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Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

  • 1.  Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Posted 10 days ago
    For 20+ years I have just about always tuned a piano the same day that I had done a pitch raise on it - regardless of the amount of pitch raising. The past few months, without really planning on it, I have been scheduling the tuning for a couple weeks after a large pitch raise (lets say greater than 50 cents). The reason being that the couple week wait will give the piano a chance to stablize somewhat and the resulting tuning will hopefully last longer.

    My general understanding is that was the standard way to do it in decades past. In the last few decades, my understanding is that waiting a couple weeks to tune has gone into disfavor and most techs will tune the piano the same day the pitch has been raised.

    What do you folks do? Do some schedule a delayed tuning on a large pitch raise?

    ------------------------------
    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10 days ago
    Hi Terrance:
    I like to leave the piano sounding as good as possible when I leave. Unless I am unable to put a final tune because I'm late or need to leave for some reason. I've come across pianos that were recently tuned, but the owner was unhappy with the tuner. They said he would come back and tune it again soon. I got the sense that they didn't understand what was happening, that the "pitch raise" wasn't the final tuning. Anyway, that's what I do. I tell the owner that the piano may be a little unstable, and it will need tuning again within a few months or even sooner.
    My Way.
    Paul McCloud
    San Diego


    Terrence Farrell
    For 20+ years I have just about always tuned a piano the same day that I had done a pitch raise on it - regardless of the amount of pitch raising. The past few months, without really planning on it, I have been scheduling the tuning for a couple weeks after a large pitch raise (lets say greater than 50 cents). The reason being that the couple week wait will give the piano a chance to stablize somewhat and the resulting tuning will hopefully last longer.

    My general understanding is that was the standard way to do it in decades past. In the last few decades, my understanding is that waiting a couple weeks to tune has gone into disfavor and most techs will tune the piano the same day the pitch has been raised.

    What do you folks do? Do some schedule a delayed tuning on a large pitch raise?

    ------------------------------
    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
    ------------------------------

    R




  • 3.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Member
    Posted 10 days ago
    I think it depend on the client's goals.

    There are pianos like your Wurly, which was tuned at the factory, and never tuned again. These clients are not requesting a tuning fully stabilized at pitch. So, I would just do a two or three pass tuning with standard overpulls in one session, as it simply doesn't matter to the client if the piano sinks in pitch, as it most definitely will, even with the multiple passes. It will sound pretty good when you leave, and okay in a couple of months. It you educate the client about how nice a stabilized piano sounds all the time, you may have them request that tuning service, but these folks right now sound as if they just don't want it to sound horrible.

    Then there are customers with ears and who play all the time, for whom a stable tuning means, stable at or near pitch, and stable in the sense that the tuning never really even gets close to sounding bad. I show up, as I did, for a post covid tuning (I did not tune at all during the pandemic), 1.5 years out from the last excellent stable tuning. Because I have been allowed to stabilize the piano over a number of years, its a full service customer, I literally, 1.5 years out, mostly only had to ease strings gently over the friction bearings...very little pin turning. The piano was pretty damn close to where I put it 1.5 yrs ago.  Yes is it s nice grand, DC & undercover, but the previous stabilizing I was allowed to install was what allowed me to get it to the point where pins are almost not turned at all, or they are turned in very very tiny increments...no pin rotational excursions looking for pitch target locations. This sets the NSL tension levels up that are known, and non-ambiguous, leading to a very stable result. But real stability is a process that takes a while to install in any piano.

    I think the answer to your question is,  that it depends on what your client s is asking for musically, and depends on how you have educated them.

    I like your idea of going back after a couple of weeks to try and stabilize the thing. I would do a two or three pass tuning the first day, then go back a couple of weeks out, if they were of a mind to start the stabilizing process. Another stability biggy, and this applies to nice, well cared for grands as well, especially European grands, is to do a regular tuning, and go back a week out or so to fix stragglers. This will results in my most stable tunings.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10 days ago
    I do the same thing as Paul.

    With any good ETD, it is possible to leave a piano in at least decent shape with a couple of passes. UNLESS...it's well over 100 cents flat, or you get extremely lucky with the second pass of the ETD. If 100+ flat, then it's three passes, but it'll at least sound good.

