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#2270175 - 05/02/14 12:31 PM Soft blow technique.
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
What do different tuners think about banging piano keys versus soft blow for stability?
Using ear plugs?
Pain from excessive use of test blows?

Granted that test blows and hard playing in general results in less unison drifting after the tuning, what do tuners do to counteract the damage to ear and arm from using hard blows, assuming you do not like the sound or feel of ear plugs.?
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2270182 - 05/02/14 12:45 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Hello Mark

All pianos need to be hardly tuned for some time when they are recent (and with new strings even more)

Then I like to think I work on pianos yet "tuned" even if the last tuning is 6 12 months old. Basically the piano should not have moved enough to create difficulties. I take in account the season and use the pitch installed as soon it is not under 440.

tuning with soft blows allows to hear so much better and then have a better reading of the motions in the system.

I feel that the last section of wire after the bridge does not really react to hard blows, the tension pass the bridge only slowly, hence sometime the added time to obtain stability.(plus the pin metal deformation that probably need some moment to "stabilize" in stressed posture)


As I said, some pianos have a dull and square tone, and I tend to play the strong enough (with earplugs)to obtain some energy raise that the pianist will be able to use also (the piano is tuned to be played strong in that case I think ) Sometime deceiving probably ...

Regards
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2270219 - 05/02/14 02:18 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
The pianos that deserve to be beaten are the ones that you need to treat gently so nothing breaks. laugh laugh laugh

I tune loudly, but don't pound. I don't wear earplugs, but then I rarely tune more than one piano in a day.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#2270253 - 05/02/14 03:55 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 860
Loc: Seattle
I tuned for a concert last weekend and gave myself a little experiment. The piano, while nothing of great quality, has a little instability in the upper treble in addition to quite the host of false beats. I did part of an octave with soft blows and the remainder with more traditional hard blows. After the pianist had an hour warm up prior to the performance I did some clean up. Not to my surprise the soft blows drifted more than those with the harder. The wound bass I did with more of a soft blow approach with minimal drifting. I feel the choice has to come down to how the string renders and the reaction of the pin and block in relation.

Use of ear protection is a must for me on brighter instruments and especially getting in to the treble. I tend not to with the temperament range and getting in to the bass.
_________________________
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Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

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#2270297 - 05/02/14 05:19 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
A solution I sometime use, but that can turn to a nasty habit, is to use a firm blow just to put energy in the system, followed by a soft one for listening.

Just because I do not hear so well what I want to work on , with too strong blows (it is too hard to work (without earplugs) on the immediate tone(attack) with strong blows. the ear is forced to hear and that is really tiring.

The main reason for more firm blows is to have a different tone, one that is adapted to strong (percussive) playing and push a little farther the saturation level of the unison.

Then of course to help with rendering if the friction is really high at bearing points. But then the strong blows can as well leave an overly tense NSL.

In most difficult cases I accumulate energy while playing moderately or soft, then I tune with strong blows using the stored energy to raise the pitch and the blow (s) to move the whole. I do not like that much I prefer to take the control on the system in fine sensible mode and install it where I want, with much limited shimming. (the "one shot" idea)

Working only at phase level then while leaving an approximately similar tension balance in the NSL from string to string.

That is the tactile immediate memory that is at work, and an experienced ear that can evaluate beforehand where the string is supposed to "land" (plus a knowledge of the "shape" and reactions of the pin in its optimally bend posture)





Edited by Olek (05/02/14 05:22 PM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2270306 - 05/02/14 05:35 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: SMHaley]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: SMHaley
I tuned for a concert last weekend and gave myself a little experiment. The piano, while nothing of great quality, has a little instability in the upper treble in addition to quite the host of false beats. I did part of an octave with soft blows and the remainder with more traditional hard blows. After the pianist had an hour warm up prior to the performance I did some clean up. Not to my surprise the soft blows drifted more than those with the harder. The wound bass I did with more of a soft blow approach with minimal drifting. I feel the choice has to come down to how the string renders and the reaction of the pin and block in relation.

Use of ear protection is a must for me on brighter instruments and especially getting in to the treble. I tend not to with the temperament range and getting in to the bass.


Hello, I am sorry but it should not be, once in its best posture AND with the adapted energy reserve in NSL, the pin will get tighter and tighter but the note will not drift.

Surprisingly this can be obtained in 3 motions, just well dosed.

I had similar results until I begin to learn more slow and controlled sensations/method. less focus on listening, more on perceptions, less throw and test and more direct tuning. (less force and more fine things)

Variations with instruments of course. Soft blows generally speaking mean that a little more time seem to be used, but that is only when beginning with that way.Once integrated the range of force and styles of tuning is empowered vastly.

