2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
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
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
78 members (antune, 0day, Bill McKaig,RPT, BMKE, accordeur, 5stringbanjo, AJB, 13 invisible), 670 guests, and 312 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
#2294004 06/23/14 06:13 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,355
E
2000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
2000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,355

greetings,
Ok, I have a question for the strictly aural tuners left amongst us. How do you accommodate a piano that is generally at pitch, but has sections that are 3-4 cents sharp or flat, like the octave above the bass break, extreme ends, etc. If tuning from previously tuned notes, how is the cumulative error, which is enough to discernibly alter octaves, controlled? Can it be done in one pass?


I embraced the SAT due to arthritis, but soon found how much closer I could get with it via using the pitch correction function at even small discrepancies. Cumulative alterations of a program, each based on critique of the last iteration, got me closer to the ideal I was looking for. I have heard the exceptions offered to this approach, i.e. that pianos change enough, seasonally, to render the template invalid. I have not found this to have any practical bearing on the quality of the job.

More meandering is the aural tuner's travel through the octaves with various flatnesses and sharp sections that must be either tuned twice or guessed at. I know, I was one for years, and am one when I want to be and there is no way to accurately tune a piano when there is a section or three that is 4 cents different from the others. Without some intelligent correction on the fly, there will be unavoidable looseness in the octaves. Are there any that can claim accurate aural over-pulls of sub-cent size as they do a one pass tuning? Or do we just leave the occasional section a cent or so out of line?

Regards,

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,667
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,667
My approach is simple. 'Two passes - the first, over correcting by instinct, the second to lock things in where they should be. I just haven't found any short cuts that I trust.

In my area the usual reason that there are sectional discrepancies is a pretty profound case of neglect. I try to impress upon the client that more frequent tunings will make for better results. Some listen, some don't.


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 824
M
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 824
Speaking as a purely aural tuner, my technique is based on using experience of guessing how notes will end up, and generally this works out pretty much spot on. There are times admittedly when a quick second pass is needed if things don't work out ... after all, every single change in a string's tension affects the load bearing on the bridge of the neighbouring wires.


Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 52 years in the United Kingdom
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,027
B
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,027
Ed,

I learned my lesson in 1979 from George Defebaugh at the 1979 PTG convention in Minneapolis, 4 years before I became and official member of PTG and an RPT. It basically agrees with David Jenson's advice.

George said, "You can tune a piano a lot faster and far less stressfully twice than you can fight with it once". I made it my rule above all other rules.

At that demonstration with Jim Coleman, Sr., both of them used muting strips across the entire piano. It became a popular idea but I think that many technicians tried to cheat on the going through it twice part and then claimed that you were not really a man unless you could tune a piano with a tuning fork, one wedge mute and a tuning hammer.

There is no tuning that I ever do which does not require a pitch correction phase first whether I do it completely aurally or with an ETD. Even a concert tuning on a 9 foot Steinway that I tuned earlier in the week and is right on pitch still gets two passes!

The first pass gets all of the garbage out of the way and is very low stress. 15 minutes, usually. The second pass is the real tuning but it is so easy because I don't have to fight with anything that it goes by in 30 minutes or less, even with pounding in recalcitrant strings. If then, I really want to do the one mute, single pass option to prove I am a real man and a real piano technician, the piano is ready for it and that goes by in 30 minutes or less too because there is only the finest work to be done.

I think of it as "sculpting" a tuning. A sculptor who wants to carve out a figure from a block of material does not perfect the nose and eyes as he does it. He takes large swipes to remove large amounts of material first, then returns to make the finer corrections later.

I have lived with physical limitations myself for many years yet I still pump out at least 4 tunings a day except when I am doing more long term service. I crank out 5 and six during peak periods and they are all good, all at pitch or at least the pitch I have determined (high or low as the season dictates, usually +/- 4 cents in the off seasons). All have the temperament I have decided upon and beautifully stretched octaves and clear unisons, high quality grand to lowly spinet and everything in between.

For 14 years now, a right shoulder rotator cuff injury has hampered me but I find a way around it. I find different positions that cause me less pain and fatigue. I don't have any pain in my hands but I suppose there is a way around that too.

The secret is to find a way to kick the out of tune piano in the butt and make it behave with whatever skills you have to put into that. Some of the ways that I have seen people try to tune pianos are so stressful, I wonder how they ever get a single one accomplished!


