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#628201 - 05/24/08 04:52 PM fools a plenty!
eddie twang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 132
Loc: east yorks,england
hi guys,l have been realy busy of late and have not had any time to post.l have just finished a bechstein upright that had a complete rebuild and re polish and have just recieved a 1892 bechstein grand that got damaged in the summer floods and needs new legs and a re polish(l will post some pics when l can find the lead from the camera to computer!).l am still horrified by some of the questions asked by "have a go heros"and the replies given by so called techs..this is not a job for amateurs,as any tech who has "done the time" will tell!!!!

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#628202 - 05/24/08 09:38 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Hi Eddie, I figured you've been busy. But then I havent been around much in the past couple of weeks either.

But Bud, let me say you have opened a door here, so I will put in my 2 cents (or less) worth. You know I have been reading this forum periodically for several years now. Until the past two or three months, I did more reading than posting. But over the course of the past few weeks, it seems to me participation in this forum has really declined. Many of the old really knowledgable guys seem to have left, and others who are truly professional techs only post sporadically.

Back two or three months ago, there was a thread that suggested a DIY'er forum be created. Well, with all due respect to those here, seems to me this forum is fast becoming a DIY'er Forum. In too many instances, someone asks a valid technical question; the techs will put in an answer, and then here comes a DIY'er with all their "expertise."

Only in rare instances do the non-tech piano players, or the frequent DIY'er really post anything that contributes in any way. I know we have some, who are beginning in the piano technology field, and this in my opinion creates confusion and even a false idea of how a task should be done. I dont have time, nor the desire to post specific instances. People can read back in the threads, and readily see what I am talking about.

But I gotta tell ya, these threads are fast becoming the same old crap over and over again. If there is a moderator in charge of this forum I certainly wish he or she would step forward and lay down some basic rules for non-tech participation. Either that or make it a DIY Forum, and those Techs who want to participate may certainly do so!!!!

Okay, not 2 cents worth, but maybe a half penny???
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628203 - 05/25/08 10:32 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Good to hear that you are so busy there Eddie, glad you had a moment to drop by and open up this can of worms that has a number of people here wondering why they drop by anymore, not just myself.

Horrified is putting it mildly. It seems to me that this forum has become a place where the tail is wagging the dog, in a lot of instances. Some person chimes in here with a problem, gets assistance, then turns around and starts advising other laymen of how it is done. This is the “drive through” mentality we live with in North America these days. “I don’t have to learn how to do a job through years of experience I can pop on over to the piano tech forum and get an answer. I then have become so experienced, that I can start posting advice on the tech forum, and then help all my friends.”

You are correct Eddie, this is a ship of fools……………..

Ron,

Your two cents is worth more than you think …………………….

I have to disagree with you on one point. There is no such thing as a DIY’er here. They are not doing anything themselves. They are doing it while being babysat by the technicians here. They are not doing anything, or learning much while being led around by the hand. This is training a monkey to hold the silver cup ok?

Oh, you want to do it yourself?? Ok then, go to the library and get some books, and start reading. Then get yourself some old pianos, and take them apart, and try to put them back together so they actually play. Make your own years of notes, and files, on experiences with screwing up jobs, and then having to correct them at your own cost and time. Spend your own time going over these records time, and time again ,to review some past experience that you have had, to refresh for a familiar problem you have encountered. Spend time at the PTG thing if you like this sort of thing. Pay the fees. Take the courses that cost a great deal of money and time and sometimes travel. Do your own research.
In other words do-it-yourself ok?? Don’t come here asking for information that has cost the technicians here a lot of money and time to learn.

The other part that I am in complete disagreement with is this. Let’s say that a do-it-yourselfer chimes in from a couple of miles down the road from where you are located Ron. He/she wants help with a problem and how to fix. Now if I help or instruct this person, am I then not taking a service call out of your mouth and the mouths of your children??

How about over where Jerry Groot lives then…or Jurgen Goering? Would these fellows like it if I was preventing them from making money on their experiences and experience? Each time we “help” a do-it yourselfer, we are robbing a technician somewhere of a job. And for what?? What is the benefit that we as technicians receive? We get nothing, while at the same time we are stepping on each other’s toes.

I am all for not responding to DIY’ers and hopefully I have not done so. This will be my practice here in the future. After all, my appraisals cost money. So why am I offering repair knowledge then for no cost?

Then we have to endure provocative comments and DIY’ers belittling us with their comments and trying to provoke an argument about some other issue, like personality differences or whether a question is stupid or some of us are weirdo’s and on and on. Oh and I like the one about I want to fix my piano so I talk with a violin maker. So what do you do when your car breaks down….. call the plumber????
I mean it has become a lot of nonsense………… and very time wasting, to repair the damage of mis-information.

Comments and opinions please, from actual technicians would be helpful……………
_________________________
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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#628204 - 05/25/08 12:03 PM Re: fools a plenty!
tds Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/06
Posts: 446
Loc: Bastrop, Texas
Quite frankly, I feel less and less motivated to respond to much of anything here anymore.

This forum, much like rec.music.makers.piano in the Usenet world, may have reached the end of its useful life, in my opinion. I hope that's not the case, but in my eyes, it's looking more and more like it. More's the pity!

So, I guess I'll just sit by and observe for a time until things improve, if ever.

Sadly,

Tom
_________________________
Stay tuned.

Tom Seay, Recovering Piano Technician
Bastrop, Texas

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#628205 - 05/25/08 12:23 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8392
Loc: Georgia, USA
Greetings Gentlemen,

I was not going to respond to this post because I’m feeling more and more alienated on the technicians form for some reason. Maybe you guys were not referring to me in particular but some how I feel that this post, at least in part, is directed at PW members like me. Yes, I guess I am a DIYer to an extent because I have chosen to learn to tune and service my own pianos. Therefore, I feel the slings and arrows of this post pricking me in the heart. Hence, I feel the need to respond; as a defensive measure if nothing else.

Dear Eddie,

I have always enjoyed your posts. There is no doubt that you are a nice guy and a top-notch piano tech. However, where I’m from it is not polite to refer to someone as a fool. In fact, there is only one category of individuals who are said to be fools; “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God” (Psalms 14:1).

Dear Ron,

We are almost neighbors, as the crow flies, but I sense that you have never liked me from square one. That’s Okay though, I don’t visit this forum to be liked, but it is a mystery to me why you have such disdain for individuals like me who choose to learn to service their own pianos. Why on earth does this bother you so much? I have always tried to show respect for you and the other professionals here for the knowledge that you have as piano technician’s and are willing to share with others on this forum. However, I feel that I have not gotten any respect in return, even though I've tried to earn it. I’m trying my best to figure out what I may have said or did not say that has invoked such hatred of DIYer’s here. Actually, I thought at one time that maybe we had resolved any outstanding issues but I guess not. But that is okay too. Fact: you don’t particularly care for me or any other DIYer and I can accept that. I will be careful to never again respond to any of your threads or bother you in any way. In all sincerity, I wish you the absolute best that life has to offer.

Dear Dan,

In your post you say that there are no DIYer’s on this forum, then in the last part of your post you say that there are. You also infer that the DIYer’s on this forum are taking food out of the mouths of you and your children; with all due respect, I fail to see the reality of this statement. If anything, your own colleagues and your fellow piano technicians that live in your immediate area are the one who are taking food out of your mouth and the mouths of your children. Do you not have any formal competition in your area? I can assure you that it is not the DIYer’s that are taking food out your mouth. I doubt very seriously that there are enough DIYer’s in your area or even in the entire world that could ruin your business or any other piano tech’s business. I think the problem here may be more related to egos than economic survival.

In closing, I’m sure you guys don’t particularly care what I have to say or what I think about this topic because I am less than a worm in your eyes, after all, I’m one of those DIYer’s that has helped to ruin this forum and take food out of your children’s mouths. Well, pardon me guys, I won’t crash your party anymore. You can keep your exclusive club exclusive. However, I will continue to read this forum and maybe post a question or comment on occasion because it is one of best sources of piano related information I have come across on the net; that is until Frank or the moderator of this forum tells me to get lost. It’s a shame that us DIYer’s who genuinely want to learn about pianos don’t fit in here. I thought this forum was for any PW member who had technical questions or comments related to pianos.

Maybe you guys can lobby Frank or the moderators to ban all non-RPT’s and DIYer's form this public forum; or perhaps just me.

Best regards and Happy Memorial Day!

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

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#628206 - 05/25/08 12:23 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

Thanks for chiming in on this one; I thought there was more techs’s thinking in this direction other than the half dozen I have been emailing with.

A forum for DIY’ers would make things worse in my opinion. I agree if this stuff doesn’t cease, and soon, this tech forum will be a failure.

For myself, I thought I would re-consider leaving after being asked by some folks to do this. It is un-fortunate to have spent time giving this forum a second chance just to end up with the same sentiments a week after trying again…… what I don’t have enough piano work to do????? You bet there is lots better to do than endure the crappy attitudes……………….
_________________________
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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#628207 - 05/25/08 01:04 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
Eddie, et. al,

I have mixed feelings about this.

While I don't want to discourage any future piano techs, I don't think giving free advice to people who are obviously clueless and shooting in the dark is only hurting professional techs.

One thing that really bothers me is the lack of trust many posters feel for the tech they use. What makes someone who posts on this site automatically a better tech than the person who can hear, see, and touch their piano "in the flesh?" This is classic "if it's on the net it must be true" mentality.

I'm not intentionally avoiding this forum, but I've been very busy as well, and there have been fewer compelling threads to join in with lately.
_________________________
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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#628208 - 05/25/08 01:23 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

Very, very good point here…. Much better than the ones I put forward I feel. Yes there is a lot of “second guessing” in the questions that come forward. You are absolutely correct in the observation; who has the better knowledge of the instrument the fellow or lady standing in front of the instrument or the guy on the phone so to speak…………
_________________________
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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#628209 - 05/25/08 01:36 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:

“You also infer that the DIYer’s on this forum are taking food out of the mouths of you and your children; with all due respect, I fail to see the reality of this statement.”

This does not come as a surprise this statement, after all you are not in the pianos business so you could not have any idea how a piano business man looks at his field of endeavor.

Quote:

“If anything, your own colleagues and your fellow piano technicians that live in your immediate area are the one who are taking food out of your mouth and the mouths of your children. Do you not have any formal competition in your area? I can assure you that it is not the DIYer’s that are taking food out your mouth. I doubt very seriously that there are enough DIYer’s in your area or even in the entire world that could ruin your business or any other piano tech’s business. I think the problem here may be more related to egos than economic survival.”

Again you are not a piano businessman so this is based on your own presumption……

Quote:

“It’s a shame that us DIYer’s who genuinely want to learn about pianos don’t fit in here.”

You want to do It yourself?? Ok, so go then. Do it yourself, without the help. Create your own help. Create your own piano problems and then fix them. Create your own place to do this. After all you are a do it yourselfer right? So what are you waiting for then?? An invitation to do so? There are lots of books at the library for you to do it yourself.

I acknowledged there are do it yourselfers because this is the label that has been chosen. But I stand by my words. There is no such thing here. This place has become a “shortcut” for people instead of them using the resources available themselves. This is the “drive through mentality” the instant gratification, I am referring to.

Happy Memorial Day yourself………………….
_________________________
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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#628210 - 05/25/08 01:51 PM Re: fools a plenty!
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Dave and Dan,

Interesting points of view...actually, all of the above is interesting. I'm aware that some clients will essentially go behind their tech's back to get and confirm information, check prices etc. Its probably useful to a point, but it has long been my policy to abandon clients who prove to be too suspicious or even untrustworthy. Your point above is well taken.

For my part, I'm enjoying this forum and have yet to be jumped unreasonably by anybody...but I know what you mean about some of the snarky interactions...thankfully, its still a relatively small portion of the experience...but admittedly, I've only recently started reading/posting here.

Please don't let the impolite comments of the few (nobody in mind in particular) push you guys back from the forum...RPD

_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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#628211 - 05/25/08 02:12 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Thanks RPD; I just came back in for a moment because I thought of another really interesting point.

The primary motivation for people to do-it –themselves is to save money right? So therefore, the reasons for posting here, is so they may avoid having to make a bad error, and then call a qualified technician to come and clean up the mess at twice the price.

Now the do-it-yourselfers here have had a lot of help especially some of the repeat ones. So I am asking them…. When was the last time you got a hold of a technician here, and sent them a cheque for 50 bucks, with a thank-you note for the help, or something? When was the last time?? Actually when was the first time???
_________________________
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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#628212 - 05/25/08 03:08 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8392
Loc: Georgia, USA
Dan:
 Quote:
The primary motivation for people to do-it –themselves is to save money right? So therefore, the reasons for posting here, is so they may avoid having to make a bad error, and then call a qualified technician to come and clean up the mess at twice the price.

