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#2005297 - 12/28/12 03:02 AM 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: 3582
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
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?


Indeed Jerry, that is my frustration. There is an unwillingness to teach among highly credentialed techs. They all say they are too busy with their own work. So I went looking for a course and discovered that all the courses have shut down over the years - the last one closing in 2009 or so. There is only one man offering a course privately and he has very strict criteria. He gives a one year course (involving only Yamaha pianos, I believe) and you must come up with $25,000 cash upfront. His student intake is only 6-8 students per year too. So it's a little beyond what I can manage right now. I haven't been able to find a shop or kindly old fellow who will train me in his workshop. I guess it's not meant to be.

Quote:
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.


I respect that you must have come across a lot of very shonky work in your time Jerry. And I don't expect you to believe me at all when I talk of my tuning efforts without evidence. I'm satisfied enough within myself in that regard not to be worried if people believe me. My only expectation on PW is that people don't automatically assume I must be lying or delusional if I state that I am able to tune a piano to a degree that satisfies myself, my mother and 2 of my friends who are all more than happy with what I can do. I always read up voraciously and ask questions here on any job I'm going to attempt on a piano and I always do it on my piano first. So I'm certainly not a fly by nighter by any stretch. In fact, I'm not going pro at all. Just tuning a few pianos and fixing some minor things here and there. I did reshape my hammers and needle my key bushings to good satisfaction (to buy some time before I do a full key rebushing later in the year).

I'm very cautious and careful when I attempt such things. But I must say that I did get an independent opinion from a RPT about my tuning and he gave it a very high mark. It stayed stable for 6 months. I'm getting ready to give it another tune this week. I spend far too long on my tunings to want to go pro though! To date, I have only been working on ET tunings and have attempted setting my own temperament by ear using Bill Bremmer's method. The latter being not as polished, but a valuable experience. I am confident in my hammer technique because I can do a stable tuning on several pianos. Say what you like about my tuning, but it's still there a couple of months later!

Anyway, as I said, I don't expect you to accept anything I say at face value because of the phenomenon you mentioned earlier - that most people are able to delude themselves into thinking they did a good job. I only explain these things more to foster some goodwill and make sure that you good folk on here know that I'm serious in my questions and when I ask for technical advice about pianos. It is the only way I get access such information and I'm keen not to come across as an upstart asking pesky questions with no serious intent.

I'm extremely grateful for the help I get on the tech's forum. I consider myself lucky that I have access to you folks and your knowledge. I haven't been able to get that where I live so it's been absolutely indispensable. So thank-you!

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#2005393 - 12/28/12 09:43 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
Hi Ando,

You may consider contacting Mark Cerisano, RPT. While I don't know anything about him personally, he is an RPT and he seems eager to help people like yourself and he is on PW.

Most RPT's don't want to waste, well, that's a harsh word but, I'll use it anyway,---waste their time helping anyone else for free. I have, in the past, many different times over the years. I don't mind answering questions via email. If I don't know the answer and I don't always then I say so. Simple as that. But, most "teachers" get paid for their services of teaching.

It isn't that I do not believe you Ando. I do believe that you have a genuine interest in learning it correctly.

On the other hand, it is people like the OP that in my opinion, is not welcomed into this profession. Most good techs will refuse to help him and rightly so, for the reasons stated above.

It is one thing where people show a true interest in learning as much as possible and then doing so. It is an entirely different matter when one posts that he isn't even interested in doing it as a hobby. Then, why do it at all? We frankly are disgusted with that type of attitude on it. Just don't do it then, please.

I am causios though when in one sentence you say you are not going pro and then in the next paragraph you say that you are going pro. Unless it was a typo or an English mistake? wink

I don't know the RH conditions there but if they remain constant, a tuning should stay put. Here in Michigan, where they vary daily, it's pretty near impossible to keep a piano in tune much longer than a month or two if you're lucky. Today it might be 17 % RH. Last week, it could have been 45 % RH so we're all over the map in that regard. Great place to live, Michigan, if you wish to be a piano tech. smile

A good test would be a piano played for several hours a day in a college for example to see how long it stays put. Not only is the RH a major factor but, tuning stability is too and so if the RH is constant, the next test is fairly hard playing for a while to see what happens to the tuning next. smile
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2005412 - 12/28/12 10:22 AM 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: 3582
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT

I am causios though when in one sentence you say you are not going pro and then in the next paragraph you say that you are going pro. Unless it was a typo or an English mistake? wink


I think there may be a regional English difference there, Jerry.

