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#2179913 - 11/10/13 03:04 AM Tuning lever position
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2100
A recent paper by Kees evoked my curiosity to ask these questions:

At which clock position do you prefer to tune a grand piano and why?

Is there a standard (best) position universally accepted, or does is change from tuner to tuner?
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#2179915 - 11/10/13 03:09 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Hakki]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3296
Please buy Daniel Levitan's The Craft of Piano Tuning, available at Amazon.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2179916 - 11/10/13 03:14 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: beethoven986]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2100
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Please buy Daniel Levitan's The Craft of Piano Tuning, available at Amazon.


But he is not using a standard tuning lever.
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#2179917 - 11/10/13 03:20 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Hakki]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3296
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Please buy Daniel Levitan's The Craft of Piano Tuning, available at Amazon.


But he is not using a standard tuning lever.


The book is called The Craft of Piano Tuning, not The Craft of Piano Tuning with a Non-Standard Tuning Lever; I assure you, he covers the use of standard tuning levers in detail. I know this because I not only own the book, but have read it a few times, and I use the Levitan "Classic" tuning lever, which is his conventional tuning lever, as opposed to the C shaped Levitan "Professional" lever. We're not here to baby sit. You have to put forth some initiative if you want to learn this stuff.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2179919 - 11/10/13 03:32 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: beethoven986]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2100
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
We're not here to baby sit. You have to put forth some initiative if you want to learn this stuff.


I have the Reblitz and he advices to use the five o'clock position for the grand. Which seemed awkward to me.

Do you use a five o'clock position?
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2179920 - 11/10/13 03:36 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Hakki]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1795
Loc: Suffolk, England
Hakki

There are many posts in the archive about this. If you search through rxd's posts for the last two or three years you will find some of them. I cannot remember what words he used but "flagpoling" or "flag poling" may have been one of them, or two if you want to be pedantic.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2179922 - 11/10/13 03:45 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Withindale]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2100
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Hakki

There are many posts in the archive about this. I you search through rxd's posts for the last two or three years you will find some of them. I cannot remember what words he used but "flagpoling" or "flag poling" may have been one of them, or two if you want to be pedantic.


Thanks Ian,

I am somewhat against that flag poling movement of the lever.
And when I see a tuner use it I am worried.
If not used properly it might loosen the pin in the long term.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2179923 - 11/10/13 03:53 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Hakki]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1795
Loc: Suffolk, England
Also, I notice Isaac has given detailed answer in the Tuning Stability thread.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2179928 - 11/10/13 04:08 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Withindale]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2100
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Also, I notice Isaac has given detailed answer in the Tuning Stability thread.


Yes, I have noticed that.
He also demonstrates it on his YouTube site.

But I am yet to see a tuner using the 5-6 o'clock positions.
Hence my sort of a poll thread here.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2179946 - 11/10/13 07:02 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Hakki]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1680
Loc: London, England
Thanks, Hakki, for reminding me of some very dear friends from 40 years ago when I was an RTT.

Those old enough to remember what an RTT was will also remember that it became fashionable to use a longer tip on a grand and tune from the 5-6-7 o'clock position. I experimented myself somewhat but found it was way past my bedtime.

I did know some tuners who got solid results doing that. I don't know of anybody still tuning that way but those longer tips are available.

I have spoken of the lever being in line with the string on threads where beginners are makIng enquiries. I use this a lot in certain areas of certain pianos. In other areas of other pianos, i change the angle but never further round than 2-2.30 from the line of the string. My thumb is always partway down the shaft of the lever for more precise control.

If something feels real weird, I might try 11am but almost never. I prefer 11pm while I'm asleep if it's that bad.

One of the next posts will most likely be a repetition of the above but In gobbledygook.
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2179950 - 11/10/13 07:29 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: rxd]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 783
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hakki,

As you can tell from RXD's answer, there is no one angle that is right for all grands.

Each piano can have differing amounts of friction and each string's pitch can respond differently to hammer technique due to different non speaking lengths.

The goal is to have a concept that allows you to choose the appropriate angle and technique for that piano and pin you are tuning at any given moment.

Read my posts in the Tuning Stabilty thread. I basically outline the complete methodology of how the pin/string system behaves.

I will eventually create a step by step method that will allow you to determine, with the aid of an ETD, exactly which hammer angle/technique is optimum for a particular piano/pin combination, and post it on my website, http://howtotunepiaanos.com.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2179956 - 11/10/13 07:49 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Hakki]
David Jenson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 1947
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Hakki
...
At which clock position do you prefer to tune a grand piano and why?

Is there a standard (best) position universally accepted, or does is change from tuner to tuner?


I use whatever position is comfortable and allows me to get the job done. The "best" position ends up being the one that the tuner is comfortable using. The ugly truth is that you can bend, or "flagpole", a tuning pin from any position if your technique is faulty.

