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#1736077 - 08/18/11 07:08 PM Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration?
sfboxrz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 31
Hi,

I am pretty new to the forums and had a question: I have played piano for several years and recently an interest in the mechanics of the piano, tuning and restoration have surfaced. My question, however, is this... how is this learned? Must one apprentice under a technician to learn well this craft or will a correspondence school suffice? Frankly, I am quite skeptical of correspondence schools in teaching a subject well.

I'm 46 years old and work full time in a field unrelated to music. Perhaps I am too old to consider such an undertaking? This is why I am asking here as I value all of your input.

TIA - CwC

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#1736174 - 08/18/11 09:30 PM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: sfboxrz]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3292
This is a real sore subject for me. I showed interest in how pianos function at an early age. When I expressed interest to piano technicians when I was younger, I was often met with belittlement and skepticism.

My big break came when the piano professor I studied with for the first three years of my undergrad became dean of music at another school. After I graduated, I followed him to do a graduate degree, and he exerted his influence with the school's somewhat reluctant piano technician. While there, I learned how to do a heck of a lot, even stuff that my piano tuner doesn't do, and it was a mutually beneficial arrangement for everyone. Unfortunately, grad school is only two years, so I now have to find somewhere else to continue my training. Easier said than done.

Based on my experience, I can't imagine learning how to be a piano technician through a correspondence course, and I certainly can't imagine it being a part-time thing. Sure, you can learn the theory until the cows come home, but until you get your hands dirty with lots of different pianos, that only gets you so far. There is no substitute for a good old fashioned apprenticeship with someone really good. Finding someone is difficult, though. Trade schools are another option, but they generally cost somewhere around $15,000. No Thanks.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1736179 - 08/18/11 09:38 PM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: sfboxrz]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2340
Loc: Olympia, WA
The Randy Potter course provides a good framework for study, but people I've talked to who've been successful have also worked with a mentor. The Piano Technicians Guild is a really good resource for learning more and connecting up with technicians who may be willing to mentor you. Many people come to the field as a second or third career. It usually takes a couple of years of study or more to get the basics. The rest you continue to learn over a lifetime.

I highly recommend attending the Annual PTG convention in Bellevue Washington next July. There will be lots of classes for beginners as well as advanced technicians. It's a great survey of the field and you will totally get your moneys worth.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1736183 - 08/18/11 09:44 PM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: rysowers]
Zeno Wood Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 427
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
And while you're at the PTG convention you can visit with representatives from the piano technology trade schools, maybe they'll convince you! By the way, check out the Chicago School for Piano Technology website, there's a section about financial aid.
_________________________
Zeno Wood, Piano Technician
Brooklyn College

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#1736482 - 08/19/11 11:22 AM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: sfboxrz]
Jim Frazee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 392
Loc: Westchester County, New York
Also, there's a strong PTG in San Francisco - give them a call and find out whether you could visit during one of their regular meetings. This will give you a better understanding and you might just find a mentor while you're there. Good luck!
_________________________
PianoPerfection
Teacher, performer, technician
Westchester County, NY

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#1736506 - 08/19/11 11:57 AM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: sfboxrz]
Ed Foote Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 969
Loc: Tennessee
Greetings,
First it is a craft. Whether craftsmanship can be taken to the level of art is another question. You can learn on your own, but it is far faster to find an experienced tech who can make some money off of you. It is about the only way a practicing tech can justify the time it will take to transfer the knowledge needed. Don't begrudge it, if you wait for the altruistic tuner to take you under their wing, you will wait a long, long time, or suffer being the victim of an ego that needs an audience.
$15,000 for the training it takes to tune and repair is about as cheap an investment as you are likely to find. There are few other places that you can pay so little for a skill that will make three times that the second year you are in business. My year at North Bennett took everything I had saved, (and if I hadn;t sold that 1895 Bush and Gertz upright that I had restored as "homework" from school, I wouldn't have even had money for tools. $ 1,000 was a lot of money in 1976).
Built carefully, a reputation will prove to be near recession proof. If your clientele is diversified enough, you can gradually glean the top dollar customers from the rest, constantly raising your prices and refining your customer base. It requires that you constantly improve what you have to offer, but there is a path in the piano technical career to making over $100K a year but that takes a decade or so .
It takes faith to succeed. Faith that it is better to tune a flat piano twice instead of wrestling it once, that the extra ten minutes polishing unisons will pay off in the long run. Faith that it is worth it to mix fresh hide glue instead of using suspect stuff on those hammers, and that even though you will eat some jobs early on, it is worth it to redo things rather than putting a skeleton in the closet. Faith that putting the customers' interests first is the guarantee of job security.
All that, with a fairly good ear, will do the trick.
Good luck