Regards
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2270382 - 05/02/14 10:04 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 746
Loc: shirley, MA
I'm a no bang tuner. As such, stability has been the hardest thing for me to achieve, but is getting better and better(with lots of room for more improvement).

I have tried hard test blows, and never got any movement from the test blow, despite the fact that a questionably set pin/NSL would move itself in 15 minutes. This after exhibiting apparent stability with a test blow. Maybe its because I refuse to bang, and my test blows, despite all my best efforts, are musical.

However, I recently came upon an acceptable (to me) test which does move questionable NSL's. MF with two hands, repeatedly strike the key 6 or so times, as if I were testing repetition...very fast, but not super loud...it can be musical.

I often do this with the sostenuto engaged, as I tune unisons with the sostenuto when I can. This moves questionable NSL's. I often do this as I start tuning a piano to see what this particular critter will be requiring in the way of settling. Once I get the general feel for the piano and the section I'm in, the repeated blows are not necessary except for recalcitrant strings.

Jim Ialeggio


Edited by jim ialeggio (05/02/14 10:06 PM)
_________________________
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advanced soundboard and action redesigns
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#2270408 - 05/03/14 12:03 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2423
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I do hit hard at certain points in the string setting process. There is no need to bang on all the notes all the time when tuning. But I do feel there is a need to "force" the string into place at just the right point in the tuning process.

The thing to keep in mind is the tuning pin has both a coarse and fine adjustment process. The coarse, (and this is still a very finely controlled turning of the pin) adjustment is to turn the tuning pin in the pin-block to the position experience has taught you will be stable for the pitch you want the string to be at. After that you then use very slight nudges to "bend" the pin tortionaly, (I know it's is not a real word but I need it for this description). I am not bending the pin like a flagpole, I am working it a little to force the pin to stay at the exact balanced place that leaves the string perfectly in tune when I sock it in.

This is one reason oversize pins do not tune as well because they are stiffer. It is also why tuning pins tight enough to resist loosing all tension, will not tune well because you cannot rotate down at all without moving the pin in the block as well.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2270536 - 05/03/14 12:24 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Olek]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 860
Loc: Seattle
Originally Posted By: Olek
Originally Posted By: SMHaley
I tuned for a concert last weekend and gave myself a little experiment. The piano, while nothing of great quality, has a little instability in the upper treble in addition to quite the host of false beats. I did part of an octave with soft blows and the remainder with more traditional hard blows. After the pianist had an hour warm up prior to the performance I did some clean up. Not to my surprise the soft blows drifted more than those with the harder. The wound bass I did with more of a soft blow approach with minimal drifting. I feel the choice has to come down to how the string renders and the reaction of the pin and block in relation.

Use of ear protection is a must for me on brighter instruments and especially getting in to the treble. I tend not to with the temperament range and getting in to the bass.


Hello, I am sorry but it should not be, once in its best posture AND with the adapted energy reserve in NSL, the pin will get tighter and tighter but the note will not drift.

Surprisingly this can be obtained in 3 motions, just well dosed.

I had similar results until I begin to learn more slow and controlled sensations/method. less focus on listening, more on perceptions, less throw and test and more direct tuning. (less force and more fine things)

Variations with instruments of course. Soft blows generally speaking mean that a little more time seem to be used, but that is only when beginning with that way.Once integrated the range of force and styles of tuning is empowered vastly.

Regards



Isaac, I don't disagree with your thoughts. On this particular piano (Samick Kohler & Campbell 1992) there is a certain elasticity in the NSL of the treble section that makes the rendering a bit more challenging. I feel it has to do with what appears to be a small diameter steel tube cut in half being used as the upper string bearing point. Aside from the upper third of the piano plagued with strong false beating, this tubular bearing point doesn't offer quite enough friction off the tuning pin. The piano is also single strung in the European fashion which, with the bearing system used, does not, in my opinion, lend to increased stability that some suggest duplex scaling may have.
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional

Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

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#2270542 - 05/03/14 12:47 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Hello, surprising bearing point. why not brass ? you feel it flex when you tune ?

apparently steel against steel is very damageable, I have seen on some "Gaveau" models a steel rod (probably "stub" steel quality) used originally to reinforce the capo.
They are always providing a lot of zings and noises and look like a comb with really unexpected wear.
Replaced with bronze when the pianos are repaired.

I am not sure of the process at work, but seem to me one of the material have to give up, I thought the wire would have flatten on a hard surface, it probably does as those pianos break strings in the treble when old enough (they are all old enough today)
On brass, the wire seem to make its "bed" and then the wear is not so fast.

Regards
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2270548 - 05/03/14 01:02 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Coefficient of friction for steel on steel (0.5) may be similar to steel on brass (0.4). Look for different length NSL.