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 585
T
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 585
It depends on where the sections are located. In general, +/- 3-4 cent sections are highly manageable, requiring minimal overpull. If the entire piano is 3-4 cents in one direction, that's a different story.

I find pianos lose pitch in the center first, followed by the high bass and alto leading into the treble. If the high treble is flat, the piano has gone a while without tuning. If the low bass is flat, it has gone a real long time.

By pulling the center section sharp by a couple cents, using a quick 4ths/5ths temperament, you can do a fine second pass with little error. The key is just to target the flat zones. Having a slight excess of net tension is ideal.

Just curious, Ed, why do you want to do this aurally? Can the machine not handle this as well?


www.tunewerk.com

Unity of tone through applied research.
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 6,246
E
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 6,246
Check my answer in the other new topic which asks what to do when part of piano is sharp and other parts are flat.

I will add here that if you keep in mind how the break point percent at various places in the scale varies and how this influences pitch movement with humidity and pitch movement after tuning changes, you will be able to plan your way through this problem.

The low tenor plain wires are usually at the lowest percent breakpoint. You can roughly read this by eye by looking at the rate of speaking length change across the compass. When the bottom of the tenor is a hockey stick the plain wires down there are at a lower BP than notes above and wounds below. Lower BP strings change pitch greater for a given dimension change in elongation.

So if the piano in front of you has a sharp tenor and flat treble/bass. Start with the sharp tenor and bring those down to pitch. Raise the treble to pitch with an appropriate amount of sharpness for the anticipated drop. Then tune the bass. If this comes out right on. HOORAY you got LUCKY! Otherwise go over it again with no anticipated drop.


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: toneman1@me.com
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,355
E
2000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
2000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,355
Originally Posted by Tunewerk

Just curious, Ed, why do you want to do this aurally? Can the machine not handle this as well?


No, I don't want to do it aurally. I cannot, aurally, get anywhere near as accurate a result in an hour as I can with the machine when the piano has variations of pitch across its compass. The electronic corrections of .8 or .4 cents add up when the whole job is listened to, and those four octaves are played together.

The question was aimed at the one pass job. Given enough time to refine a refinement, a technique for improving the accuracy of the one pass is of little utility. HOwever, time is money, and I don't have to double tune every piano I encounter if I have a trustworthy way to compensate.
Regards,

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 30,728
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 30,728
I tune every note of the piano when I tune. Error correction is automatic, because I am checking how well the note is in tune with other notes on the piano. If something is wrong, I have to go back and correct it.


Semipro Tech
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,864
B
Bob Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,864
I just compensate as I go....after so many years, it's automatic. More than 4 cents warrents two passes, the first with an ETD, The second by ear. When up north with large seasonal changes, I did a blind pitch adjustment to even things out.

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 6,246
E
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 6,246
Ed,
The trick in getting to what you want with an ETD is judging just what the "average" A440 is across the compass. I am sure you are not worried if A440 ends up .75 cents sharp or flat as long as the average tolerances from well centered inharmonicity corrected ET are as fine as you require. I would take my A440 cue from the wound strings. Hope this helps.


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: toneman1@me.com
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
O
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
9000 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
I think it is just "the ear" and experience that help there.

Also having a little knowledge of the direction of the settling from bridge/soundboard.

For instance Too high top basses will raise the bottom of the long bridge somehow, not on a so large range but still.

treble break is less stable than the rest, etc...

We know by the beat speed how the piano have moved.

ET are cool there, but a certain number of cts tells me nothing about beats, in the end.

Last edited by Olek; 06/24/14 06:38 AM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
M
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
As I tune away from the temperament, I use larger and larger intervals, so there is no accumulation of error; I am tuning from notes within the temperament.

I've posted this before, but here it is again. I call it the P4 window.

Starting at F6:
Db4F4<Db4F5<Db4F6<Db4Bb4 (Tempered 12ths)
and
F3Db4 = Db4F6 (Pure triple octave)

So, from F6 to F7, the source of tuning notes is F3 to F4; no accumulated error.

The added benefit of this technique is that if the inside octave drifts (F5), you can easily tell because it doesn't fit into F4Bb4, the P4 window. Then I just correct it. Sometimes, Bb4 drifts down so the P4 window collapses. This is easy to tell and Bb4 just needs to be tweaked up so it fits into Gb3Bb3<Gb3Bb4<Gb3Eb4, another P4 window.

