Chuck Terpo, who continues to finely regulate my Steinway M grand, gave an encore performance yesterday, as he meticulously "lightened" some weighty bass notes. His nifty maneuvers on display in my iPhone generated video, revealed an analytic approach and smooth follow-through. Watch Chuck methodically check the bass range, that was a bit too heavy for… Continue reading Piano Maintenance: Resolving a weighty problem
It took the awesome skills of a former Alabaman to resurrect my once beloved M from the dead. The keyboard had been an injury risk for months, plundered by too many technicians with pet regulation formulas and experimental impulses. After 6 months of rotating down weights and disappearing aftertouch, the black keys sat out of… Continue reading My Steinway M piano is back!
I'm very concerned about my Southern USA students' pianos that are subject to warbling unisons, or wavy, beating octaves. A case in point is my Kentucky Online pupil who owns a well-regarded Charles Walter upright that was tuned about 5 months ago. Yet it now has "beating" notes due to extreme vacillations of humidity in… Continue reading Climate control and Pianos: A conversation with Sam Bennett (Piano Works in Duluth, GA)
What was seemingly a straightforward search and destroy mission surrounding a clicking note, mushroomed suddenly into a PSTD level catastrophe. Pianists, so viscerally tied to their beloved musical partners, can be catapulted over the edge when something unexpected occurs. In fact two post-clicking note repair events had transpired that threatened my mental health. 1) After… Continue reading Piano Maintenance: 48 hours of pain and anguish!
Here's a snatch of the bug that invaded Steinway M (1917) as long desired, drought-relieving rains encapsulated the piano for days. (Were weather changes the cause of an uninvited guest seeking sanctuary between hammers, in finite action spaces?) http://youtu.be/CbJkWOrgO5s Israel Stein, RPT/EMT, in "high tech" detective mode, responded pronto, and tenaciously scoped out the uninvited… Continue reading The mystery of NOTE CLICKING B is solved!
I had a delightful exchange with John Peters, RPT, about pianos, restorations, repairs, machine vs. aural tunings, and all that sprung from his wild imagination. For instance, John communicates an intense passion for tuning.. "I get paid to "meditate," he insists. Then he quickly veers off with a one-liner about fixing squeaky pedals. "I pour… Continue reading An informative chat with a whimsical piano technician (REGISTERED, of course)
Growing up in New York City, I had a memorable, rotund tuner named Buchbaum, who talked my ear off while tuning a Sohmer upright. Consequently, he left the piano with "beating" octaves, thirds, and sixths. In so may words, the piano not only took a beating, but it warbled all over the place, causing widespread… Continue reading Piano Technician Call Back: Please fix these notes! (Before and After Video)
When my Baldwin Hamilton 1929 grand underwent exploratory surgery in the capable hands of Mark Schecter, RPT, I had some pointed questions. Given that the piano had a glassy-sounding upper treble due to worn down hammers, would installing a partial set of new ones be a reasonable route to take? Mark didn't think so, and… Continue reading Piano Maintenance– About hammers: all or partial replacement? (Video)
There was definitely an improvement after Mark scrubbed the whites and even the black key OFFENDERS with Windex. I don't believe, however, that the gray will ever be totally removed because it had become ingrained into the keys by its introduction through supposedly "shoe-dyed" ebonies. (See https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/piano-maintenance-teaser-graying-ivories-and-a-squeaky-note/) Here are photos that I took 24-hours post… Continue reading Windex on ivory keys: Did it remove the gray spots?
Mark Schecter, RPT, demonstrated a phase of the Regulation process as it pertained to smoothing out the note-to-note feel of my Baldwin Hamilton 1929 grand. In the course of a thorough assessment, the instrument was found to have worn out hammers, (though refiled) and problems related to their balance and alignment (as revealed in prior… Continue reading Piano Maintenance: The elements of Regulation (Videos)