    I always tell the customer it will need tuning again soon.

    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany, MS





  • 5.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Posted 10 days ago
    Hello Terry.
    Even though there's no doubt in my mind that letting the piano settle after a large pitch correction and make a separate appointment for fine tuning after a couple of weeks, I do the pitch correction (s) and tuning during one appointment.  I will discuss with the piano owner that a retuning will most likely be necessary after 1 to 6 months.
    I used to do pitch corrections in one appointment and then schedule a fine tuning after two weeks but several times, the fine tuning appointment was canceled, leaving the piano, in my opinion, not tuned properly which is sub-standard and not good for building a good reputation.
    Peter

    ------------------------------
    Petrus Janssen
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10 days ago
    If the piano has been in the home for years and suddenly needs a pitch raise I already know that the owner is not that critical. I do the pitch raise, followed immediately by a fine tuning and then explain why the piano MAY go out sooner than expected, which should be considered normal, and to call me if it gets too far out before the next scheduled tuning. Most of the time the customer understands. When I, more often than not, when I come back for the next tuning in, say, six months I am usually amazed at how well the piano held. I almost never experience the drift I was taught to expect from a pitch raise. But then the weather on this other coast is a bit more stable than Florida, which probably helps.

    ------------------------------
    Geoff Sykes, RPT
    Los Angeles CA
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10 days ago
    Like Paul, I want the piano to sound as good as possible when I'm done, so I stick with pitch correcting until I can fine tune with the pitch within just a few cents. I'm not comfortable leaving a piano incompletely tuned. And as Petrus said, I would be concerned that a followup appointment is not a sure thing, and if it is cancelled, neither I or likely the customer are going to be satisfied. In addition to these considerations, it is a more efficient use of my time to do the job properly in one visit.

    I do explain to the customer that today's tuning is likely to not be as stable as it otherwise would/will be with regular tunings. I strongly recommend retuning at 6 months or sooner if the customer wants it.

    I should add that I've always been a part-time tuner, so I have the luxury to schedule a new tuning as the last tuning I do that day. That way I'll have ample time since I'm not pressed to get it done before another appointment or I don't have the time I need.

    ------------------------------
    David Bauguess
    Grand Junction CO
    970-257-1750
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10 days ago
    I believe it's best to do the raise and fine tune at the same time with no break at all between the first and second pass.  I charge for an extra 30 mins over my basic tuning rate, it's a lot more economical than charging double for 2 trips.  It seems to me that most of the change takes place within about 20 minutes of tuning a given string so by the time I start the second pass the wires themselves have done the Hook's Law thing and the second pass is adjusting for discrepancies in the various segments. If you wait a couple of weeks, or even a couple of hours, these discrepancies bleed out into other segments and you actually lose ground. 
    That said, the piano is likely to change noticeably with a 50+ pitch raise over time. We are shooting at a moving target,  a good tuning is one in which the piano tends to fall into tune rather than fall out of tune so I'm not so concerned if certain sections are a little out when I finish if I feel that it will sound better in a week than if I hew to a strict tuning at that minute. And I don't race through the first pass, I try to hit my targets and pay attention to pin setting and equalizing the segments, then the second pass goes quickly and if there's a problem area I know it's not because it's something I glossed over in the first pass.
     Often I'll tell the owners that it would be best to tune the piano again sooner than later but I guarantee that I won't charge the pitch raise fee if they tune the piano again within a year. Of course it's a safe bet that it won't get that far out again in 12 months.  My speech these days goes something like: the more you tune a piano, the better it stays in tune; everything in the piano has a memory (as well as the whole system). If the piano hasn't been tuned in a long time the system is in  a chaotic state and will tend to want to return to the chaotic state after it's been tuned. On the other hand, if you tune the instrument regularly, it will tend to stay in tune (all the elements in a state of harmony) even if, after many regular tunings you miss a year, it won't have that much of an affect. People seem to get that.

    I also have some customers who get their piano tuned every 10 years whether it needs it or not, basically when a pencil gets stuck in the action or whatnot. I don't see the point in burdening the customer, myself, or the instrument with the stress of a pitch raise. It won't stay in tune as well and they clearly can't tell the difference. For some people, playing the piano is more of a kinetic experience than an aural one. So be it.


    ------------------------------
    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10 days ago

    I suggest another tuning after the next change of season is well established. I say that the next tuning will last better, but this one will make the biggest difference.

    I do between two and three passes, depending on the part of the scale. I'm not allergic to work the first time I see a piano. It gets the relationship off to an excellent start, which promotes trust and cordiality from then on. It's also a chance to deal with any little problems the piano is having, and to answer questions and deal with concerns the owner may have.

    One thing about being 75 and semi-retired: I never need to rush to another job.






  • 10.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10 days ago
    I like what Steven says here. There is something that has helped me deal with pitch changes, whether they happen after a pitch correction, or whether they happen seasonally. That is to always do two passes, with the exception for those pianos already so close that the extra pass truly doesn't make sense. If you're always doing two passes, it's just as easy to do a small pitch correction of ~25 cents as it is for only 5 cents. Either way, you're not having to continually explain the "need" for charging extra for those small pitch corrections. Just build your service around doing two passes for every normal tuning. The end result is better stability, and it doesn't really take longer than trying to create a stable tuning with only one pass...only to find out at the end you've got to futz with it again anyway. Most of my 2-pass tunings I'm in and out in less than 1.5 hours.

    ------------------------------
    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS

    Live not by fear or lies.
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 8 days ago
    John --

    RCT has a tuning mode called Smart Tune. It does a great job of doing a small pitch raise at the same time as accomplishing a fine tuning in a single pass. If the piano is only out by, say, about 10¢ I just do a standard fine tune. More than that and I switch to Smart Tune and still accomplish a perfectly good, and stable, tuning in a single pass. And no, I do not charge for a pitch raise when using Smart Tune. It's still a single pass tuning that just happens to incorporate a tiny bit of pitch raise. I think it's unethical to charge the customer extra for a "pitch raise" when a second pass was not needed. I simply thank technology for making this possible and my day a bit easier.

    ------------------------------
    Geoff Sykes, RPT
    Los Angeles CA
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 8 days ago
    Just to add on to what David and Geoff are saying.  Full disclosure, I work for CyberTuner.

    The world of pitch raises is not what it used to be when all of us learned.  For pitch corrections, CyberTuner is the greatest advance in the history of piano tuning.

    Most pianos can be pitch raised and tuned in a single appointment.  There is no need to schedule a follow up visit.  For a large pitch correction of over 50¢ it would be best to have the next tuning be in 3 months.

    In fact I have completely changed my business model because of CyberTuner's Smart Tune mode.  I do not charge for pitch corrections of 30¢ or less.  I charge top dollar for my service call.  More than most of you charge for a pitch raise and tuning.  I tune every piano to A440.  I do not ask the client's permission to do so.  I do not tell them that there will be an additional charge.  It is better for the client to just quote one price for piano tuning.  At this point in my career, I rarely work on a piano that is over 30¢ flat.

    Other ETD's have pitch corrction capabilities, but CyberTuner is the best.  For those of you tuning aurally or using a different ETD, I strongly advise to pay the additional money and use the best tool now available. 





  • 13.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Posted 8 days ago
    . . . . and now, a word from our sponsors. . .

    ------------------------------
    Joël Weber
    Weberpianocare.com
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Posted 8 days ago
    Thanks for the comments Carl. I have heard numerous times that the CyberTuner pitch raise function is superior to others. Can you please explain exactly how the CyberTuner pitch raise function works and why its workings are superior to others - say, better than Verituner? Thanks.

    ------------------------------
    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Posted 8 days ago
    I'll jump in here to Terry's question about RCT overpull vs Verituner. Tuning where seasonal fluctuations create wide variations in pitch lead me to get very comfortable with pitch correcting/tuning.

    While the Verituner is a powerful tuning calculator, it has a very basic overpull function. It quickly measures the current note and then applies the user-defined overpull percentage to that note. Realizing that the overpull process should be responsive to not only specific notes, but adaptive to average starting pitches for an area, other platforms have implemented ways to help the software "listen" to more than a single note while calculating an overpull. In addition, realizing that different areas of the piano scale (including struts and string breaks) may require adaptations to a simple calculation, other platforms have included that as well. Depending on the platform (RCT, PianoMeter, TunelabPro, PianoScope - and perhaps others?) They may do this by pre-measuring or "on the fly" while tuning.)

