Monthly Archives: July 2021

Commission for piano sales

While I’m primarily a Sheffield piano tuner, I occasionally sell pianos (usually ones in the £500 – £1000 range – perfect for upgrades). I’m particularly drawn to ‘Chappell’ and ‘Challen’ pianos from the early to mid 20th century, as they tend to age significantly well and keep their tone. In an ideal world I would have a workshop set up to do repairs on both the action as well as more aesthetic improvements (polishing and refinishing pianos), but I live in a small flat without a garage so this isn’t practical at present.

Sometimes I receive an enquiry from someone who wishes to sell a piano, but would like to book a piano tuner beforehand. This is an excellent idea as it allows me to look over the action/mechanism and give it a worthy assessment. Minor TLC can be performed if the customer is pushed for time, and more extensive repairs can be done (my fee for repairs is £20 per hour).

If you would like me to use my contacts in the piano trade to speed up your sale, I charge a commission of 10-20% of the sale (depending on the value of the piano). I am often in contact with people who wish to upgrade their piano and have got in the habit of saving their details for when the perfect piano comes along.

The last time I did significant restoration work before selling a piano (i.e. not the usual repair work undertaken in a customer’s home) was when I still lived with my parents in 2012. They had the room for me to set up a mini workshop and on my time off I would take in free pianos found on Freecycle and restore them to the best of my ability. It was a great learning experience coinciding with my time studying piano tuning and repairs at college, away from Sheffield. I would recommend every aspiring piano tuner and tech to do this while learning their trade, nothing quite compares to throwing yourself in at the deep end this way. This was before I had gathered a sizeable set of tools, so jobs such as re-stringing were especially challenging, forcing me to think outside the box and use household items such as screwdrivers to make a neat coil. Once you have been a piano tuner for several years, you will become quicker at your job, partly through experience and partly due to the useful piano tools that are able to be purchased on the market today.

1966 Chappell upright with piano stool (£580)

Here we have a gorgeous 1966 Chappell upright piano up for sale in Totley, Sheffield. It’s going for £580 (including a vintage piano stool that can also be used for storing sheet music). It was tuned to A440 (concert pitch) and serviced by me on 14/07/21. Collection only.

Beautiful warm British tone. The keys (and key bushings), action, wrest plank, bridge, frame, soundboard and strings are all in a condition I would consider exemplary, with the piano being unused for many years and therefore showing only light wear at all points of friction. The notes work as they should and are regulated to their proper specifications (correct key height, key dip, hammer blow distance, set off, checking distance) making it a joy to play. While the case has some cosmetic damage this has no affect on the sound or playability. This piano is perfect for someone looking to upgrade.

If interested please contact me on 07542667040 to discuss or drop me an email at richard@pianotunersheffield.co.uk

 

Now taking early morning bookings

For home bookings I can now book you in for a piano tuning at 8:30 AM or 9 AM on a week day morning. I have hitherto saved early morning slots for professional venues such as schools, churches, recording studios, but those enquires have sadly declined somewhat over the last sixteen months – particularly schools.

From my experiences piano tuning in Sheffield and beyond, I have found people have wildly different views on booking tradespeople to their homes under current circumstances, but rest assured I am taking the covid-19 precautions very seriously, with frequent testing and following all procedures that keep the customer happy. The customer is always right and your wishes will be respected.

I will rearrange a booking at the slightest sign of any symptoms. I’m vaccinated and very careful to social distance and regularly sanitise work hands, car and piano tuning kit (particularly the piano tuning lever and paps wedges that I regularly handle throughout the day). If you have any concerns, I’d be happy to discuss it with you before you book the piano tuning.

 

Building back better

I do love a political slogan. When they pertain to piano tuning they’re particularly useful.

It’s been a tough 16 months for everyone, but I’ve seen my workflow greatly reduced. Partly due to the scary Covid-19 restrictions and partly due to other circumstances. To fight back against the tide I’m lowering my prices marginally for both Sheffield and non-Sheffield piano tuning enquirers. My prices page is now up-to-date. It’s now £5 cheaper than it was before – a remarkable deal. Considering the nationwide going rate is between £60 and £90, you’re looking at an absolute bargain. Great for the customer of course, unfortunately it involves me putting in more hours, but luckily I enjoy my work. I hope this encourages you to book my services.

– Richard, the Sheffield piano tuner.