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#1970530 - 10/08/12 10:06 PM Re: Question about the business end from a new tuner. [Re: rysowers]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1119
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: rysowers
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper

I also don't mean to offend, but this is not snake oil; it is my opinion based on observations of my mere 32+ years of tuning professionally. I am not "relying on phoney scare tactics."

I have seen it. I have dealt with it. A piano that was last tuned 20, 30, 40, or more years ago. When you lower the tension on a string before raising it, nothing happens as you keep dropping the tension until you hear a 'ping" sound as the string comes loose from where it has rusted itself and then the pitch drops... a lot. this may happen on only one or two strings. Or, it may happen on many or most strings.


Thanks for the response. I admit my response to you was too abrassive - I suppose our different perspectives on this may be largely due to the differences in our climates. I just don't find that string breakage issues come down to piano wire rusted onto the bearing surface. I do acknowledge the 'pinging' phenomenon you describe, but I don't come across it very often.

I interpreted the "chiropractic" approach as being a way of talking a client into getting the piano serviced more often than they otherwise would. I have heard others on this forum argue that not getting your piano tuned every six months is going to damage it.

I suppose going 20 years without tuning *might* increase the chance of string breakage slightly, but if the piano is not exposed to excessive dampness I doubt it. Most of the time when a string breaks, it just feels likes its ready to go. I also find that rendering problems more often come from the understring felt then anything else.

I think the chiropractic argument may have more bearing on the action than the strings. I definitely believe that actions that sit for long periods become sluggish. The best remedy for this is to make sure to play it occasionally, which is something we all will admit is a good thing smile


I am glad we cleared the air.

Locally, the humidity can get very high during the summers, especially when we have a week or so of rainy days. It's also not unusual to find pianos in damp basements where the children can practice without disturbing the rest of the family and vice versa. I have actually had string break at the becket, at the nut, and even at the bridge, while lowering the tension with the intention of then raising it. I've had them break on pianos the were already 1/2-step or more flat while lowering the tension. Of course, this kind of experience is rare. But, it has happened to me. And, the folks who will neglect a piano for long periods of time tend to be the least understanding when their neglect contributes to a problem.

I completely agree with you that playing the piano is healthy for the action. For one thing, I believe it helps keep the center pins polished and stops them from becoming pitted and then having too much friction on the felt bushings, causing problems. But for that, I use a different argument ( smile )... I use the "Would you just park your car in the garage for ten years without even starting it once, and then expect it to run flawlessly on the first turn of the key?" argument. smile This encourages them to keep playing the piano.
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair

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#1970756 - 10/09/12 11:52 AM Re: Question about the business end from a new tuner. [Re: That Guy]
mbick Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/12
Posts: 27
Loc: Culpeper, VA
Thanks Scott. Those are good advertising ideas for almost any business. I completely agree about the Yellow Pages. I used to advertise my store in the Yellow Pages in the 90's, and it was a good medium. Now, however, almost no one uses the Yellow Pages, but their prices remain high. Waste of money.

Your website is simple and to the point. Very nice. I don't care for cluttered websites.

I hadn't thought about leaving a pen with the name and number of your business. That's a great idea. It's funny because I have given them away before as advertising, but it didn't even occur to me in connection with piano tuning. I know a local guy that does a great job with those and has high quality products. (As a matter of fact, I always hoard his pens when I get them, lol.)

Sorry I didn't acknowledge your post earlier, but I was gone for most of the weekend and Monday.
Martha Bickers
Future piano expert :-)

994 1/2 pianos to go.

#1970768 - 10/09/12 12:18 PM Re: Question about the business end from a new tuner. [Re: mbick]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2481
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
I carry several different contact reminders which I leave up to the customer to choose from. Plain simple business cards get easily lost so I will carry the magnetic ones that can go on their fridge if they choose. A postcard type contact can be left in the piano bench or undr the lid of uprights. The pens I get from Vistaprint, if you wait long enough they regularly give you deals on them or the shipping. Magnetic signs for the car get changed out every year. The old ones can get stapled to a wood telephone pole at busy intersections to provide a bit more service for you.

I did a charity/freebie tuning for an old age home a relative of mine lives in. In exchange for the tuning, they put a free ad in their newsletter and let me leave a business card holder full of cards on top of the piano in the foyer.

Edited by Emmery (10/09/12 12:21 PM)
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

#1970868 - 10/09/12 03:37 PM Re: Question about the business end from a new tuner. [Re: Emmery]
mbick Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/12
Posts: 27
Loc: Culpeper, VA
Excellent suggestions!
Martha Bickers
Future piano expert :-)

994 1/2 pianos to go.

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