Excesive friction at bearing points = long NSL. When analyzing a piano for possible reaction to friction, look at the NSL. Long NSL? Expect the rendering to lag behind hammer and pin movement.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2270549 - 05/03/14 01:04 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Nobody has really answered my question. What do you do to reduce ear and joint damage, assuming you do not use ear plugs?
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2270569 - 05/03/14 02:01 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Thanks Mark.

Not so long if memory serves , similar to some Schimmel, the angle was strong however. I certainly agree long NSL is adding some delay, it is a part of what makes difficult the control on speaking lentgh

I do not get why it was so much impacted by the strings .

Very possibly because of a too large diameter, allowing the string to have more motion on the rod (see what say Ed McMorrow about that) , add some dust and time and the wear can be large (plus steel corrosion, does not happen with brass and for some reason brass is considered "lubing" (someone told because of the lead content in the metal)

It is generally brass or bronze that is used at contact of steel is not it ?

Regards




Edited by Olek (05/03/14 02:06 PM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#2270571 - 05/03/14 02:03 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
Nobody has really answered my question. What do you do to reduce ear and joint damage, assuming you do not use ear plugs?


I play softly, but you know that, and limit the amount of attack noise by playing often enough.
"test blows" are extra short rasps and sometime the pedal is used to hlp with rendering and allow the whole piano to get alive.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2271328 - 05/05/14 08:30 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
Nobody has really answered my question. What do you do to reduce ear and joint damage, assuming you do not use ear plugs?


Mark, it seems an odd question.

"How do you keep from getting wet without a raincoat?"

Oh, I don't go out in the rain.

"You haven't answered my question."

Ok... the rain doesn't bother me.

"You still haven't answered my question!"

Huh?
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#2271333 - 05/05/14 08:36 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
So I assume you use a lot of hard blows? Not a problem. You just need to change clothes a lot.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2271339 - 05/05/14 08:41 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I am reading your analogy as:
Rain = tuning
Coat = ear plugs
Getting wet = instability, and ear and joint pain.
Being in the rain = tuning pianos

So with that, your post is nonsense, with all due respect.

My question then becomes, how does one go out in the rain, without a rain coat, and not get wet? Hmmm?

And you can't have any super hero powers. No invisibility. Now who's scratching their head?
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2271341 - 05/05/14 08:42 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
... and now who's post is nonsense? Beat that! If you can.


Edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT (05/05/14 08:43 AM)
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2271342 - 05/05/14 08:45 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
I am reading your analogy as:
Rain = tuning
Coat = ear plugs
Getting wet = instability, and ear and joint pain.
Being in the rain = tuning pianos

So with that, your post is nonsense, with all due respect.

My question then becomes, how does one go out in the rain, without a rain coat, and not get wet? Hmmm?

And you can't have any super hero powers. No invisibility. Now who's scratching their head?


Actually, the analogy does work. You asked how you protect your hearing without hearing protection.

Gee, Mark, I don't know. How do YOU do it?

It's kinda funny, that's all. smile
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#2271346 - 05/05/14 08:48 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
...read the post title.

Pause...

Foot tapping...

Head scratching...

OOOOOHHHHHH!

oooohhhhh. You don't like me, do you?


Edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT (05/05/14 08:50 AM)
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2271347 - 05/05/14 08:52 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
i'm going home....and i'm bringing all my crayons with me.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2271348 - 05/05/14 08:52 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
;-)
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2271364 - 05/05/14 09:39 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
.....

You don't like me, do you?


I don't know you, and I don't want to know you.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#2271371 - 05/05/14 09:58 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France

I like myself !


Edited by Olek (05/05/14 10:31 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2271601 - 05/05/14 07:58 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Jeff, my sense of humour is obviously wasted on you. Isaac on the other hand; HE'S my friend.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2271603 - 05/05/14 08:00 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Unless of course...your sense of humour is wasted on me.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2271633 - 05/05/14 09:48 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Parks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/14
Posts: 441
Loc: Northern CA
Ya'll should take your hard blows out on the piano, instead of each other.
_________________________
Michael

"Genius is nothing more than an extraordinary capacity for patience."
Leonardo da Vinci

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#2271645 - 05/05/14 10:28 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I should've quit a long time ago. I just don't know when to come in out of the rain.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2271654 - 05/05/14 11:02 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Parks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/14
Posts: 441
Loc: Northern CA
Isn't that how Purcel died? He got into a fight with his wife and she locked him out of the house, and he froze to death over night?
_________________________
Michael

"Genius is nothing more than an extraordinary capacity for patience."
Leonardo da Vinci

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#2271690 - 05/06/14 01:30 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Gadzar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Mexico City
As the late Mr. George Defebaugh used to say:

"Tune hard, listen soft."

BTW, if you don't wear a raincoat you can always use an umbrella!
_________________________
Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx

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