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I know this may sound silly...
#641939 06/19/07 03:39 PM
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dkeene Offline OP
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Although I have no experience with tuning, I would like to learn to tune my piano so that I can always have it in perfect preparation for a home recital. With all respect to piano technicians, would it be feasable for me to learn to tune my Steinway D? Could anyone give some realistic advice? I would like to use software based sound analysis tools to help, and I could take a course in tuning. What do you think?

I would still have my local certified tech on a regular basis...


DK
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Re: I know this may sound silly...
#641940 06/19/07 03:45 PM
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Not that silly...

It sounds like you just want to keep the unisons "perfect". The difficult parts of tuning are the temperament and the stretch. For those, the more you do it, the easier it is...a "use it or lose it" kind of proposition. If your tech is keeping up with these, it shouldn't be much of a problem for you to tweak an unruly unison or two for impromptu recitals.


John Delmore
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"You don't have a Soul. You ARE a soul. You have a body."...C.S. Lewis
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Re: I know this may sound silly...
#641941 06/19/07 04:19 PM
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There's some info here if you decide on taking do-it-yourself route:

http://piano.detwiler.us/

Re: I know this may sound silly...
#641942 06/19/07 06:31 PM
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Simplicty vs Mystery :

Some say it's so easy to tune a piano that one can do it oneself. Others say that the whole technique is shrouded in mystery and that one needs special skills that only years of training can give to be able to tune well.

Sure it is feasible to learn to tune well, but only after considerable training, learning and honing of very refined skills.

Wherever the truth between the extremes may lie, I would attempt to hone my skills only on a "clunker" of a piano that has little or no musical value, so that if I were to loosen a pin, break a string or do some damage I would have no remorse.

To cut ones tuning teeth, as it were, on a Steinway D, would suggest to me that one doesn't care much for the fate of the instrument. If I had no other instrument on which to experiment, I would leave it to the experts and be grateful for their skill every time they work their magic!

However, I'm not a tuner; I have only "tinkered" at tuning and decided that it was not worth my time and my effort to get where I needed to be to tune satisfactorily and safely.

I'll be interested to read what the real tuners and technicians have to say.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: I know this may sound silly...
#641943 06/19/07 07:04 PM
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If you get a good tuning hammer, and you are able to feel the pin turning, as opposed to bending the pin, you should be able to do it safely. A Steinway D or most other concert grands are often easier to hear than other pianos.

However, proper hammer technique is the hardest part of piano tuning to learn. Getting the strings to stay in tune well is directly related to how well you can do it. It takes strength, stamina, and a dogged determination. You may find that it does not suit you, or you may find that you have a knack for it.

If you can afford a concert grand, you may find that it is more economical to pay someone to tune your piano, and spend your time doing what you did to afford the piano.


Semipro Tech
Re: I know this may sound silly...
#641944 06/19/07 07:24 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by dkeene:
Although I have no experience with tuning, I would like to learn to tune my piano so that I can always have it in perfect preparation for a home recital. With all respect to piano technicians, would it be feasable for me to learn to tune my Steinway D? Could anyone give some realistic advice? I would like to use software based sound analysis tools to help, and I could take a course in tuning. What do you think?

I would still have my local certified tech on a regular basis...
With all due respect to you, I would never consider sharing tuning duties with a novice and especially not on a Steinway concert grand.

The reason is simple. Suppose your piano just will not stay in tune. Whose fault is it - yours or mine? You'll think it was me and I'll think it was you mad

I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't learn to tune your own piano. If you want to do it, go for it and more power to you. I think, though, that I would consider buying an old clunker to practice on and leave your Steinway D for a professional technician to take care of.


Stay tuned.

Tom Seay, Recovering Piano Technician
Bastrop, Texas
Re: I know this may sound silly...
#641945 06/19/07 10:58 PM
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Hammer technique takes quite number of pianos to learn the feel. Tuning stabilty is a product of tuning many, many pianos. It is comparable to playing a tremelo. A two finger trill is easy but try a full hand tremelo with speed and volume control just from a description. It takes a year of practice.


Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca
Re: I know this may sound silly...
#641946 06/20/07 09:25 PM
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dkeene Offline OP
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Thank you all for your advice; I am hesitant to fool with the instrument for fear of damaging it. I am considering finding tuner to come once every x days whether it needs it or not to keep it always in tune. My guess is that I don't have the focus to tune every note each string up to three times. By the way, I admire technicians out there and did not mean to say that it's easy. A good craftsperson makes his/her craft LOOK easy..!
Doug


DK
Re: I know this may sound silly...
#641947 06/21/07 12:21 AM
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The X factor shouldn't have to be any lower than 90. Any good piano should hold its own pretty well for three months.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: I know this may sound silly...
#641948 06/21/07 08:25 PM
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Many techs offer a regular maintenance plan of some sort. This may be an annual fee, or a package price to include, for example, 4 tunings a year, regular adjustments, and soundboard cleaning. Your technician will probably appreciate someone who actually is willing to be so proactive in taking care of their instrument - I know I would!


Jim
Re: I know this may sound silly...
#641949 06/21/07 09:21 PM
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I have a couple of customers who touch up unisons between my visits, and a couple of others who mess about with the tuning and don't tell me what they are doing. I can tell! They leave their tracks all over the scale.

I never say anything to the quiet ones, and the others admit that they "suck" at tuning. We all get along. 'No harm no foul.

I have a hunch that you'll learn a lot about what us "tooners" do. 'Tain't easy!


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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Re: I know this may sound silly...
#641950 06/21/07 09:34 PM
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dkeene,

Doug,

We have a lot of great tuner / craftsman here in the Boston area.

You might want to take advantage of the local "talent" regarding tuning lessons.

We have some very good teachers.

LArry


"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/EJBuckPerformances

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