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.
The Sheffield piano tuner will continue working normal hours and is grateful for your custom. Piano tuning is essential work and nothing has changed for him. In fact, it might be a good time to book a piano tuning as many people are holding off until after the pandemic.
If you live in Sheffield, Rotherham, Chesterfield Doncaster or Barnsley it’ll be much easier to book a piano tuning as the piano tuner covers those localities on a weekly basis. If you live further away then a booking is still possible, but you might be best speaking to the Sheffield piano tuner over the phone (0752667040) first. Minimizing travel is important during this time.
If you are concerned about safety, the piano tuner is extremely careful. He practices social distancing, hand washing and applies antibacterial hand sanitizer before and after every piano tuning. If you’d like him to wear a mask please ask him before the booking.
Please view my other blog for a post advertising a new song we’ve just recorded:
Apostle – Reaper
Yes, I have a Piano Tuner Sheffield website and a Piano Tuner Leeds website. It’s difficult to keep on top of both websites sometimes, but as far as booking customers in both areas? So far, so good. There seems to be more work in West Yorkshire, particularly in Leeds and Harrogate where a lack of piano tuners (mainly due to older piano tuners retiring from the trade) has increased demand – so much so that I can group together Leeds piano tuning jobs with Sheffield piano tuning jobs. That’s always nice. Honestly, I quite enjoy the long drives between cities as well as seeing new localities after the piano tuning work. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like work.
The problem with Sheffield is that there are already several Sheffield Piano Tuners currently active so for a city of its size I have fewer clients than you’d expect. Down south there doesn’t seem to be many Chesterfield Piano Tuners, so I get several jobs a week in that area. Rotherham is also a popular area – perhaps I should call myself the Rotherham Piano Tuner instead!
More and more piano tuning work in Hull and Humberside recently, so a third piano tuning website might be on my list shortly!
In the interest of expanding his clientele in Derbyshire and reaching out to piano-owners in Chesterfield and beyond, the Sheffield piano tuner would like to make this following blog post:
I have had more piano tuning enquires from Chesterfield and Dronfield recently which is great. A big thank you to anyone who has recommended or who has hired my services. Although I live in Sheffield, travelling between towns is part of the job: don’t be put off from contacting me if you live in Chesterfield or a nearby town.
- What is the Sheffield piano tuner’s schedule like?
At the moment he aims to book four jobs a day, six days a week. He is still quite far from that target! For this reason the Sheffield Piano Tuner has kept his prices low, with an introductory offer set at just £45 for your first piano tuning. He keeps his bookings spaced apart to allow enough time to do a thorough job of both tuning and servicing each piano and to enable sufficient travel-time between jobs: there is no longer any excuse for lateness – the Sheffield piano tuner prides himself on his punctuality.
The Sheffield piano tuner is also in the process of setting up a workshop for piano restoration. He is purchasing many high-quality tools and piano-parts which help not only in restoration, but also in any piano repair and regulation work that’s undertook at your Chesterfield home. Loading the boot of his car with an array of piano replacement parts (tools, piano wire, hexacore bass strings, centre pins, felts, springs, hammer heads, hammer shanks, screw drivers, capstan regulating tools, key coverings – to name but a few) is worth it if it means he has the parts in stock to get your piano sounding and playing the best it can. Going the extra mile for the customer is the least he can do, especially in this relatively early stage of building his clientele when developing a reputation is key.
If your piano needs a tuning or a service, please give him a call: 0754 266 7040
Which area does he cover for his £45 introductory offer for a first piano tuning?
For the last nine months the Sheffield Piano Tuner has been splitting his time evenly between Sheffield and West Yorkshire in the hopes of gaining more customers in towns such as Wakefield, Halifax, Bradford and Leeds. The hard work I’ve put into promoting my business in those towns has, unfortunately, caused me to neglect this website somewhat (aside from updating my availability page a few times per week), as at least two thirds of my piano tuning enquiries are from people who live far away from Sheffield. I’m still a Sheffield piano tuner though and will be forcing myself to update this website more so I can attract customers in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster, Barnsley and Chesterfield. There are many people in those towns as well who need a piano tuner – please pass my name on if you anyone; my number is 07542667040 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about The Sheffield Piano Tuner’s new workshop check my sister website. The blog page on that website is updated much more regularly with diary entries.