Now the do-it-yourselfers here have had a lot of help especially some of the repeat ones. So I am asking them…. When was the last time you got a hold of a technician here, and sent them a cheque for 50 bucks, with a thank-you note for the help, or something? When was the last time?? Actually when was the first time???
Dear Dan,

Your suggestion that some of the DIYer’s here may owe some of you techs a consultant’s fee is not unreasonable. I, for one, am willing to pay for information that can help me solve a problem. I feel that I have supported this forum in that I have purchased parts and supplies from the PW store and have encouraged others to do so. The fact that this is a public forum and not a business enterprise is why the information and exchanges here are free. If you don’t want to respond to a thread then don’t. There are advertisers that help sponsor this forum.

If you feel that you have provided me in particular with specific, valuable information or technical expertise that has been beneficial to me in particular, I will mail you a check for $50. I know that others here have offered advice, suggestions and recommendations and if they feel that I own them money, I am not a freeloader, just let me know how much I owe you and why. Of course, I’m sure you will be giving Frank a commission.

In fact, as far as I’m concerned, it is not about the money. I have more money than I have time. I just happen to be immensely interested in pianos and want to learn as much as I can about every aspect of tuning, regulating and voicing for my own purposes. Our local RPT charges $75 an hour for his services and has told me that he is willing to help me any time, just schedule an appointment. Of course, he stays booked up 6 to 8 weeks in advance, and I have a tendency to be impatient \:\) . So far, I have not needed his help.

Also, in case I have not said "thanks" to all the techs here who have ever responded to any of my posts, I say "thank you very much" from the bottom of my heart.

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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#628213 - 05/25/08 03:08 PM Re: fools a plenty!
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
First of all, if I wanted to just talk with techs, I would go to the PTG Pianotech or CAUT list. Personally, I kind of like the fact the others can participate. Part of what we are dealing with is the freedom of access to information provided by the internet. Even if it were all techs here, the DIY'ers could read what is written. Anybody can go to the PTG website, for example, and search the archives of the Pianotech or CAUT lists. The difference is that we would never know it. They would just read what they needed, and move on. So, I don't see that DIY'ers participating here is hurting anybody. The difference here is that people can just ask a question without doing any research.

I think that most of us are just busy. It's Sunday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend, and I've been down in the shop gluing in a set of keybushings on an action I have to have done this week. It's just life in the piano business.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#628214 - 05/25/08 03:24 PM Re: fools a plenty!
eddie twang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 132
Loc: east yorks,england
sorry if l offended anyone but l will lay my cards on the table so everyone knows were l am coming from.l started in the piano trade when l was sixteen,l started out cleaning coils,pressure bars and key tops,sides and backs.l then added stripping and refurbing pedals to my list of menial tasks.l then graduated to stripping actions,decentering and removeing old felts and glue ready for the senior tech to re felt,re center,re string etc.after years of this monotanous drudgery working on uprights,grands,spring and loop ,tape check,roller actions,bluthner patent actions and every other crazy type of piano you could imagine l finaly understood why!..l now know about pianos and what you need to do to make them tick!(there was a method in the madness).l am more than willing to part with my expertease and experience with any one who is learning this trade and has a real desire to learn about the great piano makers and the craftmanship and dedication you will need to do this job properly,but l find it offensive when someone comes on this site and anounces they are going to "re build a piano" with the help of the reblitz book,and "what kind of elastic should l use as piano strings?"...then some "tech"humours them with a reply!!!.when l post on this site l want to exchange info and aquire info from like minded pros,not humour idiots who should stick to playing pianos rather than ruining them.

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#628215 - 05/25/08 07:22 PM Re: fools a plenty!
tds Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/06
Posts: 446
Loc: Bastrop, Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Rickster:
Greetings Gentlemen,

I thought this forum was for any PW member who had technical questions or comments related to pianos.


Rickster [/b]
Rickster,

Here is the description of the purpose of this forum, as it was originally set up, as found on the main page of the forum and copied here verbatim:

"Piano tuner-technicians, use this forum to discuss tuning, repairs, restorations, etc.
Also, the place to post technical questions about the piano."

Note the first three words, "Piano tuner-technicians".

Tom
_________________________
Stay tuned.

Tom Seay, Recovering Piano Technician
Bastrop, Texas

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#628216 - 05/25/08 08:36 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
I don't feel theatened by the DIY's. As brilliant as we all are there is no way any amount of tech tidbits dispensed that can even get the dilletantes toes wet in the piano business.

When I see questions posed and solutions offered I know there is always a communicatins gap: There are ALWAYS details missed by the poster and we are ALWAYS shooting in the dark. Sometimes I think we underestimate the amount of experiance necessary to do this job right.

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#628217 - 05/25/08 08:42 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8392
Loc: Georgia, USA
Touché….. good point, Tom! ;\)

The way I see it, technically, since I have tuned a few pianos, (6 to be exact) some several times already, I fit the category as “tuner”; No? The description doesn’t say how experienced a tuner you have to be, right? \:\)

Hey, if you guys want to band together and vote me and all other DIYer’s, oh, I mean beginners/entry level tuners, off this forum I will abide by what you decide \:\) . I enjoy reading this forum, whether I’m a participant or not \:\) .

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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#628218 - 05/25/08 08:44 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Thank you for pointing that out Tom.

But even though the purpose of this forum is for Piano Tuner-Technicians to disucuss the various technical aspects of the piano, I have stated more than one time, that I have no problem with answering logical questions posed by pianist.

It is some of the "off the wall" or "pointy-headed purist" questions that sometimes sends me up the wall. These questions are usually posed in order to demonstrate the poster's over inflated sense of achievement or level of technical expertise. However I think most forums are a type of light that attracts these "moths of ego" to them. There is nothing that really can be done to stop this type of personality from doing their thing, without adversely affecting the forum as a whole. We either choose to deal with them, or simply ignore them.

It is the DIY'er who comes in here hawking their photos or trying to demonstrate their "high level of expertise" upon completion of 1 or 2 pianos, that is my chief complaint with this forum.

Let me say to all the non-techs who may read this, with all the honesty and forthrigtness I can muster. I am not a member here to earn your respect. I do not desire or need to have anyone fall on their knees in submission to my opinion or way of doing things. But when I take issue with you or point out something that I think is remiss, or point out something that is to me obnoxious in your post, dont take the low road, without expecting me or anyother self-respecting technician to resort to the low highway.

Any DIY'er who is truly passionate about fixing pianos or learning to tune; do it the right way.
in addition to Reblitz, find a mentor. Make a commitment, join the PTG, make every effort to learn and one day it may lead to a good retirement job, or better yet a full time job BEFORE retirement. I dont see that in many of the DIY'ers here. And that is the reason for my chagrin with the average DIY'er.

In every area of the country, I am sure there are those who work as piano tuners, rebuilders, or whatever, who do less than quality work for the money they take. I see this almost on a weekly basis with the customers I service. To become a Piano Technician takes much commitment. It involves more than simply taking an old piano and making it work to some degree, and then exclaiming how completent you are at the tasks done. As I said it takes a commitment. Most anyone handy with a screwdriver and a few simple tools can muddle through a piano action, if they have any degree of mechanical aptitude. But craftsmanship takes a long time, and that is the difference between a truly professional technician and a DIY'er. Sorry if that sounds egotistical. But it's the damn truth.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628219 - 05/25/08 08:48 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Do I hear, a very small degree of a commitment Rickster. So you've done maybe 20 +/- tunings.
Well that is a start, now how about a mentor or the PTG.

I for one would never vote to kick anyone out of there. This is not a democracy. It is a forum, hopefully monitored by Moderators.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628220 - 05/25/08 10:19 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Thomson Lawrie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 283
Loc: Grimsby ON Canada
Eddie, Thanks for posting this. I agree with your sentiment.

In a recent post about A435 or A440 for older pianos, a DIYer call Jurgen stupid for asking how technicians are to know whether a piano should be tuned to A435 because it is not stamped on the plate of most older instruments. He went on to say that there is software to analize the scaling and that a professional should know this. 99% of these decisions are made in the home within the first 5 minutes of a service call. I tried to point this out to him and he called me stupid too.

The natural inclination is to jump back in and set the record straight but what would I have to gain? I post under my real name, I have been a full time technician for 29 years, I have been attending classes and seminars throughout those years and I have held ever position on the executive of our local PTG chapter at one time or another. Am I going to duke it out with a DIYer who is posting under a made up user name and is currently "rebuilding" a birdcage piano? The way I see it, anyone who would rebuild a birdcage piano has already defined themselves.

This forum is open to anyone with a valid email address. I will just be more careful about who I waste my time on.

I don't mind people like Rickster, he seems to have a genuine interest in learning how to do it right. What bother me is the posters that "ask the experts" and get all bent out of shape because they don't like the answers. It is a bit like someone coming in half way through a movie that wants you to explain everything that has happened up until they arrived. If they really want to learn and are willing to put in the time to get up to speed then that's OK with me. But if they are just trying to avoid a service call..... well that's a different story.
_________________________
Piano Technician
www.pianotech.ca
Piano tuners make the world a better place, one string at a time.

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#628221 - 05/25/08 10:38 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

I was waiting to see if you were around, to bring this excellent example to the attention of this topic. Thanks for chiming in.

Very well put together, your sentiments, I sat back the whole week and further, on that thread and witnessed how it developed into a lot of disrespect, and name calling, and such. You were not the only technician that this person wanted to pick a quarrel with. There were several. I spoke with Ron and some of the others about this one. What went on there could only be described as childish, and completely offensive, to the degree that it started this conversation in the background.

We had decided to type something up, and while this was gaining momentum, Eddie Twang posted the start of this… so I said lets go………………..

This is the thread that set this off, the A435 thread.

As far as Rickster goes I have never communicated with this person, he owes me nothing. The only other thing I can offer is this; tuning 20 odd pianos doesn’t make you a piano tuner any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.
_________________________
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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#628222 - 05/25/08 10:48 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8392
Loc: Georgia, USA
Dear Eddie,

As I read your most recent post, I can see that you are more than a mere piano tech, you are a life-time piano professional who is committed to excellence in all aspects of piano tuning, service, repair and rebuilding. I never intended to high-jack your thread by interjecting my meager thoughts and opinions. Apparently, you were referencing a thread that I did not happen to read.

I know that sometimes when a novice or DIYer posts comments, and questions here, their inexperience and ignorance can make pro’s like yourself just shake their head in disgust knowing that that person knows little about what they are doing. Well, all I can say is that this is a great place for them to learn. Many of the pro’s here really know their stuff and this is why I am drawn to this forum. I’ve found in my life’s experiences that if you want to learn something, hang around folks who know more than you do about that particular subject.

If anything I have said here has offended you, I do apologize. You have probably forgotten more than I will ever know about pianos.

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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#628223 - 05/25/08 10:54 PM Re: fools a plenty!
playerpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/08
Posts: 83
Loc: New Jersey
Perhaps another forum can be started where us laymen can post our questions to the pros. Those who wish to attempt to help us can choose to answer, (as some of you have done in the past, thank you.) I, personally, prefer to have my piano serviced by a professional tuner-technician. However, I know some people enjoy doing these kind of things and want to learn (not necessarily trying to save money.) Every tuner-tech can choose on his/her own whether or not s/he wishes to assist us non-pros. Those of you who do decide to respond to our questions, we really appreciate your expertise.

Thank You!

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#628224 - 05/25/08 10:55 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8392
Loc: Georgia, USA
Dan:
 Quote:
As far as Rickster goes I have never communicated with this person, he owes me nothing. The only other thing I can offer is this; tuning 20 odd pianos doesn’t make you a piano tuner any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.
Hi Dan,

If you could hear my piano tunings you might change your mind about me being a tuner. Don’t know if I could pass the RPT exam though, but you might be surprised. ;\) \:D ;\)
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#628225 - 05/26/08 04:14 AM Re: fools a plenty!
maserman1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 151
Loc: U.K.
To all you professionals:

From my experience [as an aircraft engineer]you have nothing to fear from DIYers, only more business putting right what they have messed up. Any information you give someone who is actually meddling with the insides of a piano will only lead them further into trouble. One consolation, at least they wont kill anyone.

For the rest of us who are interested in the technicalities of pianos, we visit this forum to learn, hopefully from people who do know what they are doing.

[Rickster: this is not directed at you!]
_________________________
Bechstein C 1890, Rebuilt
Bechstein V 1888, Project

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#628226 - 05/26/08 05:46 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Mr G. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 35
Loc: Sydney
Regards one and all

When I need a dental advice I go to dentist to get my first assessment for free. When I need a plumber’s advice I call a plumber to get my first assessment for free. When I need a legal advice I call a lawyer to get my case assessment for free. When I need a builder’s advice I call a builder to get his advice for free. Etc. etc. etc.

Why should specialists in the piano industry be treated by the general public any different? What are our running expenses when providing a theoretical advice in a forum? We are already the specialists others look toward like we do toward others in their respective field of expertise. Their theoretical questions are not going to reduce our practical achievements. Their practical achievements are not going to threaten our professional establishments.

