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

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
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.?
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www.howtotunepianos.com

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

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7177
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
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4908
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: 511
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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#2270297 - 05/02/14 05:19 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7177
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)
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#2270306 - 05/02/14 05:35 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: SMHaley]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7177
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
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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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: 595
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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#2270408 - 05/03/14 12:03 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1868
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.
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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: 511
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
Practitioner of piano technology
Church Music Professional
Curator of instruments - Chancel Arts
Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
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#2270542 - 05/03/14 12:47 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7177
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
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
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.
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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 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
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 Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7177
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)
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7177
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.
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#2271328 - 05/05/14 08:30 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
UnrightTooner Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4908
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 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
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 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
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 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
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 Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4908
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 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
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 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
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 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
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 Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4908
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 Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7177
Loc: France

I like myself !


Edited by Olek (05/05/14 10:31 AM)
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
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 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
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 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/14
Posts: 414
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 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
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 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/14
Posts: 414
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: 1589
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!
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Piano Technician
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Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

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#2271757 - 05/06/14 07:36 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Just don't open it when it is in your ear!
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2271764 - 05/06/14 07:56 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
UnrightTooner Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4908
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
Jeff, my sense of humour is obviously wasted on you. Isaac on the other hand; HE'S my friend.


I have no friends.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#2271780 - 05/06/14 08:44 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7177
Loc: France
that does not matter, if you don't have enemies you life is incomplete wink
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2272063 - 05/06/14 09:11 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Parks]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted By: Parks
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?


No, that was Jack Nicholson in The Shining ;-)
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2272065 - 05/06/14 09:13 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Olek]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted By: Olek
that does not matter, if you don't have enemies you life is incomplete wink


I have a full life, then!
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2272139 - 05/07/14 12:32 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3184
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Wouldn't work, couldn't work and shouldn't be tried!
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Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
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#2272402 - 05/07/14 02:33 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Johnkie Online   content
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Wow I think someone has hacked into Bill B's account .... an 8 word reply ! wink

Sorry Bill only pulling your leg smile
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#2272517 - 05/07/14 07:33 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: UnrightTooner]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
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?


For once, I have to agree with Jeff on this one. It is not really how hard you strike a key but how fast you do that makes a fortissimo sound. There are more than one client I have who consistently breaks the strings in their pianos.

One of them is a Vegan and has the skinniest arms and thinnest looking hands I have ever seen but plays monstrously difficult and complex classical music (all in a non-equal temperament and prefers that for the qualities it brings to the music, in spite of those who say it doesn't make any difference but that is besides the point). He couldn't be very strong and plays for hours on end. If he were "pounding", he would hurt himself but that is not what he does.

As I observe him play, his fingers attack a key to make a fortissimo sound the way a rattle snake bites. The rattle snake bites with such incredible speed that its victim never knows what is coming and that speed allows the snake's teeth to penetrate deeply in mere 100ths of a second. The snake has delivered its venom and retreated before the victim can even react.

Similarly, this pianist I know can attack a key and get it moving fast enough to make a very loud sound but he does not keep his finger moving in that direction long enough to come to a dead stop and therefore injure himself. He only injures the piano strings!

Now, I have often seen such home made devices as key pounders and I even have a few that have been given to me but I have never used them because I simply have no problem with pain from tuning, even though I am now in my 45th year of it and I routinely tune 4 pianos a day and often more during the busiest season. I also approach tuning in a way that many people cannot imagine doing but I have done it that way ever since I saw the late George Defebaugh and Jim Coleman, Sr. demonstrate it back in 1979.

That is to never, never think that I can tune a piano only once and think that it is either in tune or will be stable after I go through it an tune each string only one time. I know it will not be, so I don't try to fool myself into thinking it will be. So, that only doubles all of the motions that I do.

But does it really mean twice as much stress? No, I don't think of it that way at all. It cuts the stress by half or more. Counter intuitively, it also cuts the time needed to produce a rock solid tuning by at least half of what it takes most technicians.

I try to tell people that but I always get back something like, "Tune a piano twice in 45 minutes? (Often it takes me as little as 30) I could never do that! It takes me at least two hours to get through it once!" Or, something like, "If you have to tune the piano twice, you are not setting the pins correctly".