    The workaround for Verituner is to use the needle and your memory to keep an eye on the overpull - while tuning if there is a single note that the software targets a smaller or larger overpull, then adapt the target. Likewise, using different overpull percentages (or displaying all three targets) for different sections of the piano and around struts can lead to a better result after the first pass.

    I have a self-schedule option for tuning "if it's been more than a few years since the last tuning" that adds 30 minutes to the visit. Gives me enough time for a 3rd pass if needed. For the massive pitch raises (just returned to a Yamaha spinet that I last tuned up from -300 cents in 2019..) I'll overpull the first pass to my comfort level of overpull maximum - depending on the instrument. Again, just using the needle to aim for +20 or +25 or + 30... I don't use the auto-note, but step to each note by swiping the display.

    Ron Koval


    ------------------------------
    Ron Koval
    Chicagoland
    rontuner@hotmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 8 days ago

    Terry and all,

    When calculating a pitch correction, this is what CyberTuner does.  First it calculates a tuning for the piano, based on sampling the 5 A's A1 - A5 on that piano.  We start our tuning at A0 and move chromatically up to C8, unisons as you go.  It measures the pitch of each note before tuning it and calculates a target pitch based on a unique overpull percentage for each note.  Not just 25%, but rather 22% for a note and 28% for the next note.  As you move up the scale having tuned the prior notes lowers the pitch of the coming notes, called pre-drop.  CyberTuner uses this information.  In addition to having a percentage overpull chart for each note, we use 4 different overpull charts, based on the size of the piano.  This leads to a very refined first tuning.

    Like most of you, I learned to do a quick first pass and then a careful fine tuning.  I now do a careful first tuning and a quick 5-10 minute second touch up tuning.  CyberTuner is amazingly accurate after just one tuning.

    We treat every tuning as a pitch correction, whether it is 5¢ or 25¢..  For corrections of less than 20¢ only one pass is necessary followed by optimizing the unisons.  I can do a very solid 20¢ pitch raise in an hour or so.



    I tuned aurally for years and have tried other ETDs.  Good technicians develop a feel for pitch raises and make their own small adjustments based on experience.  Good as that is, it is not as accurate as modern computing techniques.  



    ------------------------------
    Carl Lieberman
    RPT
    Venice CA
    310-392-2771
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Posted 8 days ago
    Carl L. wrote: "When calculating a pitch correction, this is what CyberTuner does.  First it calculates a tuning for the piano, based on sampling the 5 A's A1 - A5 on that piano.  We start our tuning at A0 and move chromatically up to C8, unisons as you go.  It measures the pitch of each note before tuning it and calculates a target pitch based on a unique overpull percentage for each note.  Not just 25%, but rather 22% for a note and 28% for the next note."

    I'm trying to understand the last two sentences. How does CyberTuner (CT) calculate (or assign) a "unique over-all percentage for each note"? Based on what does it do that?

    As you move up the scale having tuned the prior notes lowers the pitch of the coming notes, called pre-drop.  CyberTuner uses this information.  In addition to having a percentage overpull chart for each note, we use 4 different overpull charts, based on the size of the piano.  This leads to a very refined first tuning."


    What is an percentage overpull chart? You say your have four different overpull charts that are based on the size of a piano - so how is it that there is a separate chart for each note? I don't understand.



    ------------------------------
    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Posted 7 days ago
    From Terry:

    I'm trying to understand the last two sentences. How does CyberTuner (CT) calculate (or assign) a "unique over-all percentage for each note"? Based on what does it do that?

    As you move up the scale having tuned the prior notes lowers the pitch of the coming notes, called pre-drop.  CyberTuner uses this information.  In addition to having a percentage overpull chart for each note, we use 4 different overpull charts, based on the size of the piano.  This leads to a very refined first tuning."


    What is an percentage overpull chart? You say your have four different overpull charts that are based on the size of a piano - so how is it that there is a separate chart for each note? I don't understand.