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#1737043 - 08/20/11 09:09 AM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: sfboxrz]
James Carney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 401
Loc: new york city
Originally Posted By: sfboxrz
Hi,

I am pretty new to the forums and had a question: I have played piano for several years and recently an interest in the mechanics of the piano, tuning and restoration have surfaced. My question, however, is this... how is this learned? Must one apprentice under a technician to learn well this craft or will a correspondence school suffice? Frankly, I am quite skeptical of correspondence schools in teaching a subject well.

I'm 46 years old and work full time in a field unrelated to music. Perhaps I am too old to consider such an undertaking? This is why I am asking here as I value all of your input.

TIA - CwC

Great advice so far...

Get a non-valuable, functional and tunable piano to work on, get some basic tools, try to find a mentor who is a great technician, and dig in. Do not buy a cheap tuning lever; there is a very high quality lever available from Pianotek for about $150. designed by the well-known tech Dan Levitan. They only sell to the trade, but your mentor or another pro might be willing to order it for you. If you buy a $30 or $40 lever you will regret it, and you might damage some tuning pins as well. Most of us use levers that cost $300. and up, so don't skimp on the lever.

It may not be easy to find a teacher, as Ed mentioned. There are many books and videos that can help you, but you'll probably need to get some lessons from a pro so you learn decent tuning lever technique, especially what not to do.

You are never too old to learn anything, don't let your age deter you from pursuing this.
_________________________
Keyboardist & Composer, Piano Technician
www.jamescarney.net
http://jamescarneypianotuning.wordpress.com/

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#1737124 - 08/20/11 11:22 AM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: sfboxrz]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2340
Loc: Olympia, WA
James gives great advice. There are no shortage of free pianos to practice your skills. One thing I found very helpful early on was working for a technician who also moved pianos. Shortly thereafter I bought a professional piano moving dolly from New Haven (I think they are around $110 now), had U-Haul put a trailer hitch on my Taurus station wagon, and moved a free Decker Brothers 1880's upright into my garage. Also, another technician gave me a partially stripped Haines Bros. The Decker Bros eventually sold for $1200 - (this was probably around 1995) and I was ecstatic! That really gave me a boost. The Hains was sold at my garage sale for $400 - still money in the bank!

Having the ability to get free or cheap pianos and having a space to work on them is a real asset when you are starting out. It was the only way that I really learned how to regulate a whole piano. It allows you to experiment with voicing without the stress of screwing up someone else's piano. And believe me, the better you get at voicing the more your career will soar in the future.

So always keep a project piano around! It helps fill in the slow times and you will learn very valuable skills, in addition to getting a little income when it sells.


Edited by rysowers (08/20/11 05:18 PM)
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1737140 - 08/20/11 11:53 AM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: sfboxrz]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
All good comments so far. Age 45 is definitely not too late to learn. In fact, it is in your favor. People who hire a piano technician are naturally skeptical of a younger person. If you go to any PTG meeting or conference, you will see that you are toward the younger end of the median age. To learn the necessary skills, you have to have dedication, patience and persistence; all of which require a mature mind.

A correspondence course is not the ideal way to learn but it is a viable option especially if leaving your present home, employment and family are not practical considerations. There are many dubious offerings that can be found on the Internet. Many people are persuaded to go for a less expensive one and find out later that they did not learn nearly enough from the course to actually become a successful technician.

The Randy Potter course stands out alone from all of the others. Mr. Potter is an award winning RPT of many decades and constantly works to improve his course as well as improve his own set of knowledge and skills. You cannot find a person of higher integrity. The very reason he started the idea of a course was to help people avoid the mistakes and pitfalls he had to learn about the hard way.

So, assuming this would be your plan, here are the recommendations I would make:


  • Join the Piano Technicians Guild (PTG). Membership is open to anyone who is either a piano technician or who has an avocational interest in piano technology. The initiation fee and annual dues may seem costly but will prove to be the very best investment you ever made. See: www.ptg.org

  • Sign up for the Randy Potter course. Study the material diligently and at your own pace. You will be assigned contact people with whom you can communicate.

  • Join your local Chapter, the San Francisco Chapter which is fortunately one of the best and most active chapters in the organization. Go to each and every meeting. Introduce yourself at the first meeting and state that you have become interested in piano technology and are enrolled in the Randy Potter course.

