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#628261 - 06/03/08 11:38 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
If all you have to do is come in here and complain AGAIN Stilamazed, after a full week, it's time that you just up and leave. Most people are here to help and do the best they can but when people like you pop in to intentionally keep a problem going by intentionally being obnoxious then yes, it is time for you to fine another playground to reside in.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628262 - 06/03/08 11:55 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
 Quote:
Originally posted by Stilamazed:
inteligent
behaviour
i desided
condesending?

GOODBYE [/b]
Spellcheck might add some credibility to yer posts.

Best of luck wherever you go.
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#628263 - 06/04/08 12:22 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Dave, I too, like correct spelling but be aware that most "spellcheck" programs are mostly American diction based. As a Canadian I would spell words closer to the British/English way ( cheque/check, labour/labor, behaviour/behavior ect..) If you wanted to be absolutely precise...the British/Oxford Dictionary spelling would be the most accurate since that is where your "borrowed" and altered language originated. I do agree with you about the rest of Stilamazed spelling however...lol.
I am willing to share my knowledge/experience of pianos with others without fear of loss of business, because this is a "hands on" profession.
I honestly believe that some people are inherently not mechanically/logically inclined. Knowledge only gives these people a slight help, they will still strip threads, break parts and mis-diagnose causes because its just not in them, and their personality is more suited to being an artist or hairdresser or something less mechanically challenging. I know some people that could simply watch a pianos action work and have the ability to figure out its problem by comparing it to the working note beside it. I also know of people in this profession for 20+ years that are more or less clueless. Some DIY's have the ability apply themselves with good results so I leave the choice to them, with adequate warnings.
I don't believe our profession was meant to incorporate a protection racket mentality, we should all let our work speak for us. Reminds me of the old Kung-Fu Masters that would teach everything but a few select moves...to keep their students from turning on them and kicking their butts one day.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#628264 - 06/04/08 12:25 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Dave, I too, like correct spelling but please be aware that most "spellcheck" programs are mostly American diction based. As a Canadian I would spell words closer to the British/English way ( cheque/check, labour/labor, behaviour/behavior ect..) If you wanted to be absolutely precise...the British/Oxford Dictionary spelling would be the most accurate since that is where your "borrowed" and altered language originated. I do agree with you about the rest of Stilamazed spelling however...lol.
I am willing to share my knowledge/experience of pianos with others without fear of loss of business, because this is a "hands on" profession.
I honestly believe that some people are inherently not mechanically/logically inclined. Knowledge only gives these people a slight help, they will still strip threads, break parts and mis-diagnose causes because its just not in them, and their personality is more suited to being an artist or hairdresser or something less mechanically challenging. I know some people that could simply watch a pianos action work and have the ability to figure out its problem by comparing it to the working note beside it. I also know of people in this profession for 20+ years that are more or less clueless. Some DIY's have the ability apply themselves with good results so I leave the choice to them, with adequate warnings.
I don't believe our profession was meant to incorporate a protection racket mentality, we should all let our work speak for us. Reminds me of the old Kung-Fu Masters that would teach everything but a few select moves...to keep their students from turning on them and kicking their butts one day.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#628265 - 06/04/08 12:36 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
sorry bout the multiposts, server kept saying it didn't post.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#628266 - 06/04/08 12:46 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Gadzar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 1589
Loc: Mexico City
It's discouraging...

I guess the best (only) thing I can do is to join the PTG, even if I can not attend the meetings (It's too expensif for me to go to the US and I had problems to get the visa). At least I will have the journal and special discounts. And maybe I would find some friends there, who agree to help a beginer. (That´s what I am :a beginer, not a DIYer, maybe a fool).

Here there are nice guys, like Bill Bremmer, Ron Koval, UprightTooner, Jim Coleman, and many others (excuse me if I don't mention all the names explicitly, but everyone knows who is nice and who is not) who are interested in talking with us, and helping us, neophytes of the piano technology. They accept to lose or waste their time to teach people like me, without reward. Only for the pleasure to share their knowledge.

Excuse me if I ever asked stupid questions, or got you upset by pretending to do things that were out of my reach. If I did it was unintentionaly.

Thanks a lot for your help.

Rafael Melo (Gadzar)
rafaelmelo@prodigy.net.mx
www.paginasprodigy.com.mx/solraczaid
_________________________
Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx

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#628267 - 06/04/08 02:42 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Zormpas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Monterey, Ca
Sigh... Here we go again...

I can only speak for myself. Like Rickster, I'm just an enthusiast. I got an old clunker of an upright and have been slowly re-"whatever"-ing it for the last 3 years.

Reblitz is great, but often isn't specific enough for a blunderer like me - so I research, research, research. I lurk on the PTG list - actually, just read/search the archives, I'm not going to bother the techs there, just "listen" to their shop talk.

I've done a fair amount of work to the old beast - and its starting to actually sound like a musical instrument again. I've also had to do things over, 'cause I didn't do it right the first time, blah, blah, blah.

I have a "real" tech do my tunings - there's just no way I want to even attempt that. Way too tedious. I also have him do stuff that I feel is beyond my capacity or that screwing up would be a very expensive mistake (like reshaping hammers for instance). My tech has been a wonderful help to me, telling me what I've done right, as well as what I've screwed up and need to do again.

In fact, he's coming in about 6 weeks to tune; and review everything I've done since he was last here. After much reading/research, I risked steam voicing my "rock hard impossible to needle" hammers with seeming good results. He emailed me a "good job with the voicing" - but I'm waiting until he sees/hears what I did before I attempt anything more. I'm also going to have him needle/voice the 3 notes above the break that are just driving me nuts and I'm afraid to do anything more to them at my level of (in)experience!

I have, on RARE occasion, asked for advice here, and gotten good advice. There's no way I'd call Jurgen an idiot for sure! And I've always made it quite clear (I hope!) that I'm a DIYer! BTW, its DIY (D)o (I)t (Y)ourself; not DYI, unless that means (D)o (Y)ourself (I)n - which may be appropriate.

I mess around with the old beast because I love mechanical things - not to save money or to deny any tech a living. If I didn't want to tinker with my own piano, I would have bought a new(er) one!

I had one lady I work with just *INSIST* that I look at her wretched Gulbransen spinet. I told her that I wasn't a tech, blah, blah, and after I look at it, I'm going to tell you to call one. So after I looked at this train wreck (tuning pins so loose that they'd rotate my tuning hammer by themselves), I told her what I saw was wrong with it, what the options probably were to fix it, and to - you guessed it - call a tech! Like my tech, here's his card...

I've stated before that I'm in favor of a DIY, or "ask a tech" forum, I just think it would be win-win for everyone, and less angst for the techs who don't want to interact with us DIYers, for whatever reason. But that's just my opinion.

As for physical stats, I'm 6'0, ride my Biria 3 speed 8+ miles round trip every day, am a Belly Dancer and can bench press a four yard silk veil! \:D
_________________________
-Zorba
"The Veiled Male"
http://www.doubleveil.net
1918 Hobart M. Cable "H"
"No-one would knowingly provide Franz Liszt with a mediocre piano." -E. M. Good

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#628268 - 06/04/08 06:37 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8399
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi Zormpus,

Nice post. I saw your picture with your Belly Dancing outfit on over on the Piano forum. Did I notice that your toe nails were painted? \:D

Just wondering.

Best regards,

Rickster \:\)
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#628269 - 06/05/08 12:41 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Zormpas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Monterey, Ca
Of course they're painted - I'm a Belly Dancer. It my job to be beautiful and exotic - as strange as that may sound for a male in the last several centuries. I also wear tons of makeup (when performing), but I don't think I had any on when that picture was taken though.
_________________________
-Zorba
"The Veiled Male"
http://www.doubleveil.net
1918 Hobart M. Cable "H"
"No-one would knowingly provide Franz Liszt with a mediocre piano." -E. M. Good

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#628270 - 06/05/08 04:16 PM Re: fools a plenty!
JDelmore Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/07
Posts: 634
Ah, fools...

Robert Frost said that a woman takes twenty years making her boy into a man, and another woman takes twenty minutes to make him into a fool.

The same, perhaps, goes for computers and pianos...

As for the Z-man and his make-up...

Well, I just recently watched the Little Richard movie (forgot the name...)--"So they want to call me a sissy 'cause I wear make-up? Fine, as long as they call me a RICH sissy!!"

Some say "Whatever makes ya happy." Some say "It's all good." Here in la Louisiane, we say "Laissez les bon temps rouler!!"
_________________________
PTG Associate Member

"There is always room above; there is only the ground below."....F.E. Morton (with props to Del F.)

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#628271 - 06/05/08 10:07 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8399
Loc: Georgia, USA
Well, not that I am referring to anyone on this forum or in this particular thread, but I heard an old saying once that says “it is better to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt” (Anonymous) \:D .

I suppose we all say or do foolish things from time to time. For example, just today I was asked to play the piano for a large group of Rotary club members who were having a luncheon at the college where I teach. Like a fool, I agreed to play the piano \:D . I guess I come out okay, I didn’t get any tomatoes thrown at me after about 45 minutes of playing; and, I got a free lunch out of the deal \:D .

Best regards,

Rickster
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#628272 - 06/07/08 03:34 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Rickster,

Quote: “it is better to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt” (Anonymous)

Rickster I am surprised at this from you. Here is the origins of this statement.

“Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. -- Bible, 'Proverbs' 17:28.”

More here:

“ It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt .” -- George Eliot.

Now, a lot of people have been credited with a variation of this statement. Abe Lincoln, Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Ben Franklin.

Indeed the Church wanted Galileo to say precisely this, that this was a mere supposition for convenience of calculation (a “hypothesis” in the parlance of time)……… he refused…. He thought it was literal and the absolute truth………….
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#628273 - 06/07/08 04:58 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8399
Loc: Georgia, USA
Good post, Dan.

The reason I listed the source of the quote as anonymous is because I didn’t remember who actually said it and didn’t have the time to research it. So, I do indeed stand corrected.

Like I said, I hang around this forum because there are many here who are much smarter than I am, yourself included \:\) .

The problem with my 45 minute mini piano concert last Thursday was that the darn 1980’s Chickering/Baldwin baby grand was out of tune. Wish I could have tuned it before I played it \:D .

Great post!

Have a great weekend!

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#628274 - 06/08/08 12:39 AM Re: fools a plenty!
woodfab Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 367
Loc: Stoneham, MA
Two blonds walk into a Piano Store.
You'd think one of them would have seen it?
_________________________
Dan (Piano Tinkerer)

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#628275 - 06/08/08 04:32 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Mark Purney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 373
Loc: Mesa, AZ
What's wrong with people DIY-ing their pianos. I'm sure some great technicians started out that way.

We're all here because we love pianos. Let's just have fun with it. If you get in over your head, hire a professional. No shame in that.
_________________________
www.Pianogoods.com
RPT @ Mesa Piano Service

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#628276 - 06/08/08 11:31 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Mr G. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 35
Loc: Sydney
The mind just boggles at the sight of some professionals who are afraid of some amateurs asking questions about their respective expertise. Part of being a professional, surely, includes the ability to handle the existence of competition in the market place, regardless of how big or small it happens to be.

In this case potential competitions is not even real and yet some professional here are freaking out for even being spoken to by people who just want to know how to overcome problems they might have with their pianos.

I guess these same people will have a heart attack if a real person came to them and told them in their face that they are going to copy their expertise and establish open competition in their respective area of practice.

Get a grip, all of you, and stop sliding down the poll of your professional behavior in forums a and/or real life.
_________________________
Consistency is the essence of good tradesmanship

The Piano Restoration Company
1/14 Burns Road,
Heathcote NSW 2233 Australia
M: 0417 255 420
www.thepianorestorationcompany.com.au

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#628277 - 06/11/08 03:04 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Maserman, you are fortunate in your experience as an aircraft engineer that a DIYer in your field would most likely not live through his so called quick fix. There are situations with a piano that does not require specific technical expertise, and common sense with a bit of correct information is all thats required. Take for example a pencil dropped in through the top of an upright piano. I see no harm done in explaining that there is a bottom door that can easily be removed and the pencil would most likely be found there if its not caught up in the strings or action. I do find it somewhat unethical to hold back this advice if asked, simply to make some quick money off a service call. There are people out there that pay 60$ for service man to light their pilot light on the furnace and then there are people who find out how to do it themselves.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#628278 - 06/11/08 03:34 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Yeah, and I see that you're usually first in line to give all of the answers too Mr. G. \:D