The actual notes I meantion are transposed depending on which notes you are tuning.

Hope that's clear and helps.

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 6,408
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 6,408
Ed, you did not ask a sincere question. You stated an accusation disguised as a question.

I will not respond to such a low tactic.


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,355
E
2000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
2000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,355
Originally Posted by UnrightTooner
Ed, you did not ask a sincere question. You stated an accusation disguised as a question.
I will not respond to such a low tactic.


Yes, I see, Good for you, though it looks like you just did.

However, this really looks like a question to me:

" I have a question for the strictly aural tuners left amongst us. How do you accommodate a piano that is generally at pitch, but has sections that are 3-4 cents sharp or flat, like the octave above the bass break, extreme ends, etc. If tuning from previously tuned notes, how is the cumulative error, which is enough to discernibly alter octaves, controlled? Can it be done in one pass?"

If I was forced to guess, I would opine that you have no way to accommodate the aforementioned irregularity and resent anyone pointing out that you cannot accurately tune, by ear, a piano that has off pitch sections in one pass as well a a machine can. I can't, and I don't believe that you can, either.
Regards,

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 6,408
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 6,408
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by UnrightTooner
Ed, you did not ask a sincere question. You stated an accusation disguised as a question.
I will not respond to such a low tactic.


Yes, I see, Good for you, though it looks like you just did.

However, this really looks like a question to me:

" I have a question for the strictly aural tuners left amongst us. How do you accommodate a piano that is generally at pitch, but has sections that are 3-4 cents sharp or flat, like the octave above the bass break, extreme ends, etc. If tuning from previously tuned notes, how is the cumulative error, which is enough to discernibly alter octaves, controlled? Can it be done in one pass?"

If I was forced to guess, I would opine that you have no way to accommodate the aforementioned irregularity and resent anyone pointing out that you cannot accurately tune, by ear, a piano that has off pitch sections in one pass as well a a machine can. I can't, and I don't believe that you can, either.
Regards,


Yours is a "straw man" argument. I have not said anything about the subject.

Tell me, did you know that your baby sitter uses illegal drugs?


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 203
G
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
G
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 203
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by UnrightTooner
Ed, you did not ask a sincere question. You stated an accusation disguised as a question.
I will not respond to such a low tactic.


Yes, I see, Good for you, though it looks like you just did.

However, this really looks like a question to me:

" I have a question for the strictly aural tuners left amongst us. How do you accommodate a piano that is generally at pitch, but has sections that are 3-4 cents sharp or flat, like the octave above the bass break, extreme ends, etc. If tuning from previously tuned notes, how is the cumulative error, which is enough to discernibly alter octaves, controlled? Can it be done in one pass?"

If I was forced to guess, I would opine that you have no way to accommodate the aforementioned irregularity and resent anyone pointing out that you cannot accurately tune, by ear, a piano that has off pitch sections in one pass as well a a machine can. I can't, and I don't believe that you can, either.
Regards,


Ed, I don't disagree with your assertion regarding the one pass tuning for pianos which are only off by a few cents. Last February I purchased an ETD program, after 38 years of strictly aural tuning, in order to find out for my myself "what the fuss is all about". For pianos which are less than about ten cents off the machine can do it better than i can aurally in one pass - although my usual practice is two passes aurally. However, I do think the effectiveness of the "one pass pitch raise and fine tuning" is somewhat exaggerated. Let me be specific. The manual for my ETD program claims that one pass with overpull is sufficient for a piano as much as 15-20 cents off. My own experience has been that for this much of a pitch raise the one pass ETD tuning yields results which are passable, but not particularly good. (The average piano owner would probably not complain but...)

In short, if tuning with an ETD I would limit the "one pass tuning" to pianos which are no more than five cents off at most. Beyond that point two passes are necessary.


Gerry Johnston
Haverhill, MA
(978) 372-2250
www.gjpianotuner.com

Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Is a CPT necessary?
by Petoskeyguy - 08/13/22 11:07 AM
Yamaha clp 785 horrible chorus effect
by Chrisgilx - 08/13/22 10:51 AM
How are you learning?
by bennevis - 08/13/22 09:41 AM
Here am and a little help
by Mayopapayo - 08/13/22 07:14 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics214,377
Posts3,215,997
Members106,078
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

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
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 | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5