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#1867390 - 03/23/12 06:36 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: jim ialeggio]
Tunewerk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 405
Loc: Boston, MA
I agree with Jim, strongly, that the RPT tuning exam produces an unmusical tuning. From a scientific basis, I would even call it incorrect.

It is strict ET, true - to a certain standard. And it is a clean rubric to determine if a tuner can listen to beats and tune accurately using them. However, I don't believe it necessarily produces musical technicians who can tune well.

Personally, I had to change my style to execute the exam tuning. I used a completely different aural temperament and stretch technique, knowing what the exam was looking for. I would hope that I never have to do it again because it would negatively impact the sensibilities I have developed since the exam.

The logical - not feeling - basis to this is that these tunings are machine tunings, corrected by ear. The SAT and RCT use the 4th partial to align midrange frequencies and define ET by evenly progressing RBIs.

There are many different ways to define an ET, by which partials are favored and the stretch of the alignment. All of them can be 'correct' by a given standard, but I would argue none of them would consider the full picture of what being in-tune means.
_________________________
www.tunewerk.com

Unity of tone through applied research.

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#1867472 - 03/23/12 09:16 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: jim ialeggio]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: jim ialeggio
I get the sense that if I for some unforseen reason decided to take the RPT tests, I would have to tune in a fashion which I consider unmusical, just to pass the exam. Not sure I want to waste the energy practicing something I activily don't like to listen to or play.
Jim Ialeggio


This points up an area where we PTG members apparently have not communicated clearly enough about the exam. The "model" tuning that is done on the test piano is done by ear -- or primarily by ear with ear trumping ETD readings. Rather than being just an implementation of one person's opinion, it is a tuning that represents the consensus of several competent tuners that that particular piano is tuned the best that it can be. THEN . . .

That tuning is recorded on an ETD so that it can be reduplicated and so that deviation can be scored. AFTER THAT ...

The piano is de-tuned by a given amount that still leaves it stable -- at which time it is then made available to the examinee for the test.

I won't go through the steps of the actual testing procedure because I don't have them in my head, but then, after the examinee is finished it is scored primarily by reference to deviation from the "consensus tuning". It is possible to get up to 20 notes off by one cent (clearly audible) and still pass! But that's not all. It is recognized that there can be different approaches to being "in tune" and if the examinee can demonstrate that his/her tuning of a particular note is consistent with a reasonable whole it can still be scored as acceptable!

I'm not trying to take this thread off topic with this explanation. Rather I want to get pack to non-member perceptions with these specific questions:

1) Were you aware of the nature of the tuning exam as described above?
2) If you had a different understanding of the exam procedure, what was the source of that (mis-) information?
3) Have you looked into the examination procedure yourself -- or, for that matter, ever looked at the information available on the PTG website?

Please keep the questions and comments coming. I'm sure that no organization can be everything to everyone. But at least we can be clear in communicating what we want it to be about.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#1867515 - 03/23/12 10:48 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: kpembrook]
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1645
Loc: Chicagoland
Originally Posted By: kpembrook

This points up an area where we PTG members apparently have not communicated clearly enough about the exam. The "model" tuning that is done on the test piano is done by ear -- or primarily by ear with ear trumping ETD readings. Rather than being just an implementation of one person's opinion, it is a tuning that represents the consensus of several competent tuners that that particular piano is tuned the best that it can be. THEN . . .


I don't think this is accurate - and points out the misconception held by many RPTs and associates. The exam is that - a specific published targeted tuning. For example, the top octave is to be a strict 2:1 octave match. This tuning has little to do with tuning a piano "the best that it can be."

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

my piano videos:
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#1867523 - 03/23/12 11:03 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: RonTuner]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Originally Posted By: kpembrook

This points up an area where we PTG members apparently have not communicated clearly enough about the exam. The "model" tuning that is done on the test piano is done by ear -- or primarily by ear with ear trumping ETD readings. Rather than being just an implementation of one person's opinion, it is a tuning that represents the consensus of several competent tuners that that particular piano is tuned the best that it can be. THEN . . .


I don't think this is accurate - and points out the misconception held by many RPTs and associates. The exam is that - a specific published targeted tuning. For example, the top octave is to be a strict 2:1 octave match. This tuning has little to do with tuning a piano "the best that it can be."

Ron Koval


I'm not a CTE -- although I have participated in a CTE "training" session. But here's the quote from the official ptg.org website:

Tuning Exam

The RPT Tuning Exam tests your skills in tuning; your examiners will compare your tuning note by note to a "master tuning." In preparation for exam day, a committee of three or more RPTs, under the direction of a Certified Tuning Examiner (CTE), tunes a good quality grand piano at least 5'9" in length until all agree that the tuning is optimal. They then use an electronic tuning device to measure the tuning precisely, and make a record of each note and its pitch measurement on a specified partial. This record is the "master tuning" for this piano. Examiners will likewise measure your tuning of the same piano, and then, by means of a computer or handscoring program, pitch-correct and compare it to the master tuning. When the measurement of a given note of your tuning differs from the master tuning by more than the tolerance allowed after correction for overall pitch, the CTE will record the appropriate penalty points on the scoreform as indicated by the scoring program. Then, listening to intervals along with you as directed by the CTE, examiners will aurally verify some or all of these points and thus confirm the scoring. If examiners believe that a note in question cannot be improved, the CTE may cross off the penalty point for that note.


Note that the "master tuning" is an "optimal" tuning as determined by at least 3 RPTs. It is definitely not an implementation of any pre-digested formula for tuning any given note (other than a picky insistence on A-440 precision).

Also note that any discrepancy is evaluated with the examinee. There is no mysterious "well, we just didn't like that" kind of thing where the examinee doesn't know clearly what the discrepancy was. And, although it says that final determination is in the discretion of the examiners, the reality is that in the large majority of cases, the examinee also recognizes that the note could have been tuned better. In any event, final determination of whether a discrepancy from the "master tuning" is finally to be counted as a penalty is determined by consensus of real people using real ears and listening to the actual result -- not any pre-defined recipe or arbitrary machine output.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#1867529 - 03/23/12 11:22 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
rbstewert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 51
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Question for CTE's: Have you ever had someone do a tuning that sounded pretty good, but did not meet the criteria for this recorded "master tuning?" Is it possible?

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#1867543 - 03/24/12 12:10 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2401
Loc: Olympia, WA
The criteria for the highest octave of the piano is now "clean sounding single octaves", as opposed to strict 2:1 octaves. That may sound like splitting hairs but one is defining the octave by sound and the other by a strict ratio.

I have a record of a master tuned Steinway B used for exams that has a cents offset of 34.6 cents at note B7 (the highest used for the exam). The sample Steinway D tuning that is included with Tunelab has a cents offset of 30.4 cents.

There seems to be a misconception about the tuning exam being a "flat" (as in straight line) tuning with very little stretch.

To say the tuning exam creates an "unmusical" tuning strikes me as hyperbole. That being said, since we are talking about PTG perceptions this is interesting information to hear.

Tunewerk: do you have real experience listening to a master tuning, or are you basing this on what you have heard about the tuning exam?



Edited by rysowers (03/24/12 12:11 AM)
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1867558 - 03/24/12 12:56 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: kpembrook]
Tunewerk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 405
Loc: Boston, MA
I do have real experience listening to master tunings.

Originally Posted By: kpembrook
Note that the "master tuning" is an "optimal" tuning as determined by at least 3 RPTs. It is definitely not an implementation of any pre-digested formula for tuning any given note (other than a picky insistence on A-440 precision).

..the reality is that in the large majority of cases, the examinee also recognizes that the note could have been tuned better.


I would hesitate to call the master tuning an optimal tuning, but it is an extremely precise, agreed upon version of ET, using several pairs of ears and a machine.

Every tuning is the implementation of some formula, whether using the large capacity of the human brain, or the limited sight of a machine equipped with bandpass filters, statistical performance data, and stretch algorithms.

The master tuning is a relatively conservative, machine based tuning. Corrections are defined as optimal within that framework. The examinee will agree with corrections because of the framework surrounding them.
_________________________
www.tunewerk.com

Unity of tone through applied research.

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#1867590 - 03/24/12 04:06 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1940
Loc: Philadelphia area
Was tested in the new system some 20+yrs ago when they first started using the SAT measurements to score the test. The tolerances seemed to me to be wide enough to allow for any tuning style.

The test is mechanical in that they are not judging the beauty or artistry of the testing technician. This makes sense to me because it gives the testing committee much more than their personal preferences to judge by. I think the testing committee welcomed the work of Al Sanderson in this process. The whole piano is strip muted so that only one string per note is measured. And then only the Unisons in the middle two or three octaves are measured. There is one big stark reality at the beginning of the test. Your on your own to find A440.

Any experienced tech will pass the test. The question I have is: Is it worth $360.00???