Emmery, the problem isn't locating a pencil in a piano, the problem is when someone can't find the pencil or, screws around with a tuning pin and other things and messes it up. Most only want to avoid that pitfall. ;\)
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628279 - 06/11/08 04:39 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
I agree with you Jerry on what your saying but I would bet a small sum that some of the best DIYers with sound mechanical knowledge and common sense would do less damage to their pianos then many of the worst piano techs out there(RPT or not).
As an example, one of the several pre-entry tests at my piano tech school 23 years ago was to take a piece of wire and bend it into a shape that was drawn to an undisclosed scale(relative to wire length)on a piece of paper. We were not allowed to cut the wire. Only about 1 in 10 people could figure out how to determine the scale ratio and bend the wire to match the shape. Some people were so overwhelmed that they just walked out. Now look at some schools and online courses where the only criteria is coming up with the tuition fees. It is no wonder that I see and have to fix things in pianos that were screwed up by "Techs" lacking common sense, sound mechanical knowledge,aptitude and integrity. I certainly wouldn't advise how to re-string or re-pin a block but to tell someone what kind of glue to use and how to reinstall a damper felt that fell off is not beyond the capabilities of a decent DIYer. Sometimes its just knowledge thats needed and other times it requires skill and aptitude along with it.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#628280 - 06/11/08 10:09 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
We had a person here one time that had taken a piano tuning and rebuilding course in a very well known university with a very well known technician running that university's course so, I won't name it. This person decided to move into Grand Rapids Michigan and started advertising as an RPT in the Yellow Pages and elsewhere before she had even taken any RPT exams.

She obviously didn't realize that the title of RPT is also patented and illegal to use if you are not one.

She got called on it and was forced to either take the exam and pass or to pull her yellow pages ad. She said, no problem, I took so and so's course. I can pass that exam with flying colors. I rebuilt 1 piano during this course as a requirement! That's why I placed my "ads" all around.

Ok, great we said. So we set up the date. She was as surprised as we were at how miserably she failed all of her tests. Not only in tuning, but she didn't even come close in all technical aspects as well.

I thought to myself, this is such as shame to pay that much money for that course coming out of it with that type of attitude and very little real pertinent knowledge.

That tells me that someone out there is giving this course and then is handing out pieces of paper telling these people that they are great technicians now able to do anything (apparently) when in fact, they are not. They need to be told that on going learning never ends.

So, you're right in that so many tuners out there shouldn't be in this business at all and many others could care less about learning anything more either or finding out if they know enough.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628281 - 06/12/08 08:07 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8399
Loc: Georgia, USA
Good post, Jerry. I would imagine that there are individuals in most every profession that are bordering on incompetence (if not on the side of incompetence already). You are also right about there being individuals that will tell you how much they know about a particular subject and when put to the test, would fail miserably. These individuals glean what they need to know to survive from others around them until their resources are exhausted; then it’s time to pay the piper.

As a parallel, I’ve had individuals over the years tell me how well they can play a particular musical instrument. When I hear them play for the first time, my expectations are sorely dampened with disappointment. Maybe some people just deceive themselves by thinking they are much better at something than they really are.

(I hope I never fall into that category!) \:D

Best regards,

Rickster
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#628282 - 06/12/08 08:30 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Thanks Rickster. I remember when my first Agraffe broke on a Steinway B. I was an RPT. Yet, I had no idea how to replace one properly because I'd never done it before. So, I contacted another RPT and readily admitted I had no clue. In this case, it happened to be my dad. He gladly came along with me laughingly saying "come along junior and watch a real pro at work." I laughed and said, yeah, yeah big head let's go! But, at least I asked to be shown instead of guessing and screwing it up more.

_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628283 - 06/12/08 11:58 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Jerry, your anecdotal story is a good one but there is another point I must add to this. Remember that some people are good at their jobs, but are terrible at taking tests or exams. The actual part of taking the exam, makes some people so apprehensive, that all they can think about is the “taking” part and not the material. This does not seem to be the case in this story however.

Taking exams doesn’t really mean too much, it just means that you can take and pass a test. Some do well at this, and others do not. You can see a lot of this at the elementary school level.

Remember there are three types of learners. Aural, visual, and tactile. Aural learners need to hear the words spoken. Visual learners need to read the material off the blackboard, or the written page, or watch the work being done. Tactile learners (usually with some type of learning disability or arrested development) need to have it done with them, you show them how to do it once, and they can repeat it over and over and over. Kind of like stringing, or action work, tactile learners are good at practical applications.