    Do a lot of listening rather than talking or asking too many fundamental questions at first. Many words and concepts may be beyond what you understand at first. Someone or a few members may take an interest in you. Ask them questions privately or during breaks or during contacts that you may make outside of the meetings rather than disrupting the meeting and making it your personal session.

    Most of the technical sessions will be about an isolated subject that is far beyond your initial understanding and are meant for experienced professionals. You will, however get something from each that will build upon your knowledge a little at a time.

    The Chapter may offer at some time some programs for Associate members which are geared toward helping those individuals gain the skills necessary to pass the RPT exams.

  • Make your ultimate goal (at this time) to become a Registered Piano Technician (RPT). Although there is no governmental or otherwise requirement to have that credential, you will find that it is the most valuable credential you could ever have as a piano technician, especially when starting out at your age and through a correspondence course. The Randy Potter course is designed to lead you to that ultimate achievement.

  • Do find a mentor or someone who will help you if you can. Some piano technicians are very generous with their time, especially older retired or nearing retirement people. They may enjoy helping novices. Others may simply be too busy with their business to be bothered.

  • Study from diverse sources. PTG has many publications. Two of the most important for any novice may be part of the Randy Potter course but if not, you can get them from PTG. They are: Aurthur Reblitz: Piano Tuning Servicing and Rebuilding. Also, the PTG publication: Piano Parts and Their Functions.

    PTG also has what is effectively a basic study course called the PACE program. It is a set of five manuals that can each be purchased separately for $25 or $100 for the whole set. This is a bargain for the amount of information there is.

    It is a good idea to study the material in Randy Potter's course and cross study the same subjects in the PACE program. The PACE program is intended to prepare technicians for taking and passing the RPT exams but there are also manuals that contain articles from numerous sources that are intended for study for both the Tuning and Technical exams.

  • As Ryan Sowers suggests, plan on attending the PTG annual Convention next summer, July 11-15 in Bellevue, WA (Seattle area). It should be an easy trip for you either by air or car. Make that your "vacation" time from your present job. You will find an abundance of classes on both basic and advanced skills. You will be among other piano technicians of all levels of skill, experience and expertise and will undoubtedly find some wonderful fellowship experiences.

    You can also bring your spouse and other family members if you wish who can enjoy the many activities of the PTG Auxiliary or just enjoy the many leisure activities of that beautiful area while you are busy learning a new trade.

  • There will be other PTG Regional Conferences on the West Coast. There is one scheduled early next year, February 22-25 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Also an easy trip for you by air or car). If at all possible, plan to attend that event.

    Take personal time perhaps from your present job to do so. The instruction will be just as valuable as what you will find at the PTG Annual Convention. Plan to attend these two events every year. You will have spent substantial sums of money, yes but the best return on money spent that you could ever imagine.

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

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#1737290 - 08/20/11 05:31 PM THANK YOU! [Re: sfboxrz]
sfboxrz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 31
I'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you that contributed. I appreciate very much your time and advice and will apply it to my endeavor to learn more about the 'craft' smile

Best to you all, always!
sfb

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#1737934 - 08/21/11 10:08 PM Re: THANK YOU! [Re: sfboxrz]
Mario Bruneau Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 133
Loc: Québec, Canada
Hi sfb,

As you can see from the replies you got in very short time, you where smart to ask your question here at pianoworld.

All the replies are dead on and accurate.

On your journey to learn piano tuning, you will find it also useful to come here once in a while and ask about some special concerns you might have in your learning.

If you do (you probably already did) a search in Google with terms like "learn to tune your piano" or "tune your own piano", etc. you will find a lot of crap so be careful. Piano technician are not all "equal" Some are good and others not just like any other trade. Plus, even a good piano tuner-tech is not necessarily a good teacher and can't transmit his knowledge. So again, be careful and use your common sense and you'll be just fine.