Those of us in the business make a living by being able to tune accurately and quickly so that we can make it through the day's schedule. Rehashing tuning hammer position is splitting hairs on non-essentials.

If you are trying to learn to tune, more power to you. Read. If you are trying to evaluate individual tuners, don't. Wait until you've tuned a thousand pianos or more before you embark on that dubious venture.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#2180009 - 11/10/13 10:07 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: rxd]
Olek Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: rxd
Thanks, Hakki, for reminding me of some very dear friends from 40 years ago when I was an RTT.

Those old enough to remember what an RTT was will also remember that it became fashionable to use a longer tip on a grand and tune from the 5-6-7 o'clock position. I experimented myself somewhat but found it was way past my bedtime.

I did know some tuners who got solid results doing that. I don't know of anybody still tuning that way but those longer tips are available.

I have spoken of the lever being in line with the string on threads where beginners are makIng enquiries. I use this a lot in certain areas of certain pianos. In other areas of other pianos, i change the angle but never further round than 2-2.30 from the line of the string. My thumb is always partway down the shaft of the lever for more precise control.

If something feels real weird, I might try 11am but almost never. I prefer 11pm while I'm asleep if it's that bad.

One of the next posts will most likely be a repetition of the above but In gobbledygook.


The use of those extra tall tips give the tuner a powerful sensation, the impression he master better the bending that he creates more , inevitably.

I work to have bending minimal generally, but tested those long tips, the effort on the pin is strong , really not what I like with standard orientations, I can understand it have been in the trend to use it at 17:00 or 18:00 as the mass of the lever may help to lighten the string force on the pin.

As the ankle cannot be put in a firm static posture (no fulcrum) I question the precision. But C shaped lever use the same orientation basically and seem to help some tuners ergonomically.

The wrist and arm of a trained tuner is as precise as the one of professional tennis men, lot of controlled power. That is always a long road to get there, better start when young.

About the angles, pianos that have no pin bushing are easy to tune with the standard orientations near the line of the string.

Pianos with bushing : the bottom of the pin will move differntly, also the pressure of the pin on the bushing refrain the tuner to feel as precisely what happens at the bottom.

Then a 15:00 orientation free the upper part of the pin (at the expense of more bending and more twisting)

That posture, on all pianos, allow to perceive the bottom of the pin more clearly.

Yamaha first tuning lesson : lever at 14:30, you add pressure in direction of the rotating plane, very slowly,while playing the note repeatedly, until you feel a release of tension (very light) and generally hear a "tick"....
You do not try to rotate the pin at all, the playing hand create the motion.

Once understood those 2 things you can begin to work tuning.


Edited by Olek (11/10/13 10:16 AM)
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2180070 - 11/10/13 12:09 PM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Hakki]
Maximillyan Online   embarrased
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 1429
Loc: KZ
Originally Posted By: Hakki
or does is change from tuner to tuner?

For upright (9-12) UP
For grand (15-18) DOWN
http://youtu.be/WZ2SxSG90U0
_________________________
A=440
http://www.donguluk.ucoz.ru/

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#2180110 - 11/10/13 01:43 PM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Maximillyan]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1680
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: Maximillyan
Originally Posted By: Hakki
or does is change from tuner to tuner?

For upright (9-12) UP
For grand (15-18) DOWN
http://youtu.be/WZ2SxSG90U0


Yes. But remember, Kazakhstan is about 15 hours ahead of most of us.
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2180151 - 11/10/13 03:15 PM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Hakki]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3296
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
We're not here to baby sit. You have to put forth some initiative if you want to learn this stuff.


I have the Reblitz and he advices to use the five o'clock position for the grand. Which seemed awkward to me.

Do you use a five o'clock position?


The Reblitz book is ancient, and no longer the best source of information, by any means. I typically use 2-3 o'clock for most of the piano. 12 o'clock in the high treble.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2180176 - 11/10/13 04:23 PM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: rxd]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2371
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: rxd

If something feels real weird, I might try 11am but almost never. I prefer 11pm while I'm asleep if it's that bad.


Okay, this made me laugh.

laugh

Some here are horrified by what I do, but, since I'm left-handed, I do things largely backward from what the righties here do.

YMWDV




Edited by OperaTenor (11/10/13 04:25 PM)
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
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[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2180185 - 11/10/13 04:43 PM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: beethoven986]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2100
Originally Posted By: beethoven986

I typically use 2-3 o'clock for most of the piano. 12 o'clock in the high treble.


Thanks b986 !!
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#2180264 - 11/10/13 06:53 PM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Hakki]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1795
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
The Reblitz book is ancient, and no longer the best source of information, by any means. I typically use 2-3 o'clock for most of the piano. 12 o'clock in the high treble.