Some people can take a course but are they retaining the material according to the way they learn? This is the most important question……….
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#628284 - 06/12/08 02:10 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Good point Dan, you are so right. Some people freeze when it comes to exams alright. In her case, after she failed, we offered to let her study for a bit and even to help her but, she flat out refused and we have never seen her since. She is still tuning in these parts and still does LOUSY work. It us most unfortunate.

Usually, as head examiners, we can tell way before then, whether or not they know their stuff. In fact, generally we will "pretest them" so as not to waste any body's time or their money either if we can help it.

Unfortunately, with this particular woman, we have invited her time again to attend our technical meetings but, I suppose, she is either so embarrassed at how poorly she did or just plain POED at us and the PTG which is a shame in and of itself because it wasn't our fault that she chose to advertise as being an RPT before she was one.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628285 - 06/12/08 03:02 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Yes you know Jerry it sounds like she spent a lot of funds to take this course and to find out the results were not up to par could be quite a shock. And then ego/ denial thing kicks in and well, off they go. “ oh I took this course and I am good enough”………. So I can call myself an “expert”. Well folks who live this theory often run into trouble….. and not just with pianos.

Unfortunately you are correct that she has blamed the messenger, in this case the “members” of that PTG,or the PTG itself. There are lots of people that live life this way.

I had a student of piano technology once, who after 3 months, started to tell me how to do the repairs “no Dan it is done this way”….. So they become un-trainable. The fellow left, and is still around doing the same sub-standard work………

Had a tennis student like this once. For 20 yrs. I gave this friend free instruction, then he got rich on stocks and took lessons from a club pro. After two yrs. of this he came back and I whack the guy 6-2 6-2.

And he is furious because after all, he has taken lessons from such and such shouldn’t he be better than this? Well no because he did not retain the material. So he doesn’t know what type of learner he is. Or the instructor has no idea how to be an educator.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
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#628286 - 06/12/08 04:19 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Jerry, there are many piano technicians that are not RPT's for many different reasons. First of all, this profession is unregulated here in North America, so the answer to whether there is a pseudo NEED to be, by a self proclaimed organization, falls on many deaf ears.
Another reason is that a few techs I know of have inferred from their perceptions that if you live in the competitive local of the Examiners, it is of the Examiners best interest to limit their RPT competition. $$ have a funny way of doing this to even the most honorable people in all professions, why not this one? Many techs do not consider it a financially viable alternative to travel to another state/province/country to get a perceived unbiased testing.
When I started tuning in the mid 80's, our local PTG chapter was rather new and appeared to be an "Old Boys Club" that had no woman in its listings, and many of us refused to join what what appeared to be a sexist organization and boycotted them. There was an almost equal amount of men and woman at our school and the other one I checked into, yet the PTG chapter in our area and the other schools, were all men at the time. Seems kind of odd, don't you think? I realize that this may have changed over the years, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth and others. BTW, I am not a woman, but thats not the point.
Beyond all this, I had tried to arrange for myself to be tested (on a whim) about 10 years ago and had paltry excuses given by my chapter like not having the exam papers, not returning my calls ect..that I eventually washed my hands of the whole affair. Seemed very unprofessional to me to say the least. To this day I have only had a couple instances where I have been asked if I was an RPT and when I say, "no, and neither was the late Glenn Goulds' personal tuner" I am rarely asked to elaborate.
My work speaks for itself, my customers are happy and advertise me by word of mouth to their friends and acquaintances. Many are musicians and teachers and are not the uneducated or uninformed types. I have also done my share of re-repairs on some poor PTG member work, so there are other factors involved than passing a "standardized" test, like having the right parts, glues, materials and the inclination to use them when needed.
Recently I have seen video demos on the net of certain repairs on pianos. I cringe when I see vice grips clamped on wires and pins and see all the metal tools tossed and laying around on the plate as the tech did his best to explain how to do the job. Even a garage mechanic has enough common sense to not lay his wrench on the hood of your car.
I believe the PTG has many good things to offer especially to Associate members (info,lectures, seminars ect) but ask yourself how do you "standardize" a tuning test. For relevancy, do you find examination standard quality pianos up and down your client list? They are only about 20% of mine. I honestly believe the test of a good tuner in the average clients eyes, is not one that deviates less than 1/x cents off x number of notes,on an x+ grade piano, but rather provides a stable tuning that sounds good on a piano that DOESN'T meet a PTG examination pianos' standards and still sounds pretty good next month too. I find it easier to assume that if this can be done consistently, than a 7 ft+ piano with good pins and strings, is a piece of cake, not the other way around. Until our profession is fully regulated here like for instance, in Germany, the full value of it will never be what it should be and I won't waste my time or breath pretending its so.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#628287 - 06/12/08 06:29 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Emmery,

