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To you professional piano tuners.

I'd like to learn some piano tuning to keep my personal piano in better tune in between professional tunings. I have no intention of replacing professionals, just not letting my piano get as far out in between. Does Entropy and similar software that helps set a temperament work? Is there any risk of harm to my piano if I'm very slow and gentle? I like to learn some ear tuning techniques too but if this is a way to get my feet wet and help to keep my personal piano, or a neglected family piano, a bit closer in tune I'd like to give it a shot.


Kawai K500 (2021)
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Entropy probably isn't the best choice for what you describe. Sometimes it does great, but the last I heard, there were random times/pianos where it didn't calculate a very nice tuning.

Tunelab is the one a lot of owners start with. I believe there is still an evaluation download available that pauses from time to time until you purchase. PiaTune is another one that has a free download with pauses. PianoMeter is great and has a $25 option that will tune without pauses.

If money isn't really a concern, then Veritune is what I would recommend for the software to come up with the 'best' matched tuning for individual pianos. Honestly, though, there are techs that use all of the major software piano-specific tuning programs with good results.

One thing to consider is if you want to replicate your tech's tuning, or create a tuning with the software. Realize those may end up with different results. Tunelab might be the easiest to "save" your tech's tuning note-by-note - that's how some other owners have started.

Realize that you will probably want to tune unisons (two or three strings together) by ear. That's a good place to start even without a machine: Find an objectionable note. Mute off the left string and play the note - better or the same out-of-tune? If the same, repeat with the right and then the center. What you want to find is a note where 2 of the 3 strings sound in tune with each other. Then adjust the 3rd to come into agreement with the others. If that goes well for you, then proceed. If that doesn't go well and you need to tune each string to a display, look for the most sensitive movement of the display to assist you.

Ron Koval

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Thank-you Ron. Really great info.


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As RonTuner says, best place to start would be tidying up unisons. You'll probably find that a lot of the "out of tuneness" you hear between tunings is down to individual strings dropping very slightly. When you find that intervals/chords are starting to make you wince, that would be the time to get the tuner to visit again!

Do buy yourself a decent tuning lever though; none of the eBay tuning kits, as the tuning tips are very likely to damage the wrest pins. Would be worth asking your tuner to help you buy a good lever; that way they'll know what you're using, and you'll be happy that you're using the proper tool for the job. I've helped a couple of customers buy levers, and was very happy to show them how to use it properly smile


Started work at the Blüthner piano re-building workshop in Perivale, UK, in 1989. Self employed since 2000. Learning something new about pianos every day... smile

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Originally Posted by Adypiano
Do buy yourself a decent tuning lever though; none of the eBay tuning kits, as the tuning tips are very likely to damage the wrest pins. Would be worth asking your tuner to help you buy a good lever; that way they'll know what you're using, and you'll be happy that you're using the proper tool for the job. I've helped a couple of customers buy levers, and was very happy to show them how to use it properly smile

Funny story that. I actually do have a lever already, I bought it back in highschool with the same plan, but got caught up in life and school and ended up not doing much piano in the last almost 20 years. It's a rosewood handle, feels super heavy duty, and was bought from Ebay back in about 2001 or 2002 for just over $100 if I recall. So probably before cheap Chinese stuff was on there. I don't see any markings or anything on it to indicate its manufacturer. I'll show it to my tuner when he comes out and sees if he thinks it's decent. Here it is:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tmCituGjAiZJpt_-P9jUqS1k37c1mDrN/view?usp=sharing


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That looks very nice. A good quality extension lever. Maybe a little heavy to use for a full day of four or five tunings, but I'm sure it will be fine for what you need.

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Originally Posted by Sail26
Originally Posted by Adypiano
Do buy yourself a decent tuning lever though; none of the eBay tuning kits, as the tuning tips are very likely to damage the wrest pins. Would be worth asking your tuner to help you buy a good lever; that way they'll know what you're using, and you'll be happy that you're using the proper tool for the job. I've helped a couple of customers buy levers, and was very happy to show them how to use it properly smile

Funny story that. I actually do have a lever already, I bought it back in highschool with the same plan, but got caught up in life and school and ended up not doing much piano in the last almost 20 years. It's a rosewood handle, feels super heavy duty, and was bought from Ebay back in about 2001 or 2002 for just over $100 if I recall. So probably before cheap Chinese stuff was on there. I don't see any markings or anything on it to indicate its manufacturer. I'll show it to my tuner when he comes out and sees if he thinks it's decent. Here it is:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tmCituGjAiZJpt_-P9jUqS1k37c1mDrN/view?usp=sharing

Very nice lever Sir! Have you considered a career in piano tuning...?! laugh

Definitely a good plan to have your tuner have a look at it, just to make sure the tip fits your wrest pins properly. All the best woth your tuning endeavours!


Started work at the Blüthner piano re-building workshop in Perivale, UK, in 1989. Self employed since 2000. Learning something new about pianos every day... smile

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Originally Posted by Sail26
To you professional piano tuners.

I'd like to learn some piano tuning to keep my personal piano in better tune in between professional tunings. I have no intention of replacing professionals, just not letting my piano get as far out in between. Does Entropy and similar software that helps set a temperament work? Is there any risk of harm to my piano if I'm very slow and gentle? I like to learn some ear tuning techniques too but if this is a way to get my feet wet and help to keep my personal piano, or a neglected family piano, a bit closer in tune I'd like to give it a shot.
Forget Entropy as its development stopped a couple of years ago. I recommend you use PianoMeter but not just for temperament but for single strings of the whole piano. The other choir strings should be tuned aurally to the PianoMeter tuned string. If you are rich then by all means spend £500 on Verituner!
Ian


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