• Piano Tuning
  • Started by Leonard Scaper
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Piano Tuning
on: May 20, 2018, 01:29:12
That's right......not only do I cut my own hair but I also tune my own piano.  8)

My method is a bit different from the standard method. I've been tuning my stringed instruments for over 50 years....and the piano ......has strings. So I get out my handy dandy tuner and pluck each string until it's right. I read everything about how wrong this is, but after today's session....I am smiling as I play.

"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

"Special thanks to Steve Gleason for making me who I am today." Leonard Scaper

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Re: Piano Tuning
Reply #1 on: May 20, 2018, 02:00:15
That's right......not only do I cut my own hair but I also tune my own piano.  8)

My method is a bit different from the standard method. I've been tuning my stringed instruments for over 50 years....and the piano ......has strings. So I get out my handy dandy tuner and pluck each string until it's right. I read everything about how wrong this is, but after today's session....I am smiling as I play.




Well, having tuned many strings on my harp many times... and tuned concert harps (with a LOT more strings than my little harp but fewer than a piano), your approach seems completely logical...


Having said that, I would NEVER EVER EVER tackle tuning my own acoustic piano... so although you are smiling, I am compelled to call you a lunatic !!! But if your piano is in tune and you did it yourself, then I guess I have no real reason to say that... And what I should be saying is - Bravo! Well done! and the rest..


K


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Re: Piano Tuning
Reply #2 on: May 20, 2018, 03:19:14
I love that determined and self-assured attitude @Leonard Scaper , glad you didn't let 'them' discourage you and great to hear you were smiling playing your 'baby'.. Cause despite of what 'they' said, I'm sure how important that 'smile' was! Now don't keep us all here in tension. We want to HEAR it!!
 ;) ;) ;)

Cheers my friend,
:mart:


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Re: Piano Tuning
Reply #3 on: May 20, 2018, 07:59:00
I love that determined and self-assured attitude @Leonard Scaper , glad you didn't let 'them' discourage you and great to hear you were smiling playing your 'baby'.. Cause despite of what 'they' said, I'm sure how important that 'smile' was! Now don't keep us all here in tension. We want to HEAR it!!
 ;) ;) ;)

Cheers my friend,
:mart:


This is the true DIY thingy. Hats off @Leonard Scaper! Why it’s plural in English? So in Dutch it’s ‘petje (one) af’.
And yes, @Mar T. I am also curious. Specially with the Swiss knife in it.
Kind regards, Gus


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Re: Piano Tuning
Reply #4 on: May 20, 2018, 10:42:34
although you are smiling, I am compelled to call you a lunatic !!!

 ;D ;D ;D

Now don't keep us all here in tension. We want to HEAR it!!

 :) :) :)

I'm getting there with that. I have tracked it a few times but I can't seem to capture it very well....could be the room. I'm not really a piano guy....I mean I can't actually play it per se, although I do like some piano in my tracks. The sound of this piano just doesn't quite fit so I have been working out the parts on it and tracking them with my Kurzweil keyboard. I'm thinking of pulling it away from the wall so I can mic the soundboard without getting that nasty reflection off the wall.

Truth is that playing this wonderful piano is more of a zen thing for me.........I sit there and let my fingers wander and when I look up an hour has gone by.  8)

I am also curious. Specially with the Swiss knife in it.

I used the Swiss knife screw driver to take things apart a bit. Some of the hammers were double striking. I found a little set screw thingy that allowed me to fix that.


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Re: Piano Tuning
Reply #6 on: May 22, 2018, 00:13:45
I'm getting there with that. I have tracked it a few times but I can't seem to capture it very well....could be the room. I'm not really a piano guy....I mean I can't actually play it per se, although I do like some piano in my tracks. The sound of this piano just doesn't quite fit so I have been working out the parts on it and tracking them with my Kurzweil keyboard. I'm thinking of pulling it away from the wall so I can mic the soundboard without getting that nasty reflection off the wall.

@Leonard Scaper , oh yes I recognize that lovely feeling of 'zen' when touching those keys and absorbing the sound.. without recording.. (of course I use a VSTi for that since I don't have a 'real' piano)..

