Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

the Forums & Piano World

This Search is powered by Google
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Grotrian Concert
for Pianoteq out now
Piano Buyer Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyers Guide
Who's Online
111 registered (AJB, ARpiano, bboris77, AndyE, accordeur, 36251, 23 invisible), 2247 Guests and 11 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#2109095 - 06/27/13 01:48 PM DIY / Home Tuning Strategy
miscrms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Hi all, I shared this in another thread but thought I'd repost it here in case it helps anyone in a similar situation. Comments / feedback are also most welcome, always eager to learn. I realize the topic of owners tuning their own pianos is a bit, controversial lets say, and I'm honestly not trying to stir up that debate. I have a great respect for the professionalism and artistry of _real_ tuners, which has only grown through my own humble experiences. I do my own tuning mostly because I enjoy it, not because I have any illusion that I can do just as good a job. If the kids ever start taking lessons and get serious about playing we'd buy a better piano and have it professionally cared for. I would not advocate anyone trying to do this on really nice piano, or expecting stellar results. My piano is 140 years old, was irreparably modified along the way, cost $500 and my "palate" is pretty unrefined. And yet I love it, and for me working on it myself strengthens that bond.

As a fairly inexperienced home tuner, my method, based mostly on lots of trial and error and reading a lot of great threads here on PW has evolved to essentially the following. I realize this is probably not a great path for someone learning to tune for real, but perhaps a reasonable compromise for someone who just wants to tune their own piano a few times a year?

- Use tunelab to calculate stretch and temperament.
- Tune chromatically from the bottom up.
- Tune center string to the computer, unisons by ear for each note as you move up the keyboard.
- Try to keep hammer handle between 10:00 and 2:00 to reduce bending/flexing of the pin (upright).
- Position yourself at right angle to keyboard facing the bass end, thumb down, elbow out (upright, right handed).
- Begin by slackening the string slightly (maybe 2-5c), make sure you have the right note/pin.
- Slowly pull to just a hare over pitch (maybe <1c to 1c) "feeling the pin moving in the block."
- Use thumb to "push back" against fingers pulling to aid in generating firm even pressure.
- Relax the tension/twist on the pin by releasing pressure and then pushing back slightly.
- Finish with several loud test blows and see if its still where you want it on tunelab.
- If not make fine adjustment up or down and repeat test blows.
- Tune the unisons to the center string one at a time.
- Listen for stillness in the highest harmonics that can be heard and tone/volume change as strings "lock in".
- When no beating (or as little as possible) can be heard for each set of two strings, glance up at tunelab to see if the combination is still at pitch.
- If not, recheck center string alone and adjust if necessary.
- If center is still ok, listening to both together try pulling the unison a tad farther in the required direction to see if unison is coupling center string off.
- Plucking individual strings can be useful in cases where you're having difficulty telling how close you are, or if the unison being tuned is too high or low.
- Focus on achieving the purest possible (for skill level & piano eccentricities) unisons by learning to hear upper harmonics beating, and on learning to manipulate the hammer/pin to achieve the best possible (for skill level & piano eccentricities) stability.
- When tuning is complete up the whole keyboard check by:
- Starting at A0 depress sustain pedal and play 1s, 3s and 5s all the way up the keyboard, repeating several times if necessary and omit 3s in the first octave or two if "muddy."
- Listen to whole tones for any note in the progression that doesn't quite seem to "fit."
- Recheck any such note using tunelab.
- Retune that note and/or unisons if needed and begin check again.
- Repeat check for each key/arpeggiated chord from A0 to A1.

Following more or less this method, I was able (after several tries) to produce what I considered an acceptable tuning that held quite well for several months with only occasional unison cleanup until the humidity changed drastically. Of course it also takes me 3-4 hours to get there wink It definitely gives me all kinds of respect for those who could most certainly do a better job, way faster, and without a computer telling them what to do.

I'm very grateful for all the folks here who have generously contributed so much to this community, and to my own poor understanding of what I'm trying to do smile

1874 Steinway Upright "Franken" Stein

(ad 568)
PTG Journal Online
PTG Journal Online
#2109365 - 06/27/13 11:39 PM Re: DIY / Home Tuning Strategy [Re: miscrms]
Maximillyan Online   embarrased
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 1905
Loc: KZ
Originally Posted By: miscrms

- Try to keep hammer handle between 10:00 and 2:00 to reduce bending/flexing of the pin (upright).
- Plucking individual strings can be useful in cases where you're having difficulty telling how close you are, or if the unison being tuned is too high or low.

Hi,Rob.Your of temperament has the right to use many people.
To completely exclude additional destructive pressing on the pin to (9.00-12.00) if we tuning the vertical piano I think about it. http://youtu.be/WZ2SxSG90U0

only up! Tuning hammer technique maxim_tuner ( from9 by 12 )

A method of plucking a very effective way.
We can listen ( to catch) to no only unisons, but we can hear the sound of it's single string and compare with the tuning of others sounds all keys. There is an incorrect as stereotype that professional piano tuning is only possible with the mute. I'm adept use plectrum in many a case. You can plucking and some to make strings harmonies and chords. Of course the final (temperament sound) should be only from the impact a hammer on the string. I would be happy to know that the use of plectrum it is a hint of Max. Is not it?
Regards, Max

#2110370 - 06/29/13 10:30 PM Re: DIY / Home Tuning Strategy [Re: miscrms]
That Guy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/07/11
Posts: 507
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Good for you Rob! I would say that's basically the way I tune, it's just that I have 18 years of experience doing it. I've never been an aural tuner and TuneLab has been the software I use. I also have Tunic OnlyPure. There is one weakness I've discovered with TuneLab and that's the bass section. I begin my tunings at the first plain wire and then go all the way to the top and then go back to the bass playing the octave as I go down. Sometimes TuneLab stretches it a little too much for my ear especially on smaller pianos. So as I go down with TuneLab I pay attention to how the octave sounds between the plain string and the wound or bass strings. Does that make sense?

Sounds like you're having fun and enjoying the process. That's great!
Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE

#2110506 - 06/30/13 07:57 AM Re: DIY / Home Tuning Strategy [Re: That Guy]
Maximillyan Online   embarrased
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 1905
Loc: KZ
Originally Posted By: That Guy
Sounds like you're having fun and enjoying the process. That's great!

We are like you're having fun and enjoying the tuning process of a sounds too.

Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2110968 - 07/01/13 03:20 AM Re: DIY / Home Tuning Strategy [Re: miscrms]
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 375
If you've gone to this much trouble, learn to set a temperment, and become a legit tuner. It may be something you might want to do for a living!
Making the world a better sounding place, one piano at a time...


Moderator:  Piano World 
Pierce Piano Atlas

A. Geyer Pianos
A. Geyer Pianos
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Make differences between Faber's and Alfred's?
by Richrf
02/26/17 12:36 PM
Piano tuning software
by SF10
02/26/17 11:36 AM
So Many Different Typessssssssssssss?
by keykeyzkeys
02/26/17 11:16 AM
by keykeyzkeys
02/26/17 11:09 AM
Capstan button and key clearance
by Beemer
02/26/17 09:44 AM
Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Forum Stats
86,807 Registered Members
44 Forums
178,725 Topics
2,601,984 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission