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#1721185 - 07/26/11 11:16 AM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Loren D]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4789
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Yes, please. Back on topic.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1721695 - 07/27/11 09:55 AM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Loren D]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3037
Loc: Madison, WI USA
According to George Defebaugh and Jim Coleman Sr. to this day, (also supported by Owen Jorgensen and Dean Reyburn and the makers of any kind of impact style tuning hammer), an impact type technique is the most mechanically correct manipulation of a piano string because:


  • A sudden movement is more prone to cause the whole pin and all segments of the string to move at once.
  • This minimizes the need for further adjustment once the desired pitch is attained.
  • An impact movement is therefore more mechanically correct because it achieves the goal not only more efficiently but avoids distortion of the tuning pin, (twisting and bending) and excessive tension in the first segment of the string which could cause string breakage. Since all segments of the string are more likely to be moved equally, the need for test blows and further "setting" of the pin are minimized.


On the other hand (now my conclusion from the above and based on experience observing technicians who use a slow pull technique, especially with very tight tuning pins):


  • A slow pull will tend to bend and twist the tuning pin, causing instability if these effects are not corrected.
  • Excess tension in the first segment of the string may be created and may result in string breakage whereas an impact movement may avoid that condition.
  • A slow pull may cause uneven tension in various segments of the string, thereby necessitating the use of multiple test blows to counter that effect.
  • Further efforts at undoing the twist and bend in the pin are necessary, requiring multiple adjustments for each string before it is settled.
  • Especially in the case of very tight tuning pins, a gentle impact can move the pin in small increments very easily and with very little muscle stress while a slow movement may cause the pin to move uncontrollably.
  • Slow pulling and pushing of each and ever pin with multiple needed corrections not only takes far more time than one or two quick movements, it puts constant stress on the muscles and tendons used in this effort. This causes fatigue and may cause other conditions such as tendinitis. It also limits the number of tunings which may be performed in a day.


Having said the above, there is a time and place for a slow pull technique and I occasionally (but not usually) use that technique when it is appropriate. That is in the case of marginally loose tuning pins which respond better to a slow manipulation of the pin.

It is a myth to say that one does not "feel" the pin move with an impact type technique. At the very first movement of a pin in any piano, one gains immediately a sense of how tight the pins are and how much force of impact is required to move the pin. The pin is definitely felt to either move or not with each impact. With experience, this sensation can be felt in fractions of a second and may appear to an observer as not being part of what the technician doing actually experiences. After a few pins at most, it is often possible to tune the remaining pins with one to a few quick strokes and move on.

(Apparently, Loren, the original poster noticed this as soon as he tried it).

This is why it is possible for many skilled technicians to tune an entire piano sometimes in as little as 30-45 minutes and generally within an hour or less. It is clear to me that a slow pull technique requires far more time. It is also clear to me why technicians who only use that kind of technique find it incredulous how some technicians claim to tune a piano in so little time.

Other factors include how much time it takes to move mutes and how much time it takes to move the hammer from one pin to the next.

The choice is still up to the individual. Some technicians simply do not feel comfortable with an impact technique or are unable to learn to use one, perhaps because of so many years of practicing a slow pull technique, an impact style seems awkward or unnatural. As long as one is able to do a correct and stable tuning, there is no reason for criticism. However, if a person has been struggling for years with less than satisfactory results, a change of strategy may be the solution to the problem.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1721740 - 07/27/11 11:34 AM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Rockin'88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 70
Another bookmark.
Thank you, Bill

Robert
_________________________
PTG Associate Member

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#1721838 - 07/27/11 02:54 PM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Loren D]
Mark Davis Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 599
Loc: South Africa
Bill, what hammer technique do you use for 30-60 cent pitch adjustments?
_________________________
Mark Davis
PianoForte Technologies
Piano Tuner & Technician
www.facebook.com/MarkDavispianotuner

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#1722086 - 07/27/11 09:32 PM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Mark Davis]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3037
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: Mark Davis
Bill, what hammer technique do you use for 30-60 cent pitch adjustments?


Thanks for the question, Mark. In particular, I would use an impact technique. Always, bump the pin just a little counterclockwise first, then with gentle taps, raise the pitch up to and just a bit beyond the target (on such large pitch raises), then nudge it down to pitch.