And Mark, (and Jeff too for that matter), since you are the King of the "slow pull" technique, this is not going to sit well with you but I know what I know from so many years experience and that is that just one, swift movement of the tuning hammer does, in fact, tend to move the entire string across all bearing points and tends to move the entire tuning pin from one end of it to the other and therefore does far more to accomplish the end goal in a split second than any wrenching, pulling, pushing and pounding in at least 10 times the amount of time and energy spent could ever do.

Now, there are certainly times when, particularly in the upper 5th and 6th octaves that it seems that as many times as I might strike the key, the pitch continues to go flat. When I encounter that kind of problem, I have no choice but to sharpen the pitch well above the goal and settle it with repeated test blows.

Recently, when I said something about that, I got a comment from Isaac who said it was because I was not setting the pin correctly. I did not respond to that comment. Believe me, I can make such a recalcitrant string find its correct pitch and hold on to it far more effectively and at least 10 times more quickly by the way I routinely handle it than by using any other far more stressful and time consuming method.

It is the, "Wham, bam, thank you, Ma'am" method, if you will. I am done and out of there and the piano, the next time I tune it, six months, a year or sometimes multiple years tells me that I was the last one there and that no other technician had touched it. So much for the, "You can't tell anything..." theory. I know for sure whether I was the last person to tune a piano, no matter how long it has been.

There are some techniques and feeling for a piano that only come with many years experience. The dealer I do a lot of my work for likens it to the kind of experience an over the road truck driver has. One may say a taxi driver too. How about a chef in a kitchen? 5 years is good, 10 years better but when one gets to the point of 15, 20, 25, 30 and beyond years of touching and feeling a piano every working day of one's life, there is no substitute for that kind of experience.

It is something that is nearly impossible to relate in words alone. One learns through experience just how to strike a key quickly enough to create a loud sound that will cause any residual unevenness in tension across the bearing points to resolve themselves and not cause oneself pain or injury by doing so. One learns to react as well to the change that has been made as a result in an equally split second with more split second corrections.

None of that can be accomplished with wrenching, pulling, pounding and "feeling" the pin move. I feel the pin move, yes, just as I would feel a stuck door move with a swift movement rather than just pushing on it slowly. I have developed the technique to know when a tuning pin has moved or not rather instantaneously. I don't need any more than perhaps thousandth of a second to know it.

As for whether or not ear plugs feel comfortable or not, that is just something one has to get used to. I could not bear to tune pianos without them. Sure, they may feel uncomfortable the first few times they are used, just like a seat belt in the car did to me when I first put one on so many years ago. Now, I don't feel comfortable without a seat belt and I certainly don't feel comfortable tuning a piano unless I have ear plugs in place.

If the sensation of something stuffed in the ears is too uncomfortable, then ear muffs will suffice.
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#2272594 - 05/07/14 11:44 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
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Bill's back.

By the way Bill, I've seen you tune. You use slow pull, the way I describe it.

Have you seen me tune? I use impact the way you do.

Look for common ground. We, as tuners, agree on more than we disagree. There are not that many different ways to tune a piano right IMHO.
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#2272595 - 05/07/14 11:50 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
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I don't use ear plugs, have passed the RPT exam with no test blows, and have no hearing loss. I also can tune 6 - 8 pianos in a day with absolutely no fatigue. And I experience no joint pain whatsoever, except when I need to use a little extra on a difficult piano.

So go ahead and tell me what I do shouldn't work, couldn't work, and shouldn't be done. But I won't hear you. I'll have my ear muffs on.
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#2272618 - 05/08/14 02:43 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Chris Leslie Offline
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Bill, while your thumb is still getting better, can you explain your evidence that what Mark does doesn't work? I believe Mark with his achievements.
How do you know that Mark does not produce stable tunings?
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#2272630 - 05/08/14 04:33 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Davis Offline
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Something I find perplexing about the internet and forums is that we forget that what others write must be taken at face value, and may not be true or accurate. It is just something that they believe and are saying, and once again, this does not make it true or right.

