Saturday, 28 September 2019

The Piano Tuner's Visit

The Piano Tuner’s visit is one of the things that so easily slips down the priority list. Subscriptions for the phone, TV, broadband, the dentist, the car, MOT, house insurance, school kit… etc.

On and on it goes! It’s a wonder we get through to the end of the month!

There ought to be some clever scheme that makes the piano being tuned important enough to warrant being placed higher up on the list of ‘to-do’ jobs!

I am old enough not to care about being old. I hate feeling cornered or obliged to be paying out money unless I really appreciate to the full what I am paying for. 

A reply to a tuning reminder sent a while ago, said that ‘my husband says the piano is still perfectly in tune so we will leave it this time.’ 
While I respect where he is coming from I am aghast at his priorities! What can be more important than having the piano tuned?

In the great mix that makes up the society of modern times, I do have some nostalgia for the slower pace of bygone days - days of not so very long ago. Days when nobody cared if you spent your evenings playing the piano or reading a book. Watching TV was a lazy persons way to pass the time.  Today it is all about 'surfing the web', or looking at social media, or exploring the endless choice of streaming services! 

Writing a blog is my nod to the internet - some things cannot be avoided. But I still feel that creativity is known and experienced at its best when there is a piano being played!

©Steve Burden

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Centre Pin and Piano Wire Diameters

Centre Pin Diameters


Piano Wire Diameters


Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Tuning Snob

If a piano is not in tune, surely it is out of tune! Simply put, it is one or the other!

Imagine if we piano tuners would turn up to work, flick some kind of switch, tinker about for an hour or so, play the 'Tuner's Waltz', have a cup of tea, get paid, smile and... on to the next job!

But alas, a tuner's life is not so black and white, not so easy. Whatever the piano may be: Steinway, Schimmel, Schiedmayer - just a few of those beginning with S - but Bluthner, Bechstein etc. and all the rest. All these good pianos, need regular tuning and maintenance to keep them sounding good.

Videos posted online, recordings heard on the radio, programs on the TV, all demonstrate the vast spectrum of ideas about in-tune-ness. The concept of 'in tune' can range from the boringly bland to the ridiculous clang of a poorly tuned street piano. Some people seem able to tolerate the most terrible twangs and jarring noises, oblivious to the blatant affront to musicality, while being quite serious in their playing. 

Perhaps being a piano tuner, one is unable to appreciate the honest effort of sincere musicians wanting to express their musical abilities. I find it surprising however that there is not a more widespread appreciation of the concept of being 'in tune'. 

we tuners are not among the most accommodating of people, often disagreeing about ways of doing things. For some, their own ideas and practices are the right ones - anything different, is simply wrong!

There is no point in being snooty about other ways of getting the job done - it is good that the profession is still alive and well! The truth is we can all improve. I'd be embarrassed to be met with some of my earliest tuning efforts. Thankfully, after so many years, nobody is going to complain now. We can only deal with the pianos we tune today with our very best efforts. Building experience one piano at a time. 

Tuner's Journal