Quote:
I have maybe had 1-2% of the strings snap and even then that maybe due to certain other reasons, not the slow pull method.


If you really had 2% of the strings break, that would be about 4-5 per piano! So, I am assuming you meant very few and infrequently. An older piano usually won't have very tight tuning pins but it may have weaker strings and they may have a strong set at the first termination point. There may be corrosion that creates excess friction. Some people recommend a lubricant but I rarely if ever use one. It could just muck things up or may get on the winding of the Bass strings.

That is the twofold reason for doing a counterclockwise movement first: ease the set and break the resistance of any corrosion.

Using a slow pull to raise the pitch won't necessarily cause a string to break and an impact movement won't necessarily prevent it but I still firmly believe that an impact movement minimizes that risk. You will most likely find it to be less stressful as well.

A slow pull involves considerable stress on many of the muscles and tendons of the arm and shoulder. An impact technique only utilizes enough muscle to lift your arm with no resistance. You won't want to use the tender center of the palm to strike the tuning hammer (a hammer with a ball end is best) but rather the tougher heal of the hand.

I have suffered both tendinitis and a complete tear of the right rotator cuff in the past (due to an accidental fall). The tendinitis (yes that is apparently the right way to spell that word) was due to too much repetitive gripping of a standard lever handle. See for yourself as you tightly grip such a handle and watch the muscles in your forearm rise in stress. An impact motion causes virtually none of that kind of stress.

Whenever you do feel fatigue or pain in your arm coming on, stop for a few moments, shake your arm out, stretch and massage any area that feels tight or painful. Especially don't ignore pain or take pain relievers for it. Relax, stretch and massage instead.

A pain reliever may ease the pain but you will do more damage if you keep doing what caused the pain while the medication only masks it. I know this from experience! Tendinitis can be very painful and take a very long time to get rid of if you have a bad case of it. Self employed people can't just take six weeks off or be re-assigned to a desk job.

I rarely break a string but when I do, it is most often when I have to make a large pitch correction and I neglect to do the counterclockwise movement first. When raising the pitch a large amount, do it with gentle taps rather than one huge slam. I believe if you try that and get comfortable with the impact technique, you will cut down on string breakage to the point where it is a rare incident.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1722120 - 07/27/11 10:50 PM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Loren D]
Steve W Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/07
Posts: 249
Loc: Omaha, NE
I have a question about the "tapping" technique vs "jerking" the hammer. I think I understand the jerk movement, but wondering how one actually does the tapping movement of the hammer.

1. What part of the hand do you use to tap the handle of the hammer? Fingers held flat, sort of "slapping" the handle? Edge of the fist? Other?

2. Can you do the tapping technique with a typical hammer (I have a Dan Levitan) - in other words, a hammer that doesn't have a ball end?

(I have thought about finding a wooden ball, drilling out the middle, and fitting it over the handle of my Levitan hammer to simulate the Mother Goose hammer.)
_________________________
Steve W
Omaha, NE

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#1722133 - 07/27/11 11:37 PM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1542
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos
Originally Posted By: pppat
...constructive discussion.
If such a thing did exist here, there would be a lot more experienced techs on this board.

Quite frankly, I wouldn’t waste any of my valuable time.
Understandable, but regrettable: I learned a lot from your posts. I can't imagine I'm the only one.

Kees

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#1722182 - 07/28/11 01:40 AM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Loren D]
Mark Davis Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 599
Loc: South Africa
Thank you Bill. Yes, I did mean that I have had very few strings break since I began tuning. I suppose, off the top of my head, I can think of only a hanful of broken strings over the last nine years. I think that my years repinning and restringing pianos prior to me learning to tune helped me to have a sense of when a string was at a point that it was being overstrained/overstressed.

I need to get into the habit of the counter clockwise movement.

I will be employing the impact method more in tuning.

Thank you, Regards,
_________________________
Mark Davis
PianoForte Technologies
Piano Tuner & Technician
www.facebook.com/MarkDavispianotuner

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#1722247 - 07/28/11 06:59 AM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Steve W]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2545
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Steve W
I have a question about the "tapping" technique vs "jerking" the hammer. I think I understand the jerk movement, but wondering how one actually does the tapping movement of the hammer.

