Over the past several months I’ve been studying how to tune more efficiently. TT&T, old Journal articles, my.ptg.org discussions, etc. I’ve found quite a few tips that have literally changed my (tuning) life, and want to share them here — one at a time, of course, so stay tuned! (Pun intended) Note: none of these are original, nor do I wish to take credit here in place of the authors. This is simply my collection that I would like to share.
Tip 1: Tune within the first half of a second of sound.
Many of us listen to the sound for far too long. From beginners to experienced pros, we tend to listen much more than is necessary. After tuning a few pianos, even a beginner knows when the string is right where it should be. That’s how it was with me. I had tuned about 50 pianos, and had gotten my time down to roughly 2 1/2 hours. Then I read this tip in one of the old Journal articles (forgive my memory, as I don’t recall which), and decided to give it a try. So I made a conscientious effort to try and tune within that first half second of sound. Overnight my tuning time dropped by 40 minutes. Over the next two weeks it went down to an hour twenty. Now it’s down to roughly an hour, give or take five minutes.
The original author claimed that even experienced tuners can drop their average time down to 45 minutes or less if this focusing technique is continuously used. This claim doesn’t seem so ridiculous after trying it out for a long period of time. Oh, and that time includes unison touch up at the end, and a tuning that you’d be proud to put your name on.
By no means should you skip quality in pursuit of speed; but by no means should you waste time listening to the part of the sound that doesn’t matter.