And then there is, perhaps, the most important purpose for posting – making ourselves a visible presence in the global market that is net bound.

Writing to ourselves while helping others along the way is the name of this forum game.

Mr G.
_________________________
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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#628227 - 05/26/08 08:06 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Piano Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/03
Posts: 400
Loc: Southern Ontario,Canada
After all the free advice from all those proffesions, do you then attempt the work yourself, and then turn around and offer free advice. This is the complaint that seems to be at the heart of the thread.
_________________________
Richard, the"Piano Guy"
Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
From London ON to Fort Erie ON

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#628228 - 05/26/08 08:59 AM Re: fools a plenty!
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1239
Loc: London
I am not a tech, and I am certainly not a DIYer. I would be scared to try anything technical with my piano; I call an expert. I am very interested in pianos. Most of what I know about pianos has derived from these forums. I have an interesting piano myself, in connection with which interesting technical questions have arisen. I feel that I have received very valuable advice on this forum, for which I am very grateful.

It seems to me that there are DIYers and DIYers. There are those like Rickster who like to tinker with their piano, feel that they learn from getting hands-on, are appreciative of the techs’ advice, and are respectful of the techs. These are not the problem, in my view.

The problem arises with other DIYers who feel that their own advice is as good as the techs’ advice, have a chip on their shoulder, are discourteous and disrespectful, and are quite happy to hijack threads to browbeat techs who don’t agree with them.

It is unfortunately hard to see how such contributors could be excluded, without losing the benefits of a public forum on the internet. So I would encourage you techs not to rise to the bait. Simply ignore such posts. Contribute to threads that you feel are positive and constructive, and ignore any that you feel are absurd. Don’t waste time discussing them in a thread such as this, they are simply not worth it. Write about something positive and interesting instead.

And please, don’t abandon the forum, leaving people like me in the lurch. That is simply a counsel of despair. I think that in general the readers of this forum are more discriminating than you might imagine.

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#628229 - 05/26/08 09:02 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1708
Loc: Massachusetts
There is a simple solution for all the problems mentioned here--only respond to posts when you want to and not otherwise. Oh, wait, that's how this forum works anyway. Hmmmmm.

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#628230 - 05/26/08 09:11 AM Re: fools a plenty!
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
I don't see any proof that fewer Techs post because more DIY's post.

I notice that more Techs posts when interesting Topics (about pianos) are created.

I only skimmed through some of this Topic, because it isn't about pianos. It's about Topics about pianos. I'm not interested.
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#628231 - 05/26/08 09:11 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Hear, Hear Richard...very aptly stated.

I think I need to move to Sidney. Around here, any consultation with any of Mr. G's above mentioned professions are not free. I'd love to call a dentist, plumber, lawyer, or any professional for free advice. But I dont know any who will assess the problem over the phone.
The plumber comes out and takes a look for a fee. He will fix the problem for a much larger fee.
The dentist or lawyer will gladly see you in his/her office. But then you will pay a whopping office visit fee. Be prepared to hand over a bundle for the work they do. Yes, why should professionals in the piano industry be treated differently.

Very few things in life, that are worth having are free!!!!
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628232 - 05/26/08 10:25 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

I would have to agree, Richard this is it in one sentence. Or was that two??

Roy 123

Yes you are correct. Now maybe you could pop on over to the thread “A435” and start from the top of page two and read the rest. Come back and tell us your opinion as to whether or not ANYONE should have to tolerate reading some of that garbage. The thread is fine until this DIY’er chimes in and starts giving all his benefit of stringing a birdcage…………………….

Jeff,

Thanks for letting us know that you are not interested from just skimming. Maybe you would like to go back and actually read the whole thread. You may just change your mind………

Ron,

Yes I agree totally. The free assessment is worth everything you pay for it. I don’t know of any professional person that gives a free appraisal on any item.

Two free things are worth having. Air, and life,………… oh, and enough money to pay your taxes…………….
_________________________
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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#628233 - 05/26/08 10:56 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1708
Loc: Massachusetts
 Quote:
Originally posted by Silverwood Pianos:
Richard,


Yes you are correct. Now maybe you could pop on over to the thread “A435” and start from the top of page two and read the rest. Come back and tell us your opinion as to whether or not ANYONE should have to tolerate reading some of that garbage. The thread is fine until this DIY’er chimes in and starts giving all his benefit of stringing a birdcage…………………….
[/b]
No one's forced to read or respond to any thread that is not interesting or pleasing to him. No one has to tolerate anything--just pass the irritating stuff by.

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#628234 - 05/26/08 11:51 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Good stuff here Roy123, it is hard however to anticipate the blindsiding that some received there on that A435 thread. Further, I think what the result is when this type of thing happens, the technicians here start grouping the DIY’ers here collectively into that one mental group. Then the next one comes along with a legitimate problem, and gets crucified because of the former experience. So I guess I am expressing the old “one bad apple story”.

You are correct. We as technicians posting here are going to have to selectively “weed out” the offensive ones that not only want help, but then spit back in return. I wonder what kind of help they will expect in the future, by demonstrating behavior like this.

David-G,

My apologies, I did not mean to ignore your posting. Your points in the posting are well taken and considered…..especially the parallel to Roy123 in the fourth para. Also the last sentence is quite encouraging….. this is the one that I forget sometimes…………………..

Cheers to you both.

Rickster,

You have mentioned that I might be of a differing opinion if I had the opportunity to hear the results of one of your tunings. I am hopeful that I am incorrect in my assumption they are not.

Maybe when you stand in your garage you do look like a car…………………….. all the best with your tinkering there……
_________________________
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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#628235 - 05/26/08 12:00 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
There are many industies plauged by amatures. My wife is a nurse of 35+ years. Routinely she hears about "sugar diabetes," a conditon that technically does not exist. Lowes and Home depot earn millions selling lumber, plumbing and hardware to non-pros. Autozone sells to "shade tree mechanics" like me. How many true craftsmen buy "Craftsmen" tools?

The boasts and projected arrogance of a poster who admits limited knowledge and experiance are a sign of weak character, poor personal adjustment and inter-personal skill. When that same person offers tech advise they are merely being foolish, just as if we were to authoritively advise brain surgery techniques. We run into that type in everyday life, no matter the issue, and it they are best ignored.

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#628236 - 05/26/08 12:14 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

Thanks for your input on this one I’ve always enjoy your unique point of view. I have family too in the medical field and have heard about the sugar diabetes.

Ignoring them is tough sometimes especially the advice thing. Then a tech somewhere has to spend time to undo the misinformation and the resulting damage. I guess this is what keeps the bottom line in good shape right?

You are a “shade tree mechanic” too?? I guess we are DIY’ers on the Auto Forum………. Oh dear…..
_________________________
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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#628237 - 05/26/08 12:24 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8392
Loc: Georgia, USA
Ron:
 Quote:
Rickster,

You have mentioned that I might be of a differing opinion if I had the opportunity to hear the results of one of your tunings. I am hopeful that I am incorrect in my assumption they are not.

Maybe when you stand in your garage you do look like a car…………………….. all the best with your tinkering there……
Hi Ron,

I’m afraid I don’t follow your most recent comments. I’m not sure if they were meant as a complement or an insult. No matter though, I’ve learned that words can mean a lot or they can mean nothing, depending on whose mouth they are coming out of.

I know my piano tunings sound great to me (and everyone else that hears and plays my pianos) and that is all that matters.

By-the-way, I’m 5’9”, 220 lb’s and can bench press 300 lbs; I may be a little overweight but I don’t think I look like a car yet. Maybe one day.

I will admit though that I jumped into this thread without reading the A435 thread. Oh well, I guess it’s good to get some of these pent-up feelings out into the open every once in a while \:D .

This is a great forum and I attribute some of my accomplishments and meager piano tech skills to some of the information I have gleaned from this great forum.

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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#628238 - 05/26/08 12:34 PM Re: fools a plenty!
eddie twang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 132
Loc: east yorks,england
listen guys,if A DIYer asks me a genuine question ,say about "how should l keep my ivory keys clean","how often should my piano be tuned" etc, l have no problem at all in giveing free,good advice and if someone is a rookie tech just starting out l would go out of my way to offer advice and encouragement to help sort out a problem(we all had to start somwhere,and l can tell you my old mentor wasnt very happy with me when l took it upon myself to clean a sound board with methylated spirits!).what l wont do is humour someone who asks "l am going to re string my erard grand how do l make a german eye?".when you say this is not for an ameteur another DIYer pipes up saying "oh ignore the pros.if you follow the reblitz book to the letter you will be fine".as anyone who has worked on erards will know you have to be at the top of your game to re build one of those monsters,and you know however good you are you are going to come across problems applenty(esspecialy the early ones)yet l see one person is still telling us what type of wire they will restring there piano with(yet they dont know how to make a german eye!) and a whole host of ridiculous questions and worse still people are still giving tips and advice!,and when it all goes "pear shaped" you can bet your bottom dollar it will be a case of"well thats what a tech off the forum told me to do".

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#628239 - 05/26/08 02:20 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Very good Eddie and you will get no argument from me on these points. I think we are coming from the same place using different words. And the last point is the best of all. Yes I did this, but I am not responsible the piano forum made me do it.

Rickster,

This should be easy for a smart fellow like you. I was presuming that your tuning was so so as a do- it- yourselfer. I am hopeful that I was incorrect in my presumption… see that was easy.

Now let me see. I am 5’11” 235, ride 52 miles a week; train with resistance training (weights) can press 425lbs. and teach high level (elite, open 5.0 and higher) tennis on the off days, four times a week. Played pro circuit tennis for 7yrs.
I can lift a 5’6” grand up a flight of stairs by myself. I don’t look like a car I look like a truck. Now I don’t know what any of this has to do with a piano forum.

Oh the only other thing I might have to mention is the fact that you are quoting a fellow called Dan.

I think your Freudian slip is showing on that one there………….
_________________________
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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#628240 - 05/26/08 02:33 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
I'm 5'9" 225 and can press a Guinness Stout, (room temp)with one hand. Or a St. Emillion grand cru, preferably circa 2000. Or 18 year old Glen Livet. Or, with great finesse, eat a Big Mac while driving and not drop a sesame seed.

Dan my wife keeps telling me I'm too old and fat to move pianos but the damn things won't move themselves.

I used to ride but got out of the habit. Need to get back into but it seems the only time availible is at night and then I can't sleep after 20 mile run. Have a Cannondale T-2000 touring bike.

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#628241 - 05/26/08 03:08 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

The Blavenie is much heavier than the Glenlivet. Try the Balvenie Doublewood. I can’t lift a warm Guinness only the cold ones which seem to be much much lighter.

You know I keep yelling at the pianos to leave, but they don’t seem to move along here either.

Nice bike!! Sam you have to get riding again. No time except for night?? How about a headlight? You don’t need to sleep, heck you are a piano technician. We don’t sleep, we don’t’ require this type of horizontal activity.
I got rid of the Italian job I purchased in the 90’s darn thing cost me more than 2k….. kept the old Meile racing bike, just changed the wheels for stronger ones with a tube, so the tennis bag is not too heavy for the frame. The late Jim Meile made a good machine.

The sesame seed thing……not even one Sam????. My o my that is a remarkable talent you have………

So if I got the SSP,(Sesame Seed Police) down there to search your car they would not find even one seed????

Cheers ….. gone to work, no holiday here today….. have a good one all
_________________________
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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#628242 - 05/26/08 03:23 PM Re: fools a plenty!
playerpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/08
Posts: 83
Loc: New Jersey
I'm 5'3", weigh 120 pounds and run 4 miles daily. I can barely move my little upright piano. Now what?

I have trouble believing that the posts in this threads were written by adults. This is so foolish. Anyone who wants to post his/her advice can and anyone who does not wish to do so, need not reply. What is so difficult???

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#628243 - 05/26/08 04:08 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Piano Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/03
Posts: 400
Loc: Southern Ontario,Canada
The problem, playerpiano, is also simple. While experianced poster, can ignore anything they want, there could be thousands who merely view the forum, read advice given by someone who really doesnt know, and think lets try. They have no way of knowing really who is who.
_________________________
Richard, the"Piano Guy"
Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
From London ON to Fort Erie ON

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#628244 - 05/26/08 04:23 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Roger Ransom Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 1239
Loc: SouthWest Michigan
Basically it sort of comes down to this.

This is a public forum and anyone can post anything they want to and probably will. You really can't stop that unless a moderator intercepts every message, analyzes it and decides whether it should be deleted or posted.

Short of that, the only way to be certain you only get posts from people who meet your requirements is to have a closed forum with some type of membership criteria. You already have that with the PTG don't you? Then why are you here at all?

I have been tuning pianos for about 30 years part time having been taught by my dad who was a tuner years ago at the Everett Piano Factory. I have also done minor repair work over the years. I don't know if that qualifies me as a pro or not, I don't belong to the PTG. I have asked a couple questions in the past with good results but hesitate to anymore for fear of offending a "real" technician.

Can't you just choose to ignore posts or topics you don't like and participate in the ones you are interested in? It seems simple to me.

That's the way all public forums work.
_________________________
Laugh More
Yamaha G7 - Roland FP7

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#628245 - 05/26/08 05:06 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8392
Loc: Georgia, USA
Dan:
 Quote:
Oh the only other thing I might have to mention is the fact that you are quoting a fellow called Dan.
Okay, Dan, I stand corrected on the name. Sorry about that. (You know, Ron and I are almost neighbors as the crow flies.) \:D

Anyway, it sounds like you do look like a truck and a truck can run over a car so I won’t say anything else other than to have a great day my friend. \:D

Oh yea, one more thing, I have a nice aluminum frame Schwinn Hybrid that rides very well when I have time to ride. However, I’ve gotten to the point where I spend my exercise time playing my piano instead of exercising. Of course, it's good for the mussels in the arms and hands. ;\) \: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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#628246 - 05/26/08 05:58 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

Forget the mistake on the name, it is a small error and I have people calling me worse than this all the time. It is after all only a name. There is no need to apologize….

There car/truck thing was supposed to be a joke…. It is from an old story about a Christian guy…………..

Don’t worry about it and the fitness thing……………. although I am of the opinion that I would rather see you riding your bike than sitting and posting on your system. A Schwinn is a good one…… use it ok?

Playing the piano is good exercise too, Rickster.

Carry on and cheers…….
_________________________
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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#628247 - 05/26/08 06:19 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Alas, falsely accused again!!! Not Guilty Rickster!!! It t'weren't me!!!!

But though I didnt write what you accused me of...I have to admit I was thinking almost the same...hehe. But feel no despair...I remember 25 years ago, when I tuned my first few, I was thinking "Hey" this is great too. But looking back they were not very good tunings. But we learn if we keep at it.

If you are truly passionate about pianos and working on them, I still challenge you. Find a mentor, join the PTG. Everyone started somewhere.

When all is said and done, the best way to get rid of DIY'ers is to make piano technicians of them. Some will make the grade, some will fall out along the way, forever humbled by the experience!!!!! That's my hyposis and I'm stickin' to it!!!! Calling all DIY'ers...COME OUTTA THE CLOSET!!! Declare yourself, find a mentor, and join the PTG!!!!

Great thread Eddie!!!! You did good!!!!
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628248 - 05/26/08 06:49 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Hehehe, I'm 6'2". 245 and I can press a beer to my lips quite nicely with very little effort whatsoever. So, ya better watch it! \:D I can also bench press 12 of those lil suckers into a fridge for future use. Ok, did I lighten you guys up a tad?

Cool down dudes. \:D

To start with, I'd like to say that I don't have a problem with Rickster. In fact, I rather enjoy teasing him if nothing else. \:D And he, me... Tit for tat as they say.. I can take a good jab in the ribs too... He seems genuine, is honestly interested in learning as much as possible about pianos and could turn out to be a great tech some day.

Now that may not be what some of you wanted me to say but, it is how I feel about him, anyway. ;\)

There are many newbies in here that want to learn about pianos, tuning etc. If they have a genuine interest in learning and actually learning it as a profession, fine. If they are only interested in being a DYI then, I probably just won't answer the question. If everyone else did likewise, problem eliminated. But, that won't happen either. As mentioned, it is an open forum regardless of whether or not we like it.

Now on the other hand, if someone calls me on the phone wanting advise on how to fix their own piano, I flat out refuse to help them. I'm not interested in creating a greater problem, wasting my time for nothing, nor am I interested in fixing the problem later on when they finally give up on it.

The real DYI'ER types can easily be ignored. We don't have to answer them. In fact, most often, I choose not too.

I think a lot of the problem stems from the total lack of knowledge that the general public really has about what reallllllly goes on inside of the piano. They think, it's simple. They think, ask, and expect an easy cheap fix. They think, have it tuned, problem solved. Most do not realize there are thousands of moving parts in there. So, in a sense, having many of them read here is a good thing in that many now know the difference. \:\)
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628249 - 05/26/08 07:02 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Well, Jer since you are starting a group hug, let me say I honestly dont have a problem with The Rickster. We have had our jabs at each other, but I am not one to hold grudges; never have, never will. 'Sides he's a Jawga boy, and I've never met anyone who wasnt very nice in Georgia.

Also, I'm 6 ft 1/2 inch in me stocking feet, and weigh in at about 215 pounds. I will be glad to lift the brews to the refrigator to you guys, but I never touch the stuff. I know a rarity these days. Never acquired a taste, I guess!!!!!! I'll do the driving, guys...bottoms up!!!!!!
_________________________
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Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628250 - 05/26/08 07:07 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
Rickster the mark of a true professional tuner with decades of work and thousands of pianos tuned is a deathly fear of meeting those 1st 20 customers. When I think back 30 years of what I thought was skilled or even passable it gives me chills. It's hard to explain to a newbie but trust me, piano tech is a deep, deep pool and tuning much more subtle than meets the eye.

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#628251 - 05/26/08 07:38 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8392
Loc: Georgia, USA
Several weeks ago a lady where I work says to me, “I understand you are learning to tune pianos”. I say, “well, I am learning to play the piano as well as tune, regulate and voice my own pianos”. She says, “I have an older Baldwin upright that I have had for years and it is so out of tune that I am ashamed to call a real tuner to tune it; I was wondering if you would like to come over and try to tune it for me before I call a regular tuner; I’ll pay you a little something for your time”.

I say, “well mam, I’m flattered that you would asked me to come over and tune your piano but I have to say that tuning pianos is a lot more difficult than most people realize; there is nothing quick or easy about it; there are almost 250 strings that have to be adjusted to tension, synchronized and stabilized and it is time consuming, tedious, and can be extremely challenging”. She says, “oh, I didn’t know it was so hard; I thought since you were learning to tune you could learn on mine” \:D .

I say, “again, thanks for the opportunity but it would probably take me 3 hours or more to do a pitch raise and fine tuning and there are risks of string breakage or worse from having to raise the tension after not being tuned for so long and I just don’t have the time and would not want to risk ruining your piano”. She says, “well okay, I guess I’ll just have to call a real tuner”.

The moral of this story…..

I don’t envy what you guys do day in and day out. I do envy your knowledge and expertise ;\) .

Definition of envy: a feeling of grudging admiration and desire to have something that is possessed by another. \: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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#628252 - 05/26/08 08:44 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Rick, you should have done it. I would see if she still needs it done. What have you got to lose, and she can always call a tuner. She may end up with a better sounding piano, and you with another one under your belt.

Years ago, when I was in school, I almost passed up a chance to tune for a music teacher. I didnt think I was good enough to tune for a piano teacher. But I was encouraged to give it a try and I did. I know now, it was only a passable tuning. Like Sam said, we all live in fear of those first 20 or 30 we did when we started.

But the piano teacher, liked it enough to call me for the next three years. She passed away, and the piano went to her daughter in a city too far for me to travel to.

You cant hurt the piano. You dont have to raise pitch. Tune it, and then raise pitch if the strings, bridges, and plate seem okay. What have you got to lose, if she has three hours.
_________________________
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Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628253 - 05/26/08 09:35 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8392
Loc: Georgia, USA
Thanks for the encouragement, Ron! It was real tempting not to take her up on the opportunity and the challenge (yet ;\) ). I feel that I still have a lot to learn.

See, I’m not a “know-it-all”. \: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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#628254 - 05/26/08 09:47 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Nope, I know you're not a know it all.

We all have a lot more to learn, some more than others. Do it. Tuning is like swimming, you gotta dive in, just be careful where you dive!!!!

But this sounds like a good opportunity. The piano hasnt been tuned in years, about anything done will probably make it sound better.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628255 - 05/26/08 10:20 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
Rickster,

I think you're hooked. You've got the right mentality, that's for sure.
_________________________
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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#628256 - 05/27/08 12:33 AM Re: fools a plenty!
idylldon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/31/06
Posts: 9
Loc: Idyllwild, CA
While I can understand the frustration some of you feel, I just want you to know that there are folks like me who primarily lurk on this forum just to read the posts from all of you experienced techs. I want you to know that I appreciate being able to eavesdrop on your conversations and that I've learned a LOT by doing so.

As for me, I've been tuning pianos for about two-and-a-half years now and am fortunate to have an excellent tech, Steve Schell, Long Beach, CA, as a mentor. He got me up to speed and then I took over one of his school accounts, which is a private arts high school up in the mountains where I live. By now, I guess I have almost a few hundred tunings under my belt and am finally feeling as though I'm getting a handle on it, though I also know it's a never-ending process of learning.

I've also ventured in to the realm of repair since many of the pianos I tune have led hard lives and there's always something to do for them. I actually feel kind of sad the way some of them are treated, so I try to do little repairs to each piano when I tune them. It's a dog-chasing-its-tail quest in this situation though. The older pianos give me an opportunity to learn, which I'm grateful for. My first rule is "do no harm," so when I get into something I haven't done before, or I feel is beyond my skill level, Steve usually guides me through it or I just wait until he comes up for a visit and I watch him do it. All in all, it's a good situation for me since the closest PTG meeting is about 4-hour round trip, and my family life doesn't lend itself to that kind of excursion these days.

I know that being a "real" piano tech/tuner requires a lifetime of learning, but I've had a lot of related experience through finish carpentry, diesel mechanics, fabrication, and many other "hands-on" kind of "mechanical" pursuits. The piano seems to embody all of them; that is, mechanics, woodworking, fabrication, metalworking, and artistry are kind of all rolled into one. Pianos are truly amazing in design and function, and they never cease to amaze me.

I guess my little rant is just to say that you all have a very positive influence on people like me who are pursuing this craft, and I want you to know that I appreciate greatly your willingness to share your hard-won knowledge.

Cheers,
--
Don

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#628257 - 05/27/08 07:42 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8392
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi Don,

Great post! I concur with your assessment of this forum completely.

Best regards,

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

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#628258 - 05/27/08 09:26 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Naaaa Ron, not really a group hug. It's just that we've seen that been there before with the DYI thing several times now.

Here's a nice example. You know I like playing this one game online. Battlefield 1942. There are many separate servers run on line. However, my cousin sets up his server and many of us run off from that. Supposedly, it is "punk Proof" which means, hack proof. Well, this one "punk" hacked right into my cousins server kicking him off and taking over until my cousin shut it down. That is extremely frustrating to people like him and me, as it screws us all up because they go right into cheat mode with only one goal in mind. Win, no matter what. And, that no matter what is almost always, cheating.

I guess I look at this about the same way. We have those that appreciate. We have the total jerks that live life to annoy others intentionally and to mess with threads. We have those that love to find fault with what some of us say. We have those that simply like to be disagreeable. And, we have those like myself, that enjoy the great posts that you, Dan S, Roy P , Dave Stahl and to many other names to say that post.

I know even though I've been tuning for 40 years now, that I am continually either re-learning something here that I had forgotten or learning something new.

That's the main reason why I lurk here. The other is that I've made a few new friends at the same time.

Believe me, I get just as frustrated as you do with some of these folks.

Maybe it's because I'm sick at the moment and just don't feel like being disagreeable much right now but, ahhh, don't let it get to you to much guys. That's all. Maybe next time, I'll be one complaining? \:D
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628259 - 06/03/08 08:40 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Stilamazed Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 92
Loc: New Jersey
Thats right boys, keep pointing them fingers. It's MY fault you cannot feed your children. The fact that you cannot carry on an inteligent conversation, ME again. Gee, didn't no i had so much power over your lives.
THOMSON LAWRY: You have the ability to "define" a mans character by the piano he rebuilds? I own three pianos, what does that tell you? How many do you own? You claim to have tried to "explain" something to me. Thats not the way it was, you stumbled upon some "catty" behaviour, and then tried to propagate it, you tried to egg it on for your own entertainment, now you want to tell your story as if you were some sort of voice of reason. Go on.
Mr Twang: You claimed to have given some valuable advice, and then were poo poo,d by some DIY. Tell us, what was this advice? WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO IMPRESS? does not sound like advice to me. You guys want to see some REAL disrespect? Do a quick search, The thread is call "Piano Wire" It is what started everything, It was the only question i've ever asked, and look at the response i got. It was at that point i desided to stop wasting my time in this forum, it has nothing to do with interesting piano information, and the reason is NOT because non-professionals ask questions, it's because of the gigantic egos that live hear. Tell me boys, was what i said about scaling software wrong? Why DID he ask such a stupid question? How long do you have to work in a supply house to be considered a piano tech? Is there a section on the exam about pricing?
RON: I'm not always this obnoxious, but when you and your friend want to sit around and pontificate about how me and my people are some kind of lower form of life, that need your pity, i find it a little condesending. Tell me,if i told you i was born in mexico, would you help me with my piano? You know... for the sake of being "The great white educator" Maybe you could find it in your superior heart to feel sorry for me too. I'm a bigot?