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#1867654 - 03/24/12 09:06 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
RestorerPhil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 212
Loc: Georgia, USA
Many moons ago I decided to take the PTG tests. The active chapter was a couple of hours drive away, so involvement there was expensive in that it gobbled up my work time.

I went to a few meetings, enjoyed them. Soon thereafter I asked to get some preliminary coaching from some of the leaders and respected techs in that chapter. I used up an entire day at two different times, but received no personal instruction, comment, or attention. On one of the occasions I was put on a Steinway (new on sales floor) that had tuning pins so tight that I was afraid that I would permanently twist the grain of the metal just to move the pins in the block. After wrestling with it for a while, the only comment I got from the tech was, "I think you could go ahead and take the test." This overall experience left me really chapped. (By the way, the instructional session of the evening was on one of those Steinways. The teacher was looking at his inch pounds in amazement. He should have used an automotive torque wrench on that one!)

Weeks later, by the time of the test I had a really bad "taste in my mouth" over the whole deal. On test day, a guy who was checking tuning forks told me that mine was off a little. I forget which direction it was allegedly off, but I decided to try to compensate on the setting of the A440 seventeenth check. That was a mistake. There was no second chance. I wasn't passed because of that. Looking back, I suppose that my bigger mistake was not saying anything about why I had set in deliberately “off,” but given the experiences that had come before I was just boiling by that point and was simply ready to walk. Tuning fork guy convinced me to go ahead and take the rest of the tuning test (even though you know you "won't pass because of the A440 portion").

From these experiences I did learn that I was wasting my time to think that I was going to get some help - at least at that time at that chapter. From the test itself, I learned that I should smooth my temperament some, even though it had been judged passable. My pin-setting and unison judgment was amazing to the examiners. It was as if they thought, “ He can’t set A440, but he can tune rock solid?! Huh?!”

Soooo...
Since PTG had not mattered at all in the many years I had already been working, and since I had invested very valuable time for what someone could have told me with far less expense and effort on my part, I went back home, learned some of Defebaugh and other temperament tricks to improve my temperament, and have not missed the PTG at all. I have considered going to a convention a time or two for the sake of instructional sessions, but the cost factor or timing seems to always get in the way.

Good overall organization. Baaad experience. No sympathy requested.
_________________________
Lavender Piano Services
Established 1977
Tuning, Concert Maintenance,
Rebuilding & Restoration

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#1867667 - 03/24/12 10:07 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Thing is, no one encounters a piano in the field that just happens to be a good quality grand that has been detuned alternating flat and sharp.

A realistic test that techs face every day in the field would be a Whitney spinet that hasn't been tuned since 1978. It's 1 whole step flat, even more in the treble. You have two hours to put it in tune and at A440. That's the test techs face every day!
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1867698 - 03/24/12 11:51 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Regarding the tuning test: Another point to be made, that has already been made above is pitch. So what if the pitch of the piano does not match "precisely" or, close enough to A/440? The program can compensate for that and in my opinion, should. I bring that up because 99% of all tuners "float the pitch" throughout the year allowing for a more stable tuning. Therefore, floating pitch is not putting it exactly on A/440 anyway.... If the person can tune the rest of the piano and do a very good job passing the remainder of the exam, compensation then needs to be made for that one thing...pitch...
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1867727 - 03/24/12 01:03 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2401
Loc: Olympia, WA
One thing that is clear to me is that different chapters of the Guild can have completely different personalities! I talked to one technicians who lived between two chapters. At first he went to the bigger one (probably around 50 members) and was surprised that nobody came and said hi to him, and he felt like he basically got the cold shoulder.

Then he went to another somewhat smaller (35 members) chapter that was a little further to drive and was surprised by the difference: a warm welcome and introduction to the group and much looked for support. Within a few years he was chapter President!

The PTG is a very complex organization with no shortage of big egos. There are also some amazing people who give a tremendous amount without seeking anything in return. There are plenty of eccentrics (like you would expect in this type of work) and there are also a good number of suits. It brings people together from the extreme left and right of politics, and folks of all types of religious persuasion.

Leadership can be very tough in an organization like this. We are all so independently minded - most of us are used to not having a boss or manager. So how do you please such a group? The fact is you don't!
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1867745 - 03/24/12 01:30 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2401
Loc: Olympia, WA
Since this thread may be running itself out soon, I thought I'd take some time and go through the posts and create a synopsis of peoples comments.

Some of these are off the thread, and some come from individuals who contacted me privately.

