Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#641036 - 08/11/07 02:46 AM first time tuner. tuning droping.
Greeb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/06
Posts: 120
Loc: Tallahasse,
Well, I tuned the B twice now and both times it has fallen the next day about 3 cents over the whole range. The first time I pulled it about one cent above target and then brought it down. The second I tried going back and forth till I gradually centered on the tone. What should I be doing to set the pins that I'm not.

Top
(ad 568) Win a Year Journal Subscription
Win a year subscription to the PTG Journal
#641037 - 08/11/07 03:01 AM Re: first time tuner. tuning droping.
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3769
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
You should be getting a mentor before trying to do something that takes years of practice to get right.
_________________________
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

Top
#641038 - 08/11/07 03:07 AM Re: first time tuner. tuning droping.
Greeb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/06
Posts: 120
Loc: Tallahasse,
Well, maybe so, but I don't have one, and that's not the way I do things.

Top
#641039 - 08/11/07 04:17 AM Re: first time tuner. tuning droping.
RonTuner Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1579
Loc: Chicagoland
Hey Greeb,

Did you check it RIGHT after tuning to see if the tuning had not shifted? I forgot... are you using a machine to assist? If so, which one? Did you play with a pretty firm hand while tuning?

You may want to scale down your experiment to just one small section as you work on your skills to find out what will make the difference.

Think of the tuning pins, and the direction of the wire as it comes off the pin - are you leaving the system in a "loaded" position that the string tension is able to pull down the pitch via twist or tilt?

Pay attention, repeat, make notes, pay attention, test and retest. You may want to chart humidity and temp from day to day to give you more data...
_________________________
Piano/instrument technician
www.ronkoval.com
@ronkoval

my piano videos:
http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=drwoodwind


Top
#641040 - 08/11/07 12:12 PM Re: first time tuner. tuning droping.
Randy Karasik, Colorado, USA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/05
Posts: 65
Loc: Colorado
"Setting the pins" is only possible if you are using the proper hammer technique. Hold the hammer in the same direction of the strings, with the handle towards the bridges.

After you turn the pin to the right to raise the pitch, back off as you allow the pin to bend slightly towards the bridge. This allows the string to equalize along it's length. "Setting the pin" really means "setting the string".

The slight bending of the pin can be done without actually turning it. The string then relaxes between the pin and the capo (agraffe, V bar, etc) and the tension equalizes along the entire length of the string.

Strike the note hard enough to encourage this qualization of tension along the string. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

If the piano is stable and you are only raising it 3 beats, this technique should minimize the loss of tuning precision and go a long way to a more stable tuning.


Does this make sense to you?
_________________________
Play With Passion

Top
#641041 - 08/11/07 04:11 PM Re: first time tuner. tuning droping.
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1430
Loc: Old Hangtown California
As a beginner I would not encourage you to slightly bend the pin as part of the pin setting technique.
Any time that you move the pin with the hammer you should do so by turning it, not trying to bend it even slightly.
As you bring the pitch slightly sharp then attempt to settle it you should use a combination of hard test blow and slight pressure on the hammer (rotating not bending).
The pin will lean enough when you do this.
At rest when set, the pin will lean toward the bridge slightly as the wood in the pin block will give under the force of the string tension to allow a slight egg shape.
If the pin were bent the piano would be extremely difficult to tune.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

Top
#641042 - 08/11/07 06:01 PM Re: first time tuner. tuning droping.
Randy Karasik, Colorado, USA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/05
Posts: 65
Loc: Colorado
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gene Nelson:
As a beginner I would not encourage you to slightly bend the pin as part of the pin setting technique.
Any time that you move the pin with the hammer you should do so by turning it, not trying to bend it even slightly.
As you bring the pitch slightly sharp then attempt to settle it you should use a combination of hard test blow and slight pressure on the hammer (rotating not bending).
The pin will lean enough when you do this.
At rest when set, the pin will lean toward the bridge slightly as the wood in the pin block will give under the force of the string tension to allow a slight egg shape.
If the pin were bent the piano would be extremely difficult to tune. [/b]
No no no ... you don't BEND the pin to the extent that you warp it's shape. You simply bump it slightly in the direction of the bridge, allowing the higher-tension wire, just behind the pin, to slip just slightly under the pressure point.

This allows a solid setting of the string without actually turning the pin. Turning the pin offsets the equality of the tension of the string, plus you still have the natural lean of the pin after the turn. At what point are you finished turning the pin? When the note is perfect?

No. You are finished turning the pin just before the final bump on the handle which sets the string. At this point the string is perfect AND it is 'set' ... if you get the final turn and bump just right.

