderson's sequence and the worst results with the circle of 5ths.

It is difficult to express accuracy in tenths of a cent, but generally I can tune within 1 cent. That is no one note is off by more than 1 cent from what my Verituner says it must be. Remember? I have no mentor to evaluate my work!

I must say that besides the 4:5 ratio of the CM3's I use no other test nor additional notes. And that is because I don't trust anyother test more than I trust the CM3's. For me it´s the foundation of my tuning, the squeleton of my temperament.

When I have finished tuning the hole temperament generally I tune down to C3 and then up to the treble break. When done I run a series of tests with contiguous intervalls as recommended by Dr. Sanderson. I mean contiguous thirds, contiguous fourths and contiguous fifths, looking for uneveness or inconsistencies and making corrections. When confronted to a conflict I always favor the 4:5 ratio of the thirds over a 5th or 4th. Then I tune the treble, the bass and finally the unisons.

After that, I take my Verituner out and I make a fine tuning.

I guess that I have no answered your question but the point here is that I trust 100% the CM3's 4:5 ratio, and tune the rest of the piano without no further tests on the notes F3, A3, C#4, F4 and A4.

I firmly believe that with more practice in aural tuning I can reach more accuracy than +/- 1 cent. This margin is so large because of me, not because of the method.


Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx
Re: Introduction and question... #626573
06/24/08 01:39 AM
06/24/08 01:39 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Mexico City
Gadzar Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Gadzar  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Mexico City
Jim,

You don't really need an ETD. Look at me trying to get rid of mine! mad


Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx
Re: Introduction and question... #626574
06/24/08 11:24 AM
06/24/08 11:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 839
North-East US
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member
UprightTooner  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 839
North-East US
Gadzar:

Thanks for the candid explanation.

To be fair to “the date that brought you to the dance” you may not be as far along tuning aurally without having had use of an ETD.

Does anyone else know how accurate (within how many tenths of cents of ideal) that they typically tune their first set of CM3s?

Regards,


Part-time tuner
Re: Introduction and question... #626575
07/06/08 10:27 PM
07/06/08 10:27 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
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b3groover Offline OP
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Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
Another dumb question:

I tuned a 1921 Cable & Nelson ex-player this weekend (by ex-player, I mean it used to be a player piano, but all the player guts are gone) that a client purchased for $75 and wrestled into his basement.

It's a nice solid upright, if a bit ugly due to the previous owners painting it. The soundboard is not cracked. The actions needs rebuilding, as everything is original. That said, he just wanted to have it looked at and tuned to see if it was worth putting money into.

Here's the dumb question: The whole piano was a half-step flat, and up to a whole step in the bass. I brought it up to A440 carefully and by the time time I started tuning the unisons, it was already going flat again. So I re-tuned and by the time I left, it was already going south.

Some of the pins felt a little funky to me. I am worried that the pinblock might be problematic. The client has agreed to another tuning in a few weeks. What should I look for?

Thank you.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Jim Alfredson
Musician / Tuner
www.organissimo.org
Re: Introduction and question... #626576
07/07/08 01:54 AM
07/07/08 01:54 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,747
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,747
Oakland
It is difficult to raise the pitch a half step with only two tunings. The piano will distort as the tension is raised. Sometimes it takes a while for the piano to settle down. If you got it close enough, you might be able to get it to stay at pitch when you go back. Only then will you find out if it will stay tuned.

If you can get it to pitch, it could stay reasonably well tuned even with problematic tuning pins, if you use a careful, light touch when setting the strings.

For your original question, I have to admit that although I have some tuning guidelines and a preferred sequence, I do not have a set sequence. The important thing is that I know what the temperament is inside and out, and that I can do it many ways if necessary. I am not too proud to admit that I do not always get it correct the first time, or even the second time, but sometimes it takes doing it over and over to get it correct. In fact, if a problem in the temperament shows up as I am tuning octaves, then I go back and correct it. Of course, with many years of experience, it happens less and less often, which is something to look forward to.

A temperament is a way that all the notes in the scale sound in relation to each other. A sequence is a method of trying to get a temperament, but if you make a mistake and you try to stick too closely to the sequence, you can get hopelessly lost. While sometimes you can go and do it all over again, hoping to get closer the next time, it is much more efficient to know the characteristics of the temperament you are setting and figure out the corrections you need to make from that. After all, if you have something wrong with the sequence you are using, that is to say, if the method itself is wrong, doing it over is not going to correct it. The temperament must be your goal.


Semipro Tech
Re: Introduction and question... #626577
07/07/08 09:29 AM
07/07/08 09:29 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,017
Madison, WI USA
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Bill Bremmer RPT  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,017
Madison, WI USA
Hello all,

Thank you for the referrals to my website. This post appeared just as I was returning from the PTG Convention and upon which my computer died. I have a new one now but am involved with music rehearsals nightly for a performance this Friday: not much time for this.

I agree very much with BDB. Raising the pitch an entire 1/2 step (and more) will require 4 tuning passes at a minimum. I've seen before a novice who found just one pass so arduous that the prospect of doing even two seemed overwhelming. There are many difficult and frustrating tasks in piano work. The key to getting past the difficulty is knowing what will happen in advance, accepting that fact and finding a way to defeat the enemy, so to speak.

Pitch raising is not the same at all as fine tuning. It seems as though you may be using muting strips to tune (because you wrote about tuning unisons afterwards). That is really the best way to do a pitch raise. The solution to the problem is really quite simple: if you already know that the pitches you tune will sink flat, tune them sharp.

The rule of thumb is for every 3 beats flat any string is, tune 1 beat sharp. When the piano is as flat as yours started out, simply set your first A a few beats sharp of the fork. Tune your temperament sequence but don't worry about how perfect it is. It will never stay the way you tune it anyway. As you ascend, simply tune up rough octaves, leaving a good audible beat in each octave. As you get higher, increase the beats in the octaves to 2, 3, 4, etc., but don't really try for any precision. For the Bass, simply pull those strings up to where you have set the middle of the piano. Tune up all the way to the top first and pull in those unisons, then go down to the Bass, tune it up and pull in the unisons and tune the middle section unisons last. That is my firm recommendation.

This won't take as much time as when you are attempting a fine tuning. You may be able to tune through the entire piano in about 30 minutes. As you pull in your unisons, there is no need to make them perfect at this point either.

The goal of the pitch raise tuning pass is merely to get the piano close enough to where it will actually accept a fine tuning. Since you have already tried to tune it once, it should already be a major degree closer to what it should be. Although tuning at a lower pitch than standard is often frowned upon, as a technician, you sometimes have to make that decision based upon the reality of the circumstances: will the customer pay for all the work it will really take and can the piano itself take it?

You already mentioned possibly loose and/or difficult to set tuning pins. There could also be splitting bridges and/or cracked soundboard which will not support well a piano fully up to standard pitch.

In any case, try to determine how much more you are going to raise the pitch if any and do a rough pass first, followed by a fine tuning pass. I learned this long ago at the first PTG Convention I attended in 1979. The motto I always remember is, "It is quicker and easier [and by far less stressful and frustrating] to tune a piano twice than it is to fight with it once." Always keep that in mind.

There may be only one section, such as the treble which after the first rough pass, is still to flat and generally off to accept a fine tuning. The best decision to make is to quickly rough it in again and then fine tune it. I carry that rule with me at all times, even during fine concert tuning. I'm looking for the utmost in precision, so even if the piano is already at pitch and tuned fairly recently, I don't expect to be able to tune it only once. You will find that the wound Bass strings take a pitch correction better and that the high treble strings are the most difficult to stabilize.

Good luck and for a temperament sequence which works very well for a very out of tune piano, try learning the "ET via Marpurg" sequence from my website under the "Articles" tab. That information is for people who wish to pass the PTG Tuning Exam. There are many sequences or ways to tune a temperament. Knowing one for roughing in a temperament and another for fine tuning is a good idea.

BDB's suggestion about learning how all intervals relate to each other is also a good one. This means learning how to spot an error and proving it is an error based on tests with other intervals. In Equal Temperament, no one interval can be favored over another. If one 4th is too pure, another 5th will be too narrow. If one Major third (M3) is too slow, another M3 contiguous to it will be too fast, etc. There are many such comparisons which can be made.

Keep your questions coming. The material from my website is downloadable free of charge.
www.billbremmer.com


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: Introduction and question... #626578
07/07/08 03:26 PM
07/07/08 03:26 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 121
Princeton, NJ
wcctuner Offline
Full Member
wcctuner  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 121
Princeton, NJ
Jim,
Someone mentioned Tunelab. The new version of Tunelab has an aural sequence for the temperament octave, which is helpful for someone learning to tune aurally. There is a free trial version of Tunelab at www.tunelab-world.com. Check it out.
I had to reply to someone who lives in Lansing. My son goes to school there, lives in East Lansing. Nice area, but COLD in the winter.
Condolences on the loss of your father.


Dave Forman
Piano Technician, Westminster Choir College of Rider University
Re: Introduction and question... #626579
07/09/08 01:40 AM
07/09/08 01:40 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
B
b3groover Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
Thank you to everyone for the replies.

BDB: Four tunings? Good thing I told the client it would be at least three! smile I was initally concerned at how quickly the piano was going flat after I finished setting the temperament and tuning the octaves. By the time I was done, it was already way out of whack, though not nearly as bad as when I started. It made me worry that there is something wrong with the piano. While there still might be (some of the pins seemed quite loose compared to the majority of them), it seems like this is normal.