GOODBYE

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#628260 - 06/03/08 09:19 PM Re: fools a plenty!
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1239
Loc: London
Politeness and courtesy make a big difference in this world.

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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 Offline
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: 8392
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: 8392
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: 8392
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: 8392
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
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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#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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#628291 - 06/12/08 10:42 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Okay, your point is taken Emmery and has some validity. But to lump all PTG members together as high brow elitists is just too far a stretch.
Yes I know some members I dont care for in either their personality or their level of competence. But that is my opinion, one I dont share with other techs or with customers. It is no different in my opinion than saying anyone who is not a member is not a real piano technician. I know several in my area who are very good techs but who dont care to be a part of the PTG.

It serves no purpose to continue to recount negative experiences, unless you are using these as a means to advance your own credibility. To me people who do that have no more credibiiity than the incompetent ones that are criticizing.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628292 - 06/12/08 11:16 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Piano Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/03
Posts: 400
Loc: Southern Ontario,Canada
I have also shared the "negative" experience that Emmery had. Same scenario with missing exam papers. 3 times I travelled to a meeting as a paid up associate, a 2 hour drive, only to be given the we dont have them excuse. Next I was told to contact a local RPT, and he would look after it. He never returned my calls or e-mails. After hearing others complain about this, a forum member jumped in and said he would report this to head office, even asked my permission to send along my e-mail. ZIPPOLA !! NOTHING !! However I still love piano work. The differance now is my desire to acheive RPT status has left me.
_________________________
Richard, the"Piano Guy"
Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
From London ON to Fort Erie ON

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#628293 - 06/12/08 11:34 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
I don't believe I lumped them all together since I stated that "some" of them have this attitude.
Not here to advance credibility, especially in this way. In all honesty, I should have told this customer to complain to the PTG about this member, according to the PTG's own guidlines. I didn't because dragging another tech down in the eyes of a customer (even if valid) is doing us all a harm in a general, ethical way...or so I was taught.
Ron, I am not sure of what to make of your comment about "recounting negative experiences". I will check the forum posting rules to see if I can find the "rose colored glasses" clause prohibiting it. Were you refering to negative experiences with the Guild only? Either way I agree with you that it(PTG) does serve a purpose for those that seek it. My squabbling is done.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#628294 - 06/12/08 11:35 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
It's to late Emmery, you've already POED a lot off people in here including me for not a very good reason that I can see other than pure prejudice, anger and resentment. Maybe even a bit of jealousy.

Emmery, where are you coming up with these ideas that RPT's are the big bad guys anyway? And are they pointed at the PTG in America? Or the PTG in Canada?

I also know just as many NON RPT's that are such stuck up snobs it isn't even funny. So, now, where does that get us and what does that prove? Everyone is different. Doctors can be snobs, piano tuners can be snobs. Doctors can do lousy work. Piano tuners can too. Not everyone is good. Not everyone is honest.

Bear in mind that many old fashioned ideas came from the OLD FARTS out there that should no longer be in it if they have the kind of mentality and attitude that you are telling us about.

The only reason the public doesn't contact only RPT's is that for one, they don't know any better and for two, the government does not require that all piano tuners be a member or carry some sort of license like most other fields do. Because of that, certain non members like yourself bash the hell out of those of us that have worked so hard to become an RPT and to make PTG the best that we can it for no good reason other than to make yourself look "ok" for not being one of us. Well fine. You don't have to be. But, you also don't have to bash those of us that are either.

We've proven that we can pass these tests. Have you? What's the big fricken deal over there anyway?

If every one of your customers could hear when a piano is in tune or when it is not then none of us would need any training at all. We could pick up a tuning hammer and just start tuning. That's off the wall Emmery. As I said, most of them cannot but, obviously, you'll believe what you will regardless.

You say PTG members. But, are they only PTG members, or are they actually RPT members?

2nd question. How old was this PTG guy that tuned for the radio station? Was he an old geezer?

I can tell you that the RPT's in my city are nothing like the PTG members where you're at. We all do what's right with the piano. If they do it incorrectly up there where you are well, we can't help that down here. But, like I said before, to lump all of us into one heap, just isn't fair. Should I start lumping all of you NON RPT'S into big junk pile too?? Any one of us could come up with a boat load of people that we know that does lousy work. How fair would that be and what good would it do?

Let me say this. Many countries hate Americans. Well, we can't help what our government does anymore than you can help what yours does. We can't help what the newspapers decide to post about us either but, we are not the bad guys here. It's how the rest of the world portrays you, me and everyone else that creates half of the problem.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628295 - 06/12/08 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
Emmery, regarding your last post...

Here in America, if we catch an RPT doing lousy work, we can and do talk with them and if it continues, we can have them reprimanded by the home office if we can show proof and eventually, kicked out. I have been a part of that myself one time and this particular person was indeed removed. My dad was also a part of that at least 2 times that I know of. We do NOT want lousy RPT's. What good would it be to become one then? ;-)
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628296 - 06/13/08 10:25 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
There seems to be an obvious complaint here against a particular chapter of the PTG. Since March of 2008 when I joined this public forum, I have noted similar complaints coming from other members of the same PTG chapter. While I am by no means a member, or associate, I can’t help but feel these complaints cannot be addressed by this public forum.

I have noted more than three members of the same area with virtually the same complaint. It would be best to address these concerns in a letter to the Home Office and in particular, the complaint clearly stated and signed by all members concerned. Allot a certain time limit for response, and if none is forth coming then consider a small claims for the return of your fees. After all, if you are paying monthly fees to be a member, the chapter is obligated to address your concerns, or return your money.

Having no exam papers does not even qualify as an excuse, or a reason. This is obfuscation at best, and further could be seen as exclusion by discrimination.

While I am sure that some of the PTG members here sympathize with the plight of the Toronto chapter, this specific problem cannot be addressed here.

Further this does not make all PTG members elitist, or snobby or some other derogatory label. It just means there is a problem with the administration of this particular chapter. So work to get the administration removed, or corrected.
_________________________
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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#628297 - 06/13/08 10:58 AM Re: fools a plenty!
mitech Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/07
Posts: 42
Loc: Michigan
While I will be the first to agree with many opinions in this thread, I would also like to point out what I feel is important to me as well.

The statement that this board is becoming more the DIY'ers information data base may very well be due to the fact that we sew the seeds for that to happen.

We can't very well continue offering our answers to such questions making these entire threads become just what they are.

Far be it for me to make a statement that I am better than anyone else. I can read through some of the lines here and see who knows what and who is justing fishing.

But I will say this, there is alot of fueling the fire and beating of a dead horse done here also. That too has made me become a less enthusiastic member of PW.

If you don't like the threads on this site, if they have become "old hat" to you, or offensive in any way. STOP READING THEM!!!

One man's opinion...
_________________________
Mark

PTG Associate Member

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#628298 - 06/13/08 11:22 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Jerry, an oversight on my behalf, the tech I was referring to was an RPT...not an Associate Member. As a customer I would have reported him; as a "competing" tech and non-RPT coming in to re-tune the customers' piano, I probably shouldn't for various reasons. I don't know the reason for this techs "rip-off" but the point is that because he was an RPT, it probably wasn't for lack of capability. I stated my situation here to simply make the point that integrity goes hand and hand with knowledge and the only "test" available to measure integrity is somebody coming along that has it, and doing the job the way it should be done. The customer is unfortunately in the middle of all this and we as techs should strive to preserve the integrity of our profession as a whole by being discreet.
I would like to say that I do take some offence to the constant mentions by techs here of customers not knowing the difference of a good tuning or not. This way of thinking is the "seed" of unprofessional attitude and if heard or read by a customer, does nothing to promote the integrity of our work. I know very little about brain surgery, but if I required it, I would question the quality of my surgery if I were to overhear my surgean saying to another that, as his patient, I don't know the difference between a running stitch and a mattress stitch. I coundn't help but wonder that if he's so confident I don't know it, is he also thinking I wouldn't complain, if I didn't get it(when needed)?
I would like to add that dealing with this type of situation is the only thing about this work I dislike, since there is no perfect answer that makes everybody happy.
BTW Jerry, I am a fairly recent joiner of this forum so I am not sure what it was like years ago. It seems to be alright for decent info if you sift and strain a bit. I'm sorry you feel that I am singling out PTG members or RPT's, it was not my intent but rather the limitations of a original single post. If I knew nothing about pianos and had no tech referred to me, I would most likely use one myself to simply to lessen (not eliminate) risks. Please understand that the very nature of one time tests (for any field) does not seperate the people that drink from the Fountain of Knowledge, from the ones that just gargle.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#628299 - 06/13/08 11:23 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Good points Dan and mitech. If we don't anti up and change things ourselves, then we have nobody to blame but ourselves right?

Some time back, a month or so ago, I had written our PTG home office, regarding the Toronto Chapter not doing their job along with the complaints of a couple of people from that area. I received a response from my home office fairly quickly saying they were going to look into it and then they apologized for it. But, I do not know if anything has changed since or was done about it. That's the last I've heard about it but, at least I tried to do my part to help.

If enough of you up there band together, things have to change! But, as I said, it certainly isn't that way down here. And this because all chapter members must be involved, attend meetings faithfully and must take turns administering the meetings and topics in order for it to continue working. If only one or two people do all of the work, it gets old very quickly for those two.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628300 - 06/13/08 11:36 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

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

If you want to turn his name into me with specific detailed complaints in a private PM to me, I will gladly turn his name over to our home office here for them to look into for you.

Well, from this side of the fence, if one surgeon said to another surgeon that they didn't know the difference, is a whole lot different that one technician (or doctor) saying to the next that the patient doesn't know the difference. :-) And, the patient, doesn't. :-) Most of my customers readily admit that to me without me even saying anything about it. The reason I know too, is that when we get complaints, it is never a tuning complaint per say. It is always something else like a voicing problem, a sticking key, a squeaking pedal or something else that is lumped into "my piano is not tuned right." :-)

It appears too Emmery that this whole mess is singled out to a certain chapter or a certain area in Canada or so it appears but, as Dan * I pointed out, things can be changed and people can be removed.

I strongly suggest that you get involved and make something happen up there.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628301 - 06/13/08 12:06 PM Re: fools a plenty!
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Despite my unsocial attitude, I am still tempted to get involved with the PTG. But having talked to and seen the work of some of the best the PTG has to offer in this area, I am unimpressed. I don’t see much to gain from (or offer to) the local chapter. Also, it meets 2 hours away. I have gained a great deal from this Forum, though!
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#628302 - 06/13/08 12:29 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
I find RPTs have a certain "aura" or glow when working on a piano. They also emit a kind of musky scent, a rosewood dust/oil polish/CLP thing that drives the fairer sex mad. These effects are limited to RPTs, however. Associates have a smokey pall about them and a rusty pin/mouse turd/WD40 reek. Something in the test clears it right up.

FLYING PIGS AWAY!!!!!!!!

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#628303 - 06/13/08 12:29 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Then, get involved and start your own chapter.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628304 - 06/13/08 01:09 PM Re: fools a plenty!
mitech Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/07
Posts: 42
Loc: Michigan
Well said, Jerry!

Sam, with all due respect to you, I am somewhat offended. I am one of those rusty pin/mouse turd/WD40 reek Associte members of whom you speak.
But I smell of "Stetson for Men" (hehehe)

All in good fun............
_________________________
Mark

PTG Associate Member

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#628305 - 06/13/08 01:12 PM Re: fools a plenty!
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Jerry:

Great idea!

Chapter One

It was a dark and stormy night...
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#628306 - 06/13/08 03:37 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Sam, let me say I love your sense of humor!!!! If anyone is offended they may need a humor pill. I hear they come in varying doses, and even an overdose can be good.

I must say as one of those smokey, rusty pin/mouse turd/ types...I abhor WD40 within 25 feet of a piano...I laughed my butt off over that comment!!!!!!
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628307 - 06/13/08 04:25 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I get a big kick out of your humor too Sam.

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

We love to play BF2.

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#628308 - 06/13/08 04:50 PM Re: fools a plenty!
eddie twang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 132
Loc: east yorks,england
mr G,you are a bluffer,and god only knows there are plenty on this site!.l can spout off words of wisdom all night long and you can pretend you know where l am coming from... but you dont and you never will.

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#628309 - 06/13/08 06:09 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Yeah Eddie, kind of like a bunch of fart sniffers, something smells but no clue where it originated!!!! hehe
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628310 - 06/13/08 06:44 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
Sorry boys I couldn't help it. Things were getting a bit thick and on the absurd side so I figured I just push it over the edge.

Mouse turds are in my blood...

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#628311 - 06/13/08 08:32 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
No need for apology Sam, it needs to be done more often.

