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Topic Options
#1996580 - 12/08/12 08:22 PM Ghosting
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Hello All, and an early Merry Christmas. Question: has anybody here compiled a list of favorite or even not-favorite ghosting techniques? I've evolved some ideas of my own and copied or outright stolen a few from others ;-) but am always stoked to pick up new info.
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#1996672 - 12/09/12 12:08 AM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1421
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Ghosting is a beginner's technique. You should work towards hearing beating coincidental partials on their own. The reason being, ghosting only works when the ghost note is very very close in frequency to the frequency of each coincidental partial. This is not always the case. Especially with pianos that are more out of tune, or intervals that are beating fast.

Maybe I misunderstood your question since you are a member of MPT. Did you mean "aural checks" instead of "ghosting"?
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Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#1996751 - 12/09/12 05:43 AM Re: Ghosting [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Thanks for your reply. I'm using the word to represent in this case the very subtle nuanced overall sound that a finely tuned instrument will display....its not something that I'd equate with beginner tuning. For instance, using either the una corda or even the damper lift to allow the chosen interval to speak only very slightly, to build tonality beyond the more obvious checks.

I think many tuners develop this around favorite interval checks but generally its something that more advanced tuners learn through allowing, indeed making, the instrument ring and speak in almost whispered tones...hence "ghosting". Perhaps others use different terms to describe such as "tests" etc. It wouldn't be something that easily falls into the hands of beginning tuners but I'm betting perhaps if I voiced the question asking for favorite advanced interval checks I might have received more replies.

I guess "aural checks" as you suggested, but I'm specifically looking for the planned leaking (for lack of a better term) of certain chords or notes that would tend to be revealing overall wellness of a tuning.

Thank you once again for your reply.



Edited by RPD (12/09/12 05:56 AM)
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#1996782 - 12/09/12 07:33 AM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
Start the list!
I don't use ghosting but maybe I should. What is your favorite technique. ?
_________________________
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#1996783 - 12/09/12 07:37 AM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1421
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Yes, please send us some examples.
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www.howtotunepianos.com

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#1996834 - 12/09/12 09:47 AM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I agree, start the list. I don't use ghosting either and I've tuning for over 44 years, almost 39 of them, full time. But, I do enjoy watching a good scary movie with a few ghosts in them! 👽
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1996836 - 12/09/12 09:50 AM Re: Ghosting [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Hey Jer!

Well, for those who don't know me, I certainly don't profess to have special or little known secrets or anything...but manage to schedule 25 or so pianos a week and things just evolve over the decades....one simple one I use alot is playing the octave in the bass and opening up the 5 th without striking the note....the resonance (which "ghosts" if you abruptly silence the octave notes ) becomes in some way a test without playing the note....easier in the arm too after a long day!

Another idea: Bill Bremmer's octave fifth but on pianos without a sostunetto use the damper pedal and light up two octaves below the tuned note and the fifth...it rings beautifully going up into the high treble and helps quickly dial in the note...
_________________________
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Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
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#1996838 - 12/09/12 09:54 AM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I was expecting you to go BOO Rick! Haha. Just having a little fun with you Rick. 😁

If a piano is properly tuned, you should be able to open up a chord, say, a C chord without actually striking the notes to the strings. Play the surrounding chords and those notes will sound through when the others are silenced. The piano has a boogie man in it!
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1996840 - 12/09/12 09:59 AM Re: Ghosting [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
I was expecting you to go BOO Rick! Haha. Just having a little fun with you Rick. 😁

If a piano is properly tuned, you should be able to open up a chord, say, a C chord without actually striking the notes to the strings. Play the surrounding chords and those notes will sound through when the others are silenced. The piano has a boogie man in it!


Booooo! thumb
_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
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#1996842 - 12/09/12 10:04 AM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
💀🏃im running away now!
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1996849 - 12/09/12 10:26 AM Re: Ghosting [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
💀🏃im running away now!


3hearts
_________________________
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Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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#1996851 - 12/09/12 10:26 AM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1421
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted By: RPD
Hey Jer!

Well, for those who don't know me, I certainly don't profess to have special or little known secrets or anything...but manage to schedule 25 or so pianos a week and things just evolve over the decades....one simple one I use alot is playing the octave in the bass and opening up the 5 th without striking the note....the resonance (which "ghosts" if you abruptly silence the octave notes ) becomes in some way a test without playing the note....easier in the arm too after a long day!

Another idea: Bill Bremmer's octave fifth but on pianos without a sostunetto use the damper pedal and light up two octaves below the tuned note and the fifth...it rings beautifully going up into the high treble and helps quickly dial in the note...


I think I know what you are talking about, but I don't use it because sympathetic vibration is not accurate enough. I.e. The ghosted note's frequency need only be close to that of the exciting partials, in order to ring.

But please explain in more detail with note numbers. Thanks.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#1996858 - 12/09/12 10:41 AM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Did Stephen King finally pass his PTG exam?
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1996862 - 12/09/12 10:54 AM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
jim ialeggio Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 725
Loc: shirley, MA
Maybe the word "ghosting" is too limiting.

At the risk of semantic abuse smile , and though any word can take on a double meaning (or become a Monty Python-esk epithet)... how about referring to the word as coupling, rather than just ghosting.

I think the phenomenon of "coupling" is wider than that one instance ghosting refers to.(at least that's my subjective understanding of the word.)

Bill Bremmer's octave and multi-octave stretches, and I think Virgil Smith's in his own way are working this coupling phenomenon.