I think you are referring to this sentence:

"I spend far too long on my tunings to want to go pro though!"

I don't know how that reads to Americans, but in Australia and England it still means I am not turning pro. It means, "I spend too long on my tunings to the point that I wouldn't consider turning pro". There's no English mistake or typo - it's how we say it in Australia and England!

In terms of getting training from RPTs in Australia, I would be happy to pay a modest fee to get some instruction in specific jobs like regulation, voicing, rebushing, repinning etc. Alternatively, I would work for a pittance doing the menial jobs in a workshop if it meant I could watch and learn these sorts of jobs or assist in restorations etc. I just haven't come across somebody who is willing to do that.

Quote:
You may consider contacting Mark Cerisano, RPT. While I don't know anything about him personally, he is an RPT and he seems eager to help people like yourself and he is on PW.


As far as I can tell Mark Cerisano runs real courses in person, so I'm not sure how that would work by correspondence. Maybe I will have to consider traveling for a few weeks and doing a "training holiday". Thanks for the suggestion.

Quote:
I don't know the RH conditions there but if they remain constant, a tuning should stay put. Here in Michigan, where they vary daily, it's pretty near impossible to keep a piano in tune much longer than a month or two if you're lucky. Today it might be 17 % RH. Last week, it could have been 45 % RH so we're all over the map in that regard. Great place to live, Michigan, if you wish to be a piano tech.
Humidity does shift around a bit where I live. Generally between 40 and 70%. In any case, my comments about the stability of my tunings to date were more related to pin setting and hammer technique. My first couple of tunings weren't so stable but once I practiced a bit more and got a feel for the pin and tension in the speaking and non-speaking portions of the string, the stability has improved considerably. I'm no pro, but I'm a very handy amateur.

Thanks again for your thoughts and time, Jerry. It's great to get feedback from highly respected figures in the industry.

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#2005436 - 12/28/12 10:46 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
I suspect it was a typo as it appears you corrected it because it is gone now. smile

No problem. I use my backspace button more than any others! smile We all have typo's. smile You can't imagine the amount of times I proof read it before I hit send and am continually finding things wrong after I send it anyway. I'll go in, fix it and find something else. Ahh, the frustrating of typing. Depending on the time I have or if I feel like it, I'll correct it or leave it.. smile

Well, this is still one of the best places for getting answers and so is the PTG tech list. They are yapping about pianos and things all day long in there.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

Top
#2005439 - 12/28/12 10:54 AM 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: 3582
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
I suspect it was a typo as it appears you corrected it because it is gone now. smile

No problem. I use my backspace button more than any others! smile We all have typo's. smile You can't imagine the amount of times I proof read it before I hit send and am continually finding things wrong after I send it anyway. I'll go in, fix it and find something else. Ahh, the frustrating of typing. Depending on the time I have or if I feel like it, I'll correct it or leave it.. smile

Well, this is still one of the best places for getting answers and so is the PTG tech list. They are yapping about pianos and things all day long in there.



I swear I did not edit my post, Jerry. It was always as it appears now. That's why I went off on that explanation of possible regional differences in English. Seems that there was no regional difference there after all. Perhaps things just got jumbled for you in my typically wordy post! Let's call it "momentary dyslexia".

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#2005473 - 12/28/12 11:31 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
Or, staying up to late?? wink
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

Top
#2005573 - 12/28/12 01:35 PM Re: Where one one learn how to be a tuner [Re: justpin]
David Boyce Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 274
Loc: Scotland
The whole question of training is a rather vexed one. The demise of manufacturing in Europe and the USA means that there are no factory apprenticeships. Here in the UK, literally, none, since the last manufacturer, Kemble, stopped making pianos in England in 2009. There are few restoration workshops in a position to afford trainees. Even Steinway Hall in London, where they do carry out restoration work, manage only one a year.

Latterly it was left to colleges to provide training, and now there is only one college course left in the UK. (At one point in the early 1980s there were six). And if student numbers are low for a couple of years, it will probably fold.

In the USA there is the highly-reputed course in Boston, (and a course in Chicago) and in Canada, the university course in London Ontario.
One supposes that training opportunities in China must be on the increase, corresponding with the decline in the West.

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