1. What part of the hand do you use to tap the handle of the hammer? Fingers held flat, sort of "slapping" the handle? Edge of the fist? Other?

2. Can you do the tapping technique with a typical hammer (I have a Dan Levitan) - in other words, a hammer that doesn't have a ball end?

(I have thought about finding a wooden ball, drilling out the middle, and fitting it over the handle of my Levitan hammer to simulate the Mother Goose hammer.)


1. I use the soft palm of my hand. Hasn't been an issue, and I don't recollect any need to get used to it.

2. When I first tried it and started using it, I used a traditional Schaff rosewood lever with no problem. The only thing is, now and then the handle would be close to a plate strut, so there was no room to tap it.

Hope that helps!
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1722275 - 07/28/11 08:19 AM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Mark Davis]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3037
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: Mark Davis
Thank you Bill.

I need to get into the habit of the counter clockwise movement.

Thank you, Regards,


As mentioned in another post, part of the total time it takes to tune is the transfer of the hammer from one pin to the next. I have seen a you tube video of a beginner taking considerable time to locate the next pin, for example. One thing I learned from a great piano technician, Steve Fairchild (who has the Guiness World Record as being the very quickest tuner) is to keep or put your eye on the next tuning pin.

I use a #3 tip which fits loosely on the pin but goes down deep. This gives me the option of using either the "jerk" style or the impact technique as I see fit (also permits a slow pull). Therefore, the socket slides easily and quickly onto the tuning pin. Other technician's tuning hammers (some of my students) don't slide on so easily, therefore taking up time between each transfer.

The counterclockwise movement does not need to take much, if any time at all. I often thing of the tuning hammer placement as "throwing" the tuning hammer on the pin. As I "throw" it on, the mere momentum of the hammer causes the pin to move suddenly and slightly counterclockwise, so that action is accomplished instantaneously and the pitch raise begins in yet another instant as my hand falls upon the ball end of the tuning hammer.

For moderate pitch changes, this often means that I can tune a string to rough pitch (during the pitch correction phase of the tuning) in about 1 second if I succeed in tuning the string with a single stroke. The transfer to the next tuning pin is often accomplished in another split second movement. This does not mean I appear nervously rushed. Many who have observed me say that I appear totally relaxed but amazingly quick in my movements.

I don't mean the above to be bragging or boasting. I have spent well over 30 years tuning full time, so this quickness and a feel for it have come with decades of practice tuning at least four pianos a day with a minimum of two passes on each piano. So, don't try to exceed your own ability at first. Try to implement the techniques and the speed will come as your hand and arm movements become natural for you.

One thing that I will say is that when I do need to work as quickly as possible, I put my concentration on what I am doing in "high gear". Many of my customers have commented on how focused I seem to be. That ability to focus and keep the momentum of the process flowing is also an acquired skill.

When I was just beginning as a full time tuner, one of my local colleagues noted how slow I was (back in the late 70's when I was using a slow pull technique and often taking several attempts to get a string on pitch). He said, "There is rhythm in music; there should be a rhythm in piano tuning too". There was much wisdom in that statement. If a string can be brought to pitch and be stabilized with one or two strokes, it tends to hold that precise pitch much better than with many repeated maneuvers. Other technicians on here like Jerry Groot have also made the same comment.

I would also add that during this season in North America when many pianos are high in pitch, I can often "throw" the tuning hammer on the pin and lower the string to pitch in a single movement. That is, the mere quick placement of the tuning hammer upon the pin tunes the string with no other action required. When that happens, it really can take only about one second from string to string. It won't happen with every string, of course but the more times that it works, the less time it takes to tune the entire piano. It is also a very low stress operation.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1722284 - 07/28/11 08:36 AM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Steve W]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3037
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: Steve W
I have a question about the "tapping" technique vs "jerking" the hammer. I think I understand the jerk movement, but wondering how one actually does the tapping movement of the hammer.

1. What part of the hand do you use to tap the handle of the hammer? Fingers held flat, sort of "slapping" the handle? Edge of the fist? Other?

2. Can you do the tapping technique with a typical hammer (I have a Dan Levitan) - in other words, a hammer that doesn't have a ball end?