Good luck

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#1737978 - 08/21/11 11:36 PM Re: THANK YOU! [Re: sfboxrz]
jayr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/07/11
Posts: 73
Loc: Middle Tennessee
I am glad that there are a few people out there that are interested in learning the craft of tuning pianos. In recent years I have found more and more people that are having trouble finding tuner - technicians. It seems the older tuners are so busy they can't reply to new clients. I started just in 2008 here in the area where I am now living. My experience is forty-seven years of tuning pianos part-time while I was teaching school.
I got my start in college when I was taking music classes, piano tuning was offered as an elective. I took the class and was fortunate to find a piano-organ store willing to take me on.
I spent all my 40 years of teaching tuning out of stores who were willing to use me.
I am retired from teaching and have started a life-long dream of having my own business in tuning, repairing, and restoring pianos. I am now getting a good amount of business. I am getting referrals from clients that I have tuned for.
It is very satisfying to have someone tell you that a friend told them about me and my work.
I hope you find the help you need to start a second career in Piano Tuning.
By the way, I have a step grandson that is interested in learning to tune and repair pianos.

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#1738600 - 08/22/11 08:28 PM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: sfboxrz]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4182
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
There was a lady who purchased the Randy Potter course and then following an auto accident was unable to continue with the studies. She has dropped off the course here and I have been slowly getting rid of the items.

Here is a photo set of what is available. The Sat is gone now; the rest of the stuff is available for sale.

All of the tools and supplies are 50% off 1994 prices. I make nothing on the deal…..click on any photo to enlarge....

Piano Tools and course


One of the problems with this second hand RP tuning course is that you will not be able to send in your exams and have them marked. But one way around that is to photocopy the sheets with the correct answers blanked with tape; then complete the exams and see how you score according to the correct answers or have someone else like a mentor check the answers for accuracy.
Let me know if you want any of the stuff…….

_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1740885 - 08/26/11 09:09 AM Re: THANK YOU! [Re: sfboxrz]
leomtodd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/08
Posts: 82
Loc: Limerick Maine
Hello
I am 61 going on 62 I wish I started at 46. I am a music teacher and had someone come to tune my piano. He did a horrible job. I called and he said I wasn't hearing right. Go figure. That weekend I found a tuning hammer at the take it shop at the town dump. Was it providence or coincidence?? I used erasers for muting. I started reading on line and did a pretty good job. I have been working on tuning with the Piano tech at Hartt School of music in Hartford CT. He offers a summer course for a week in July. I have been four times and learn new stuff every time. I met another Piano tech at a workshop. And am working for him for free. I learn every time I go to his workshop. It is two hours away from my home but well worth the drive. I wish I was closer. Find out where the PTG meeting are and go. Some stuff will be way over your head hang in there and it will make sense in the future. Practice tuning everyday octaves 4ths 5ths. Every workshop that I have been to the piano tech's that are there are the nicest people. They will help as much as they can.

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#1741420 - 08/27/11 09:11 AM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: sfboxrz]
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 939
Loc: Bulgaria
Do you need to be physically strong in order to be a good tuner? Is it stressful on the hands? I've been considering asking a tuner in my town for some lessons but if it will make my hands hurt and unable to practice piano then I wouldn't approach it.
_________________________
Currently 2nd Year: Music & Piano Teaching Major


Recitals:

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#1741618 - 08/27/11 03:55 PM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: Teodor]
sfboxrz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 31
Great questions, Teodore!

I'd like the answers as well, although off the top of my head I wouldn't imagine that it could interfere with your pursuit of playing the piano only because so many techs here also play - but we shall soon find out.

I was actually hoping that it might increase my 'ear' for music and tonality.

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#1741688 - 08/27/11 06:23 PM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: Teodor]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3292
Strong? No. But, you need to be in reasonably good health. Having a really stiff, lightweight tuning lever with an ergonomic handle (http://www.faulkpiano.com/CFA/ or http://www.fujanproducts.com/) would help. Having something like this: http://www.faulkpiano.com/SpecialtyTools/display.php?id=3 will probably help, too.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1741923 - 08/28/11 05:53 AM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: sfboxrz]
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 939
Loc: Bulgaria
I ask because I suffer from RSI and my muscles have become weak as a result of months of rest. I had some great results in the gym but I decided to rest again and everything went down the drain. I will pick it up again though soon I miss the feeling of being strong.

For now the goal is to learn enough to tune my piano, later on we'll see.


Edited by Teodor (08/28/11 05:59 AM)
_________________________
Currently 2nd Year: Music & Piano Teaching Major


Recitals:

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#1742044 - 08/28/11 12:59 PM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: sfboxrz]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
This is a very good question. I can only answer it from my perspective as a piano technician and not a highly skilled pianist (although I do have some skills) or any kind of expert on physical or motor skills.