1. PTG is a networking and support group, but their members are not necessarily better qualified than non-members.

2. The PTG may be one way to get start getting names of technicians in a new geographic area, but reputation is more important than membership

3. Some people drop out because they are not able to attend the chapter meetings which makes the dues not seem worth it.

4. Some resent the "us vs. them" mentality of some of the members.

5. Since many technicians are independent types who enjoy solitary work, PTG is not attractive since its main benefit is the socialization with other technicians at meetings and conferences.

6. Some of the political squabbles are a turn off.

7. The dues can be prohibitive for younger technicians.

8. Some resent the way that Associate members are sometimes talked down to.

9. Some resent that the PTG website only lists RPTs. Since Associates pay the same dues, they should be listed - even if they are on a different list than the associates.

10. Some resent that you have to pay dues in order to maintain RPT status. It is compared to a university requiring a yearly fee in order to maintain your degree.

11. Some experienced technicians don't want to have to prove themselves to the PTG by taking the exams.

12. (from a member) Some feel the council system of governance is inefficient and slow.

13. Some feel the PTG is too focused on promoting RPTs instead of promoting piano in the community.

14. Some enjoyed membership previously, but because of a life change they let their dues lapse. They resent having to retake all the tests again, and feel it is not worth it.

15. Some feel that PTG is an excellent organization to help train beginning techs and tuners.

16. Some feel that machine tuners are in general looked down upon by the PTG. Tuning a temperament by ear is an unreasonable requirement considering the accuracy of ETD's

17. Some have found PTG to be a very welcoming and warm organization, even to non-members

18. Some have experienced luke-warm reception from local chapters.

19. Some people just don’t like meetings!

20. Some feel that PTG turns a blind eye to unethical practices by some of the RPT technicians. Yet it claims to be upholding ethics.

21. Some resent that the organization advertises against non-RPTs by encouraging the public to only use RPT technicians.

22. Some applaud the guild for promoting basic ear tuning skills, others think it is unreasonable.

23. Some think that the guilds policy of grandfathering in technicians that became registered before the modern tuning exam is flawed.

24. The fact that recertification is not required is viewed by some as a serious problem, especially since older technicians can start having hearing problems that can interfere with accurate work.

25. Some argue that the guilds mission is too focused on itself and it should have some mention of keeping client’s best interest in mind.

26. Some see the guild as an excellent way to get in touch with mentors.

27. PTG has a lot to offer beginning and intermediate techs, but very little for high-level technicians.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1867753 - 03/24/12 02:01 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
That Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Quote:
Thing is, no one encounters a piano in the field that just happens to be a good quality grand that has been detuned alternating flat and sharp.

A realistic test that techs face every day in the field would be a Whitney spinet that hasn't been tuned since 1978. It's 1 whole step flat, even more in the treble. You have two hours to put it in tune and at A440. That's the test techs face every day!


Yes, yes Loren! Now that really tests your skills. Add in a couple strings that break and some sweat running down your face and you've got a real test.
_________________________
Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com

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#1867755 - 03/24/12 02:08 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
That Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Good summary Ryan. You asked, listened and we were heard. That's nice. It's always great to be heard. I don't know what you'll do, if anything, with the information but I think it was a profitable exercise.

Thank You
_________________________
Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com

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#1867773 - 03/24/12 03:15 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Very good list, Ryan!
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1867774 - 03/24/12 03:18 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: That Guy]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: That Guy
Quote:
Thing is, no one encounters a piano in the field that just happens to be a good quality grand that has been detuned alternating flat and sharp.

A realistic test that techs face every day in the field would be a Whitney spinet that hasn't been tuned since 1978. It's 1 whole step flat, even more in the treble. You have two hours to put it in tune and at A440. That's the test techs face every day!


Yes, yes Loren! Now that really tests your skills. Add in a couple strings that break and some sweat running down your face and you've got a real test.


Seriously! And add to that the necessary diplomatic and educational tools the tech has to have to explain the need for the pitch correction, why it requires an extra charge, and then have the skills to actually do it. THAT'S a test!
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1867913 - 03/24/12 09:41 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: Loren D]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 769
Loc: Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: Loren D
Thing is, no one encounters a piano in the field that just happens to be a good quality grand that has been detuned alternating flat and sharp.

A realistic test that techs face every day in the field would be a Whitney spinet that hasn't been tuned since 1978. It's 1 whole step flat, even more in the treble. You have two hours to put it in tune and at A440. That's the test techs face every day!


Yes Loren.

