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)
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!
With dizzying cable wires swimming in all directions, connected to a horizontal mounted overhead web cam, partnered with a side-mounted one, the spotlight is on my vintage Steinway grand. A second piano to its right goes unnoticed. But once a LIVE lesson begins, the Baldwin Hamilton 1929 takes center stage, requiring at least a pitch… Continue reading The second studio grand gets a tune-up
I couldn't resist an opportunity to immerse myself in an engaging dialog with Israel Stein, RPT, as he was tuning my piano. Regaled far and wide by a community of pianists and teachers as he amasses awards bestowed by his peers at the National Piano Technician's Guild, Stein remains thoroughly dedicated to what seems like… Continue reading A Conversation about machine and ear tuning (and more) with Israel Stein, Registered Piano Technician
Israel Stein, Registered Piano Technician, whose feats of repair have earned him national recognition, descended upon my humble abode like the fix-it fairy, and banished my sustain pedal noise forever! (Count on it for the years remaining in my playing lifetime) Trouble-shooting as he went along, Stein diagnosed the problem and followed through in graduated… Continue reading Piano Repair: Taking the noise out of my pedal!
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?
I had the invaluable opportunity to interview various Registered Piano Technicians around the country about various aspects of their profession. First, to become a RPT, the candidate takes an exam that's administered through the Piano Technician's Guild (PTG) which has branches in cities all over the country. Since piano tuning is not a licensed profession,… Continue reading The voices of piano technicians around the country
I kept this controversial blog topic in my back pocket for safe keeping until a close friend fired off an e-mail with a link to a recent movie review of Pianomania: From IMDB: "Pianomania follows Stefan Knüpfer, a piano tuner from Steinway and his famous clients Lang Lang, Brendel, Buchbinder and Pierre-Laurent Aimard as they… Continue reading Treading on hallowed ground: the challenge of maintaining fine pianos after a personal tragedy