Most of what is involved in piano tuning, voicing, repair and regulation does not require much strength at all. Indeed, there are many women technicians and many elderly who do this work. Many, such as myself who had more strength in my youth but suffered the impairment of rotator cuff injuries in both shoulders and tendonitis continue to do this work as a full time occupation. There are occasionally moving and lifting tasks but those who do not have the strength to do those find ways around it such as a little assistance from someone else.

The first thing that comes to mind for me is that the skills directly involved with tuning are apt to be contrary to those involved with highly skilled playing of the piano but there are ways to learn to do each without one impairing the other. To play the piano well, one must have nimble fingers, hands and wrists. To tune the piano well, one must operate the keys very firmly and manipulate the tuning hammer with very exacting movements.

After tuning, the thing to do would be to relax, take stretching breaks and do some warm up finger exercises such as one may do in any case before attempting to launch into any advanced repertoire. One may have tensed the muscles in the forearms, wrists and hands while tuning in a way that one never would in playing. It would be important to shake off that kind of tension and prepare for a different kind of use of these muscles before playing.

In learning tuning, most novices will immediately think in terms of "turning" the tuning pins much the same as one would think about turning the pegs of a guitar or the key of a harpsichord. Of course, the principle is the same but the piano is different in the sheer mass of the steel wires and their tension that is involved. The tuning pin is driven into a massive wood product made denser under pressure. What it takes to move a tuning pin, even without a piano wire under tension attached is many times greater than a harpsichord tuning pin or guitar peg.

The piano string is a steel wire under the average tension of a fully grown man. Imagine suspending yourself from the ground with one of these wires as your only support and what it would take to make the tiniest increase or decrease in tension from that to make the difference between an in tune or out of tune string and multiply that an average of 230 times just to finely tune a piano, let alone what it takes to get the piano close enough to accept a fine tuning!

While there are many technicians who use and even advocate a "slow pull" technique for tuning a piano, that technique requires much more use of arm, wrist, hand and finger muscles than an impact type technique. The slow pull (and push) type technique can be tiring and exhaustive to the muscles and tendons and can also cause such conditions as tendonitis.

Those who advocate the slow pull technique say that they need to "feel" the tuning pin move. First of all, one feels the pin move when using the impact technique, so there is no advantage in the slow pull technique in that regard. Most importantly, however, because the tuning pin is so tightly gripped by the pinblock, slow pulling and pushing upon it will twist and bend it. This, then requires many more compensating movements along with more muscle and tendon strain to tune each pin.

It is a far better idea, therefore to begin to learn piano tuning by using an impact type technique or even an impact type tuning hammer. The hand and wrist remain relaxed. The forearm also uses only the strength required to lift itself. The total energy and strain expended are far less after a pitch adjustment and fine tuning. Total time spent tuning a piano is also generally at least a half hour less.

That is my opinion on the above, of course but it is based on 42 years experience of knowing both methods and having used both methods. It is also based upon the observation that most elderly and very experienced, highly skilled technicians use an impact type technique. The concept may seem counter intuitive and against one's inclinations at first, yes, but I highly recommend it, especially for skilled pianists who wish to learn to tune.

Not only do I recommend the impact type technique, I have also thought through and explored the reasons why so many people try and fail at learning to tune Equal Temperament (commonly abbreviated as ET). My advice is to read and study a variety of materials but also read and study the material that is offered on my website for these purposes. (www.billbremmer.com) There are also videos there that were put on You Tube by the Piano Technicians Guild.

Take note of and study in particular, the ET via Marpurg. It is a way of tuning ET that largely uses concepts that a 17th and 18th Century tuner would have known. You can get better results using it in very short order than you could after years a trial and failure using other methods. You will naturally learn the relationships between intervals by using it while other methods may only leave you confused, doubtful and likely less than successful. It was designed that way and scores of technicians have already reported that it has proven true for them personally.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1742045 - 08/28/11 01:01 PM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: Teodor]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: Teodor
I ask because I suffer from RSI and my muscles have become weak as a result of months of rest.


Could you please explain what "RSI" is? There are many debilitating disorders but I am unfamiliar with what this is. I would like to know out of interest in helping people overcome the many conditions that there are.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1742051 - 08/28/11 01:11 PM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: sfboxrz]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
RSI =(repetitive stress injury?)
_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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#1742052 - 08/28/11 01:17 PM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
maserman1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 147
Loc: U.K.
RSI = Repetitive Strain Injury.