That's one for the book Sam, "The Greatest Sayings of Sam Casey." I wanna reserve a copy!!!
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628312 - 06/14/08 01:19 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Thomson Lawrie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 283
Loc: Grimsby ON Canada
I feel that I should say a few words about the Toronto chapter of the PTG since this has come up a few times in the last month or two on this forum.

First, a bit of historical prespective. There is a unique situation in the province of Ontario. A piano technician in Ontario has the option to belong to three different professional organizations for piano technicians, the PTG, the Ontario Guild Of Piano Technicians ( OGPT) and the Canadian Association Of Piano Technicians (CAPT). I am a member to two, the PTG and CAPT.

My understanding is that the OGPT was originally part of the PTG but broke away to form their own independent organization in the 1950's. From that time until 1980 there were no PTG chapters in the province of Ontario. From the 1950's to 1980 the only guild in Ontario was the OGPT. There was a resurgence of the PTG in 1980 and the Toronto chapter was formed. The PTG grew quite rapidly during the 80's and 90's but seems to have stalled in the last few years.

It is very unfair to judge the few who have stayed on the executive, volunteering their time year in and year out to keep the Toronto chapter afloat. I am not aware of any other area that the PTG operates that it faces such competition. Many of the technicians who are members of the Toronto PTG chapter are also members of the other two organizations and I suppose they don't feel the same commitment to a chapter that technicians do in other areas.

To place the blame on the present chapter president is totally off the mark (as I read in a previous thread where this topic surfaced). He has spent many years on the National executive and has contributed more to the PTG than 90% of PTG members ever will. He has just been in the unfortunate position of being "left standing when the music stopped".

I was a member of the Toronto chapter for 20 years. I rejoined this last year after a number of years of absence and I hope to help get the Toronto chapter up and running again. So far my good intentions have not translated into action but July and August are coming and I hope to have some time when things slow down a bit. If anyone is interested in helping out with this or in membership or testing, please contact me through PM on this forum.

For those who complained that their requests for information or testing where not handled properly, I'm sorry that that happened to you but I would ask you to consider that PTG members are just like you, they are trying to run a business and are volunteering there time and energy. No one that I know in this business puts in just a 40 hour week.
_________________________
Piano Technician
www.pianotech.ca
Piano tuners make the world a better place, one string at a time.

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#628313 - 06/14/08 06:24 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Piano Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/03
Posts: 400
Loc: Southern Ontario,Canada
I was one who voiced my "concerns". I certainly understand all volunteer members. The concern was the constant saying of maybe next time we will have things in order. Certainly even busy people could find 5 minutes to e mail or call head office to get their hands on proper paper work. Even after a member of this forum tried to help, there was still no replies. As for the chapter itself...great guys..and I always enjoyed going. At the time I travelled from London to Toronto. That travel seems to be the biggest stumbling block for many I know in this business. Do a head count for the Golden Horseshoe/Niagara. Perhaps enough for a NEW CHAPTER. All in all mostly frsutration, I didnt mean anything to appear as complaints directed @ anyone. However, if you step up to volunteer for something..then do it! Or dont volunteer. :3hearts:
_________________________
Richard, the"Piano Guy"
Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
From London ON to Fort Erie ON

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#628314 - 06/14/08 09:35 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Thanks for your response Thompson L, I was wondering what the requirements from the PTG are to start a new chapter. Do you think this would be viable for the area between Hamilton-Fort Erie?
I certainly would volunteer some of my time and know of a few others that probably could. Your comment about keeping the Toronto chapter "afloat" does not clarify if its problems are executive or membership commitment related or something entirely different. One of my instructors at GBC in the 80's is now at U of G and has a program there which does hold fairly regular 3-4 day seminars with high quality lecturers. Right now this seems as one of the best ways to let us technicians keep our finger on the pulse of this profession in veiw of the partial vacume we have as an alternative.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#628315 - 06/14/08 09:51 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Correction here to my previous post, it is the University of Western Ontario, not U of G. Going to all those Giffons games last year must have confused me.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#628316 - 06/14/08 10:30 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Emmery, Thomson, and Richard,

I am not totally sure but I believe that the requirement to start a new PTG chapter is that someone has to be an RPT. There may be other requirements that I am not aware of.

cheers.....
_________________________
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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#628317 - 06/14/08 11:44 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

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

Lawrie, thanks for chiming in and helping us all to understand what's really going on here.

It is very interesting that there are 3 different piano organizations to which one can belong up there. I would think, they would possibly be in conflict, or, maybe a better word, competition with one another for who is the best or, which one "we" should belong too?

I will happily volunteer my time for you, to write a letter to my home office PTG here in USA and ask the question of what is required to start a new chapter in Canada. I will post the answers here in this forum when I get a reply for you all to read.

One thing that is very important to remember is that if only one or two people wind up running the whole show year in and year out, it will likely flop from burnout. Everyone must take their turn doing a meeting, setting it up or something.

To this day, each one of our RPT members, takes turns giving a meeting each month on something of interest for the learning of all. The more members you have, the less often you have to take your turn! :-)

We also call in and pay all expenses for outside members to drive in to give meetings too or, we barter with them. Sometimes, one of them will drive in and do a meeting for us, and maybe the next month, one of us, does a meeting for them.

I will write my home office now and find out what it takes and will get back to you on that.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628318 - 06/14/08 12:47 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Piano Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/03
Posts: 400
Loc: Southern Ontario,Canada
The Canadian Association of Piano Technicians mainly operates out western Canada. They publish a newsletter numerous times a year, but probably does not compete. The OGPT is active in much the same area. The only reason I asuggested a Hamilton/Niagara chapter is there seems to be a lot of tuners in the area. When I was going to Toronto to meetings. most wwere local and farther north. I knew at least 8 guys in London ON including those @UWO who were not members. I think its mostly geography.
_________________________
Richard, the"Piano Guy"
Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
From London ON to Fort Erie ON

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#628319 - 06/15/08 04:30 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Mr G. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 35
Loc: Sydney
eddie and rjalex,

Did I touch on some personal sensitivity and/or insecurity or are you just being as crude to me as you are to your potential customers?

Well, contrary to your perception I am not a bluffer in any way whatsoever. My professional qualifications as a cabinet maker and a French polisher, tertiary education and a very successful piano restoration company are testimony to it all.

My name in this forum stands for the initial of my real surname, the mobile phone number at the bottom of my posts is my personal phone in real life and the address is of the factory I own where I practice my skills for which I am recognized by my peers locally to be an authority in the field.

I am posting on forums because I believe that I can contribute to the betterment of the piano industry as a whole and not to bluff my way around it. And from that perspective, surely, blasting people for daring to ask questions in forums and/or in work shops is universally acknowledged as not the best way to close deals.
_________________________
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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#628320 - 06/15/08 07:47 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Thomson Lawrie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 283
Loc: Grimsby ON Canada
Quote "step up to volunteer for something..then do it! Or dont volunteer."

Richard, I agree with you but I think what has happened is that someone takes on a position when it is clear that no one is going to. They feel obligated rather than let the chapter suffer. In turn then end up doing a poor job because they didn't really want the job. Some times it is better to let things fall apart first. Sometimes they have to get worse before they get better although it doesn't seem so at the time.

It's too bad about London, it's hard for a place that is half way between Two chapters ( Toronto & Detroit). When I was in charge of the program we had at least one meeting a year in Kitchener to try and bring in the folks from the western end. We would see a few new faces but it was mostly the same people who would come out to the meetings in the GTA that came out.

If the PTG is something that still interests you then you have a great opportunity now. You are just minutes away from the Buffalo chapter, if you don't mind the hassle at the border. If you come out to a meeting for the Toronto chapter I guarantee that I will meet you at the door with the paperwork for membership application.

Emmery, I don't think there are enough technicians in the area between Hamilton and Fort Erie to form a chapter. I know from years of trying to talk technicians in the area into coming out to even one meeting that it can be a hard sell. If the 6 million plus in the Toronto area struggle to support a chapter then this much smaller population is not going to be viable.

All it would take is a handful of technicians with a bit of energy and imagination to get things back on track in Toronto. The chapter is financially sound and has a budget for bringing in some interesting speakers. All it would take is a few techs willing to co-ordinate it. In the last year it has come down to two techs that are trying to run the chapter and they are just tapped out. I have already talked to Anne Francis, who is a regular on this forum and she is quite willing to contribute some time and energy. If you and some of the people you know would be willing to volunteer some time I think we could be up and running again in no time. I don't see any reason why we couldn't meet 5 or 6 times this coming year, starting in September. I'll be in touch with you through PM. besides I'm curious who you were referring to in your earlier posts because there aren't any PTG RPTs in the Niagara area. ( I have to be retested because I let my membership lapse a few years back).

Jerry, Thanks for your offer to help with info on a new chapter but I think it is putting the cart before the horse. If there are enough people in the area west of Toronto to start a chapter then is shouldn't be that hard to get the Toronto chapter up and running again without reinventing the wheel. The Toronto chapter can meet in the area west of the city if thats what suits the active members.
_________________________
Piano Technician
www.pianotech.ca
Piano tuners make the world a better place, one string at a time.

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#628321 - 06/15/08 08:38 AM Re: fools a plenty!
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2033
Loc: Maine
"I find RPTs have a certain "aura" or glow when working on a piano. They also emit a kind of musky scent, a rosewood dust/oil polish/CLP thing that drives the fairer sex mad. These effects are limited to RPTs, however. Associates have a smokey pall about them and a rusty pin/mouse turd/WD40 reek. Something in the test clears it right up." Sam Casey

---------

Yea, I noticed that right away when I passed the test years ago. 'Had to carry a stick to beat off the fairer sex. Unfortunately, the years seem to have diminished the effect. Maybe I need to pass another test ...
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#628322 - 06/15/08 09:41 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Thomson Lawrie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 283
Loc: Grimsby ON Canada
Quote "Had to carry a stick to beat off the fairer sex. Unfortunately, the years seem to have diminished the effect."

Now you can use the stick to help when you go out for a walk. \:D
_________________________
Piano Technician
www.pianotech.ca
Piano tuners make the world a better place, one string at a time.

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#628323 - 06/15/08 12:15 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

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

Lawrie, I understand. I had already sent out a request to my home office the day I said I would. I don't expect any type of reply for at least a week as this next week is their convention and nobody will probably be home to answer it. But, one never knows, we'll see.

I'll see what they have to say and will probably let you know anyway in case others that are reading this are interested in starting their own chapter elsewhere.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628324 - 06/15/08 12:21 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
David, maybe you need to take "Beano." hehehehehehe
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628325 - 06/15/08 02:17 PM Re: fools a plenty!
eddie twang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 132
Loc: east yorks,england
mr G,what can be gained by telling someone how to do something that is way beyond a laymans abillity?..have you ever done a rebuild?

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#628326 - 06/15/08 02:22 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Piano Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/03
Posts: 400
Loc: Southern Ontario,Canada
The drive from Niagara to Toronto is a bit shorter thsn from London. And I think there are a couple of you on the route..[Emmery & Thomso...sort of a car pool shuttle off to a PTG meeting...not a bad idea.
_________________________
Richard, the"Piano Guy"
Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
From London ON to Fort Erie ON

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#628327 - 06/15/08 06:58 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Dennis Kelvie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 155
Loc: Caldwell, Idaho
Hey guys,

I read many (but not all) of the posts in this thread and I feel I MUST chime in, at least a little here.

I am a full-time Tuner/Tech and have been for over 30 years. It has been my experience that DIY folks won't buy your services anyway; they'll just wreck the piano. But if they are offered decent help, they WILL hire you and me to do the things that they discover they cannot do themselves.

I would guess that 8 out of 10 DIY folks who take their pianos apart end up calling one of US to fix their errors, thus placing more money in OUR pockets!

An opinion for what it is worth. Please don't ask for a refund!
_________________________
Dennis C. Kelvie
Piano Tuner/Technician since 1976

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#628328 - 06/15/08 08:35 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Not even a small refund? 50 cents even? Slot machine money?? \:D

Honestly, I don't follow up after the DIYer's any longer. I used to but, I found that things were so cobbled up when they got done most of the time that it took far more time than I could even begin to guess to correct it. I would first have to figure out what in the heck they did to mess it up so badly, reverse that, if possible and then move forward from there. Since then, I figure, to heck with it. It's just not worth the time and effort to try and fix it. At least, not for me. \:\(
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628329 - 06/16/08 07:24 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Mr G. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 35
Loc: Sydney
Eddie, there may not be anything gained for the person who offered the advise, but, there is nothing lost either. In this case, sooner rather than later the person who sought the advise will realize that, indeed, it is far beyond a layman’s ability and because of that will come back to commission the work. There is far less likelihood for this happening to a tradesman who snobs off enquirers. That is the point I am making.

Yes, over the years I have made many and various rebuilds. Currently I have four grand and seven upright pianos on the factory floor to be restored with various degrees of rebuilds for each of them. The total rebuilt of a Bechstein grand is just to be wrapped up by the end of this month.
_________________________
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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#628330 - 06/16/08 10:15 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Mr. G.

