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#647914 - 01/01/09 03:13 PM tuning for history

Anyone here have much experience tuning for recording sessions, radio, TV, etc, etc? There must be some good stories worth sharing.

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#647915 - 01/22/09 05:04 AM Re: tuning for history
delacey-simms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/14/08
Posts: 114
Loc: Kirkbymoorside N.Yorks UK
The stories are all dreadful!
piano tuner, technician and enthusiast.
All my comments are posted with the utmost respect to the other technicians

#647916 - 01/22/09 11:37 AM Re: tuning for history
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1456
Loc: Tennessee
"Anyone here have much experience tuning for recording sessions, radio, TV, etc, etc? There must be some good stories worth sharing."

I spent 20 years in the recording studios here in Nashville. When I first arrived, they had been tuned for years by an older sightless tuner who did nothing but tune.
The first action I pulled out had almost a dozen guitar picks, several pills, and a couple of roaches, (non-animal type).
As I went through more and more studio pianos, I kept seeing more of the same. I got a big jar of picks still.
As the '80's progressed, the use of cocaine got bigger and bigger, and there were a number of sessions that deteriorated into shouting matches. The incredible cost of recording finally started to weed out the players that couldn't keep it together, so that is sorta past, now.

I know for a fact that guitar players cannot tune when they are high. There were a number of times that I was called to come tune the piano during a session because the bass guitar and the rhythm guitars couldn't get in tune with each other and the pianos. They just assumed the piano was at fault. It never was, they were just too whacked to know what was out.
It is a rare guitar player that can properly tune a 6-string, that B string seems to mystify them,( since it forms a M3 with the G and a 4th with the E, and the compromise just kills them)
There's other stories, but I still have to work in this town...

#647917 - 01/22/09 11:50 AM Re: tuning for history
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645

Funny you should mention the B string...

I play a little guitar and have found, as a piano tuner, the b string can be a real conundrum, particularly on a guitar with poor intonation. It's got to be a balance between a G chord sounding great and an E chord sounding great. Compromise is required.

I'm sure you have a ton of stories that would be worthy of a book--once you retire!
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA

#647918 - 01/22/09 12:04 PM Re: tuning for history
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22975
Loc: Oakland
I tuned for a movie scene shot at the night club where I work. I got a call at my bocce league asking if I could get there at 5:00 AM the next morning. I said I would get there as soon as I could, which I think was about 6. I left without breakfast, since I knew there would be time for it before my next appointment. So I worked while Francis Ford Coppola had his breakfast.

I have never seen the movie. I heard it was awful.

I have also tuned for a number of performances that turned out to be the last local performance of that artist. I also tuned for the first performance by jazz artists from the Soviet Union in the US. Recently I tuned for a performance by two young artists who were born in the Soviet Union, which reminded me of that. It was in the same building, but a different room. One of the young artists was not born when the first performance occurred, and the other would have been just a couple of years old at most.
Semipro Tech

#647919 - 01/22/09 06:02 PM Re: tuning for history
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1456
Loc: Tennessee
There was also the time that an internationally known rock star left her panties in the drum booth.

And I remember 20 years ago, tuning in Waylon's studio at 4:00 a.m. when one of the biggest country stars of the "vintage" era walked in with a bottle of Jack Daniel's and a baggie full of cocaine with a McDonald's straw stuck in it. He is still alive,but I don't know how.

Things were pretty sideways around Nashville 20 years ago.

#647920 - 01/23/09 02:23 AM Re: tuning for history
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1116
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
Met Willie did you?
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician

#1191742 - 05/02/09 11:38 AM Re: tuning for history [Re: Dale Fox]
JMichaelWilson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/09
Posts: 113
Loc: Tennessee, USA
That's so funny, Dale! I know-It must have been the ponytail that gave it away
Tuner/Technician, Associate Member PTG, Certified Installer Piano Life Saver Systems


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