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Monday, September 29, 2014

Get into the Piano Tuning Business!

Vintage ad ca1920

Vintage photo: What's the "tech" doing?

Lester piano. Real or fake?

Every piano tech's nightmare can be avoided.

Newspaper Music Review

“Pianist _______ blew out the room
 -- and some of the lower pitches on the piano, 
unfortunately -- in an awe-inspiring performance 
with the orchestra of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2… “
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Every piano tech's nightmare. It can be avoided.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Yikes - The Piano Tuner is coming!

A number of months ago I posted this and thought it might be helpful to do so again. We are always welcoming members who are new to piano ownership. These are a few considerations to help ensure that you receive a first-rate tuning.

Before Arrival:
  • When scheduling your appointment, remember to mention any mechanical problems such as sticky keys, squeaks, and minor adjustments so that extra time can be scheduled.

  • Make sure that the lawn/snow crew or carpenters are not scheduled at the same time. All Tuners Need Quiet!

  • Clear all objects from the top or lid of the piano. Family Photos - Plants - Candles - Grandma's Ashes - Everything!

  • Make sure that there is adequate lighting. Remember, you will have already removed any piano lamps that either clip on, or are placed on any surface of the piano. This includes the music desk of a grand as it needs to be removed for tuning. Provide a free standing floor lamp if necessary.

  • Dust the piano! Clean the keys!

Upon Arrival:
  • Always treat your tuner with a cordial and mannered disposition. He/She is a professional and should be treated as such.

  • Escort your tuner to the piano, offer a beverage, and make them aware of the closest facilities.

  • Politely excuse yourself and let your tuner do the tuning in private and without interference. Exceptions may be accommodated by your tuner. Ask first - Don't assume.

  • Keep Quiet. This is not the time to do the dishes, run the laundry, blast the TV or stereo, or mow the lawn.

  • Corral the kids. A tuner is not a babysitter or an amusement for your children. The same concept applies to pets.

  • Sometimes sounds we are accustomed to can be distracting to a tuner. The chiming and ticking grandfather clock or a noisy bird can affect the outcome of your tuning.

After Tuning:
  • Check the tuning by playing music you have memorized and are comfortable playing. Extended scales, of various types, serve the same purpose. Now is the time to listen to the tuning, not your performance. If you are not a pianist, it is best to assume that the tuning is fine.

  • If your tuner plays the piano, there is nothing wrong with asking him/her to do a little playing so you can stand back and listen to the tuning. It is not a recital for your enjoyment. It is for you to listen to the accuracy of the tuning.

  • If you notice any problems with unisons or intervals, now is the time to have them corrected. It is your responsibility to evaluate the tuning, at the time of service, to give your approval or ask for corrections.

  • When you are satisfied, pay for the service, and conclude the session.

  • Tip for the service. I always do, but many do not.

  • Provide a snack or cookies. Hey, we're all human!

  • Have a TV-table(s) available for the tuner's tool kit and/or beverages and munchies.

  • Get to know your tuner. There is nothing wrong with being sociable.

For many of us, we know the routine. However, we always have many newcomers in the forum and I offer these as a general guide.

By all means, please add your own comments and additions. These guidelines are just the basics, as I see them, and it would be great to hear your opinions.
Marty in Minnesota in the Piano World Forum

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fazioli F228 7'6" prepped for performance

Fazioli F228 7'6"
Prepped by Bob Widding, piano technician
Tuned aurally in equal temperament

Recorded before a live audience at the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall
University of Arkansas at Little Rock ca.2000

Chopin Polonaise A-flat major

From the CD
Julie Cheek Classical Favorites

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Wladyslaw Szpilman's "Concertino" (Composed in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1940.)

Reolon Gdansk Philharmonic Orchestra Kateryna Thereshchenko - Piano, Publisher Boosey & Hawkes New York