Can you learn to tune pianos without owning one?
The answer to that is: maybe. Tuning pianos is a skill that takes practice and patience. Learning how to tune one is a difficulty, but rewarding task. Here’s a guide on how to start learning piano tuning, even if you don’t have one of your own.
Step 1: Find a Free Piano
The first step in learning to tune pianos is to find a piano to practice on. You can often find free pianos on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. It doesn’t matter what brand or quality the piano is, as you’ll be using it to practice your tuning skills. Once you’ve found a piano, it’s time to move it to your home.
Step 2: Move the Piano
When you’re moving a piano, you have two options. You can hire professional piano movers or, if the piano is a console, you can do it yourself with a couple of friends. Rent a U-Haul truck, get some straps and a dolly, and you’ll be good to go. Some people say YouTube is the place of all knowledge. You can find tutorials on how to move a piano safely without professional help.
Before you start tuning, you will need to gather a few tools. A tuning hammer, a tuning fork, and a piano tuning lever are the essential tools you’ll need. You can purchase these tools individually or in a tuning kit.
Step 3: Get a Piano Tuning Kit
To start tuning your piano, you’ll need a piano tuning kit. These kits usually come with mutes, which you’ll need to use while tuning. You can try Facebook or Craigslist, but if you want your tuning kit fast, you can try Amazon that has 2-day shipping. Ebay is also a good source. Get nothing fancy, just something you can turn the pins with.
Step 4: Start Tuning
Before you can start tuning, you must understand pitch. Pitch is the highness or lowness of a sound and is measured in hertz (Hz). A tuning fork, for example, produces a specific pitch when struck. The standard pitch for pianos is A4 at 440 Hz. This means that when you strike the A4 key on a piano, it should produce a sound at 440 Hz.
Once you have your piano and your tuning kit, it’s time to start tuning. First, you’ll need to pick a note in the middle register. Using the mutes, place it on the left or right side, isolating two strings. Use your tuning hammer to turn the middle pin counter clockwise. This process will lower the pitch on the middle string and you will start to hear it go out of tune. If you don’t hear any changes in sound, you are either on the wrong pin or your mute is in the wrong place. Also, don’t worry about breaking a string. Piano strings don’t usually break while going down in pitch. Besides, if a string break, you have many more to practice with!
Step 5: Mastering Unisons
As you get more comfortable with controlling the tuning hammer and listening to the beats, change registers and repeat the process. This will help you become a master at tuning unisons.
Step 6: Get a Tuning App
To assist in your tuning practice, you can get a tuning app. There are many free ones available, but some of the best ones include Verituner and Cybertuner, which are pricey but provide precise and accurate results.
Step 7: Join the Piano Technicians Guild
To take your piano tuning skills to the next level, consider visiting your local Piano Technicians Guild. The people there are amazing, welcoming, and extremely knowledgeable. They might even have room in their schedule to mentor you. Additionally, joining piano tuning Facebook groups or finding resources on the web (and YouTube!)will give you access to a community of piano technicians who are willing to teach and help in any way they can.
The Professional Touch
As a professional piano tuner, Luis Hernandez has the skills and knowledge to fine-tune a piano to perfection. With years of experience and training, he has the ability to identify and correct even the smallest of pitch discrepancies, ensuring that your piano sounds the best it possibly can. Luis uses the highest quality tools and techniques to ensure that every piano is in perfect harmony. Whether you’re a concert pianist looking for a world-class sound, or a family looking to make beautiful music together, Luis can help you achieve the perfect piano tuning.