Working with the dampers up or multi- octave/fifth sostenuto held, especially in the treble, but also in the bass helps. In the high treble, open up octaves/fifths below, looking for the note being tuned to become most present. In the low bass, playing double/triple-octave and octave fifths and adjusting the low bass note till the sound fills out, or until the 3rds begin sounding in those octave/octave fifth combos(this, though the 3rds are damped and not actively engaged)...etc

For me one of the most useful and enjoyable ways of listening to what you are doing, and knowing when the whole sound is "locking in", is being aware of the whole ringing gestahlt, not just simple single partial matches.

Jim Ialeggio


Edited by jim ialeggio (12/09/12 10:54 AM)
_________________________
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advanced soundboard and action redesigns
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#1996936 - 12/09/12 01:33 PM Re: Ghosting [Re: jim ialeggio]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1316
Loc: Michigan
Quote:
For me one of the most useful and enjoyable ways of listening to what you are doing, and knowing when the whole sound is "locking in", is being aware of the whole ringing gestahlt, not just simple single partial matches.


One of the differences between aural and machine tuning. Machine is intrinsically analytic (breaking the whole down into parts) and aural is more oriented to the quality of the whole. (Not saying that aural tuners can't analyze and machine tuners can't think of the whole - just how the different techniques are predisposed.)

Interesting you use the term "locked in". That's the term that I used to describe my tunings after adopting Virgil Smith's techniques. I was never happy with my tunings until then.
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USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#1996970 - 12/09/12 03:09 PM Re: Ghosting [Re: kpembrook]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Originally Posted By: kpembrook
[quote]

Interesting you use the term "locked in". That's the term that I used to describe my tunings after adopting Virgil Smith's techniques. I was never happy with my tunings until then.



Its Virgil and his approach, with DVD et al that has also been hugely inspiring to me also!
_________________________
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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#1996983 - 12/09/12 03:46 PM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4437
Loc: San Jose, CA
A gentleman wrote to the forum, regarding ghostly playing of his very old grand during the night. He denied having a cat, and thought it was actually a ghost. I thought rats were more likely than a haunted piano.
_________________________
Clef


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#1997000 - 12/09/12 04:36 PM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3665
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Would one of you kind folks mind explaining what this ghosting technique involves?

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#1997002 - 12/09/12 04:41 PM Re: Ghosting [Re: ando]
accordeur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1223
Loc: Québec, Canada
Originally Posted By: ando
Would one of you kind folks mind explaining what this ghosting technique involves?


Using sympathetic ringing of partials of related notes in order to help the tuning process. The sustenuto pedal is especially useful using this technique.

It can be very helpful at times, especially in the bass on short pianos.

At least, that is how I rarely use them.

Others will chime in I'm sure.

Regards.
_________________________
Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca

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#1997040 - 12/09/12 06:17 PM Re: Ghosting [Re: jim ialeggio]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2176
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: jim ialeggio
Maybe the word "ghosting" is too limiting.

At the risk of semantic abuse smile , and though any word can take on a double meaning (or become a Monty Python-esk epithet)... how about referring to the word as coupling, rather than just ghosting.

I think the phenomenon of "coupling" is wider than that one instance ghosting refers to.(at least that's my subjective understanding of the word.)

Bill Bremmer's octave and multi-octave stretches, and I think Virgil Smith's in his own way are working this coupling phenomenon.

Working with the dampers up or multi- octave/fifth sostenuto held, especially in the treble, but also in the bass helps. In the high treble, open up octaves/fifths below, looking for the note being tuned to become most present. In the low bass, playing double/triple-octave and octave fifths and adjusting the low bass note till the sound fills out, or until the 3rds begin sounding in those octave/octave fifth combos(this, though the 3rds are damped and not actively engaged)...etc

For me one of the most useful and enjoyable ways of listening to what you are doing, and knowing when the whole sound is "locking in", is being aware of the whole ringing gestahlt, not just simple single partial matches.

Jim Ialeggio
Unfortunately there are some yahoos on here that might just have a little fun with the "coupling" concept as you anticipated. Thank goodness I'm not one of them! No sir! Not me! I could only think of a couple of lame wisecracks, so I'll bow out.

I do make some limited use of what you are discussing (I think), but I tend to use it on really high quality grands in the high treble.
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Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#1997352 - 12/10/12 12:24 PM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4954
Loc: Bradford County, PA
RPD:

I have done some deliberate ghosting while experimenting and have also unsuccessfully tried to use it for tuning bass strings. IMHO wound strings always have some wacky partials. No single one can be counted on.

I do often have unintentional ghosting. When tuning the upper treble a lower note, usually 2 octaves lower, will buzz against its damper. The temperment strip temporarily misaligns the strings keeping the damper from being totally effective. It's kinda fun.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1997582 - 12/10/12 08:48 PM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1974
Loc: Philadelphia area
I like to use the 12th with the partials sounded by the octave below the note being tuned. ie ... tune up an octave - check by playing the 5th below = 12th - then continue check by while holding the 12th and tapping the octave note below the note being tuned. This moves along smoothly and helps to create even octaves.

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#1997597 - 12/10/12 09:18 PM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I'm afraid of ghosts!!!


They're "spooky."
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1997745 - 12/11/12 06:25 AM Re: Ghosting [Re: RPD]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1974
Loc: Philadelphia area
"I don't believe in ghosts, but I sure am afraid of them". I think that was Mark Twain?

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