Piano with irregular pin tightness increased difficulty. I had experience an old Pear River, some pins raise 50 cents with moderate throw, some pins need to turn with the Fujan, with well coordinated back muscle, shoulder muscle and etc.

Exam is an interesting social phenomenon. Everyone knows exam has not guarantee on capability, everyone like to judge by certificates.

Sorry for distract this great thread.
_________________________
Fake Book player
Ragtime beginner
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com

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#1868059 - 03/25/12 05:16 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: Tunewerk]
pppat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/08
Posts: 1195
Loc: Jakobstad, Finland
Originally Posted By: Tunewerk

The master tuning is a relatively conservative, machine based tuning.[..]


I'm sorry, but the latter part is simply not true. The ETD is solely used for recording the pitches. Even though you might end up somewhere close to something that some ETD setting might produce, the master tuning cannot be called "machine based".

Regarding the master tuning as a ruler in the testing situation, it is not set in stone. I agree that arguing your own tuning against the master tuning in the presence of three authorities/examiners might be challenging, but it can be done - I know that from personal experience smile

The master tuning I was faced with was close to what I would tune for a close-mic recording session in the studio, except for the outer octaves which were narrower than I like. I still, however, tuned much like I preferred (which made me lose some points there) but the "deviation range" is quite forgiving up/down there, so it's really not a big problem smile

What I really try to say is that you can tune musically in the testing situation and pass.
_________________________
Patrick Wingren, RPT

Senior Lecturer (jazz piano, composition, music theory, conducting) @ Novia University of Applied Sciences, Jakobstad, Finland
- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.

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#1868075 - 03/25/12 07:16 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Another situation techs run into: last night I had to tune for a Texas Tenors concert at a nearby college. Their sound check was to be over at 5:00 and doors would open at 7:00 for the 7:30 concert. I thought, no sweat, I have a good 2 hours to spend here to really make the piano sing. Unfortunately, schedules got behind and sound check didn't end until 5:55, so now I only had an hour. Couple that with the fact that A4 was hovering around 10 cents flat, and now I only had an hour to bring it to a solid 440, and that was while the lights were alternating between different colors and no light at all as the tech crew was going through the lighting sequence.

Really, what we deal with in the field regularly is a more rigorous and daunting test than any controlled environment test. And passing these field tests on a daily basis, with our clients acting as our examinees, are THE most important tests we take.

*edited for a few pre-caffeine typos.* smile


Edited by Loren D (03/25/12 07:16 AM)
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1868308 - 03/25/12 03:35 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2401
Loc: Olympia, WA
The exam is designed largely around the principle of fairness and consistency. The idea is that each examinee will get more or less the same exam so that people can't decry that their exam was harder than another person (although this still happens!).

The reality is that the exam is a tuning situation under more or less ideal circumstances: usually a 6' piano, Yamaha, Kawai, or Steinway - at pitch, detuned in such a way to equalize tension. False beats are taken into consideration.

Like Patrick says, there is room for a certain amount of preference in the exam. For instance, in the high treble there is a 6 cents tolerance. Keep in mind in that area of the piano one cent will equal more than one beat, so that is a generous tolerance. That's why it is rare for people to fail the high treble, even if they use quite a bit of stretch.

I occasionally have had the pleasure of working with Steve Brady, and sometimes fill in for his tunings at the Governor's Mansion concerts. I can tell you his tunings are very similar to a top notch exam tuning. Since he is currently the head technician for the Aspen Music Festival, to claim that this style of tuning is "unmusical" sounds absurd to me.

I challenge those who claim this to record their tunings and post them for our analysis so we can know what kind of stretch they are talking about.

Personally I have explored both ends of the spectrum. When I was working with Jessica Williams, I found that I needed to stretch more than I was normally comfortable. However I went over the limit one time with her and it really stressed her out.

Now, in my 20th year of tuning study, I find myself back to being a bit more conservative. This was inspired by a presentation by Don Mannino last year. I don't think anyone complains about Don's tunings being "unmusical".




Edited by rysowers (03/25/12 03:38 PM)
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1868378 - 03/25/12 06:43 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
That Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Lincoln, NE
All the talk about the tuning test is again one of the reasons I quit the PTG and why I certainly would never be tested. I don't need any more stress in my life. I have plenty on my plate and plenty of happy customers. I would constantly read in the Journal about different perceptions, opinions, methods, blah, blah, blah and in the end no one seems to agree anyway. So, I will continue to do things the way I want to do them unless somehow somewhere I am convinced that I should do otherwise.

