Keys to Beautiful Music

    If:
        ...it just doesn't sound right,
        ...it's been a while since the last tuning,
        ...you are tired of Honky-Tonk,
        ...students think their teacher's piano sounds better,

It's time to unlock the door to beautiful music!
 


I will give your instrument the personal touch it needs, by listening to its complaints as well as yours.
 

Repairs Tunings Regulating Technique

My Background

Piano Jokes
Profile
I have been tuning for 15 years and have tuned more than 500 pianos. 
This experience level lets me listen more acutely to your instrument and understand it's personality.
I can provide references upon request (over 70 currently active clients).
A Piano Teacher of more than 50 years in her profession was my most particular client: My mother. (1926-2013)
Her love of music has critically shaped my attitude of listening to all the nuances of fine instruments.

Repairs

Repairs I have performed:

    Full set of Key tops

    Key Hammer shank repairs

    Bridles

    Voicings

    Player Pianos: View my latest refurbishment of pneumatic mechanism of Universal Player Piano of California.

I can also repair or replace parts that have come loose, or broken in your instrument.

It's best to contact me and discuss any repairs your piano may need and let me survey the repairs necessary.

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Tunings:
Pitching Off-Key Raising/Lowing

Pitching:

A tuning will generally be about 2 hours- but if your instrument needs more attention, it will not be rushed.

Contact me for pricing information.

Pitching is a relative type term. Most pianos have the temperament tuned to A-440- which is standard pitch. This is the A-key above middle C and is a good starting place to base the pitch of the rest of the keys. Keep in mind, there is also a characteristic stretch associated with making the piano sound pleasing to the ear. Generally a lowering of the base keys (flatting-b) and somewhat higher than on-pitch of the treble (# sharping). Where this occurs is unique to each piano and it's own resonance. See: (Railsback curve)

From my experience every piano has it's characteristic sound. It's unfortunate that manufacturers of some of the less-expensive pianos do not pay attention to resonance while building their instruments. I have had some pianos that sounded horrible because of false beats that creep in the high treble and can create a 'bell ringing' kind of sound instead of a clear single tone.  Also, the mushiness of the bass can ruin the richness of mid range notes because of harsh metallic sounds of the bass strings beating with the mid range.

If your piano is a short "spinet" or not a full size upright grand, it might be prone to false beats making it sound out of tune with itself. This is no fault of the tuner as the pitch is correct but the strings have vibrations that don't mix well with the rest of the strings.

These are difficult to tune.  A professional tuner will listen to your instrument before starting to tune and learn it's voice before changing it into something you may not like.
If you are a music instructor of piano, or have students with instruments with which you use your piano, this can be invaluable in making your piano sound pleasing to you and your students.  If you are a music instructor, I highly recommend either an upright grand or a standard grand piano- you and your students ears will be better in the long run.  The inharmonicity of these smaller pianos is a detriment to all ears involved.

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Off-Key Pitch or non standard tunings:

Many in the music industry enjoy piano tunings from eras of long past.  If you have one in mind, chances are I can look up specific tunings or already have it installed in my 'tuner' and can accommodate.

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Raising/Lowing:

Raising or Lowing a pianos pitch is delicate work.  It will depend on the age of the piano, how far the pitch needs to change as to whether or not it can be accomplished.  Generally, Pianos manufactured before 1930 had very brittle strings and cannot be brought up to pitch unless it has been done regularly- as string breakage is common.

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Techniques:

I listen to your instrument.  Granted, in order to be proficient in tuning, every tuner generally uses a 'pitching' device.  A tuning fork or other instrument.  I use a Sanderson Accu-tuner III from Inventronics to measure the stretch that is inherent in each piano.  This stretch (Railsback curve) is important to set correctly to the instrument.  My hearing is very acute, but I credit the Sanderson Co. for their professional instrument that has proven itself by its accuracy and functionality in making excellent tunings.  Where my ear would be setting the pitch, is usually where the Accu-tuner says it should be!

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Regulating:

This is the most common of piano complaints.  Keys stick, hammers double striking, pedals not doing what they are supposed to do.  If there is no serious damaged parts, generally minor regulation of these items can be performed onsite.  Be sure to talk to your tuner if your instrument isn't performing as you would expect a marvelously intricate machine is supposed to!

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Piano Jokes

Customer to tuner: "That sour note is gone!"

Tuner: "Really?  I didn't remove any!"

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