We need to test what others are saying and way up the evidence and be able to sift through all the stuff and get the principles and concepts that are practicable.

The other thing is though we would like to believe everything that others write and say, especially from those who have "Years of Experience", we cannot just believe it to be true or right. Once again, we have to go and test it out for ourselves. Just because someone has years of experience and a name tagged on to the end of their name, does not make them honest or upright. They may just be someone who has atttained to great heights, reached positions of stature and have a several names tagged onto the end of their name, and all of that gained by nefarious means. This is the real world we live in folks.

With regards to slow pull vs impact. I believe there are folks in both camps, that achieve solid and stable tunings.

As to the time that it takes to complete these tunings, I think that any professional tuner, using either of the opposing techniques, will complete the tuning in more or less the same time.

To belittle, attack, accuse and demean people who differ from what they believe is to be narrow minded, bigoted and intolerant. Yes? No?

There is a right way of convincing people and there is a wrong way.

Some peoples children never learn, though they want everyone else to "Know what they know", not knowing what they do not know.
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#2272635 - 05/08/14 05:27 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Online   content
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I believe to slow pull as the most efficient training for the pin's lecture.

It is a little addictive to feel pin and wire all along that way, and one tend to avoid loosing the contact then.

It is also a little addictive to directly tune where we want the string and not move it, listen/check, move it, listen, etc in rows.

Bu when the sensations are integrated, they can be used with more speed.

They are just necessary to tune more efficiently. (knowing the difference between the feel of the bottom and the one of the top)


To answer Bill, the pin, pinblock and wire are sort of auto locking system, so we need an amount of control to not allow them to lock before we ask.
old string bends also may refrain the wire to stop where we want.

Regards

I agree tuners have much things in common, more thatn in differences !




Edited by Olek (05/08/14 05:29 AM)
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#2272646 - 05/08/14 06:18 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Chris Leslie]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Originally Posted By: Chris Leslie
Bill, while your thumb is still getting better, can you explain your evidence that what Mark does doesn't work? I believe Mark with his achievements.
How do you know that Mark does not produce stable tunings?


I never said that what Mark does doesn't work and I never said his tunings are not stable. What I said is that I believe that an impact type technique is more efficient and lessens the need for forceful test blows but does not eliminate that need. I also said that one may give very forceful test blows without causing pain or injury.
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#2272655 - 05/08/14 06:53 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Chris Leslie Offline
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Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Sorry Bill, but I had read earlier:
"Wouldn't work, couldn't work and shouldn't be tried!"
which did not sound right, and then I thought that you were then elaborating on this in spite of Mark who is doing his best to educate us with his ways.

One thing for sure is that different people prefer, or have good reasons for, different ways of doing things. I do respect all those with ideas and experiences to share.
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#2272662 - 05/08/14 07:20 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
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Thanks Chris.

And Bill, remember I said I saw you tune. If you watch me tune, especially at the beginning of the P19 video, it's frighteningly similar. I believe we tune almost the same way. I may just "sense" the NSL tension more and maybe don't impact as much.

I find it more interesting that we behave much more similarly than we discuss.

Regards,
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#2272665 - 05/08/14 07:28 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Olek Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Originally Posted By: Chris Leslie
Bill, while your thumb is still getting better, can you explain your evidence that what Mark does doesn't work? I believe Mark with his achievements.
How do you know that Mark does not produce stable tunings?


I never said that what Mark does doesn't work and I never said his tunings are not stable. What I said is that I believe that an impact type technique is more efficient and lessens the need for forceful test blows but does not eliminate that need. I also said that one may give very forceful test blows without causing pain or injury.


What you use when tuning is years of habits , you feel the pin of course (that is a little new as even perception of the pin was considered useless on that forum 10 years ago)

But you tune as sending a stone, then fine adjust the last bits.

The idea of using slow pull is to be tuning "in real time" so the posture of the pin is similar from note to note.
This can be done very fast or taking time, all depends the amount of confidence in the instrument.

Certainly if a pin is twisted then left, it will spring back and lock. Then if it is not at the ideal position too much is to be done with shimming, and the pin's tress hardly will be similar from string to string.