You can spend a lot of valuable time responding to, and instructing a layman on how to perform a task properly. There is no guarantee at any time they will return to contract the work to you, after they have discovered the job is beyond their scope of understanding. So there can be a considerable amount to lose.
_________________________
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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#628331 - 06/17/08 07:40 AM Re: fools a plenty!
eddie twang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 132
Loc: east yorks,england
mr G,one thing l learnt many years ago is the worst type of repair you can undertake is the one that involves going over someone elses "bad work",be that by an ameteur or a poor tech.if you read my previous comments you would know l will freely disspence genuine advice even if that involves telling someone they are whey out of there depth ,so leave well alone.last week a violin teacher rang me to say the sustain pedal on an upright in a school was not working.he had "had a look inside"but didnt know what the problem was,firstly the idiot had forced the bottom door back in the wrong position meaning l could not remove it without causing damage,he had then decided to try and remove the action but couldnt get it back in!..l didnt tell him how he should try and do this in the future..or explain to him that there are as many different types of pedal mechanisms as there are individual makes of piano...no, l did the right thing by telling him not to **** about with things he didnt understand and a large bill to disscourage him from further experimentation.

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#628332 - 06/17/08 07:53 AM Re: fools a plenty!
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
I want to bring up a question for discussion. Are we providing service to the customer or to the piano?
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#628333 - 06/17/08 08:42 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Tooner and others,

As a professional with proper training, we are providing service to the piano. A service that we should understand. If we want to understand it, we will work to understand it.

As people that are only DIYer's and nothing more with no intention of learning more, they are servicing themselves and their own playful pleasures and only themselves with only their self service in mind. They are not servicing a piano because they don't know how. They have no cares regarding whoever has to follow up after them later on.

Yesterday for example, I tuned a Steinway B. I don't know who had been tuning this piano prior but there was no rhyme or reason to any part of the tuning anywhere on the piano. The last full half of the treble was anywhere from 1/4 tone sharp to 1/2 tone flat in the last octave. Same with the bass. There was nothing wrong with this piano other than it was obvious that whoever had tuned it had no idea what they were doing. Yet, they continued on as if they did.

Now, this does a couple of things for sure.

1. It makes it extremely difficult if any of you have ever noticed, following up after a tuner, who's tuning is very unstable, to make your own tuning stable.

2. When it is so badly out of tune, it is almost guaranteed not to stay for long..

3. When a "flake" services a piano this expensive, or any other piano for that matters, they very rarely, do anything at all mechanically either.

This means we as the "REAL" professionals, have tons more things to try and explain to the person in charge such as, your pedals have no felt or anything else under them to prevent them from being pushed down further than they should they go. "Ohhh, why would that be??" Is usually, their first question. Because....apparently, some idiot removed it????

Next we explain why the touch is "funny." Heavy, light, heavy, light.. Uneven tone and touch, other pedal problems... Regulation issues... "What's that and why didn't the last guy explain these things to me? Sounds odd to me that all of these things need doing all at once now that you're the new tuner."

It's almost as if they are accusing US of telling them something that "just shouldn't be" when in fact, had they had someone qualified service this thing to begin with, it would not NOW, be in the kind of shape this piano was in and WE wouldn't have to waste twice as much of our valuable time trying to explain it to them.

That is the sort of CRAP that WE are sick to death of and yet, so many here think it's wonderful to help the DIYER's...

IF, these DIYER"S are genuinely interested in getting into the piano business eventually, full time, fine, they will attend PTG meetings etc. That's different.

But, if their only interest is to tune for "friends and family and for themselves?" What good and what kind of REAL service can these people do for those people that for those pianos other than to screw things up for themselves, the piano itself, the piano owner and for the next person that has to follow up after their poor workmanship probably sooner or later condemning the poor piano?
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628334 - 06/17/08 09:09 AM Re: fools a plenty!
RPD Offline
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Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
I couldn't have said it better myself Jerry!

RPD
_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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#628335 - 06/17/08 09:49 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

Very well stated. I have to agree with your sentiments here especially trying to stabilize an instrument after it has been “worked” on.

Tooner,

What would your answer be to the question you have posed?
_________________________
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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#628336 - 06/17/08 10:05 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

I have had that one in the schools so many times; I have ended up doing the very same thing. If the instrument is tampered with by the instructor previous to me attending, or previous to them calling for service, the bill increases in a very big way. Most times I don’t charge for the small items. If the instrument is tampered with, there is a zero tolerance for this and everything is billed for. This results in a substantial invoice.

You want to change behavior? Hit them in the pocketbook. The customer changes technicians? You did not want them as a “problem customer” anyways.
_________________________
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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#628337 - 06/17/08 10:33 AM Re: fools a plenty!
JDelmore Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/07
Posts: 634
To paraphrase Jerry--

There was nothing wrong with this [insert anything you wish] other than it was obvious that whoever had [insert what someone did] it had no idea what they were doing. Yet, they continued on as if they did.[/b]

Boy. If we could get beyond this...life would be so much more pleasant!!
_________________________
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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#628338 - 06/17/08 10:43 AM Re: fools a plenty!
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Dan:

I asked first.

The question is intended to make the discussion more introspective. In what ways do we see the service to the piano being separate from the service to the customer? I really wonder about this when it is an institutional piano. Then the customer usually is not the owner.
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#628339 - 06/17/08 10:51 AM Re: fools a plenty!
JDelmore Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/07
Posts: 634
UT, it's both. We service the piano. We provide a service to the customer, whether owner or institution.

The rare case where the piano would take ultimate precedence would be a museum--then the needs of the piano are paramount. Otherwise, it's always a balancing act (just like tuning!!)between the needs of the piano and the needs/commitment of the customer.

That said, I get paid by people...not pianos...
_________________________
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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#628340 - 06/17/08 11:16 AM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

Asking first qualifies as nothing.

To make an addition to JDelmore’s response, we service the piano but educate the customer. Servicing the instrument serves the customer need and problem (perceived or imaginary) and educating the customer serves not only their need but our need too. Our need was stated very clearly in Jerry’s response. That is to have an instrument to work on that has not been tampered with by “some strange guy with a wrench”.

Institutional instruments are a tough call, especially school pianos, but again reporting/ educating the administration of whatever structured organization you are dealing with is best. You will see later on if this has had an effect. Once again using the pocketbook in these particular situations will get the desired result. More cost for repair is questioned down the ranks to the classroom/church/ community centre. The instructors using this equipment will have to explain the extra cost to repair. The exception is the one that JDelmore mentioned being the restoration/ repair of museum pieces.
_________________________
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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#628341 - 06/17/08 12:04 PM Re: fools a plenty!
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
I experience emotions whenever I service a piano because they make music. Music is an emotional experience. I am distressed when a piano has been neglected, or abused. But to be professional I must remember that it is the owner’s prerogative to do what they wish with their possessions. It is difficult for me to say to an owner that tuning at least once a year is better for the piano, but if you are happy with how it sounds, that is what matters. The only DIY work that I remember seeing is refinishing. I have seen some, but not a lot of, professional work that I would, um, just do “differently.” I really dislike explaining this a customer. I try to just point out the problem and the repair without mentioning any previous repair. I do feel an urge to punish owners for neglecting their pianos, and then feel guilty for not respecting their prerogatives.
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#628342 - 06/17/08 12:20 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
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Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
As usual, I come in and find the question has been answered very well. Jerry, I agree I could not have stated it better.

Tooner, since you asked the question, why not give your opinion?

I am not one of these people who believes, "the customer is always right!!!" I try to be very diplomatic with people who have the opinion they are right in certain "piano" situations, but we are supposed to the be experts. I will not do something to a piano, that I know is not good for the piano, or perform some task not in keeping with professional standards. If one wants something on that order, then I dont mind at all if they look elsewhere for their piano service.

Jerry, your words about why we feel about DIY'ers the way we do is very very good. Someone mentioned in some post, in either this or another thread, that techs feel threatened by DIY'ers, and dont want the competition. Gosh what a stupid, idiotic remark, was my thought. I personally have never felt threatened in any way by a DIY'er, and certainly dont see them at any sort of competition.

From my perspective, they can do what they want to their piano. Let them tune their piano, their famly or friend's piano. I really dont care. If money, have come out of my pocket for "work" some DIY'ER did, I certainly have never missed it!!!!!!
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628343 - 06/17/08 12:36 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

“Music is an emotional experience.”

Music is, well just writing on a page. There is only the emotional attachment that you give to it. If you choose to make music an emotional experience then this is your choice.

It is the very same with servicing equipment. If you are to be a professional, then the emotion must be removed from the work situation. It will serve no purpose to become emotionally involved with the instruments or the customers. State what you see and state it in professional terms. If you see work you do not like, then state it exactly the way you have here. “Yes the job was done but I would not have completed it in this way.” Or “this instrument has been refinished but rather badly”. Stating the truth is being a professional. I don’t see another way out. Oh sure you can tell the customer what they want to hear but who does this serve in the end??……. No one, not even yourself.

I tell all customers to tune once a year. Do they? I don’t know, and it does not matter. You cannot legislate good behavior… ……. What they do with the equipment is none of my business. I repair it, they use it up and on we all go.
_________________________
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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#628344 - 06/17/08 12:50 PM Re: fools a plenty!
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Dan:

I am enjoying this discussion.

“Music is, well just writing on a page. There is only the emotional attachment that you give to it. If you choose to make music an emotional experience then this is your choice.”

I believe that we have little if any immediate control over our emotions. Over time, we can become more emotional about some things and less about others. What we do have is a limited choice over our actions when we experience emotions. I believe that “Music” is anything but writing on a page. If there is no emotional response, there is no music, just sounds.

Regards,
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#628345 - 06/17/08 01:07 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Thanks guys. \:D

Tooner: In what ways do we see the service to the piano being separate from the service to the customer? I really wonder about this when it is an institutional piano. Then the customer usually is not the owner.[/b]

You wonder about a lot of things, don't you Tooner? ;\)

That's a pretty obvious answer isn't it? We service the piano as the piano requires or as their pocket book allows when things are needing attention..

We educate the customer to understand their pianos needs and how often these needs should be met. Client education never ends. Ever. They forget just like we do.

It is NOT you or me that makes up the recommendations of tuning twice per year or more. It is the manufacturer's of these pianos that have done this.

It becomes our duty as the working technician to explain this to everyone in the world for the rest of our lives. No matter how old that gets.

If the customer doesn't like hearing that? Or if they don't believe me? Oh well! I tell them to log onto Yamaha or, Kawai, or Steinway's web site and ask them for themselves then.

It is fact, not fiction. I don't like hearing that I have to change my oil every 3,000 miles either but, I do it nonetheless. The reason is, I've been taught what will happen if I neglect it time and again.. And who taught me this? People that realized the "real consequences of neglected products."

As for institutional pianos? Those are no different. Someone out there, namely, us, has to again, educate the public. We must especially educate those in charge of making the final decision on who will service those pianos. Sometimes, a lot of time and energy is required before we can get them to accept these "FACTS" as being facts and not fiction.

Some organizations send out bids. TO these folks, I tell them, you will get what you pay for. Whether you agree with that or not or if you don't like it doesn't matter. That's the way it is in the piano industry for the most part.

If we can't educate them enough, or, worse yet, if WE fail to even try, then they will choose to get bids and the lowest bidder will always win and 9 out of 10 times, the lowest bidder also does the worst work. Once again, who winds up fixing it? The next lowest bidder?

As far as bidding goes, I do not bid on anything. I won't waste my time on it.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628346 - 06/17/08 01:37 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
This is not correct. Music is sound arranged in a proper mathematical order. If the order is not correct, then it is considered noise. Have you ever listened to a street trolley clashing against the rails? This is sound with no order. Noise. Do you get emotionally attached to this? Not many do, with the exception of maybe the mechanic that repairs the trolley cars. To him the noise is the sound of money.

Well, Tooner you can believe about people what you would like to believe. Lots of people can control their emotions and lots cannot. Making judgments based on your own experiences with emotions does not make us all like this. This type of psychoanalyzing in your second paragraph is, well, presumptuous at best.
_________________________
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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#628347 - 06/17/08 02:01 PM Re: fools a plenty!
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Jerry:

Thanks for the responses. I am wondering how we (tuners/techs) perceive the difference. Not just what the difference is.

Dan:

I’ve heard some “Modern” music that sounded worse than a trolley car. I didn’t care for it because it didn’t communicate any emotions to me. Also, I don’t see how saying what I believe is being presumptuous.

