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.
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).
Another reminder that I am working normal hours during the present lockdown. Please see previous blog post if you have any concerns about the legality of booking tradespeople at this time.
– Richard, Piano Tuner Sheffield
Concerned about the legality of booking a piano tuner or other tradesperson while you have a little bit of time off? You shouldn’t be. Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State For Housing, Communities and Local Government has confirmed that booking tradespeople (plumbers, electricians and… yes, Sheffield piano tuners) is allowed under the new lockdown rules. What a relief.
I’m operating under regular hours in the Sheffield and South Yorkshire region. The only port of call I won’t be able to manage on my various journeys will be the Scarborough and North Yorkshire piano tuning base I have developed since 2015… at least for another two weeks. It’s more ethically agreeable to wait until I have a larger number of enquires from that region to reduce the number of visitations in the current climate.
– Richard, Piano Tuner Sheffield.
I’ve only been making very sporadic trips to Scarborough since March, due to a sudden drop in demand. If you are in Scarborough or a nearby area there’s a brief window of opportunity to have your piano tuned next week. I have an available slot left for 2 PM. If you’re interested, please contact me to book:
Thanks for reading and stay safe.
-Richard Lidster, Sheffield Piano Tuner.
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!
A brief window of opportunity for piano tuning in Scarborough and North Yorkshire next week. I shall be able to fit a Scarborough piano tuning in at either 8 PM on Friday the 21st in the evening, or 8 AM on Saturday morning. If you live nearer to Bridlington, a piano tuning on Saturday afternoon would be perfect. I am not in area as much currently as my work demands me to stay in the Sheffield and Leeds areas, so this could be your only chance before 2019!
For the last few months I’ve made a concerted effort to expand my business to other parts of Yorkshire and Derbyshire. While most of my piano tuning work in the past has been based around Sheffield, South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, I have started making more trips to other towns and cities, doing a huge amount of promotion in Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, York, Harrogate, Hull, Bridlington, Whitby and Scarborough. If you or anyone you know is in search of a piano tuner, I am currently targeting the following towns:
If you or anyone you know live in one of these areas, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Travel is not an issue for me, I have my own transport and am happy to make a long visit for piano tuning (although for the foreseeable future there will be an extra £5 charge for fuel costs if I have to make a journey outside Sheffield). Although I live in still live in Sheffield, much of my social life and piano tuning now takes place in North and West Yorkshire.
Richard, Piano Tuner Sheffield.
For customers in Sheffield and nearby areas I have a few hours left at the following times this week:
- Wednesday 20th December @ 7 PM
- Thursday 21st December @ 2 PM
- Thursday 21st December @ 4 PM
- Friday 22nd December @ 12 PM
- Friday 22nd December @ 2 PM
For Scarborough and Whitby customers only have a few remaining slots left this week, but will be working in the area the whole week prior to New Year’s Eve (then I’m back in Sheffield for piano tuning work on the 1st of January). The following two times are available for Scarborough and Whitby customers this weekend:
- Saturday 23rd December @ 1 PM
- Saturday 23rd December @ 3 PM
For later bookings feel free to ask me via phone or email.