Only 'cure' is rest, and improvement in technique to hopefully prevent recurrence.
_________________________
Bechstein C 1890, Rebuilt
Bechstein V 1888, Project

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#1742499 - 08/29/11 08:49 AM Re: Learning the art of piano tuning, maintenance & restoration? [Re: maserman1]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: maserman1
RSI = Repetitive Strain Injury.

Only 'cure' is rest, and improvement in technique to hopefully prevent recurrence.


Thanks for that information. I had something similar in the early 90's: burning pain from tendonitis in the right arm. I am right handed and self employed with piano tuning as my only significant source of income, so complete rest was not an option. Chiropractic treatment, learning to stretch and relax when pain surfaced and a change of tuning hammer to the ball end type proved to be the solution.

It took many months, perhaps an entire year before the symptoms subsided completely. I no longer have any such pain. However, a complete right shoulder rotator cuff injury unrelated to piano work occurred in 2000. Surgery repaired the damage nearly a year later.

After the injury, I had to learn to work around a virtually useless shoulder and then again after surgery. I have no pain now and my shoulder is functional but far weaker than before. The impact type technique and ball handled tuning hammer allow me to work as quickly and efficiently as anyone could despite the impairment.

Two recent falls again injured my shoulder but fortunately, not the rotator cuff. I have fully recovered from them as well, tuning as I normally do and again, the only realistic way I have of making a living. 24 pianos were tuned last week and the schedule is full for all of September with 20 pianos each week, some surely to be added to the schedule to accommodate urgent requests (one of those for today, making 5 pianos for today).

The point is, that if I can find a way to work around those kind of limitations, anyone can. It is a matter of finding what works for you personally. Surely, constant gripping, pushing and pulling would not work for me. I suggest that for pianists who do not want to overly strain sensitive muscles and tendons used in piano performance, such an approach would also impair one's abilities.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1743453 - 08/30/11 08:10 PM Re: THANK YOU! [Re: sfboxrz]
leomtodd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/08
Posts: 82
Loc: Limerick Maine
I am wondering why my post get deleted???

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#1744359 - 09/01/11 08:57 AM Re: THANK YOU! [Re: leomtodd]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Posted in wrong thread. Removed accordingly.


Edited by Bill Bremmer RPT (09/01/11 09:45 AM)
Edit Reason: as stated
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1744380 - 09/01/11 09:40 AM Re: THANK YOU! [Re: sfboxrz]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
changed to new thread


Edited by Bill Bremmer RPT (09/01/11 09:46 AM)
Edit Reason: ditto
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1934947 - 07/30/12 08:41 PM Re: THANK YOU! [Re: sfboxrz]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 772
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I was intrigued to hear that there is a technician in CT that gives summer courses in piano tuning and repair. I thought I was the only one. Please post his co-ordinates. I have had people travel from the States, all parts of Canada, and Australia to take my courses in Montreal and Toronto.

Correspondence courses lack personal instruction. Formal training is too expensive and time demanding. They also teach more than what is needed to become a good full-time technician. Also, I strongly believe that a self-directed study plan is the best choice. Technicians need to learn to be self motivated and self directed because they work alone; there is nobody telling them what to do so they need to learn to find out for themselves what is important to learn. A long formal training course does not give the student the opportunity to learn how to choose what is important to know. Short courses are the key. You learn techniques and skills and then go away and practice them and maybe come back with more questions. That has been my experience in the last 7 years since offering my piano tuning and repair courses.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#1935171 - 07/31/12 07:39 AM Re: THANK YOU! [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3789
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
I was intrigued to hear that there is a technician in CT that gives summer courses in piano tuning and repair. I thought I was the only one. Please post his co-ordinates. I have had people travel from the States, all parts of Canada, and Australia to take my courses in Montreal and Toronto.

Correspondence courses lack personal instruction. Formal training is too expensive and time demanding. They also teach more than what is needed to become a good full-time technician. Also, I strongly believe that a self-directed study plan is the best choice. Technicians need to learn to be self motivated and self directed because they work alone; there is nobody telling them what to do so they need to learn to find out for themselves what is important to learn. A long formal training course does not give the student the opportunity to learn how to choose what is important to know. Short courses are the key. You learn techniques and skills and then go away and practice them and maybe come back with more questions. That has been my experience in the last 7 years since offering my piano tuning and repair courses.


Another self-promoting post to an old thread?
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#1936785 - 08/03/12 08:04 AM Re: THANK YOU! [Re: Bob]
David Jenson Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 1947
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Bob


Another self-promoting post to an old thread?

Yup. 'Seems just a tad tacky.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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