THe intersting thing with the method I use is that the pin firmness raise and raise in the block, so if I am beginning with a somehow soft sensation, I leave a very firm one and I will find it for all next tunings.

If I find pins yet tight and tense, the tuner that worked before me did know its job well.

Regards




Edited by Olek (05/08/14 08:11 AM)
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#2272669 - 05/08/14 07:36 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Davis]
Olek Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Mark Davis
Something I find perplexing about the internet and forums


Well it is a well known process now that people tend to disagree very easily, may be to proove their self esteem.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

Certainly exaggerated !
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#2272675 - 05/08/14 07:52 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
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And thank you Mark D. Your comments are like a breath if fresh air.
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#2272681 - 05/08/14 08:10 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Online   content
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A young colleague I showed how to "slow pull to stability" passed his diploma exam a little later,

He told me the examiners went crazy banging as heck to obtain some drift. On the complete tuning, 2 notes could move with banging and after having tried harder than usual)

Extra fast hard blow I use, not test blows, they are here to input energy to render the string.

Most of the time I can avoid them.
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#2272685 - 05/08/14 08:16 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Davis Offline
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The impact method from what I understand, is just another way of tuning a piano.

At least two things, must be remembered when using the impact method,

1. Check that your pin string unit is solid and stable.
2. Check that your tuning is solid and stable.

It is that same for slow pull.

If we are not getting this right, then we will fail to achieve a good solid and stable tuning.


Edited by Mark Davis (05/08/14 08:19 AM)
Edit Reason: minor correction
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#2272694 - 05/08/14 08:35 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
A443 Offline
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Loc: Vienna-Houston-Tokyo
With regards to slow pull vs. impact, I'd like to point out that the piano makes a difference.

In the US are are many pianos (e.g., NY Steinway, Baldwin concert grands, and many others) where a slow pull isn't really all that effective. When the contact point of the string is so high up on the tuning pin compared to where the pin leaves the wood, you get a lot of movement in the top of the pin. If one, for example, can easily get 20-50 cents just by moderately moving the top of the pin, a faster impact style of tuning seems to work much better.

On other pianos, without this problem (i.e., where the wire is closer to the wood), a slow pull works great. I think one needs to be able to do both equally well. These are both important techniques to have, depending on how the piano feels and responds.
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#2272700 - 05/08/14 08:44 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: A443]
Olek Online   content
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Originally Posted By: A443

In the US are are many pianos (e.g., NY Steinway, Baldwin concert grands, and many others) where a slow pull isn't really all that effective. When the contact point of the string is so high up on the tuning pin compared to where the pin leaves the wood, you get a lot of movement in the top of the pin. If one, for example, can easily get 20-50 cents just by moderately moving the top of the pin, a faster impact style of tuning seems to work much better.

On other pianos, without this problem (i.e., where the wire is closer to the wood), a slow pull works great. I think one needs to be able to do both equally well. These are both important techniques to have, depending on how the piano feels and responds.


Why is it so ? they do not use Klinke or similar tuning pins?

I think that even with slow pull a lot of bending can be mastered, certainly it is not that agreable, I agree.

Impact is cool also, if one knows well his instrument it can be used as well, but it is great to be able to decide the amount of stiffening that one installs in the pin/pinblock NSL couple, to have control on that part of the tuning.
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#2272735 - 05/08/14 09:53 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
A443 Offline
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Olek, on an open-faced-pinblock (e.g., a Bösendorfer 290), the wire is pulling on the pin at a point that is very close to the opening in the wood [visualise: the wire goes in the hole of the tuning pin, wraps around a few times = this point is what I am talking about]. When this point is close to the wood, there is a very stable and smooth feel to the tuning and very little pin bending that happens--this kind of situation rarely 'needs' and impact technique. If you were to compare that with a NY steinway, there is at least a plate thickness difference in this hight, which results in much more flexibility at the pin.