    In the documentation for the old RCT, there was a graph that showed the overpull percentages/note. Instead of a specific constant overpull percentage for each section, the number would taper up and down to represent the best guess for how much to overpull. As I understand it, this approach was patented, explaining why the other platforms use another approach. At that time, I think the tuner needed to identify the stringing break between bass and tenor bridges. It sounds like the current version (Like PianoMeter and PianoScope) also lets the tech identify what type of piano is being tuned, such as spinet, upright, small grand and concert grand... Those choices have an effect on the software overpull percentages. I've also seen user inputs for the first and second struts that represent breaks in the long bridge.

    I believe at one time, there was an option to make custom overpull charts to further polish overpull numbers for specific models of pianos most often tuned...

    Ron Koval


    ------------------------------
    Ron Koval
    Chicagoland
    rontuner@hotmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Posted 8 days ago
    Carl - if perhaps you feel responding to my specific questions may not be of interest to the general readership, feel free to respond privately to me. Thanks.

    ------------------------------
    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 8 days ago
    My recent experience with Anthony Willey's Piano Meter program is that, provided one strips off the plain wire strings first, it gives excellent results in a single pass. I start by playing every note on the instrument quickly which takes perhaps 90 seconds. Then I measure 4 notes per octave spaced a m3rd apart also about 90 seconds. I've tried using the unisons as I go method but the overpull proved to be too great. Sanderson Accu-tuner has two different pitch raise calculations depending on whether one is tuning with all of the plain wires stripped off or tuning unisons as you go. I have never charged for pitch raises in a customer's home. I simply tune every piano to A440 unless directed otherwise. I do however charge for pitch changes to a specific pitch (440 to 442 for example) in the concert halls I work for. This is because after the non-standard pitch requester leaves town I have to return the pitch to where it was before. Mr. Lieberman has the right idea; charge enough for a service call that you don't have to convince the client to pay for the work you feel is needed.

    ------------------------------
    Karl Roeder
    Pompano Beach FL
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 7 days ago

    Terry 


    RCT has preprogrammed overpull  percentages for different sections of the piano. The overpull for each note is based on the trailing average so if you have an outlier it doesn't necessarily follow a strict note by note calculation. 

    i agree with Carl that RCT has the most sophisticated and reliable pitch raise function and will do a one pass tuning very well within a certain range. I think 20c is pushing it unless it's  a piano that doesn't require a really precise tuning. But even there the tuning will often be acceptable. 

    Where the pitch range function is less reliable is if the piano is out of tune in various directions, some notes sharp some flat. That's not typical, most pianos responding to humidity or time move in one direction or the other. But on a large pitch correction where you are roughing it into place quickly you might miss on both sides of the target pitch. In that case I often set the RCT on fine tune mode for the second pass where overpull is removed from the equation. 

    As far as charging for pitch raises, I charge by time. My basic "tuning only" rate is based on a one hour appointment. If pitch correction, or voicing or regulation pushes it to 90 minutes or two hours I charge for the time required.  Most modest pitch corrections can be accomplished with a one pass tuning and unison check, easily done within an hour. Two full passes pushes that time up a bit but usually if the piano has not been serviced recently enough to avoid that kind of pitch correction it will need other work as well and I'm scheduling a full service appointment anyway which ranges from 2-4 hours, sometimes more. If I schedule a two hour or four hour appointment they are paying me for the time I spend, I don't charge by each menu item.  



    ------------------------------
    David Love RPT
    www.davidlovepianos.com
    davidlovepianos@comcast.net
    415 407 8320
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 7 days ago
    Full disclosure: I do not work for Cypbertuner and I fully agree with Carl.

    I do 50% to 100% pitch raises regularly (with iRCT) and never schedule a second visit, though I do recommend a follow-up sooner than usual.  I do try to leave a major pitch raise at 441 if it is a newer piano, but I charge a bit more if I have to spend as much as an extra hour or more on the tuning.
    At this point in my career I do a LOT of rescues of disasters (and I welcome them).

    Even when I did only aural tuning I always left pianos at 440 whenever possible and my family usually didn't recommend follow-ups (though those usually took a looong time).

