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#2454899 - 08/29/15 06:27 PM How old were you when you started tuning?
Justice Post Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/20/15
Posts: 8
Loc: Monterey County, CA
Greetings all,
I have been playing piano for years and now I'm a college student majoring in music. Over the last year though I've become interested in working as a piano technician, and have been training as such.
Just curious to see what some of your early experiences were. How old were you when you started? Apprenticing? When you went professional?
_________________________
Music performance major.
Junior piano tuner

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#2454907 - 08/29/15 06:42 PM Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: Justice Post]
Lucas Brookins RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/14
Posts: 119
Loc: Janesville WI
I was 16 years old when I first started!
_________________________
Lucas Brookins, RPT

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#2454922 - 08/29/15 08:15 PM Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: Justice Post]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1449
Loc: Michigan
Hard to say when exactly. I collected my first fee from a customer when I was 14, so it had to be some time before that. I used to go with my father sometimes when I wasn't in school and he'd sit me beside him on the bench when he was tuning and I'd have to pull out the temperament strip when he was ready to move to the next note. At first he'd tell me and eventually I knew. I did bridle straps when I was in 3rd grade.

But I didn't pass my PTG exam until I was 21, so Lucas has me beat by 3 years, there. (At the time it wasn't called RPT, it was "Craftsman".

I've been at it for 50 years now and I'm still learning. It wasn't until about 20 years ago that I was happy with my own tunings -- although other people were.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
Editor, Piano Technicians Journal
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#2454929 - 08/29/15 09:18 PM Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: Justice Post]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2451
Loc: Maine
17
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#2454934 - 08/29/15 09:37 PM Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: Justice Post]
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5809
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
17 When I started learning, working for Curtis Music Stores in Lynn, MA.

Old Raymond Curtis was about 80 then (1968), and had once worked in the Chickering factory.
George Cole was a graduate of North Bennett Street. Two great guys.

As Keith says, still learning.
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#2454935 - 08/29/15 09:37 PM Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: Justice Post]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22785
Loc: Oakland
I was about 20, in college. I was recently on campus tuning pianos, realizing that it is unlikely that any of the students who will be taking classes were born when I started tuning those pianos.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2454997 - Yesterday at 03:34 AM Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: Justice Post]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3475
Originally Posted By Justice Post
Greetings all,
I have been playing piano for years and now I'm a college student majoring in music. Over the last year though I've become interested in working as a piano technician, and have been training as such.
Just curious to see what some of your early experiences were. How old were you when you started? Apprenticing? When you went professional?


Started apprenticing at 23.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2455021 - Yesterday at 06:12 AM Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: Justice Post]
Olek Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 8571
Loc: France
about 18 if I remember correctly, as I was not allowed to learn really tuning before one year in the workshop. I did pitch rise pianos, mostly the ones I did restring. so lets say 19

It was not exactly the same as apprenticing but I went to the school once a month.

Before then we had a friend, a woman that was tuning and repairing pianos, and I did came by her on some week ends, with curious eyes I did look at her and gave a hand at some occasion.

My impression at those times is that many techs where protecting their knowledge much more than necessary (I refrain now to add (knowledge or limits, as I discovered later).



Edited by Olek (Yesterday at 06:12 AM)
_________________________
Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.! Euh.... sorry for the lengthy postings, I cannot refrain writing !

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/save_africas_lions_loc/?tcltqeb

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#2455085 - Yesterday at 11:02 AM Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: Justice Post]
bellspiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/04
Posts: 614
Loc: Boston, MA
Your grandmother's age, 59. (It was a fifth career.) First internship at 60, store work from 60 to 62, on my own (independent practitioner) at 62. In my class at the North Bennett Street School, the median age was about 42.
_________________________
Dorrie Bell
retired piano technician
Boston, MA

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#2455101 - Yesterday at 12:29 PM Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: bellspiano]
Olek Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 8571
Loc: France
Originally Posted By bellspiano
Your grandmother's age, 59. (It was a fifth career.) First internship at 60, store work from 60 to 62, on my own (independent practitioner) at 62. In my class at the North Bennett Street School, the median age was about 42.


That is amazing, Dorrie, was not it very difficult to learn the lever manipulation, you did tune vertical pianos left handed ? I am about 60 and avoid tuning much vertical pianos a day ;
_________________________
Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.! Euh.... sorry for the lengthy postings, I cannot refrain writing !

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/save_africas_lions_loc/?tcltqeb

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#2455124 - Yesterday at 01:44 PM Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: Justice Post]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 2156
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
35
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2455138 - Yesterday at 02:13 PM Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: Olek]
bellspiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/04
Posts: 614
Loc: Boston, MA
Quick response to Olek: 1) My previous job was nursing, home and hospital, which involved a lot of heavy lifting. 2) The extension hammer, because of the laws of physics, can be an aging technician's best friend; extended, it allows tuning with delicacy and accuracy rather than force alone. Now, back to the OP's question.
_________________________
Dorrie Bell
retired piano technician
Boston, MA

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#2455215 - Yesterday at 07:16 PM Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: Justice Post]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 3032
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
19 years old.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2455231 - Yesterday at 08:20 PM Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: Justice Post]
accordeur Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1287
Loc: Québec, Canada
19 also. I am now 49.

I started teaching piano and playing for money when I was 16. My father had a great woodworking shop, so I was exposed to tools and workmanship at a young age.

Being a tuner tech was a natural evolution.


Edited by accordeur (Yesterday at 08:25 PM)
Edit Reason: clarity
_________________________
Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca

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#2455309 - Today at 02:07 AM Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: Justice Post]
DoelKees Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 2030
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
I was 14 when I started harpsichord lessons. The first lesson was to tune the instrument in several (unequal) temperaments with understanding.

Kees

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#2455539 - 1 minute 54 seconds ago Re: How old were you when you started tuning? [Re: Justice Post]
BGrantier Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 5
I was around 18 or 19. My college teacher was in poor health, and had a hps. He thought I had a decent ear and offered to show the essentials of Equal Temperament. From there, I got into pianos. Gave it up for a number of years during other musical career paths, but got back into it as I neared retirement. I know I tune better now than I used to.

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