Essentially we are talking about tuning pin height, but what really matters is that point I described. We could all observe this effect by pounding in the tuning pins in 1/2mm increments and noting the differences as you go: the difference is remarkable.
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#2272751 - 05/08/14 10:21 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Online   content
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Well yes, but I know how the tuning pin is bending or bowing any time I tune, it just add some springy sensation that have to be differentiated from the rest.
That mean plates are thicker on US instruments generally speaking ? more than 10 mm ?

if that pull the wire to more than 100 cts it is certainly some trouble.

Tuning pin quality is also important. if they are springy and stiff enough this can help tuning, creating small ticks for increments.
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#2272769 - 05/08/14 11:00 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
A443 Offline
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The pianos like the D and the SD-10 don't use tuning pin bushings, so the distance between the wood and the string point of contact is at least the thickness of the plate. Whether the plate is 1mm or 10mm, that doesn't matter, it is still significantly MORE distance on the pin than with an open faced pin block [or a properly installed tuning pin bushings]--especially when one can feel a noticeable difference with mere 1/2mm increments in the setting of the pin height.

The point of this conversation is that: when there is a LARGE distance between the pin block and the bottom of the coil, there is more of a necessity to use an impact technique; using a slower pull technique in that situation tends to tilt the pin more before moving it.
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#2272828 - 05/08/14 01:04 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: A443]
jim ialeggio Offline
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Originally Posted By: A443
The point of this conversation is that: when there is a LARGE distance between the pin block and the bottom of the coil, there is more of a necessity to use an impact technique; using a slower pull technique in that situation tends to tilt the pin more before moving it.


Except when using Levitan's C lever, which completely transformed my negative opinion of non-bushed pins. When the inevitable flagpoling that happens with a trad lever is minimized, as the C lever does, that pin cantilevered flexibility actually can be a help in finding the stable zone.

Jim Ialeggio
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#2272883 - 05/08/14 03:36 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Toni Goldener Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/11
Posts: 100
Loc: Switzerland
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 sometimes use the forearm smash, like Stephen Brady, ( with earplugs ), after tuning mf.
I have also a key striker made from a bass hammer.
Touch up what is necessary, play a piece of music to reconcile with the piano and the piano owner smile . ( BTW that is what you profs should do here!!) and then go home, or to the next piano, or something like that wink
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#2272885 - 05/08/14 03:39 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: jim ialeggio]
A443 Offline
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Registered: 04/28/12
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Loc: Vienna-Houston-Tokyo
Originally Posted By: jim ialeggio
Except when using Levitan's C lever, which completely transformed my negative opinion of non-bushed pins. When the inevitable flagpoling that happens with a trad lever is minimized, as the C lever does, that pin cantilevered flexibility actually can be a help in finding the stable zone.


I can believe that statement--even without ever having tried the C lever. I should get one to play around with; I can see where there could be some advantages for that kind of hammer, at least in some situations.
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#2272889 - 05/08/14 03:47 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
SMHaley Offline
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One thing that also can't be overlooked, and is somewhat getting danced around, is the type and quality of the pinblock (and pins) and how it responds to different sorts of movement based on the feedback being given through the tuning hammer. In my regular piano gig I have two very different animals to keep "concert ready" and they both require a different approach to reach their optimal stability. The Baldwin F, on its second pinblock (a micro-laminate) likes more of a gentle impact approach. No wild jerking, just encouraging nudges. It doesn't like to be fussed with using a cautious slow-pull. Get in, get out, move on.

The Kohler & Campbell SKG600 however, with a wider ply multi-laminate pinblock insists on more of a slow pull, and then you have to fuss with it to get it to settle and stabilize, and even then it likes to wander. It feels kind of spongy and there is no clear rendering of the pin or string. Trying more impact motions and it can't settle and will destabilize in a matter of hours. It just doesn't like it. I feel there are other things in play here, but this is how it responds.
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#2272959 - 05/08/14 07:01 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: A443]
Olek Online   content
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7177
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: A443
With regards to slow pull vs. impact, I'd like to point out that the piano makes a difference.

In the US are are many pianos (e.g., NY Steinway, Baldwin concert grands, and many others) where a slow pull isn't really all that effective. When the contact point of the string is so high up on the tuning pin compared to where the pin leaves the wood, you get a lot of movement in the top of the pin. If one, for example, can easily get 20-50 cents just by moderately moving the top of the pin, a faster impact style of tuning seems to work much better.