Happy New Year from the piano tuner! After two piano-free days I’m glad to be tuning again in Sheffield, Rotherham, Chesterfield and Doncaster. January is usually a slow month for me, so if you’ve been putting off booking a tuning, please get in touch. If you’re thinking of putting it off further, here’s a message from an old Bentley piano:
If your piano requires any replacement parts, I’ll be placing an order with my suppliers (Fletcher & Newman) after the 7th of January when they’ve re-opened. I have a large collection of sundry parts for odd jobs which can be used during a piano tuning session, but if it needs a component of a specific size or shape, you may have to wait a week. I pride myself on my punctuality and organisational abilities, so I will make sure I have everything I need to fix your piano as soon as I possibly can.
Anyone searching for a wide-ranging instrument at an affordable price might take a look at this elegant 45″ studio piano, a remarkable feat of German engineering using traditionally old-fashioned methods of production (wasn’t it great when they built things to last?). I haven’t encountered a great number of them in my piano tuning work, but the few I have made an immediate and lasting impression on me – largely thanks to their hugely diverse tonal palette.
Here’s a snippet from a Pianist magazine article detailing the superior production of its spruce soundboard:
Anyone can work out that a ‘budget’ upright can’t be made exactly the same way as a concert grand, but differences are rarely spelled out. One important area is the soundboard, the heart of the piano’s tonal response. It’s not simply a matter of which material you use: there is also the question of how you put it together.
There are two fundamentally different methods of constructing the soundboard of a piano, says Simon Loat of Schimmel’s UK distributor, Forsyth Bros. ‘The mid-market tends to be where the two methodologies cross over and explains why two pianos of the same size can produce sounds which are totally different.’
For mass production where speed is of the essence, a flat soundboard is attached to ribs cut with a curved profile, immediately forming a crown once the two are joined. The traditional ‘German’ method, where high humidity straight ribs are joined with a low-humidity soundboard and the transfer of moisture results in the crown, takes around six months. It delivers a richer tonal character, but costs a lot more.
In order to produce the Vogel, a mid-market priced piano with an expensive traditional soundboard, Schimmel makes the soundboard assembly in its Braunschweig factory. It then ships the ‘strung backs’ (soundboard, wooden back frame and bracing and iron frame plus tensioned strings) to the Vogel assembly plant in Poland to take advantage of cheaper labour costs.
For piano tuning and maintenance this week, I still have the following times available for bookings:
- Wednesday 1st November @ 2 PM
- Wednesday 1st November @ 7 PM
- Wednesday 1st November @ 9 PM
- Thursday 2nd November @ 12 PM
- Thursday 2nd November @ 2 PM
- Friday 3rd November @ 9 AM
- Friday 3rd November @ 11 AM
- Saturday 4th November @ 2 PM
- Sunday 5th November @ 2 PM
- Sunday 5th November @ 4 PM
Later dates are also available by arrangement.
– Richard, Piano Tuner Sheffield.
For anyone in South Yorkshire or Derbyshire in need of a piano tuner this week I am available at the following times:
- Monday 15th of May @ 6 PM
- Monday 15th of May @ 8 PM
- Tuesday 16th of May @ 12 PM
- Tuesday 16th of May @ 5 PM
- Tuesday 16th of May @ 7 PM
- Wednesday 17th of May @ 10 AM
- Wednesday 17th of May @ 4 PM
- Wednesday 17th of May @ 7 PM
- Thursday 18th of May @ 7 PM
- Friday 19th of May @ 10 AM
For customers in North Yorkshire, East Riding or Teesside, I will be in Whitby and Scarborough tuning pianos this weekend and have a few times still available in my diary to fill up:
- Friday 19th of May @ 8 PM
- Saturday 20th of May @ 10 AM
- Saturday 20th of May @ 2 PM
Later dates are available on request.
– Richard, Piano Tuner Sheffield.