What separates a merely “good” piano tuning from a first class piano tuning service? From my ten years in the Sheffield piano tuning trade it comes down to several key factors that all require a lot of attention and diligence. The three factors are:
- Equal temperament – the tuning of intervals in accordance with the equal tempered scale. Using the high-end piano tuning software Tunelab plus my own aural checks of the beat frequency of intervals (fifths, fourths, octaves, major and minor thirds against their related sixths) I can achieve a first class equal tempered scale across the whole piano.
- Unisons – Eradicating the pulsing/beating from each note by fine tuning each string. This is one of my strongest areas as a piano tuner and its a good skill to be proficient in. A piano tuner who is strongly skilled at tuning unisons will achieve the purest tone from the piano, giving it the concert hall sound rather than a simply satisfactory sound.
- Stability – great piano tuning hammer technique and patience are the biggest factors in piano tuning stability. Achieving great stability is the reason a piano tuning can be so time consuming, taking up to ninety minutes or more to complete. The piano tuner must be certain that he or she leaves your home with the piano sounding great for another six months and that each note is securely in tune so that no call backs occur. Every piano tuner has their own way of setting the wrest pins that they achieve maximum stability – the position of hammer, tuning sharp then flat, moving the pin deep inside the wrest plank; all those are factors to consider. I have found best stability occurs when one hits the keys hard while moving the pin in tiny increments.
There are many other factors to consider, but a piano tuner who has taken care to become skilled in those three areas will have gone above and beyond the average. Being skilled is one thing, but being diligent on each every job (the right attitude to have) is equally important. The goal must be to ensure that every piano is brought to its very best.
In short, you are legally allowed piano tuners and other tradespeople into your home during tier 4 and tier 5 lockdowns.
In terms of exposure to Covid-19, Piano tuning is a relatively low risk profession. What social interaction I have had since march has been at a safe distance. I have good common sense and have been washing my hands religiously (with alcohol-based sanitizer), both in the car and when I return to my Sheffield home. I will happily wear a face mask on request.
A few links to keep your mind at rest:
Daily Express Article
Let’s support local piano tuners and tradespeople. But let’s do it while staying safe and obeying the lockdown rules.
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.
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!
Your Sheffield Piano Tuner is a delightful mood today, filled with sunny optimism at what new joy summer will bring. June and July used to be a slow time of year for the Sheffield piano tuner, with many of his clientele enjoying their well-earned holidays abroad, but this year more and more work seems to be coming his way – in a large part thanks to the many recommendations from customers and respected artists in the music industry (plus a recommendation from a local MP!). He had the pleasure of tuning a lovely Yamaha U3 and a modern Kemble upright at the Yellow Arch Studios on Monday for piano students taking their graded exams. He also undertook piano tuning and repair work at the Crucible Theatre for Doc Fest and the grand piano at Wortley Hall (a beautiful stately home located north of Sheffield and south of Barnsley) for a wedding. While the Sheffield piano tuner always enjoys working on home pianos, the opportunity to see new places is always welcomed and seen as a perk of the job!
Is there anything more beautiful than the sound of a piano gently flowing out of the patio doors on a hot summers day? Make sure you don’t embarrass yourself by letting your piano go out of tune – what would your neighbours think? Book a piano tuning today to ensure those major thirds are beating like a well-tuned snare drum.