On other pianos, without this problem (i.e., where the wire is closer to the wood), a slow pull works great. I think one needs to be able to do both equally well. These are both important techniques to have, depending on how the piano feels and responds.


Hi, I agree that theoretically it is better to have not too much space between coils and the block.

I am unsure it would give me much trouble with slow pulling, as as soon I feel the pin moves I balance the tension between the pin and the wire, so in that case I could lower the bending , as I want the pin to be balanced by the 75 K of tension of the wire .
With the hammer at 15:00 the force used is acting very directly to the string . It may not be that difficult to allow the string to bring the tuning pin straight.

So yes the pin will bow before moving, and yes if it raise too much the pitch it can be a problem .
It may be necessary to really have the hammer at 13:00 to finish the job.



Edited by Olek (05/09/14 07:25 AM)
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#2273140 - 05/09/14 07:19 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
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Slow pull can and does work on high pins with much deformation.

Consider a pitch window where we can affect pitch without moving the foot.

The desired pitch must be centered but somewhat toward the bottom of that window, in order to withstand hard blows.

High pins just have a larger window.

The location of each window is determined by the pin angle.

If the desired pitch is too high or too low, the window must be moved.

The only way to do that is to move the foot. You don't even have to play the note, just turn the pin until you feel the foot move.

On some pianos with tight pin blocks, it may be difficult to get the foot to move a small enough amount. That's where impact comes in. It's not about moving the whole string at once. The whole string does not move as a single unit, in my opinion. How else is it possible to affect an impact on a pin, moving the foot, yet having no pitch change, which is possible with long NSL?

Simple physics.


Edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT (05/09/14 07:24 AM)
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#2273145 - 05/09/14 07:34 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
prout Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 674
Help me out here. I understand and experience the window of pitch variation where the foot does not move, but I don't understand how the pitch remains stable, once placed in that window. I have assumed that some portion of the NSL segments is storing unequalised tension, or that the pin is experiencing torque that it has not yet released. Is this the wrong way to look at it?

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#2273150 - 05/09/14 08:01 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7177
Loc: France
All that extra strtch in the pin and wire NSL have to be undone, but not totally, the wire can keep a little more tension.
Then the pin stressed the other way to resist the tension in the NSL.
when set to the max the pin will hardly allow the pitch to lower.

It applies the same tension to the NSL than the NSL applies to the pîn.

Both of those tensions are a little above the one of the speaking length.

Is it clearer?

If bowing/bending the pin befor it moves raise the tension opf the string way too much it can be a hassle, but usually the added tension when raising and bowing the pin helps to put back the pin in place securedly. W
while raising the tuner feel how much torque and stress the pin accepts, and how much stress is necessary to have the wire moving at the bearing point.

Those informations are "recorded" and used when setting the pin.
But then the window of location where the pin is stable is larger than one think, simply the moment where it is all optimum is itself very reduced. (optimum = very firm pin with the bowed posture keeping energy availeable)

Regards





Edited by Olek (05/09/14 08:07 AM)
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#2273172 - 05/09/14 09:22 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Olek]
prout Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 674
Thanks Isaac. Yes, that is more clear.

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#2273420 - 05/09/14 07:41 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Toni Goldener]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 658
Originally Posted By: Toni Goldener
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 sometimes use the forearm smash, like Stephen Brady, ( with earplugs ), after tuning mf...

Touch up what is necessary, play a piece of music to reconcile with the piano and the piano owner


Thanks for this Toni!
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#2273519 - 05/10/14 01:02 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: prout]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted By: prout
Help me out here. I understand and experience the window of pitch variation where the foot does not move, but I don't understand how the pitch remains stable, once placed in that window. I have assumed that some portion of the NSL segments is storing unequalised tension, or that the pin is experiencing torque that it has not yet released. Is this the wrong way to look at it?


No, I think you've got it.

Basically, within the window, there is a pitch that equates to equalized tension across the bearing points. It is in the lower (higher?) middle so that hard blows don't cause a shift or equalizing, which would change the pitch in the window to one that is more stable.

