Monthly Archives: July 2015

New Facebook business page

I have just made a ‘Piano Tuner Sheffield’ business page on facebook, which seems like something you have to do nowadays if you want to reach more people. I was in a pub outside Sheffield city centre last night a friend made the point that I wouldn’t lose anything by making a piano tuning page on facebook (point well made), and seeing as people search for local Sheffield businesses on there it would be stupid not to do so. If it connects me to people around Sheffield, Barnsely, Rotherham, Chesterfield, Doncaster, Holmfirth, Huddersfield etc, or anywhere else in South Yorkshire/North Derbyshire who need a piano tuner, then it will have been worth making the page.

If you are a regular facebook user check it out and click the ‘like’ button if you approve:


– Richard Lidster, Piano Tuner Sheffield.

Moving Pianos

If you are considering moving a piano then I recommend hiring a piano mover (unless you’re moving the piano from one room to another on the same floor, have a team with you and really know what you’re doing). I have never hired a piano mover in Sheffield so I’m not sure of the cost or any companies in the local area of South Yorkshire, but piano removals cost me £100 last time I had a second hand piano brought to my house (from one side of Sheffield to another).

Being the fragile things that they are, pianos will go out of tune while they are being moved, so unless you want to sound like you’re playing in a 1870s western salon, then you will have to hire a piano tuner after the piano has been moved. It’s something to keep in mind if you have recently had your piano tuned, perhaps it might be an idea to wait 6 months before moving it!

– Richard Lidster, Piano Tuner Sheffield.



– Richard, Piano Tuner Sheffield.

Facebook account

I now have a facebook, set up mainly to talk with some musicians from Barnsely I’ve been jamming with, but I thought about using it to stay in touch with piano tuning customers as well. Feel free to add me on there if it’s your preferred medium, although I’d rather use it specifically for band and piano tuning business, rather than to add friends for the sake of it. All the people I get on with I see regularly, so I don’t see the point of social networking side.

Rather than setting up a business page as ‘Piano Tuner Sheffield’ I thought I’d make this so use the chat function to keep in touch with fellow muzos and piano tuning customers.

The address:

– Richard Lidster, Piano Tuner Sheffield.

False Harmonics

As I was tuning a piano in Sheffield last week, a customer asked a question about the ringing quality of an individual string on the piano. He had recognised what are know as false beats.

As most of you know, each note on the piano is sounded by the hammer hitting 3 strings which are tuned in unison to each other. A badly out of tune piano will have the recognisable ‘honky tonk’ sound, where . A well-tuned unison will sound practically beatless, although there is always some noise coming from each individual string which give the note a singing quality. Some strings, however, produce what are called ‘false beats’, where multiple beats are produced on a single string making one string sounds like a bad unison. Even though these false beats are a nightmare for the piano tuner (getting a unison in tune with fluttering harmonics ringing away is extremely difficult),  we have no other option that to try and work around it, as even electronic piano tuning devices don’t know what to make of such notes. As false beats best to spend extra time on strings with false beats to get the unison as well-tuned as possible. Replacing the string sometimes helps  but usually the problem is caused by bad design and the cheaper the piano the more false beats will be found (particularly in the high treble).


– Richard Lidster, Piano Tuner Sheffield.

Ivory key tops (covers)

A quick note about key tops, inspired by a Sheffield piano tuning customer:

If you have a piano with ivory key tops, you have every reason to want to keep them in the best shape you possibly can. Ivory key tops are more responsive, easier to touch, less likely to stick to ones fingers, and have an all round better feel than the plastic keys that come with modern pianos. All pianos before around 1930 have these covers as well as many made between 1930 and 1980 or so.  Due to the ivory ban of the 1980s, however, you cannot buy new ivory key tops and the only way to replace your old ones is to find second hand pianos and replace the required parts. If you live in Sheffield or South Yorkshire I can recommend places to find them if you are looking for them.

If your ivories are in such bad shape that they need to be replaced this can be done by a piano tuner-technician in approximately one hour. You will need to buy a new set of plastic keys tops (a full set can be bought for £35, possibly for less on ebay) as the broken ones are heated slightly with a heatgun and then scraped off with a knife, never to be used again. Then you must glue the new key tops on to the piano keys (any super glue or PVCA glue will suffice) and then leave them alone for a few hours so the glue can set.

Even though I specialise in piano tuning I am able to do this job for you if you ask on a day prior to the tuning. As with anything, if you have questions, feel free to send me an email at

– Richard, Piano Tuner Sheffield.


Note: If your piano keytops are loose, it’s a good idea to apply a small amount of glue (super glue or PVCA glue) to the key and remedy the problem before it gets worse.