This leads me to ask about pricing, which may or may not be appropriate here. I charged my normal rate for this tuning. I know my father always charged a bit less for follow-ups due to pitch raising, but I don't know how much less. What's a good rule of thumb?

Bill Bremmer, I have been reading the articles at your sight and I'm very thankful for your generosity. It will take me a bit to digest a lot of it, especially since tuning practice has been put aside due to a busy gigging schedule. Summer is the busy season for musicians and like piano tuning, you take what you can get when you can get it! smile I did scan the ET via Marpurg sequence a month or two ago; I will dig into it further when things slow down a hair.

"It is quicker and easier [and by far less stressful and frustrating] to tune a piano twice than it is to fight with it once."

That is very sage advice. I will remember that. Thank you. My dad used to say, "That's close enough; we'll come back to it later." I'm still trying to get things perfect the first time through.

wcctuner, I assume your son attends Michigan State? I went there for six years; I did not graduate. smile I was supposed to be studying Electrical Engineering but instead I was playing with jazz combos, blues bands, and any other musical side gig I could find! When I realized how much money I was making playing music versus how much I was spending on tuition (and getting nowhere), I dropped out. But not until I met some very influential people that are still in my life, including the guitarist in my jazz trio.

It's a great school. The winters are not so bad. Besides, extreme seasonal changes are good for piano tuning! smile


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Jim Alfredson
Musician / Tuner
www.organissimo.org
Re: Introduction and question... #626580
07/09/08 01:56 AM
07/09/08 01:56 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
B
b3groover Offline OP
Full Member
b3groover  Offline OP
Full Member
B

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
Quote
Originally posted by wcctuner:
Jim,
Someone mentioned Tunelab. The new version of Tunelab has an aural sequence for the temperament octave, which is helpful for someone learning to tune aurally. There is a free trial version of Tunelab at www.tunelab-world.com. Check it out.
Hmmm...they have a version for Smartphones. I might have to check that out. Thank you!


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Jim Alfredson
Musician / Tuner
www.organissimo.org
Re: Introduction and question... #626581
07/09/08 07:24 AM
07/09/08 07:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 839
North-East US
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member
UprightTooner  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 839
North-East US
Jim:

You've already gotten great advice on pitch raising. Let me add one other thing. If an upright piano is way low in pitch (half-step or more) and does not seem to be coming up in pitch as it should, check to see if the pinblock has separated has from the back. It’s not a bad idea to check before pitch raising. If the pinblock/back joint is covered and cannot be visually inspected, you can remove the acorn nuts and swing the top of the action off the studs. If it swings easily, the pinblock is probably still attached to the back. If it is hard to swing out, you may have a problem.

Regards,


Part-time tuner
Re: Introduction and question... #626582
07/09/08 05:32 PM
07/09/08 05:32 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
It's always advisable to check the structure of the piano prior to doing a major pitch raise to be sure there are not cracks, splits, plate cracks or other major problems. These are things to know in advance of starting so you won't get blamed for something later on that was not your fault. I always check first. Better to be safe, than to be sorry later.

You will probably be pleasantly surprised at how much better this piano will hold the next time around...

Many pianos arrive from the factory with actions that are very difficult to get out so, this is not necessarily a sign the piano might have major issues. Many of your less expensive brands are more apt to fit into this category like Story and Clark's or Kimball's for example.

It could be too that the action brackets were bent down by 'someone' attempting to eliminate a squeak or creaking in the treble when the sustaining pedal is used or that the action studs were turned up to eliminate this making the action tight between the two of them.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: Introduction and question... #626583
07/10/08 02:34 AM
07/10/08 02:34 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
B
b3groover Offline OP
Full Member
b3groover  Offline OP
Full Member
B

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
I visually inspected the piano as well as I could before I attempted to tune it. Other than being ugly due to someone painting it, it's actually in really good shape. The action needs rebuilt because the felts look (and feel) all original. But it's solid and works well. I'm actually looking forward to going back and hearing where it has settled.


Today I finished the last job my dad had on the books. In fact, it was a job we were supposed to do together. He was going to teach me how to put new keytops on a set of keys, then put new bushings in the piano, level and dip, regulate, and finally tune the piano. We scheduled a Friday for me to come over and I got tied up at my house. I called him at 2pm to say I couldn't make it over and he said "No problem. We'll do it another day." Two hours later he was dead.

Anyway, against the advice of many, I decided to put the new keytops on myself rather than job them out. I read up on regulating in Reblitz' book. I actually messed up my first attempt at the keytops and had to order another set.

Today I instaled the bushings, keys, leveled and dipped (sounds like a 50's dance craze!), regulated, and tuned the piano. The client was happy as a clam. I feel a huge burden lifted off my shoulders.

Soon my garage will have a new roof and I have three free uprights waiting to go into it. I'm going to spend the rest of the year tearing each one apart and rebuilding them so I can learn by doing.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Jim Alfredson
Musician / Tuner
www.organissimo.org
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