(I have thought about finding a wooden ball, drilling out the middle, and fitting it over the handle of my Levitan hammer to simulate the Mother Goose hammer.)


Thanks Loren for chiming in on this.

I first got the impact style from the lecture by George Defebaugh and Jim Coleman, Sr. at the 1979 PTG convention in Minneapolis which was a life changing event for me. George proudly announced at one point, "I am a jerk tuner. He got a nice laugh from the audience. I have talked a lot about an impact technique but I consider the "jerk" style to be just that.

There is a certain amount of play in the tuning hammer socket, so I use that play to its own advantage. Some people have even asked me if I had an impact type tuning hammer because of the way they have seen me use it. I have answered, "No, it is a standard tuning hammer but I use it sometimes as if it were an impact hammer."

I remember seeing Jim Coleman, Sr. who had a standard tuning hammer with a regular handle. I have never seen a ball end tuning hammer for about another 20 years. What I remember is that (tuning a vertical piano), Jim had the hammer at about 2 o'clock and he appeared to me to use what looked like a "Karate Chop" on it.

That would mean that he struck the hammer with the heel of his hand. You can also use your palm and literally "slap" the string into tune. If this causes you any discomfort, however (such as with very tight tuning pins), move to a less sensitive part of your hand which can take the impacts with no discomfort.

I have seen many technicians at the last convention with a Dan Levitan hammer. Dan is a superb technician and his design for a hammer has been thoroughly researched. However, I have not tried it. I would not argue with his design concept or his reasoning. However, I could see just by looking at it that I could not use it as efficiently as I use my own.

There have been people who have made ball ends to fit over a standard tuning hammer lever. I have even seen them in a supply house catalog. I have seen people hollow out a tennis ball (but that would be soft) or a baseball (harder). But I don't think you would need to do either to use the "Karate Chop" or "slap" technique as mentioned above.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1722317 - 07/28/11 09:58 AM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4789
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
According to George Defebaugh and Jim Coleman Sr. to this day, (also supported by Owen Jorgensen and Dean Reyburn and the makers of any kind of impact style tuning hammer), an impact type technique is the most mechanically correct manipulation of a piano string because:


  • A sudden movement is more prone to cause the whole pin and all segments of the string to move at once.
  • This minimizes the need for further adjustment once the desired pitch is attained.
  • An impact movement is therefore more mechanically correct because it achieves the goal not only more efficiently but avoids distortion of the tuning pin, (twisting and bending) and excessive tension in the first segment of the string which could cause string breakage. Since all segments of the string are more likely to be moved equally, the need for test blows and further "setting" of the pin are minimized.


On the other hand (now my conclusion from the above and based on experience observing technicians who use a slow pull technique, especially with very tight tuning pins):


  • A slow pull will tend to bend and twist the tuning pin, causing instability if these effects are not corrected.
  • Excess tension in the first segment of the string may be created and may result in string breakage whereas an impact movement may avoid that condition.
  • A slow pull may cause uneven tension in various segments of the string, thereby necessitating the use of multiple test blows to counter that effect.
  • Further efforts at undoing the twist and bend in the pin are necessary, requiring multiple adjustments for each string before it is settled.
  • Especially in the case of very tight tuning pins, a gentle impact can move the pin in small increments very easily and with very little muscle stress while a slow movement may cause the pin to move uncontrollably.
  • Slow pulling and pushing of each and ever pin with multiple needed corrections not only takes far more time than one or two quick movements, it puts constant stress on the muscles and tendons used in this effort. This causes fatigue and may cause other conditions such as tendinitis. It also limits the number of tunings which may be performed in a day.


.....


Thank you for posting this, Bill.

Like you I use both methods, although I use a jerking rather than a tapping technique for impact tuning. Of course I use the impact as a last resort for tight pins while you use a smooth pull as a last resort for looser pins.

There is something crucial that is not mentioned in the comparisons of the methods. The comparisons do not mention accuracy. That is why I prefer a smooth pull. I can leave the foot of the pin exactly where I want it. I am not limited to the smallest amount that the pin can be moved with an impact. Yes, there can be problems with pin twisting and ergonomics. But there are ways to lessen those problems. As far as string breakage, bumping the pitch down a hair first is the best answer. But if it comes to exchanging accuracy for speed, that is not my style at all. And that is what has happened when I have favored an impact style.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1722322 - 07/28/11 10:15 AM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Loren D]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1867
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Bill and Loren,

I've used a pulling technique up to now (which is not a long time, as you know), with my lever typically at 1 or 2 o'clock, the right hand grabbing the lever from behind the lever - i.e. when I open my fingers' grip on the lever, my palm is behind the lever, and facing me.

