Over the last two weeks I’ve been called out to some high profile piano tuning jobs, including a last minute booking at the Cruicible Theater in Sheffield to fix a sustain pedal on a John Broadwood upright, as well as a fine tune to ensure it was ready for a theatre production of Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence. Such pianos tend to be tuned so regularly that they are approximately at concert pitch already, but the delivery between venues tends to knock them slightly out of tune requiring a piano tuning before every peformance.
Yesterday I was called out to a recording studio near Sheffield city centre to tune a Yamaha C7 grand piano for an advert by a dutch software company. This was a big step for me, and a great experience that taught me about working in that industry and working under pressure in such situations. Needless to say the piano sounded excellent (even before it was tuned), but after it was tuned you could hear the full clarity and resonance of its tone. Pianos of that quality tend to be so well-made that tuning them isn’t actually as difficult as tuning an older, worn-out piano, for reasons I’ve described in previous blog posts.
That week I had an interesting experience fixing up an Eavestaff mini piano in Doncaster, tuning it twice in one afternoon in order to get it into shape so that it stays in tune (this was necessary as the piano had not been tuned in over twenty years, so the strings slipped back out of tune during the initial tuning). In such situations I’m glad I have an electronic tuning device as this makes the first rough tuning so much quicker, giving me a bit more time to spend on the second, more rigorous fine tune. Eavestaff pianos are incredibly difficult to tune not because of how they sound, but because of where the tuning pins are – either behind the keys and above the action, or underneath the keybed behind the bottom panel, requiring the piano tuner to neal down in order to tune them. They actually tend to be fairly good pianos when they’re well-maintained, but they’re a nightmare for piano tuners!
At other points over the last two weeks I’ve had piano tuning jobs in the usual places in Sheffield – Sharrow, Crookes, Hillsborough Heeley, Woodseats, Sheffield city centre, Attercliffe, Tinsley and so on. Usual tuning and maintenance, repairs and regulation. Occasional jobs in Rotherham, Doncaster and Chesterfield are always appreciated, and I don’t mind travelling further (although when I’m piano tuning outside of Sheffield there’s a very tiny extra charge for travel costs). I’m still trying to reach out to new customers so that I can broaden my customer base. I’m currently in talk with piano company in Manchester who have a few jobs for me to do over on that side on of the pennines. Strangely enough most of my long journeys outside Sheffield have tended to be to the east, from I can tell they already have a large number of piano tuners in the area. That said, I’m always happy to get more bookings over that side of the country and don’t mind making a car journey and chances are I will be able to fit you in an some point in the immediate future.
– Richard, Piano Tuner Sheffield