Registered Piano Technician

Total Control

Posted on by tuner

If you analyze my tuning, you might say that it exhibits total control of intervals and unisons. That would also include octaves.  Recently I have stopped using a temperament strip during the final tuning with grand pianos.  In other words I tune all the strings in the temperament as I go up and down.  This approach gives me complete and total control of this important aspect of tuning.  The temperament is the 12 basic notes in the middle section which determine how the rest of the piano sounds.   Tuning all 3 strings as you go gives the tuner more control and keeps the 3 strings of each note in the temperament very stable.  I use the Sanderson Accu-tuner IV and my ear equally. This device allows modification of readings by using offsets.  Rather than keeping the 3rds gradually increasing in beat rate when going up the scale, I focus on getting the beat rates to make the piano sound its best.  Equal temperament doesn’t  make some 3rds gratifying to a musician’s ear.  When you play the C-E-G major triad for instance, it sounds best to slow down the C-E major 3rd and the E-G minor 3rd.  This is done by raising the C and G. The same goes for F-A-C and to a lesser extent the G-B-D major 3rds.  I can demonstrate the difference for you by altering the F, C, G and D notes starting at the 3rd octave of the piano. The E-G and A-C and B-D are minor 3rds and  I slow those down by raising the upper note of the minor 3rds.  Minor 3rds are narrowed intervals from a pure setting.  Other notes are altered, but to a lesser degree.  There are 3 notes that remain the same as with ET.  The triads are really a lot nicer than what you get with equal temperament.  I will demonstrate it for you. I use my ear to double and triple check the 3rds in the temperament octave.  A teacher pointed out to me that the first inversion of those 3 triads also improves things a lot.  I check the other critical intervals as well. My tuning takes a little longer, but that is what you are paying me to do. If you want a fast cheap tuning, then call someone else.

I still use a temperament strip on the final tuning on verticals since the ergonomics don’t work out as well well with that type piano.  I still check and go over things as much as needed.

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Contact Details

Yonley's Piano Tuning and Repair
1201 Eastside Dr.
Mesquite , Tx , 75149