    ------------------------------
    Blaine Hebert
    Duarte CA
    626-795-5170
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 7 days ago
    Regarding aural pitch raises and tuning in general, we often fail to consider that in the process of interval tuning, by constantly referring back to what we've already tuned, we are checking and often touching up previous notes. So even though one might consider it a one pass tuning we are in effect doing a second or third pass as we go.
    Especially because of the vagaries of overpulling by ear we are more likely touching each string more times during a tuning than when using an ETD. I used to think this was a good thing but now not so much; if one can set pins/equalize tension and hit the proper overpull target the first time rather than finding it incrementally, it's less disruptive to the system as a whole. I think, perhaps I'm incorrect on this.
    Building a tuning by comparing intervals is a fundamentally different process than using an ETD which provides us with a map really by a process of dead reckoning (albeit with more going on under the hood in the machine.) Aural tuning is immersive, ETD's offer us a shortcut.

    ------------------------------
    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Posted 7 days ago
    Blaine H. wrote: "I do 50% to 100% pitch raises regularly...."

    I've seen pitch expressed as a percentage before and never understood it. How many cents flat is a piano that gets a 50% pitch raise?


    ------------------------------
    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 7 days ago
    My guess is 50-100 cents. 50% of a semi-tone...100% semi-tone.

    Being an aural (analog) tuner, I consider pitch correction to be like mental pushups. There is also the intense satisfaction in diving into a totally unusable/unmusical instrument and transforming it into a remarkably good sounding instrument in a couple of hours using nothing more than my brain, ears, and hands.  Almost like a resurrection (not literally of course) and the joy it brings to those around.

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Member
    Posted 7 days ago
    There are 100 cents between half tones. A piano which is 50 cents (50%) flat is a quarter tone flat.
    Roughly 12.69 cps flat of 440 at A4.
    Figuring 4 (3.94) cents = 1 cps
    50/3.94 = 12.69

    A 25% overpull would be roughly 3-4 cents or 1 cps and you would p/r to A441.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Edit:  Let me correct my math error. The above statement would be correct if the piano were 12 cents flat.
    25% of 12.69 cps = 3.2 cps.  A 25% overpull of a piano 50 cents flat would be p/r'd to A443.
    Said another way, 25% of 50 cents(%) is 12.5% (cents). 12 cents is roughly 3 cps.

    I hope I got it better this time.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    >Blaine H. wrote:
    "I do 50% to 100% pitch raises regularly...."
    >I've seen pitch expressed as a percentage before and never understood it. How many cents flat is a piano that gets a 50% pitch raise?


    ------------------------------
    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@comcast.net
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Posted 7 days ago
    Jon - I admit that I was being a tiny bit facetious when I asked for clarification on the 50% thing. Yes, I know what he meant. But it is totally the wrong units - actually, it's not even any units. What the heck does a percent here mean. I can hear my hydrogeology professor drilling it into my brain - "use the proper units!". I just wish people would use cents or even steps or half-steps - then we know exactly what they mean.

    ------------------------------
    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Posted 7 days ago
    I did a pitch raise today from 433 to 440.

    First pass A C# F at 443
    Bb D F# 442
    B D# G 441
    C E G# 440
    all octaves
    and it was more or less there. . . . 

    Best wishes

    David P

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    David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
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    +44 1342 850594





  • 29.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 9 days ago
    I always do the pitch raise and fine tuning at the same visit.  I just had to tune a piano that was more than 100c flat and was to be used for an in home recital.  Took me three+ passes (two pitch correction passes, a final fine tuning and then another pass for unison checks).  Piano sounded just fine for the recital.

    I don't generally feel that a follow up tuning is necessary or that it's necessary as a practice to separate the pitch raise from the fine tuning.  But I advise customers in that situation that they need to be more conscientious about tuning it twice a year going forward and if it seems to need tuning prior to 6 months I wouldn't be surprised given how far I moved it.  Often the tunings in these situations (or certainly for less of a correction) seem perfectly stable.