When you speak of the "Karate Chop" with the lever at about 2 o'clock, should I visualize this as my hand being in front of the lever, palm facing away from me?
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1722333 - 07/28/11 10:54 AM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Loren D]
Steve W Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/07
Posts: 249
Loc: Omaha, NE
Loren, Bill,
Thanks for the replies - very helpful.

I will have to give this a try. I am still trying to visualize using the "tapping" method on a grand. Seems like one would almost need to use the heel of the hand when turning CCW, and also seems to me that without a ball end that it would be difficult to turn CW on a grand if the hammer is at around 2:00 or so - but then I haven't really tried it.

When a think of more of a "jerk" motion, seems to me that one is still gripping the handle of the hammer in a conventional way, but when "tapping" you don't really grip the handle.

Am I thinking about this correctly?
_________________________
Steve W
Omaha, NE

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#1722662 - 07/28/11 09:35 PM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: UnrightTooner]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3037
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner


Thank you for posting this, Bill.

(snip)

Like you I use both methods, although I use a jerking rather than a tapping technique for impact tuning. Of course I use the impact as a last resort for tight pins while you use a smooth pull as a last resort for looser pins.

There is something crucial that is not mentioned in the comparisons of the methods. The comparisons do not mention accuracy. That is why I prefer a smooth pull. (snip) But if it comes to exchanging accuracy for speed, that is not my style at all. And that is what has happened when I have favored an impact style.


Jeff,

I thank you for realizing that there is some common ground between us. As far as accuracy goes, I can assure you that the utmost in accuracy can be achieved with an impact method, otherwise, one who uses an impact tuning hammer could only use it for rough tuning. Those who use such a hammer do not trade off for fine tuning.

Likewise, I continue to use an impact style for the finest adjustments. It may seem incredulous to you or anyone else who is most familiar with a slow pull (or push) technique but I can assure you that the very finest adjustments can be made this way.

I know this because it is my way of life and the way I earn my living every day and have now, full time for over 30 years.

I drove 50 miles northeast this morning to tune a Wurlitzer spinet that had not been tuned in several years. It was mostly sharp, not flat. It also had regulation and hammer alignment issues, both of which were addressed and I was still done in about an hour.

Then I drove to 30 north of town to tune a Mason & Hamlin model A, very well maintained by me for many years. I tuned, changed the humidifier wicks and cleaned it in 45 minutes.

Then I drove to 35 miles west of town to a Yamaha C3. Tuned it, cleaned it, aligned hammers, adjusted capstans and fixed a squeaking pedal in 90 minutes. Then I drove 35 miles back to town to a Steinway model M near the campus stadium. It was tuned in 30 minutes but I also cleaned it in less than one minute and changed the wicks in another few minutes.

I sat and talked to the lady for a few minutes because she seemed to want that. Still, I was in my car at 4:30 PM.

I still had to go to the piano store to turn in invoices and collect for the work I had done for them. Checked on an old upright that my student who passed the tuning exam at the convention and I had worked on and found it to be quite deliverable, had a 10 minute conversation with the moving man about his progress, went to the post office to mail a template for a Touch Rail system which I will install soon, to the bank, to the gas station and to the grocery store and was home at 6 PM after leaving at 8 AM.

That is simply the reality of a full time piano technician who earns his entire living tuning and servicing pianos. I earned the most money from the Wurlitzer spinet. I simply don't have time and have not for three decades to slow pull much of anything into tune. I have to do all my work with the utmost of efficiency. I spent more time driving and with other activities than I did tuning but any of my tunings that I did today are of the utmost professional quality. They have to be or I am not the one they call.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1722663 - 07/28/11 09:36 PM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Mark R.]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3037
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: Mark R.
Bill and Loren,

When you speak of the "Karate Chop" with the lever at about 2 o'clock, should I visualize this as my hand being in front of the lever, palm facing away from me?