As I've read over what I just wrote, I know it sounds snotty but it's all very frustrating to me. I don't know any other way to put it. Maybe it shouldn't frustrate me but it does. There is so much good stuff in the PTG and I really do appreciate that it's there but it feels like you can't just be happy that you have work and enjoy making pianos sound better.
_________________________
Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com

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#1868392 - 03/25/12 07:18 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
In all honesty, I have nothing against the Guild. I just like being in this profession where I'm privileged to know a bunch of great techs and people, whether they're in the Guild or not. smile
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1868425 - 03/25/12 08:33 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: Loren D]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 769
Loc: Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: Loren D
Another situation techs run into: last night I had to tune for a Texas Tenors concert at a nearby college. Their sound check was to be over at 5:00 and doors would open at 7:00 for the 7:30 concert. I thought, no sweat, I have a good 2 hours to spend here to really make the piano sing. Unfortunately, schedules got behind and sound check didn't end until 5:55, so now I only had an hour. Couple that with the fact that A4 was hovering around 10 cents flat, and now I only had an hour to bring it to a solid 440, and that was while the lights were alternating between different colors and no light at all as the tech crew was going through the lighting sequence.

Really, what we deal with in the field regularly is a more rigorous and daunting test than any controlled environment test. And passing these field tests on a daily basis, with our clients acting as our examinees, are THE most important tests we take.

*edited for a few pre-caffeine typos.* smile

Thank you!
I always feel guilty for take more than two hour to raise for 15 cents.

I personally don't against PTG. One thing disappointed is I don't know why I felt only RPT is good tuner. From this tread, I found good tuners who are not always a RPT.
_________________________
Fake Book player
Ragtime beginner
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com

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#1868508 - 03/25/12 11:59 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: Loren D]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Originally Posted By: Loren D
In all honesty, I have nothing against the Guild. I just like being in this profession where I'm privileged to know a bunch of great techs and people, whether they're in the Guild or not. smile


That says it all...ditto here...

Rick
_________________________
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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#1868524 - 03/26/12 12:37 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1701
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
When I started a couple of years ago I had a lot of help from two local guild members here (both CTE's). Initially I found it instructive to try to pass the RPT tuning exam by dry runs at home, scoring myself against tunelab. I then decided to join as associate member for several reasons.

One is that by paying the yearly dues I am happy to support the guild. It's not much and I'm sure the money is not spent on large bonuses for PTG executives but on more useful things.

Another is that when I'm ready I could take the RPT test. I sort of feel that it should be obliged by law that you can only operate as piano technician if you are properly certified. Otherwise it is sort of like practicing medicine without a license. This is not implying at all that non RPT's are not qualified. I don't think anyone would doubt that some prominent non PTG posters here would, if forced, pass the test easily while talking on the phone.

I've been only to one local chapter meeting as they are usually too far away for me. Interestingly everyone here seems to use the Reyburn tuner, with only 2 purely aural tuners.

Just my subjective point of view...

Kees

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#1868527 - 03/26/12 01:05 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 769
Loc: Hong Kong
I am using Verituner.

Oblige by law to have a certificate to tune piano!!!

Cool idea. There should be certificate to play cocktail piano, jazz piano, blues, classic and etc too.
_________________________
Fake Book player
Ragtime beginner
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com

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#1868664 - 03/26/12 10:31 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
That Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Quote:
I sort of feel that it should be obliged by law that you can only operate as piano technician if you are properly certified. Otherwise it is sort of like practicing medicine without a license.


I think some PTG people would really like this too. With all due respect I'm very much against it. I Feel that the comparison to practicing medicine is flawed. A piano is not a person. If I make a mistake no one dies. Also, I would hate to see more government regulation.
_________________________
Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com

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#1868790 - 03/26/12 02:08 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
The gubmint is no better at selecting the wheat from the chaff then the public is most of the time. They just simply put an exhorbitant cost on the process.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#1868802 - 03/26/12 02:27 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: That Guy]
Keith D Kerman Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3308
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: That Guy
Quote:
I sort of feel that it should be obliged by law that you can only operate as piano technician if you are properly certified. Otherwise it is sort of like practicing medicine without a license.


I think some PTG people would really like this too. With all due respect I'm very much against it. I Feel that the comparison to practicing medicine is flawed. A piano is not a person. If I make a mistake no one dies. Also, I would hate to see more government regulation.


Do auto mechanics need some kind of legal certification or license? How about contractors? Plumbers? Electricians? Roofers?

I think the piano technology arena is too small for it to ever have any type of standards overseen by the Government, so this is all very hypothetical.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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