We want to HEAR it!!

fwiw   :) :) :)

https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v3/player.cfm?type=single&songid=13728625&q=hi

Wow!! It sounds perfectly in tune @Leonard Scaper , and I completely relaxed listening to you playing your instrument!! We want more pianowork from Steve!!
The (recorded) sound was not perfect indeed (imo), but I'm sure you'll figure it out in terms of mic placement etc.. But wow, I loved to listen to you playing the piano!! Thanks for sharing my friend!
Cheers!
:mart:


Re: Piano Tuning
Reply #7 on: May 22, 2018, 04:27:08
Well, regarding piano tuning it's important to set your temperament. I'm not smart enough to explain the math but basically you compress the 5ths and expand the 4ths just slightly. That is to say you make it out of tune so that it sounds in tune no matter what key you play in.

( I took classes on this at the conservatory and can tune pianos. I don't really like doing it nor am I all that good at it.)

Honestly, @Leonard Scaper  from looking at your photo it appears you only need a few more tools to do it the "right" way.
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.


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Re: Piano Tuning
Reply #8 on: May 22, 2018, 10:57:59
Yes @Mar T. .....that recording is pretty nasty indeed. It sounds better with the piano all back together now as all the wood and containment definitely takes the edge off the tone but I still think I'll stick to my Kurzweil for recording ancillary tracks for my songs.

As I have mentioned in the past, my grasp of music theory is basic at best and I play everything by ear. Even though I have had a guitar in my hands for the last 55 years or so I still find that instrument to be pretty unforgiving when I step out of my comfort zone. But when I let my fingers wander over those piano keys.....everywhere I go sounds musical to me. I'm certain that over time the piano is going to begin to influence my guitar arrangements and voicing.

@Bill from November Sound ........yes, I read about the temperment thing and I see the reasoning behind it. I don't have a grasp of the theory behind it but I pretty much was tuning by ear with the tuner as a starting point. I actually do have the felt and the wedges for proper tuning and I messed with them at first after watching the pro tuner do his thing but I didn't enjoy that process very much. It was interesting watching him....he put all the felt in place for the upper keys but I think he did that because I was watching. He quickly took it off and just used the wedges. He went really fast and hardly used the tuner at all....seemed to be tuning it almost completely by ear as well. Then he played a short loud and raucous piece and took my money.  :) When he left I sat down and played very softly.......and was not smiling at all.

This piano is over 50 years old and it is not going to stay in tune very well. I'm going to really enjoy being able to keep it as close as possible myself.




Re: Piano Tuning
Reply #9 on: June 11, 2018, 10:41:22
wow @Leonard Scaper , this is really admirable. The dangerous thing is to make sure that you are screwing in the right string, there are many on that harp and it is easy to make mistakes and split it by tension.
By the way about touching the inside of pianos, have you ever considered making a prepared piano? it is altering sounding by placing objects or different felts on or between the strings. You can get very interesting sounds.
No Colours for Concern.


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Re: Piano Tuning
Reply #10 on: June 11, 2018, 20:45:18
What a cool video @BLACK MIRROR !! I have not done anything like that.

It's funny....I put the piano all back together for a while but ended up taking it all back apart again. I LOVE watching everything move while I'm playing it.  ;)


Re: Piano Tuning
Reply #11 on: December 16, 2018, 15:49:22
I tune the piano once a year at Christmas ... whether it needs or not!  :dance:
( Sorry to bring back an old thread..... it's just that I have it all apart right now....so you know.....)  ::smiley::
Check out @NovemberSound’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/NovemberSound/status/1074023574896328704?s=09


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Re: Piano Tuning
Reply #12 on: December 16, 2018, 17:00:22
Funny to see this now @Bill from November Sound .......I just was sitting at the piano and tuning it a bit as I played. I keep the tuning hammer handy all the time now and id a not sounds a bit off I take care of it.

I have developed a relationship with this piano it seems.  ;)


Re: Piano Tuning
Reply #13 on: December 16, 2018, 17:35:46
For me, @Leonard Scaper , it is a slow thing lest I hurt my back .... have to keep the hammer between 9:00 and 12:00 on these old uprights or it slips bad. Yes it hurts working in that position.  :-X
I take the most time to get the temperament as perfect as I can. Then I go on from there after it's done no hammer out for me....  :bonk:


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Re: Piano Tuning
Reply #14 on: December 16, 2018, 18:45:22
Then I go on from there after it's done no hammer out for me....  :bonk:

I guess I'm just an old guitar tuning guy......always tuning...always. With this old piano it's the same.   ;)



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