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#2004218 - 12/25/12 06:41 AM Where one one learn how to be a tuner
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
When I learnt to drive, I learnt how to maintain them, old beaters were fine, fix them in a jiffy.

Same with motorbikes and building PCs.

I'm curious as to where and or how you would learn how to tune a piano and do general repairs to them?

I'm not looking to do this as a career or even a side job, its just something which interests me.... heck I find so many out of tune pianos everywhere in pubs and community centres. I keep thinking it'd be lovely to tune it up and bring them back to life.

Thanks

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#2004251 - 12/25/12 10:01 AM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2039
Loc: Maine
"Oh joy! Here we have the eloquent presentation of the aspirations of another casual tooner in the making."

That was a quote from my evil twin. 'Sorry. What I would suggest that is somewhat in line with Evil David, is that you carefully evaluate what you will contribute to the craft. To do a decent job requires much more time and dedication than you might think.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#2004253 - 12/25/12 10:04 AM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
plus 1 David.

No offense Justpin but we already have far, far, FAR to many fly by night piano tuners in this business who have no interest in doing a good job, instead doing it part time or only as a hobby. Do something else if that is all you're interested in. It takes a LOT more time and a LOT more knowledge to tune them and to repair them correctly than you or most people think.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2004261 - 12/25/12 10:50 AM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: justpin

I'm not looking to do this as a career or even a side job, its just something which interests me.... heck I find so many out of tune pianos everywhere in pubs and community centres. I keep thinking it'd be lovely to tune it up and bring them back to life.


Think of a reason this is not being done at the present time. Could it be lack of funding?
_________________________
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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#2004271 - 12/25/12 11:31 AM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3510
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I have been interested in training for this profession but I can't find anywhere to train for it. There are literally no accredited courses for it in Australia. There is one privateer who lets a handful of people in per year and charges nearly $30,000 for one year of tuition. Piano shops don't take on apprentices anymore. I am serious about any craft I do, but unfortunately, I just can't get good training here. And at the same time, the industry has been predicting a major shortage of piano techs in Australia in the next decade.

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#2004274 - 12/25/12 11:54 AM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1903
Loc: Philadelphia area
Randy Potters course is very informative and will help with what tools are needed to get started. I'm sure there are other home courses. You'll still need an experienced tooner to talk with as a sort of mentor. And of course, pianos to work on.

If you approach cautiously and with the right tools, I'm sure you'll fix more than you break. It's not rocket science but it does take experience to properly care for pianos.

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#2004912 - 12/27/12 11:53 AM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2039
Loc: Maine
The OP has gone silent. Just google "How to tune your own piano". You'll find a lot of 'you tube' info there. I do it once in a while to get a bit of entertainment. (My evil twin laughs at a lot of the videos, but then that is the natural manifestation of his evil nature.)
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#2004927 - 12/27/12 12:28 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: David Jenson]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: David Jenson
The OP has gone silent.


At times, these kinds of threads have been bait threads where the OP starts similar to this and then sits back and watches the quarreling about where to learn and what group to belong to which is the usual way threads such as this go.

Perhaps not this time.
_________________________
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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#2004934 - 12/27/12 12:43 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I can only warn people who are committed enough to enroll in an correspondence course about the tools that typically come with the kit. They are generally not very useful and can actually inhibit the learning process. If at all possible, don't get those tools. Ask real, professional, working piano technicians about good tools and where to get them. Contact your local PTG Chapter - there is always someone there willing to give a serious student a leg up.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2004946 - 12/27/12 12:59 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

From what I have noted the tools are included in the cost of purchasing the course, so one gets them whether they are useable or not.
_________________________
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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#2004975 - 12/27/12 02:09 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2039
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos
Originally Posted By: David Jenson
The OP has gone silent.


At times, these kinds of threads have been bait threads where the OP starts similar to this and then sits back and watches the quarreling about where to learn and what group to belong to which is the usual way threads such as this go.

Perhaps not this time.
Yea, I had the niggling suspicion that this might be a sock-puppet post, but you can never tell.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#2005004 - 12/27/12 03:07 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3510
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I don't think it was a troll post. That is not consistent with the OPs posting history. I think it was just a casual enquiry as to how one might learn the craft. I have certainly been interested in the same thing, but there is just nothing going on in Australia. It's a terrible environment to try to learn to be a piano technician. Nobody will teach anybody because they are up to their eyeballs in work due to the extreme shortage of technicians. It's a vicious circle. I would have to leave my country and train somewhere else to become a piano tech with real training.

Of course, if I told you guys I was going to just learn on the job and try to pick up skills, read a lot and ask for lots of advice, most of you guys would shout me down for not getting proper training! Can't win.

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#2005033 - 12/27/12 03:53 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Originally Posted By: justpin
When I learnt to drive, I learnt how to maintain them, old beaters were fine, fix them in a jiffy.

Same with motorbikes and building PCs.

I'm curious as to where and or how you would learn how to tune a piano and do general repairs to them?

I'm not looking to do this as a career or even a side job, its just something which interests me.... heck I find so many out of tune pianos everywhere in pubs and community centres. I keep thinking it'd be lovely to tune it up and bring them back to life.

Thanks


Ando, the person already admits to "not looking to do this as a career or even as a side job....." That answers the question right there.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2005049 - 12/27/12 04:19 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3510
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
Originally Posted By: justpin
When I learnt to drive, I learnt how to maintain them, old beaters were fine, fix them in a jiffy.

Same with motorbikes and building PCs.

I'm curious as to where and or how you would learn how to tune a piano and do general repairs to them?

I'm not looking to do this as a career or even a side job, its just something which interests me.... heck I find so many out of tune pianos everywhere in pubs and community centres. I keep thinking it'd be lovely to tune it up and bring them back to life.

Thanks


Ando, the person already admits to "not looking to do this as a career or even as a side job....." That answers the question right there.


True, he is not really that interested, but the question itself is still a good one and the thread may be of great interest to other people - myself included. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to learn the craft in Australia since the last of the accredited courses disappeared a couple of years ago.

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#2005065 - 12/27/12 04:51 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
Roger Ransom Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 1241
Loc: SouthWest Michigan
Why would anyone expect the OP to respond at all. He just asked a simple question and got the typical array or smart a** arrogant ridicule.

I expect if he is interested at all he will pursue it somewhere else. That's what I would recommend anyway.
_________________________
Laugh More
Yamaha G7 - Roland FP7

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#2005075 - 12/27/12 05:10 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
plus 1 David.

No offense Justpin but we already have far, far, FAR to many fly by night piano tuners in this business who have no interest in doing a good job, instead doing it part time or only as a hobby. Do something else if that is all you're interested in. It takes a LOT more time and a LOT more knowledge to tune them and to repair them correctly than you or most people think.


This is what I said in my first post and I stand by it because it is true. We have far to many fly by nights and far to many part timers who could care less if they do good work or not. I am not about to help some "part timer" who doesn't even want to do it as a hobby, to do it.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2005077 - 12/27/12 05:26 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
I see a lot of pianos go for firewood.

Jo's Husband maakes wood burning stoves. I see a lot of them get the chop and into his fires. With frames going to a scrap dealer.

Some with broken sound boards. Some look OK, it'd be nice to save one or two of them now and again and as before I see untuned forgotten pianos in places I work and visit.

It seems such a waste.


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#2005079 - 12/27/12 05:30 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
Except I can repair motorbikes pretty well, and not bodging either. I don't do it as a profession I did it because it seemed interesting.

It came in very handy when I went for a ride around the world and had to replace the big end bearing in Ulan Baator with nothing but hand tools.

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#2005080 - 12/27/12 05:32 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: Supply]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
Thanks, I hate courses were you are not there, they feel like a rip off.

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#2005096 - 12/27/12 06:10 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
Anyway...

I guess it is one of those trades whereby it you have to be an apprentice and time served to get your stripes. I.e. follow somebody who is experienced in the trade.

Since this sort of thing is impossible for me, I guess this is a dead end.

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#2005132 - 12/27/12 07:30 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: David Jenson]
Don L Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 59
Loc: Minnesota
Who by chance is the OP?

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#2005144 - 12/27/12 07:49 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
Ok I'll open the door to this... lets say you own a piano,
the turner guy comes tunes the piano
2 months later the "A" goes out of tune..can't I take the wrench and turn it up/down
whatever? I can see having the tuner come 2 times a year to tune and correct other
problems, but what about "in between times?" I am not interested in becoming a professional
piano tuner....

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#2005148 - 12/27/12 07:56 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
It'll cost you more money for the pro to fix the broken wires and to correct the tuning you screwed up or made worse. smile
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2005204 - 12/27/12 09:55 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19228
Loc: New York City
I am admittedly not the type who is good at fixing anything or doing anything mechanical. But I am still surprised by those who dabble in piano tuning on their own pianos unless those pianos are old and in terrible shape to begin with. I think, in general, they are not aware of how complex tuning or any other aspect of piano care is. A case of not knowing what they don't know.

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#2005206 - 12/27/12 09:57 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19228
Loc: New York City
I am admittedly not the type who is good at fixing anything or doing anything mechanical. But I am still surprised by those who dabble in piano tuning on their own pianos unless those pianos are old and in terrible shape to begin with. I think, in general, they are not aware of how complex tuning or any other aspect of piano care is. A case of not knowing what they don't know.

I read somewhere that it takes 1000 tunings to become good and that's probably after all the professional training.

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#2005230 - 12/27/12 10:34 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: pianoloverus]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3510
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I am admittedly not the type who is good at fixing anything or doing anything mechanical. But I am still surprised by those who dabble in piano tuning on their own pianos unless those pianos are old and in terrible shape to begin with. I think, in general, they are not aware of how complex tuning or any other aspect of piano care is. A case of not knowing what they don't know.

I read somewhere that it takes 1000 tunings to become good and that's probably after all the professional training.


Some people have an aptitude for it and some don't. I taught myself how to tune on my piano, which is admittedly an older Yamaha U3. The first half dozen attempts were ok to start with but had some issues with certain intervals and weren't as stable as they are now. By the end of my 7th or 8th tuning, I was getting good results. I read very heavily on the subject and asked lots of questions and I can now do a tuning that sounds pleasing to my ears and everybody else who has heard it. It has also been stable for close to 6 months. I even had a professional tuner come out to check on my work and he said that my tuning was acceptable as a professional job provided it was stable. He refused to take my money to touch it up, saying he couldn't really improve on it. So it can be learned and it's not crazy to do it on a decent piano.

What I feel does need some assistance from a teacher is the rest of the technical work involved in being a good piano technician. There are so many aspects to it and I wish I could get some instruction on it from a master. Unfortunately it doesn't seem possible in my country anymore.

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#2005253 - 12/27/12 11:54 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Why is that not possible Ando in your country if there are so many professional technicians around with so many pianos to tune? It would seem like someone would be available or someone would want to help at least for pay?

Here, you would not believe the amount of fly by night tuners. I don't know the percentage but, my guess would be 70 percent or greater. Most all tuners think they can tune well. However, many really cannot. They think it because they can't hear it and nobody critque's their work for them as we sometimes do here if a tuning is posted.

Anyone can talk pianos. Anyone can fake it to one degree or another on the internet but not anyone can walk the walk and not everyone is willing to learn how to walk the walk. The good techs on PW can tell the difference between a good tech and a so so one or a lousy one by reading and listening to what they post and how they post it and if they're right or wrong. We're all wrong from time to time and we all have room to learn no matter how seasoned we are.

By the way, not working all week, being sick and all, I can't sleep so, I got up and thought coming in here sounded like something that might make me tired! haha. So far, no luck! smile

Anyway, following up after these crummy tuners for so many years, those who think it is so simple that anyone can learn it is extremely frustrating for those of us who know different. Sure, some people have the aptitute and, ability for it. But, many others do not and MANY others don't care if the work they produce is good, or, if it is bad and in many cases, it is just down right rotten. Like I said, you probably would not believe some of the crappy workmanship I've seen since I started tuning with my dad when I was 12 years old, 44 years ago.

The one thing he stressed among many was this. "If you can't do it right, then, don't do it at all and if you're not interested in doing it right, then don't attempt it and go do something that you're good at instead."

Anyone who calls me to fix up the mess they made trying to do it themselves gets a refusal not because I don't care to work on their piano, but instead, because I know what kind of a mess I'm in for and, fortunately for me, I have all the work I can handle so, I can turn those types of jobs away and do. If that sounds snotty well, then so be it. It is not intended to be that way but it is how I feel about it. I have a passion for what I do. I wish all true technicians did.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2005271 - 12/28/12 01:06 AM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21292
Loc: Oakland
There have been a lot around here that I wish would have flown by night!
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2005282 - 12/28/12 01:30 AM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2039
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: justpin
Anyway...

I guess it is one of those trades whereby it you have to be an apprentice and time served to get your stripes. I.e. follow somebody who is experienced in the trade.

Since this sort of thing is impossible for me, I guess this is a dead end.


It's actually one of those "trades" where there is much more to it than meets the eye. I understand Jerry Groot's frustration perfectly. Things like bent hammer return springs, wire wound the wrong way on tuning pins, action parts glued together from glue drip, parts broken by simple ham-handed fumbling, and any of a number of other casual-tooner tricks that I've mercifully forgotten make our jobs very difficult. For that reason when we see someone volunteering to serve up more frustration it clouds up our normally sunny and ever so kindly dispositions.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#2005283 - 12/28/12 01:31 AM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: BDB]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2039
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: BDB
There have been a lot around here that I wish would have flown by night!


You too???
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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