All:

One of the reasons that I am wondering about this is because of a particular baby grand at the local High School. I got it through the Chorus Festival this past winter with a knuckle replacement, hammer filing, voicing and basic regulation. They didn’t bother to get it tuned again for the spring concerts. It should have more work done on it during the summer, particularly key rebushing. Some of the wood is exposed and is wearing. To complicate matters my daughter will be starting at the High School this fall. I am wondering how much pressure to try to put on the music department. Best that I can tell I have good relations with them. But if they don’t care enough to have the piano tuned after the spring humidity change, why should I care? The fact is I do care. It’s just a beat up 1970’s Baldwin R but still has potential. Then there is the situation of being a parent of a High School Student that is active in music. Most of the other parents donate time and materials to the various programs. I am not sure how far I should go in this direction.
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#628348 - 06/17/08 02:05 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
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Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Tooner wrote:
I believe that we have little if any immediate control over our emotions. Over time, we can become more emotional about some things and less about others. What we do have is a limited choice over our actions when we experience emotions. I believe that “Music” is anything but writing on a page. If there is no emotional response, there is no music, just sounds.[/b]

Sorry (not really), but I too disagree with your choice of words. Not sure you truly believe this, but anyone who lacks control over their emotions and actions, is an out of control person.
Modern politically correct pyschology has convinced a lot of people that we humans are mere products of our background and environment. Seems at least to me, far too many lawyers and judges have bought this crap!!!!

I would agree beautiful artistic music can cause emotions to surface. But next time you see someone weeping upon hearing a beautiful piece of music, it wont be me!!!! I might do it in the privacy of my home, but I have more control than to weep or wail in a group of peers or other people.

Music, a possible emotional experience? Yes, sometimes, but listen to me try to play the violin...errr I mean fiddle (it is really a fiddle!!!), it is an emotional disturbance!!!
_________________________
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Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628349 - 06/17/08 02:21 PM Re: fools a plenty!
UprightTooner Offline
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Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Ron:

As an example, you say “Sorry (not really)”. Can you immediately make yourself truly feel sorry? If you can, then you have control over your emotions. But if it is something you truly have control over, I don’t know if it is a real emotion, or something you pretend to feel.

I do agree with you that those that let emotions control their actions are out of control. It can happen to anyone, though. That is what panic is.

Regards,
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#628350 - 06/17/08 02:50 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
The sorry (not really) is an example of maybe mild consternation. I dont know maybe I'm just detacted from my emotions, hehe. Maybe a poor choice of words. I am absolutely not sorry for disagreeing with you. If I were, I would remain silent.

In certain situations I can immediately truly feel sorry; depends on the situation. I cannot speak for anyone but me, but I strongly believe control over real emotions can achieved; at times should be done. Pretend emotions, are fake. Fake emotions are insincere, to the point of dishonesty.

Believe it or not, this line of thought is still within the spectrum of professionalism and customer relations.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628351 - 06/17/08 02:58 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I am wondering how we (tuners/techs) perceive the difference. Not just what the difference is.[/b]

Does it matter?

One perceives differently than another which is obvious from the last few posts about emotions. So there probably is no definitive answer. Just opinions.

As for your school? Again, it's up to you to set down and educate them. I prefer writing a letter or email and educate that way. You will need to explain what the piano needs, why it needs it, when the work should be done, what the expense is going to be and what time frames are involved.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628352 - 06/17/08 03:21 PM Re: fools a plenty!
bellspiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/04
Posts: 498
Loc: Boston, MA
Tooner, I think I see your concern -- you have knowledge and skill, you have been hired by the school to make the piano better at least once, your child goes there -- and your question, which is how far to push. I'll tell you what works for me: if I have an emotional attachment to the customer (person or institution), I refer them to another technician. It is just too complicated for me to, say, learn from and respect someone's opinions in our book group, and at the same time know that she treats her piano as a piece of junk. I just can't handle too many competing mental and emotional demands at once. (Now it might be different if I lived in an area without a lot of good techs -- maybe I'd have to grow a thicker skin.)
_________________________
Dorrie Bell
retired piano technician
Boston, MA

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#628353 - 06/17/08 03:22 PM Re: fools a plenty!
eddie twang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 132
Loc: east yorks,england
jerry,dan,roy..l am so pleased l am not alone!..though somtimes l wonder wether it was worth all the hard work!...one of the largest instrument suppliers in the u.k sells tuning equipment in its catalouge.theres no wonder this trade is going to the dogs.

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#628354 - 06/17/08 03:32 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

You have touched upon a subject that I have had a great deal of experience with. Schools have budget constraints, and a limited supply of funding goes to music, the performing arts, and other types of artistic endeavors.

I spent 12 yrs. of my life trying to make changes to the very same systems that you speak of here, with little results, I got totally emotionally involved with the success or failure of these results, and linked my own personal happiness with each and every event.

This resulted in my own unhappiness, until I realized that if I wanted change to happen I needed to change my response to the situations. So I changed from emotional response, to intellectual responses.

The school systems are too big and cumbersome, it is impossible to make wholesale changes, and the resistance from the union members in those systems, makes it nearly impossible.

So my changed response was to find other work, and dump the schools. And from what I hear now, there is no evidence I was even in the system. Any of the changes I made are now invisible.

You are choosing your happiness, or unhappiness about the piano at the school based on its’ condition? This is your choice to do this. Making this choice will not get the piano fixed. Putting pressure on the music dept. for what reason? Are you of the opinion they do not know the condition of this instrument?

Funding is provided to them by the school board. They are just employees. You are barking up the wrong tree here.

If they do not know the condition of this instrument perhaps you have not reported this to the proper dept. If you are of the opinion that you have reported this to the correct people in charge, and there has been no movement, then you have done your part. There is no more to do, and a decision has been made to either ignore the report or do nothing. School boards are great at doing nothing.

You can tilt all you want at a school that does not care for the piano. Heck you can even bring the thing home and rebuild it for free, and 5yrs. later go and have a look. You will not be able to tell anyone did any work on this piece. How do I know this? Well if the school cared, or had the funds, the instrument would not be in this condition now right?

As far as what you believe, this sentence is based on your own presumption ……………………..

“What we do have is a limited choice over our actions when we experience emotions.”

This might be your experience. It just might not be someone else’s’. Just because you see it this way does not make it so for the rest of us.
_________________________
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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#628355 - 06/17/08 04:03 PM Re: fools a plenty!
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
All:

Thanks for the understanding and input.

Oddly, money in the budget isn’t really the problem. The repairs were supposed to be paid from the District budget, but instead were paid from the Performance / Donation / Slush Fund. The problem is probably the very busy and dedicated staff. One phone call would probably be enough to get the repairs approved and arranged.

My dilemma is whether it is appropriate to do this for the piano’s, not the owner’s sake? Jerry has a good point about education. If they understood what care the piano needs, especially in this case to avoid further damage, then the customer would be making the decision on behalf of the piano and not me. But this community isn’t very rank and file. People tend to just sort of pitch in. I don’t work that way very well. I prefer structured organization.
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#628356 - 06/17/08 04:19 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Yes Tooner there is one thing I forgot to mention. Schools receive money from three different budget programs. One is the district school board allotment. Second is called the variance budget. Thirdly are the scholarship funds or donated funds. This last one comes directly to the school. The other two are administered.

If you prefer a structured organization then structure it to your liking. Sounds like they are waiting for some guidance on this one. If this dilemma would be solved by one phone call, then it would seem like you have answered your own original question.
cheers........
_________________________
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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#628357 - 06/17/08 04:36 PM Re: fools a plenty!
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Thanks for the advice, Dan. I'm worried about getting sucked into an organizational vacuum.

Dorrie: Good advice. I'm the only tuner within an hour in every direction. That's not very far, but people want someone local. I'll be tuning another piano tommorrow that hasn't been tuned for years, because there was no one local to do it. It's the pianos I can get attached to, not the customers, though. \:o
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#628358 - 06/17/08 04:53 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Oh we've hit a nerve now!!!! At least it hits a nerve with me. Ahhh yes, educational systems and their pianos. Seems they can find the necessary budget for the sports programs. They're willing to nickle and dime every Mom and Dad for a contribution for this and that, but are they willing to put resources in their piano!!!! Just about every school I have tuned in, is a hit and miss proposition from year to year. I have gotten to the point, I dont even call them. If they want it tuned, they will call me. And the environment and the abuse they put those poor pianos through. It is best not to get attached to pianos in schools. If you do, be ready for some heart break, or be prepared to donate your time and talents in far too many instances.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628359 - 06/17/08 04:56 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
There is a 4th... PTA.. Parent Teacher Associations contribute funds also to piano purchases and piano repairs.

Tooner, just do the work. If the piano needs it, then it is our responsibility to inform the customer that it needs to be done.

It then becomes their responsibility to see to it that the work is done. There is no dilemma here.

You're making a big deal out of nothing.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628360 - 06/17/08 05:03 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Dennis Kelvie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 155
Loc: Caldwell, Idaho
Hey Jerry,

I got one yesterday. I will replace the keytops (both black and white), do the tuning and pitch raise, do the minor amount of regulation the ugly old piano needs, and HE will refinish the case, replace a bit of missing veneer, attach the castors (which he will buy from me), and the piano will service his 4 kids for years! The piano is "sound" (Pardon the pun) structurally, and the above is all he needs for what he wants.

Where can I go wrong?

Dennis
_________________________
Dennis C. Kelvie
Piano Tuner/Technician since 1976

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#628361 - 06/17/08 08:50 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Great Dennis! What kind of piano is it?
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628362 - 06/17/08 09:12 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
“Where can I go wrong? “

Nowhere as long as you remember that cabinet refinishing is a completely separate career than piano technology. Piano cabinets can be done by any furniture refinisher.

However, I do get some calls from furniture guys ……..”How do I take the pedals out from the bottom?” Or “do you have any of the felt trim for the pedal set??” Or “how do I flip the piano over to change the castors?” so there is a sunny side sometimes (sales of piano tilters from the supply houses) ;\)
_________________________
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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#628363 - 06/17/08 10:06 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Dan, I agree cabinet refinishing is a whole separate field. I just never have developed much of an interest in refinishing. Glad I know some good furniture refinishers.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628364 - 06/18/08 07:27 AM Re: fools a plenty!
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Ron:

You are right, the Baldwin R is a heart break situation.
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#628365 - 06/18/08 02:52 PM Re: fools a plenty!
eddie twang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 132
Loc: east yorks,england
l learnt how to re polish pianos by working alongside the french polishers.most of the pianos l restore are over a hundred years old and they need re polishing

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#628366 - 06/18/08 03:57 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Eternal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/06
Posts: 1285
Loc: Posts: 80,372
 Quote:
Originally posted by Rickster:
[QB] where I’m from it is not polite to refer to someone as a fool. In fact, there is only one category of individuals who are said to be fools; “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God” (Psalms 14:1).
This is going to be pretty off-topic, but as an Atheist, I take offense to that statement, even if it's just a quote from Christian mythology \:\) .

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#628367 - 06/18/08 04:21 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
As a Christian all I can say, sorry for your troubles Eternal. As for where this "offense" leaves you as an Atheist......on your own, as usual.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#628368 - 06/18/08 08:34 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

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

Why is it, that these types of people seem to think they have more rights than we do? By that, I mean, that Eternal has the right to say that he is offended by that statement. Apparently, this means that we do not have the right to MAKE that statement.

Poppy ****. If you don't like it TOUGH. Rickster has the same freedom of speech as you do.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#628369 - 06/18/08 09:24 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
It seems to me far too many people are just looking for things to be offended by. I knew a guy in the army who claimed to be an atheist. Funny thing about this guy, it didnt take him along after we arrived in Vietnam, that he began to look Heaven-ward. I would not go as far as to say he became an Evangelical Christian, but our experiences changed his outlook on life, and his view of Eternity, and Who controls it.

Kinda makes me believe the atheistic outlook begins to chance when you stare into the eyes of death, especially on a daily basis.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#628370 - 06/18/08 09:46 PM Re: fools a plenty!
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Do we really want to go down this road? I agree that too many people are offended by all sorts of things.

I have a BS in Philosophy and Religion. \:\)
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#628371 - 06/18/08 10:30 PM Re: fools a plenty!
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
My philosophy and religion are often called BS. \:\)

Schools. Figure this one out. They buy 100K worth of computers that are outdated when leaving the store and totally obsolete within 24 months, those of which are still working. Yet the computers get climate control, measured humidity, temp, and restricted access.

Spend 500K on a fleet of pianos that if properly cared for will last 30-50 years and put them in rooms that sweat, freeze, bake, boil, fry and let any damn Tom Dick or dog beat them to pieces AND take the cheapest bid for service. It just ain't fair.

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#628372 - 06/19/08 07:20 AM Re: fools a plenty!
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Sam:

This reminds me of a particular Winter Studio in a schoolroom with enormous windows that face SW. I was asked how to tell when a piano needs replaced. My answer was that I wouldn't recommend that any piano be kept in that room. They might as well keep that one there instead of buying another and ruining it too. I get called to tune it once or twice a year. They will say that it has "two E's" (at the tenor break).

All:

The problem with religious freedom is that if we ban the mention of religion, then we are promoting Atheism.
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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