Isaac showed a good video where he bangs on the hammer, toward him on an upright. The pitch is high enough in the window that the banging doesn't change it. If the pitch drops slightly (which it did in Isaac's video) just move the pin foot slightly to the right (which Isaac did) then wiggle the pin to settle the pitch (which will now be higher than the previous settled pitch) into the window where it will be more stable. Turn the foot too much and the pitch will rise with hard blows.

Hope that's clear.
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#2273606 - 05/10/14 10:55 AM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7177
Loc: France
I want to add something Toni explained lately : when the NSL an pin have been stressed, releasing the pressure on the lever install yet a firm founation for future settling, the pin sort of jump back, most of the twisting is undone immediately.

depending of the block of course , but basically the foot of the pin is grabbing in its final position, all we have to do is work for the remaining NSL / Pin balance, and make the pin use the friction of its "bed" higher in the hole.

Regards


Edited by Olek (05/10/14 12:30 PM)
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#2273637 - 05/10/14 12:23 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Unless there's too much. Then pitch goes sharp.
NSL tension is too high in tension band. Maybe inside static tension band, but outside dynamic friction band.

Or another way to think of it; too high in the pitch window.

Actually this may be a completely different mechanism that must be in harmony with NSL tension/dynamic tension band analysis.

Analysis is a poor term. Sensibility is better.
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#2273667 - 05/10/14 01:41 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7177
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
Unless there's too much. Then pitch goes sharp.
NSL tension is too high in tension band. Maybe inside static tension band, but outside dynamic friction band.

Or another way to think of it; too high in the pitch window.



That is how some pianos with too much friction can be tuned, by allowing large tension in the NSL, and playing strong enough to have the tension pass the bearing to the string.

Some 1990 Schimmel grands comes to mind, nothing make the speaking length move, impact or slow pulling or even giggling/waving.

Anyway in the basic tuning technique, (Yamaha instruction) the NSL is stressed, an the playing hand is the one that really "tunes" the string, by playing repeatedly until control is taken over the speaking length .
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#2273713 - 05/10/14 03:43 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: A443]
Grotriman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 724
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: A443
With regards to slow pull vs. impact, I'd like to point out that the piano makes a difference.

In the US are are many pianos (e.g., NY Steinway, Baldwin concert grands, and many others) where a slow pull isn't really all that effective. When the contact point of the string is so high up on the tuning pin compared to where the pin leaves the wood, you get a lot of movement in the top of the pin. If one, for example, can easily get 20-50 cents just by moderately moving the top of the pin, a faster impact style of tuning seems to work much better.

On other pianos, without this problem (i.e., where the wire is closer to the wood), a slow pull works great. I think one needs to be able to do both equally well. These are both important techniques to have, depending on how the piano feels and responds.


Agree - and related to the scale design. The Grotrian 192 for instance has a lot of wire between the pin and the first bearing point on the plate (two octaves starting middle C and up) and a slow pull will put a lot of tension in the non-speaking length. Multiple fast blows when letting the pitch down to target is key to success for these. My Ibach is not at all the same.

Of course the larger diameter strings that are below middle C don't stretch as much at all between the pin and the first bearing point.
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#2273714 - 05/10/14 03:47 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Too much playing = hearing loss. This is the point of my post.

How one can get stability without playing hard or excessively, and without having to use ear plugs.

Granted, I suppose there are some pianos where hard playing is required. But it can be done without, on most.
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#2273719 - 05/10/14 04:14 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
A443 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 818
Loc: Vienna-Houston-Tokyo
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT

How one can get stability without playing hard or excessively, and without having to use ear plugs.


Simple: insist piano manufacturers make better pianos. We should NOT have to bang in the descant to ensure stability.
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Klavierbaukünstler

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#2273780 - 05/10/14 08:31 PM Re: Soft blow technique. [Re: A443]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1065
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted By: A443
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT

How one can get stability without playing hard or excessively, and without having to use ear plugs.


Simple: insist piano manufacturers make better pianos. We should NOT have to bang in the descant to ensure stability.


Thankfully, they are the minority.


Edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT (05/10/14 08:32 PM)
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