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.

 

Something that may be of interest to my Scarborough piano tuning customers

Here’s a quick update for my customers in the Scarborough region, or anyone looking for a new Scarborough piano tuner. I will be in your area much more frequently tuning and servicing pianos in people’s homes, churches and other venues. I might even enjoy a quick walk on the beach if I get a lunch break.

The ghastly nature of the pandemic drastically limited my work and my willingness to travel last year. Things are almost back to normal, albeit with careful health and safety procedures in place (regular hand washing and social distancing, and I will also wear a mask on request).

Many residents of Scarborough and Whitby are looking for a piano tuner who is young and highly motivated and willing to go that extra mile. That’s me (except for the young part). I’m always happy to tune ANY piano and value all my customers equally. All done at a reasonable cost.

I greatly look forward to seeing my piano tuning business bounce back to how it was at its zenith (2018 – early 2020).

The big re-opening

Now that we’re all looking forward to the big re-opening, I hope that many of my old customers are looking forward to getting their pianos re-tuned. Be assured I take extreme care when visiting your homes and I’m vaccinated and covid-compliant. Looking forward to hearing from customers old and new.

The Long and Winding Road

First off, let me say that I’m still open for business and taking on new clients if you need me. BUT, with that said:

I’m very sad to say that currently winding down my career as a Sheffield piano tuner with a view to starting a second job. Amongst other reasons, the financial strain caused by the coronavirus has been such a severe set back that it’s no longer tenable to continue the low profit and high investments (weekly order of action parts, hardware, tools, high fuel costs) involved in this job. As much as I’ve enjoyed tuning pianos and particularly giving people a great deal, when factoring in my expenses and time working/travelling, a minimum wage 9 to 5 (or part time) job would giving me a greater income and involve less time spent on the roads. While the coronavirus is one of the larger factors in my decision, the previous six years were still a massive disappointment in terms of what I thought I’d get of it as a career.

I will happily take on new clients for anyone looking for a good piano tuning at a good price. Once I obtain another job (be in part time or full time) I’ll continue to tune pianos for a reasonable price out of office hours. I have worked painstakingly to develop this skill and to build up a clientele over the last seven years and I would never abandon it completely.

What I will no long offer is full action overhauls. This is the most costly, time consuming and non-profitable part of the job and it is no long worth it for me in this climate. There are many other Sheffield piano tuners who can offer that for anyone who desires more extensive work. By and large the types of people who would be willing to spend money on a full overhaul are the sorts who’ve already invested in a more robust piano that needs little in the way of maintenance.

Otherwise, the service I offer and the price remains the same. For £50 you will get a highly accurate piano tuning, plus minor repairs and regulation that will get your piano to a vefry respectable playing standard. Generally I will spend an hour to two hours giving your piano the excellent service it deserves.

Piano tuning for the long haul

Should you need a piano tuning in Sheffield or any of the other areas I cover, I would urge you to book as far in as advance as you are willing. That said, I shall endeavour to meet any requirements for a short notice booking if my availability allows it. Booking a piano tuning a fortnight or two in advance just helps to ease the workflow. I’m also opening my business on weekends as well simply to deal with the astonishing number of calls I’ve received over the last few weeks. Sheffield piano tuning will be easier, but other areas are always manageable.

Piano Tuner Scarborough?

I will resume my visits to the North Yorkshire region after the 12th of April. Not only would it have been unsafe to travel there at the height of the pandemic, but the demand for piano tuning in Scarborough just wasn’t there. I’m starting to receive calls and will be happy to resume piano tuning in Scarborough as soon as possible. I started as a Sheffield piano tuner and still live in that city, but earning a living at this trade requires extensive travelling so please don’t think making a journey to your area is a hassle – it’s all part of the job.

– Richard, Piano Tuner Sheffield

A slight change of schedule for the Sheffield piano tuner

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the lockdown will be lifted in April. There will be a slight change of schedule for my piano tuning in Sheffield over the coming weeks. I plan to start work later and end later in the evening, my first job being at 2 PM and the last 7:30 PM. I’ll still offer at least one morning booking per work however.

I want to use my mornings to try and regain the high level of physical fitness I attained before the lockdown ruined things. This helps me to get a good nights sleep, go for a run and then spend an hour in the gym which was a regular part of my day before Covid-19. This might seem irrelevant to my piano tuning work, but it helps a lot with focus and motivation, particularly if my daily exercise takes place first thing in the morning rather than in the evening. The lockdown has led to me feeling quite lethargic recently, I’m sure we’ll all feel relieved when we can resume normal life.

– Richard, Piano Tuner Sheffield.