Yes
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1722665 - 07/28/11 09:38 PM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Steve W]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3037
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: Steve W
Loren, Bill,
Thanks for the replies - very helpful.

I will have to give this a try. I am still trying to visualize using the "tapping" method on a grand. Seems like one would almost need to use the heel of the hand when turning CCW, and also seems to me that without a ball end that it would be difficult to turn CW on a grand if the hammer is at around 2:00 or so - but then I haven't really tried it.

When a think of more of a "jerk" motion, seems to me that one is still gripping the handle of the hammer in a conventional way, but when "tapping" you don't really grip the handle.

Am I thinking about this correctly?


2-3 o'clock for a grand. Yes, you are thinking about it correctly.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1722893 - 07/29/11 09:08 AM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: UnrightTooner]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3037
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner

There is something crucial that is not mentioned in the comparisons of the methods. The comparisons do not mention accuracy.


One more thought on this. I often show this to my customers. I say, "What if I wanted to move this piano 1/2 millimeter sideways?" I have them place their hand on the side of the piano. Then I push or pull on the piano from the opposite side. I say, "Can you feel anything?" and the answer is, of course, "No." Then I tap and slap on the piano ans ask, "Can you feel those impacts?" The ans were is always, "Yes".

Then I say, "So, if I wanted to move this massive piano over that very small amount, I could probably do that better using slight bumps than I could is I merely pushed on it. If I pushed on it, it would probably resist until it finally moved, then it would probably move too far and I would have to pull it back again and it may take many such pushing and pulling attempts before I got it right. On the other hand, one gentle bump might do it just right the first time, easily and efficiently."

I would be able to feel that the piano yielded to my impact just as well as if I were pushing on it using many more muscles under a lot of stress.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1722912 - 07/29/11 09:43 AM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4789
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner

There is something crucial that is not mentioned in the comparisons of the methods. The comparisons do not mention accuracy.


One more thought on this. I often show this to my customers. I say, "What if I wanted to move this piano 1/2 millimeter sideways?" I have them place their hand on the side of the piano. Then I push or pull on the piano from the opposite side. I say, "Can you feel anything?" and the answer is, of course, "No." Then I tap and slap on the piano ans ask, "Can you feel those impacts?" The ans were is always, "Yes".

Then I say, "So, if I wanted to move this massive piano over that very small amount, I could probably do that better using slight bumps than I could is I merely pushed on it. If I pushed on it, it would probably resist until it finally moved, then it would probably move too far and I would have to pull it back again and it may take many such pushing and pulling attempts before I got it right. On the other hand, one gentle bump might do it just right the first time, easily and efficiently."

I would be able to feel that the piano yielded to my impact just as well as if I were pushing on it using many more muscles under a lot of stress.


I agree completely with your analogy and is the reason why I use a jerking technique for very tight pins, and even have chosen a very heavy hammer, a “speed” hammer.

But on more normal pianos, and especially after a bump to make sure that you are starting below pitch, you are not trying to move the pin an infinitesimal amount. And the pin moving too far when once started is not a problem. Then it would be more like moving a chair. Just get it moving and slide it until it gets to where you want and stop. I notice as long as you keep torque on the pin and don’t quite stop moving it, you do not need to break that initial friction again and then have it move too far.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1723267 - 07/29/11 08:27 PM Re: Tried Bill Bremmer's hammer technique today [Re: Loren D]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I will Patrick. I'm not going to purchase it just yet, probably closer to the end of August just before I start my September tunings at the college. I'm saving my pennies after going to Florida for 3 weeks, attending the convention, paying my sons way and taking more vacation time this summer too! smile I have to work for a living again! smile

I figure, or hope anyway, that it will help lower pitch easier (?) and better and it may help tune some of these newer...1 year old pianos that can be a bit shall we say, stubborn?... smile Who knows, maybe I can check my pitch raise speed again once if my shoulder holds up better. That's been my biggest problem lately... In fact, that's my main reason for purchasing it. I'm hoping to alleviate the pain in my shoulder and arm from tuning and continual movement in that area. Plus, another tuner friend of mine Loren, who is also on here, HIGHLY recommended it because he already has a Cyber Tuning Hammer.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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