    That being said it's important that the preliminary pitch raises get the piano very close to in tune before the final fine tuning, within a couple of cents--the closer the better.  The RCT pitch raise function allows you do accomplish that pretty painlessly and very quickly.  If your pitch raise is only getting you within 5-10 cents or if the sections are unevenly "out of tune" then your final fine tuning is not going to be very good.  Aural pitch raises are much more difficult to get close or take more passes.

    The biggest argument for separating the pitch raise from the fine tuning is fatigue.  If you're an aural tuner and raising the pitch 100c then it just takes a lot out of you to get things close enough to where you feel comfortable doing a fine tuning and trusting that the typical 15-30% correction that happens with any pitch adjustment won't be enough to render the fine tuning unacceptable.


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    David Love RPT
    www.davidlovepianos.com
    davidlovepianos@comcast.net
    415 407 8320
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  • 30.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 8 days ago
    To answer your question, I never leave a piano at anything other than 440 for pitch raise reasons. Pitch raising is a skill we need, just like any other. I learned to do it well aurally, RCT does it better. I often recommend 6 months for the next tuning, rather than out customary year. I have returned to pianos that had massive pitch raises after two years or more, only to find them at pitch. YMMV.

    As to how people did it in the past, it depends on who you talk to. Nobody has done it that way in my neck of the woods. I suspect people who do two appointments have various reasons for doing it. Either to let the piano settle; or for the false fear that if you do it all at once, the plate will break.

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    David Stocker, RPT
    PNWRVP
    Olympia WA
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  • 31.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 8 days ago
    In depth explanation of RCT here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHsL8oo_Low

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    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
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  • 32.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Posted 8 days ago
    Michael Gamble gave me the following instructions for a 100cent pitch raise, the idea being to even out the whole range of the instrument together. I've used it and it works very well.

    Choose a pitch. Tune all the A's to that Pitch+10%. Then tune all the C#'s and F's to that pitch. Next tune all the G#'s to that pitch+8%. Next tune all the C's and E's to that Pitch. (you're half-way there!) Now tune all the G's to that pitch + 6% followed by all the B's and D#'s. Finally tune all the F#'s to that Pitch+4% followed by all the A#'s and D's. That's it. Chromatically the instrument should be merely out of tune, but roughly at the chosen Pitch - and there shouldn't be any string breakage. Now simply fine-tune the whole thing to your chosen Pitch and Temperament.

    Sometimes I'll do just the centre string of all octaves and then only do the unisons after so as to graduate and even out the rise even more.

    Best wishes

    David P

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    David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
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    +44 1342 850594





  • 33.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Posted 8 days ago
    I watched the video and only saw a very small amount of superficial information regarding pitch raising.

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    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
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  • 34.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 8 days ago
    Pitch raises and whether to charge. Definitely an important topic that we all have to consider and sometimes reconsider! I'll share what my experiences have been. I have used the Cybertuner quite a bit over the course thousands of tunings over about 15 years.
    I also bought TuneLab and Verituner. I don't use them although I do like the Verituner as well.
    Pitch-raising CHROMATICALLY - full unisons at a time - from a severely-flat pitch is something I have gradually moved away from in favor of using temperament strips to pitch raise with more evenly-distributed across-the-board tension increases. I do use the Cybertuner for this but have to alter overpull percentages or simply select an across the board overpull locked at whatever the average overpull needs to be.
    I also pay attention to the fact that overpull tensions do stress bridge pins and bridges, stress agraffes and capo-bar edges, and other things. There are also wire bends happening with overpull that you have to think about, in terms of string leveling and things. Because of capo bar and bridge pin / bridge damage, and to reduce likelihood of string breakage, I rarely overpull more than about 12 cents per pitch raise pass, no more than 4-6 cents overpull in the Bass. This is to prevent damage to the copper windings via over-extension.
    Since I'm a not a real engineer this is all based on theory and experience, not exact engineering data, etc. I might get to that at some point…
    I do charge for major pitch raise work particularly for new clients seeking to revive a piano from neglect. As well as returning clients who don't get consistent tuning every 6 months to one year. But I have to be pretty up-front about it. The only place where I might not charge is the very regular client. But frankly, a lot of pianos in homes getting tuned every 6 months to 1 year are not more than about 10-15 cents off. At that range, I might be able to do a careful Smart tuning with the Cybertuner, then go over that careful tuning again to clean things up and make sure things are where they should be. This kind of a tuning is something I can typically complete in 75 min or less at pretty much a concert tuning level of accuracy and stability. Actually 60 min or so normally.
    Another thing that I've increasingly sort of required myself to do, is to always go over my tuning aurally and for very pure unisons - after carefully tuning a piano in its entirety. In other words, I take the time to double-check things and ensure a very consistent and clean sound to unisons, as much as is realistic for the piano. This last 5 to 10 minutes (typically) takes a little self-discipline to do, but I consider it makes the tuning that much better and valuable. It's that last bit of edge in terms of quality in the work.
    I tend to be respectfully frank that I don't try to be the cheapest technician in town. I strive to be one of the best technicians, at a very reasonable, in fact competitive, price for the very highest level of work available.
    One of the reasons I charge if I have to fully pitch-raise a piano once or more before fine-tuning, is that one only has so many tunings in the duty cycle of their physical body. Let's say you're going to do 3 service visits one day. 6 tuning passes is a lot more wear on the body than 3 tuning passes. That magnifies over weeks, months and years.
    Speaking of physical wear: I learned years ago that I could not regularly "jerk" a tuning hammer back and forth violently. It led to issues with my tuning shoulder. I mostly use smooth pulling motions that require a degree of strength and control.
    In addition to this, while tuning I rarely ever pound or press keys with my fingers. In my 30's I began to experience severe arthritic pain from normal pounding / playing with my fingers while tuning. I adjusted to pressing the notes with a thick, short felt mute held upside down. This has worked out.
    I've also cultivated stability of tuning without pounding of keys excessively. I find this is not always possible, but with some pianos I find that I can tune with stability - without excessive key-pounding force.
    If I had to tune only with aural intervals, by hand, with lots of key-pounding, my tuning career would probably have been over after several thousand pianos - due to hand and finger strain.
    Final thoughts. Skillful use of an ETD has one added benefit during tuning. It allows you to move a tuning pin and a string DIRECTLY to where it should go. There is less hunting sharp or flat. This results in less wear of a piano pin-block.
    This is one more reason that while I highly favor traditional aural tuning, I do use an ETD. I also am convinced that using the Cybertuner has significantly lengthening the duration of my tuning career due to less wear on my ears and my fingers, hands, wrists, etc. So generally I like the idea of staying as engaged as possible with aural tuning, but doing so in a way that is survivable. Dean Reyburn gets huge respect from me since I owe so much in terms of quality and survivability with tuning over the years. He's made a truly great contribution to piano tuning in the 20th century and beyond.
    There are certainly many approaches to tuning.
    I have real respect for solid aural-only tuners who go their whole career that way. But I've seen some fall out due to injury too.
    Sooner or later I suppose we all have to consider the long game in terms of how many piano per week we are going to tune, as we go from our thirties on up into our seventies. I hope to continue tuning into my old age, but at a strategically reduced rate. So I'm already planning around this so that the number of pianos I tune this week, this Summer, and beyond is a number that I'm comfortable with and enjoy.
    You know, another career or gig might be a great thing along with tuning as one ages. It might allow one to enjoy the level of tuning one does, and actually do it better, for longer.
    It never hurts to ask yourself why you are doing what you doing, and how much you enjoy it at a particular level. Don't get stuck in a rut and hate your work. Get ahead of that and think about it if you need to. For what it's worth after about 15 years of hard but good work.
    Lastly. Taking the aural tuning exam and becoming an RPT is crucial. It will either confirm that you are a solid, accomplished tuner worthy of the name, or that you need to work on some areas. This type of feedback and ultimate confirmation of credentials is better for your own understanding of yourself, and better for your customers. This will be an important achievement for the tech in their progress as a peer-reviewed professional.
    The next one is CTE, the certified tuning examiner. Again, the potential that you will gain confirmation that you are truly a master, or the chance to hone your skills to the level of real mastery. And more than that, the opportunity to serve and further the profession.

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    Tom Wright, RPT
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  • 35.  RE: Pitch Raise & Tune in One Session

    Registered Piano Technician