Like music to my ears
February 18, 2004 9:28 AM   Subscribe

I want to learn how to tune pianos. (more inside.)

I definitely have the ear for it, I'm sure I could learn the basics of the trade fairly quickly, and I'd like to get some money pouring in here somehow. The piano tuner who has worked on my family's pianos for years has said he would take me on as an apprentice, but he said I must first purchase the necessary tools. He said there are many online resources for finding the tools, but if any MeFiers out there who sit at a piano keyboard when they're not sitting at a computer keyboard could offer some advice, I'd appreciate it.
posted by emelenjr to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
google is your friend.
posted by j at 4:12 PM on February 18, 2004

Response by poster: True, but I guess I should have explained in my first post that I was kind of surprised that the first thing the piano tuner told me to do in order to learn this trade was to look around for random companies on the internet that could provide the tools for me. I didn't know if any MeFiers had had any experience with one company or another, or one how-to book or another, etc. Thanks for these links, though. I hadn't seen them, and they help.
posted by emelenjr at 8:06 PM on February 18, 2004

Check out the newsgroup There are a lot of piano techs that post there that can offer advice. Also check out the Piano Technicians Guild web site.
posted by AstroGuy at 10:03 PM on February 19, 2004

I'm not an expert at this, but I have tried it and I have a brother who got pretty good. I'd offer the following tips, some of which you may already know:

(1) Get a good feel for the difference between just intonation and equal temparament tuning. It's easy to do a bad job because you tended towards just intonation in a single key.
(2) Get good with your tuning lever. The problem of applying just the right torque to get just the right change in the position of the pegs holding the tension on the strings was the most frustrating thing for me. Sometimes I wondered if there were more precise tools out there; maybe there are.

If you like, I can also offer advice on several other things I haven't done well at. :)
posted by weston at 10:18 PM on February 19, 2004

You know you'll need to put out your eyes, right?......

Anyway - a little off topic, but not really : consider doing both tuning and rebuilding. You can get pianos, often for free (provided you have a place to put them) and rebuilding/refinishing are a natural compliment to tuning.
posted by troutfishing at 10:45 PM on February 25, 2004

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