Not all PTG members are bad. You seem to choose to lump them all into one huge bunch portraying the entire industry in a certain light based on a few bad experiences that you've "personally" encountered with your local chapter. That isn't fair for the other 3,000 or 4,000 + other PTG members in America. Or to the others around the world.

At least as RPT's, we have proven that we can do the work according to "their standard" which is pretty high I might add. We are trying our very best to be the best that we can. At least most of us are. You will have turkeys in any field.

I know of some RPT's that are the biggest jerks I've ever met. I choose not to associate with these arrogant people.

I also know plenty of NON RPT's that do extremely poor work with the thinking that they do great work and yet, they choose not to associate with the PTG or to learn anything from them. What sense is there in this?

Emmery Says: "Another reason is that a few techs I know of have inferred from their perceptions that if you live in the competitive local of the Examiners, it is of the Examiners best interest to limit their RPT competition. $$ have a funny way of doing this to even the most honorable people in all professions, why not this one? Many techs do not consider it a financially viable alternative to travel to another state/province/country to get a perceived unbiased testing."

While that may have been possible many years ago, we have very strict guidelines to follow for scoring. We also must have 2 or 3 other RPT's doing the testing along with us to make sure things stay on track and honest.

Everyone that I know of on a testing committee are honest people that really want to encourage and make all tuners into the best technicians possible. They would not intentionally discourage anyone nor would they prevent them from passing. That would be pure folly!

I don't think it was odd that there were no women in that local chapter. Up until around the late 70's to the 80's or so, piano tuning seemed to mostly a mans field. So what? I suppose women weren't all that interested in it.

Our local chapter has quite a few women in it. Younger ones, middle aged ones and older ones. Same for the men. Things change. So must we.

IMO, to intentionally boycott a chapter is childish. That's like saying, "I don't like our presidential candidates so I'm not going to vote but, I'll set on the sidelines and complain instead!"

My answer to that is; if a person refuses to join a really good organization for their own betterment and everyone else's, or refuses to contribute in any way, or refuses to vote, then they lose the option to complain.

Try attending a seminar, they are all over the America. Or attend a convention. The conventions are in different states every year.

Emmery says: "I have also done my share of re-repairs on some poor PTG member work, so there are other factors involved than passing a "standardized" test, like having the right parts, glues, materials and the inclination to use them when needed."

No kidding? So, because Joe blow down the street is dishonest and chooses to do poor work after passing tests is our fault? That's silly.

To standardize a test, they take thousands upon thousands of hours and dozens and dozens of the best technicians in the industry and put all of their heads together for a few more thousand hours until they finally come to an agreement on the most fair and honest way to test people. There are liability factors after all.

They go over these things at every single convention tweaking things continually. They are always trying to keep it fair and honest but yet, difficult enough so that we HAVE to know a lot in order to pass.

What's wrong with making a test difficult?? I see nothing wrong with that at all!!

Tuning a standard quality piano has nothing to do with ones ability to do a quality job on any particular piano. We have to do the best job on any given piano that we can do at any given time. When we are given a lousy piano to work on obviously it won't come out as well as a concert grand will but, it should still sound as good as we can make that piano sound regardless. If we choose to do otherwise and many people do so then that is their choice but, it is not my choice.

You cannot say that because our customers are happy that our tunings are good. 98% of all clients cannot tell the difference one way or the other. I've seen customers after I've raised a horribly out of tune piano up 1 full tone to A440 that had no clue that it was any different at all.

I can almost guarantee that if our field was fully regulated and maybe it should be, more than 50 % of ALL tuners in this field would be eliminated. Including many RPT's that passed when they should not have passed.

I'm afraid however that the vast majority that would fail the exams are not those that are already RPT's.

To compare everyone in an industry to a few idiots is totally absurd.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628288 - 06/12/08 07:17 PM Re: fools a plenty!
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Emmery:
For relevancy, do you find examination standard quality pianos up and down your client list? They are only about 20% of mine. I honestly believe the test of a good tuner in the average clients eyes, is not one that deviates less than 1/x cents off x number of notes,on an x+ grade piano, but rather provides a stable tuning that sounds good on a piano that DOESN'T meet a PTG examination pianos' standards and still sounds pretty good next month too. I find it easier to assume that if this can be done consistently, than a 7 ft+ piano with good pins and strings, is a piece of cake, not the other way around. [/b]
Hi Emmery:
Conversely, if someone can't pass the exam on a good 7 foot piano that is relatively easy to tune, then they are really going to struggle out in the "real world". There is a stability portion of the test, in case you didn't know.

The PTG has tried to create a testing system which is fair and equitable. It also has to be easy enough to administer. What you have to realize is that the exams are given by people who are donating their time. They take time out of their life so that other people can take exams. It costs them time, and therefore money to do so. No everyone approaches this from a "what's in it for me?" perspective. There is no status, and an examiner is not allowed to advertise that they are an examiner. No one is being paid to administer exams. The satisfaction they get is that of "giving back". Many of the examiners go to conventions and work the whole time. These people should have our thanks for what they do.

The CTE's I know of are fair, and responsible. The criteria for the exams is clear cut. It's not the "good ole boy" network that you seem to think.

While there may be some "slacker" RPT's, I don't think that many people "get lucky" and pass either.

My suggestion would be that if you think there are problems in the PTG, then join and change it.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#628289 - 06/12/08 08:54 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Maybe it's because I've had a tough day. Maybe it's just because I'm not in the best of moods. Seems like here lately when I read some of these threads, I get in a worse mood. So I probably shouldnt even try to post to this.

But I swear, I think I have heard every lame excuse for not joining the PTG. And to be honest for 25 years, I was usually the one speaking some of these lame excuses. Yes, at some time or another just about everyone, Guild member or not, has had some reason to get ****ed off at the Guild, and some RPT's. Heck anybody who can deal with this forum, can certainly deal with the PTG.
It's a cakewalk compared to some of the personalities here!!!!!

Everyone has their own reasons for joining or not joining. Seems to me the ones who are casting dispersion here, are usually the ones who seem to think they have arrived at the pinnicle of the tuning world. But I really think anyone who works up enough courage to join the PTG will find they are not a "tuning god" and will find the foundation for some good training and an environment where everyone learns together.

Again, just my half penny worth!!!
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628290 - 06/12/08 10:11 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
I didn't want my posting to flame anyone or the RPT members out there but my reasoning to me is not an excuse..its a reason. Its the high brow attitude of some PTG members looking from inside out thinking everyone needs or should be a member and is incompetent if they are not that makes one think its an "excuse". If there was merit to that way of thinking then the public would demand only PTGs and the government or trade controllers would make it law like they do for doctors, lawyers ect. To describe our paying clients as not knowing a good tuning from a bad one is irrelevant for me because when I walk in their door, I always assume they do; lest it motivate me in the wrong direction, if you know what I mean. I tuned a piano yesterday that was tuned previously(1 month ago)by a tuner that also tunes for a famous radio station. I know he is a PTG member because the client remarked that he was referred to him because of that. The piano was 40 cents flat and this time of year I was expecting it to be sharp if anything (high humidity). It was a 2 y/o RX5 in great shape. As a not so informed customer, he did point out that the upper 2 octaves were not even touched by the tuner and he left after 40 minutes of tuning and paid in full. He also pointed out that the reason he called him was that he plays along with music from CD's and it sounded "off" and didn't improve when he had left.I am sure most of you are aware of what he did. This customer was p**sed...I charged him for the tuning and somewhat less than normal for the extra pass, he sat and played me a song and told me his piano never sounded so good, his wife agreed, and he said I am his tuner from now on. I have tuned other pianos done by RPT members that are fine and even refer some out of towners to one that I am friends with, but I don't buy that line of thinking that a document gives you integrity or the right to be high brow with the techs who feel its not worth the bother and are appreciated valued and make a living without it.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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