As I read it, Reblitz describes what Isaac demonstrated in his video, but he seems to tell the time differently. Perhaps he was using a digital watch.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2180427 - 11/10/13 11:32 PM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Withindale]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3296
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
The Reblitz book is ancient, and no longer the best source of information, by any means. I typically use 2-3 o'clock for most of the piano. 12 o'clock in the high treble.

As I read it, Reblitz describes what Isaac demonstrated in his video, but he seems to tell the time differently. Perhaps he was using a digital watch.


I couldn't tell you... didn't watch the video. But yeah. While Reblitz was once the best one-stop shop for info on piano technology, it is no longer the case, IMO. I don't own the book, and never plan to. The only reason I've even read through it is because much of the PTG written exam is based off its contents. Indeed, there are much better sources of information available, now.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2180448 - 11/11/13 12:46 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Hakki]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2371
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
While I agree there are better and more comprehensive reference volumes available these days, I wouldn't toss my Reblitz book in the trash; there is still an abundance of useful information in it.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2180713 - 11/11/13 05:37 PM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Hakki]
Jbyron Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 481
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
We're not here to baby sit. You have to put forth some initiative if you want to learn this stuff.


I have the Reblitz and he advices to use the five o'clock position for the grand. Which seemed awkward to me.

Do you use a five o'clock position?


For a grand piano, Reblitz is referring to 6'oclock as though the pin block were at 12 o'clock, as it is on a vertical piano. This does confuse a lot of people.

So, 12 o'clock on a vertical is with the hammer handle pointing up in the air opposite the tail of the piano and in a grand piano the hammer's handle is pointing toward the tail of the piano for 6 o'clock. Not out over the stretcher as some people think he means.


Edited by Jbyron (11/11/13 05:41 PM)
_________________________
piano tuner/technician



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#2180847 - 11/12/13 02:29 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Jbyron]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1865
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: Jbyron
For a grand piano, Reblitz is referring to 6'oclock as though the pin block were at 12 o'clock, as it is on a vertical piano. This does confuse a lot of people.

So, 12 o'clock on a vertical is with the hammer handle pointing up in the air opposite the tail of the piano and in a grand piano the hammer's handle is pointing toward the tail of the piano for 6 o'clock. Not out over the stretcher as some people think he means.


I disagree, and I'll show you why, quoting Reblitz directly.

He starts by making a general statement that applies equally to verticals and grands (2nd Ed., p. 219). I've highlighted part of it:

Quote:
You will bend the pins the least if you keep the handle of the tuning lever approximately parallel to the strings, extending away from them.


Only now does he translate this statement, "extending away from the strings", into a specific "clockface" description, first for verticals:

Quote:
As you look at the tuning pins in a vertical piano, orient the lever in a position around one o'clock if you are right handed, or eleven o'clock if you're a lefty.


... and then for grands:

Quote:
Looking down on the tunings pins while sitting directly in front of a grand, orient the lever somewhere around five o'clock.


Clearly, he intends for the handle of the lever to be over the stretcher. Here's the proof: further down the page, he goes on to write (again with my own emphasis):

Quote:
If you are right-handed, you'll push on the lever to raise the pitch in a grand, and pull on it in a vertical.


I can only conclude that Reblitz's "clockface" in a grand has 12 towards the tail, 6 over the stretcher, 9 towards the bass, 3 towards the treble. If 6 were towards the tail, like you suggest, then at 5 o'clock the lever would be pointing to the tail end of the straight-side, and the right hand wouldn't be pushing to raise the pitch. It would be pulling (awkwardly, towards the right and back of the piano).
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#2180877 - 11/12/13 05:38 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: Hakki]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1795
Loc: Suffolk, England
Having positioned the lever on a grand as Mark R. describes where would you put your elbow following Reblitz's instruction?

Quote:
For best control of the lever, rest your elbow firmly on the pinblock, cabinet, or other convenient part of the piano.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2180997 - 11/12/13 10:55 AM Re: Tuning lever position [Re: David Jenson]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1299
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted By: David Jenson


I use whatever position is comfortable and allows me to get the job done. The "best" position ends up being the one that the tuner is comfortable using. The ugly truth is that you can bend, or "flagpole", a tuning pin from any position if your technique is faulty.

Those of us in the business make a living by being able to tune accurately and quickly so that we can make it through the day's schedule. Rehashing tuning hammer position is splitting hairs on non-essentials.

If you are trying to learn to tune, more power to you. Read. If you are trying to evaluate individual tuners, don't. Wait until you've tuned a thousand pianos or more before you embark on that dubious venture.


thumb thumb
_________________________
Bob W.
Piano technician, retired
Conway, AR

Piano Technicę Blog

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