Trust me ... this I know.
_________________________
Play With Passion

Top
#641043 - 08/11/07 07:06 PM Re: first time tuner. tuning droping.
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Greeb, first of all, a highly self motivated desire to accomplish something is a very positive quality to have if you want to learn to tune. So, I understand your desire to want to learn to do it yourself and not to have someone else show you everything or be there to coach your every move. I, in fact learned to tune all by myself and have been a technician for 38 years. If I listened to everything everybody told me not to do, I wouldn't have accomplished much of what I have.

You need to understand a little about the mechanics of what tuning a piano string is all about. While it's the same principle as a guitar string, for example, you turn the peg until the string is at the pitch you desire, tuning a guitar string is to tuning a piano string as stringing up a hammock is to building the Golden Gate bridge! The forces and precision involved are astronomical in proportion. Yet, a skilled piano technician can make it look easy. Most people will tell you that it takes years of practice but I can give you one non typical example of a guy who learned to tune at professional level in a couple of months, earned his RPT certification, got a job as a university technician and now is the manufacturer of about the world's finest custom built pianos worth a quarter million dollars but is still a nice, affable guy and who is willing to share his knowledge with others.

A 3 cent change in pitch is really not very much. A concert piano can change that much or more from one day to the next. The people who try to construct the model tuning used for the PTG tuning exams often experience that much change from the day the piano arrives at a convention to the next. They also often experience a piano "drifting" in pitch as they are attempting to construct the "master" tuning. So, don't be disheartened.

The advice not to bend the tuning pin should be heeded, however. You can easily bend a pin and cause the speaking length to change as you desire it to but the constant tension of the steel wire which averages around 150 pounds but can be well over two hundred, will slowly bend back any pin that you may have bent in the opposite direction of the force. Imagine if you placed the full weight of your body upon a swing seat suspended by a single steel piano wire attached to a tuning pin for 24 hours. Wouldn't you expect that pin to bend just a little under the stress? It takes very little change in angle of that tuning pin (an amount that you cannot see or measure) to allow a 3 cent drop in pitch.

Don't think of "turning" the tuning pin as you would turn the peg of a guitar string but rather to cause a minute rotation of it to occur throughout its entire length in the pinblock. The very specialized socket wrench we use to tune pianos is called "hammer" for historical reasons and although we don't use it to strike as we would a common hammer, visualize the impact that a common hammer causes. It makes what it strikes all move suddenly and all at once. You'll want to avoid movements which twist or bend the tuning pin.

While there are different techniques used by different people and even I don't use the same technique on every piano. It depends largely on how firm the pinblock is. If the torque on the tuning pin is very low, I may well have to use a turning type movement to adjust the tuning pin. But assuming that the piano you are tuning has a good, firm pinblock, you'll want to use a jarring type movement to cause the tuning pin to rotate.

To practice hammer technique, place the tuning hammer (on a grand piano) at between 2 and 3 o'clock. It is always a better idea to relax the tension just slightly before trying to increase it, even if the string is already flat of the target pitch. This avoids setting up a higher tension in the final segment of the piano wire between the termination point and the tuning pin than the string can actually bear. The string will often bind on one or two bearing points. If you simply put the tuning hammer on the pin and start pulling, you may cause so much tension on that final segment that it will cause the string to break. When it breaks, it will inevitably do so right at the tuning pin. So, relaxing the tension slightly first will avoid this situation.

With the hammer at between 2 and 3 o'clock, gently tap forward away from you (counterclockwise) the tuning hammer lever. You will probably hear the pitch fall slightly even if you are not playing the string. Then, with the palm of your hand, tap back towards you (clockwise) with a gentle, slapping and jarring motion. You will hear the pitch rise. It does take practice to get a feel for how much force it takes to move the tuning pin. It is always best to bring the pitch of the string just slightly above where you want it to be, then with a combination of a forceful staccato strike of the key (called a "test blow"), and a gentle nudging of the pin counterclockwise, settle the string back to the desired pitch. If you should happen to go below the desired pitch, simply tap again clockwise and repeat the process.

With practice, you get a feel for how the pin moves and responds and how a test blow changes the pitch slightly. You may find that occasionally, especially in the treble and high treble that repeated test blows cause the string to go flat dramatically. This is because the tension on the string has not been settled throughout its entire length. It merely takes a few repeated attempts at bringing the string above pitch and settling it back to the desired pitch with repeated test blows until it does not respond anymore to those blows and remains where you have put it.

Keep in touch with us here and let us know of your progress and any questions you may have.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

Top
#641044 - 08/11/07 08:20 PM Re: first time tuner. tuning droping.
Mark Purney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 373
Loc: Mesa, AZ
Greeb, I taught myself how to do a lot of things (working on cars, welding, software programming, and many others), but I would agree with the others and highly recommend that you don't take this approach with piano technology if you really want to be serious with it.

