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#1316576 - 12/02/09 08:52 AM Positioning your hand when tuning grand pianos
Cashley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/16/09
Posts: 530
Do you tune grand with your fingers facing up (similar to tuning upright) or down (just like a tennis backhand) ?

Arthur Reblitz's book seems to suggest the latter, but don't you think it's more difficult to control the hammer with the same way you grip a motorcycle's throttle ?

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#1316585 - 12/02/09 09:11 AM Re: Positioning your hand when tuning grand pianos [Re: Cashley]
RonTuner Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1617
Loc: Chicagoland
Or - if you have a ball-end or rounded end lever, you can place your hand over the end in a more neutral position...

My primary lever is a first gen. Fujan that allows my big hands many different positions, depending on angle, clearance and area of the piano. So I guess my answer is don't get stuck using any one position - switch it up; your body will appreciate the variety.

Ron Koval
chicagoland
_________________________
Piano/instrument technician
www.ronkoval.com
@ronkoval

my piano videos:
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#1316588 - 12/02/09 09:12 AM Re: Positioning your hand when tuning grand pianos [Re: Cashley]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
It all comes down to what YOU think is comfortable and gives you good, repeatable results. Just try as many as you can, play around with different hand positions.
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#1316592 - 12/02/09 09:17 AM Re: Positioning your hand when tuning grand pianos [Re: RonTuner]
Cashley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/16/09
Posts: 530
Since you mentioned Fujan, I'm thinking of getting one that will fit both upright and grand. Would a 13-inch lever, 15-degree assembly head coupled with a Watanabe #2 tip WITHOUT any extension tip, be sufficient ?


Edited by Cashley (12/02/09 09:20 AM)

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#1316613 - 12/02/09 09:44 AM Re: Positioning your hand when tuning grand pianos [Re: Cashley]
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Cashley. I have that basic Fujan setup, but I think the lever is shorter. I bought the short tube. It works well on most pianos, especially on grands. Ideally, I would get a second hammer for verticals. It would have an extension tip at less of an angle. And it would be longer. But what you are considering sounds like a good all around compromise.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#1316624 - 12/02/09 09:58 AM Re: Positioning your hand when tuning grand pianos [Re: RoyP]
Cashley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/16/09
Posts: 530
So you could actually clear the plate of most grand pianos without the need for an extension tip ??

And would a 15-degree assembly head too far off for upright tuning ?

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#1316649 - 12/02/09 10:43 AM Re: Positioning your hand when tuning grand pianos [Re: Cashley]
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2333
Loc: Lowell MA
Generally I work with a somewhat shorter tip at 5 degrees. I like the feel of it.

Certain older Mason and Hamlin A's will require a longer tip.

Occasionally in older uprights, the rear portion of the lid overhangs the pin block area just enough that a longer tip is helpful.

From time to time, and I wish I could remember the name of the grand, but the tuning pins in one section are so close to the plate strut that I carry a tip I ground the walls down.

Every now and then I am either unscrewing the Left music desk slide or working with a shorter tip so I can tune note #1 on some grands.

My tuning hammer is a Dan Levitan 1st generation made by Dan, so I must carry a spare hammer that will allow me to change tips.(stays in the car until I need it)

My setup works on 99.9999% of the pianos I encounter.

A tip at 15 degrees and average length will work on 99.999 percent of the piano it encounters.
Just the changes the moment you may have to adapt.

Just to be sure, I would recommend an alternative solution(keep it in the car if you like) for those "Unusual" situations so you don't have to reschedule an appointment you are already at.
_________________________
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E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
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#1316655 - 12/02/09 10:54 AM Re: Positioning your hand when tuning grand pianos [Re: Larry Buck]
Cashley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/16/09
Posts: 530
Hm....pointed noted, thanks.

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#1316932 - 12/02/09 05:47 PM Re: Positioning your hand when tuning grand pianos [Re: Cashley]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7080
Loc: France
no bushing : handle toward the strings

bushings normal : 13:30- 14:00 from the strings ; poor rendering, hard pins : the handle at 45° (15:00) and then I have more flex and it helps (I was looking for a good reason to have some flex !!)
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1317168 - 12/03/09 12:15 AM Re: Positioning your hand when tuning grand pianos [Re: Olek]
Cashley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/16/09
Posts: 530
What do you mean by the term 'bushing' ?

I'm more concerned about the manner in which you grip the lever. You did it the motorbike throttle way ?

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#1317232 - 12/03/09 03:48 AM Re: Positioning your hand when tuning grand pianos [Re: Cashley]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7080
Loc: France
Hello, bushing at the base of the tuning pin (sorry my English is not rich !)

yes motorcycle if I need force, but I finish with 3 fingers, very lightly, and I feel something thru the handle in my fingers (grand pianos).

Handling in the palm is way less sensitive as there is contraction of the wrist.

I believe I can feel the string (and pin) is settled with the tone and the vibrations in the handle, I see it like a stethoscope for pianos !
Look at some reputed concert tuners , there are some links on Utube or similar, I'll try to send them if I put a hand on them. we use so small moves (up down) in the end, up to 3-4 mm at the end of the handle, the palm is of no use then.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1317246 - 12/03/09 04:37 AM Re: Positioning your hand when tuning grand pianos [Re: Cashley]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7080
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Cashley
Do you tune grand with your fingers facing up (similar to tuning upright) or down (just like a tennis backhand) ?

Arthur Reblitz's book seems to suggest the latter, but don't you think it's more difficult to control the hammer with the same way you grip a motorcycle's throttle ?


I dont tune uprights with the palm facing me, not enough feedback (3 fingers, at the the handle extremity , itself more or less in the palm, when the pins are not too tight) I guess you have not yet a precise idea of the level of move intended in final tuning, to Pitch raise you can do as you feel better, but after that you need the best feedback.

A. Reblitz only give (somewhat old) information at large, this is not really a "hands on" method despite the presentation. Try to find the K.J Forss (4 books, 2 are now in English) which is a real course for apprentices, with training, lessons, etc.



Edited by Kamin (12/03/09 04:39 AM)
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1317385 - 12/03/09 09:29 AM Re: Positioning your hand when tuning grand pianos [Re: Les Koltvedt]
David Jenson Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2024
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Monster M&H
It all comes down to what YOU think is comfortable and gives you good, repeatable results. Just try as many as you can, play around with different hand positions.


Exactly! You are going for results, not form.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#1317729 - 12/03/09 04:27 PM Re: Positioning your hand when tuning grand pianos [Re: David Jenson]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7080
Loc: France
Indeed, good to try this or that, but strangely (or not) when one see the most reputable concert tuners, or the finishing techs in the best factories, they all have something in common, which is the way they hold their tuning lever.

It all comes to the final need from the tuning pin and the string, that lend to a "natural" posture with the lever.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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