I'd suggest you get in touch with your local PTG chapter and try to find a mentor (and join the PTG - and do not miss the yearly conventions if you really want to learn some great stuff). If you must insist on learning on your own, at least take advantage of the resources you can obtain through a PTG membership. Also, Jim Coleman Sr. has a number of videotapes that could help you see and hear things you simply can't get from reading a book (pianotapes.com).

Jim is actually my mentor. I started learning to tune back in February with his instruction. I did my first concert tuning in May, passed my written exam in June, and I now do some voicing, regulation and repair work (I hope to attempt the tuning and tech exams soon). I still have tons to learn, and that will still be true 20 years from now. But my point is that without a good mentor, going to PTG meetings (and the fantastic Convention in Kansas City), there is no way I'd have reached this level so quickly on my own, especially considering I work full time as an engineer and do piano stuff in my spare time.

As for the problem of going flat, it almost sounds to me like you tried doing a fine tuning on a piano that needed a pitch raise. Suppose the piano is 12 cents flat. You can tune A440 exactly to 440Hz and proceed to tune the rest of the piano. By the time you're done, the whole piano will still be flat because as you bring up the rest of the strings, the overall tension changes and the first notes you tuned will once again be flat.
_________________________
www.Pianogoods.com
RPT @ Mesa Piano Service

Top
#641045 - 08/11/07 09:27 PM Re: first time tuner. tuning droping.
Greeb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/06
Posts: 120
Loc: Tallahasse,
Thanks for everyones advice and the kindness shown in helping me.

The B had new pins and strings (original pin block) about a year ago, and it was last tuned professionally about three months ago. When I started tunning it, it was about 3 cents flat in its equal temperament scale. I'm using Tunelab with Coleman 11.

It doesn't sound terrible right now, but not what I would like either. The first time I tuned it, I did the unisons with Tunelab and the second time I did them by ear. I think the first time sounded better.

I going to try and digest all this information and do another tuning in about a week. Right now, I rearranging my whole house trying to make space for the nine foot Chickering that is arriving on Monday.

Thanks again.

Top
#641046 - 08/11/07 11:28 PM Re: first time tuner. tuning droping.
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2245
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Greeb, I learned to tune by first watching my pro tuner tune my piano several times. I then asked him if he could show me how to hold the hammer and what to feel etc. After some practice, I then bought an ETD and have been tunning my grand and several of my friends grand pianos for over 2 years now, have not broken one string and the tunings are stable! It can be done!

Bill, thank for your excellent post on hammer technique...it reinforced what I knew was right, and it's exactly the way I tune now. \:\)

Top
#641047 - 08/12/07 12:48 AM Re: first time tuner. tuning droping.
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1430
Loc: Old Hangtown California
The technique of tuning flat prior to pulling up the pitch has been something that I have also been taught to do. The additional benefits are that it gives me a good amount of information about what I need to do in order to set the pin and tune the note, as well as what the previous tuner has done - also when tuning rusty strings it avoids breaking.
I would also like to mention that the quality of your tuning hammer is very important. It needs to be very rigid. You should practice moving the tuning pin until you can feel it move in the pinblock. You will turn in and twist the pin and the twist will suddenly release and you will feel a snap. You must feel this before you can begin to set a pin. It will be different on every piano. I have three different hammers to help cope with this.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

Top
#641048 - 08/18/07 04:46 PM Re: first time tuner. tuning droping.
R Barber Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 141
Loc: Morgan Hill, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Greeb:
.....
The B had new pins and strings (original pin block) about a year ago, and it was last tuned professionally about three months ago. [/b]
New strings take several tunings to start to hold a stable tuning. This could possibly take a year or more, depending on the quality of work performed.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Greeb:
.....
When I started tunning it, it was about 3 cents flat in its equal temperament scale. I'm using Tunelab with Coleman 11. .....
[/b]
Coleman 11- that is not an equal temperment. I'm curious as to why you are choosing Coleman 11.
_________________________
Richard Barber, piano technician
Santa Clara Valley, CA
tune@pianoregulation.com

Top

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
152 registered (Almaviva, accordeur, Alex Hernandez, Adam Coleman, 49 invisible), 1591 Guests and 36 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74248 Members
42 Forums
153580 Topics
2250854 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
This day, last year...
by TwoSnowflakes
Today at 01:17 PM
the government and tuning.
by kc_lee
Today at 12:33 PM
Midi controller with a good keybed under 1000$
by Ov3rload
Today at 11:55 AM
Bösendorfer vs Steingraeber
by Keith D Kerman
Today at 11:51 AM
Keyboard stand
by david_ka
Today at 09:42 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission