After having to pay a pro to come and tune my piano on a regular basis I decided to try it myself to cut costs. I soon found out that there was little information on the internet to take you step by step to learn to tune your piano. I purchased some tools and figured it out for myself. This video and web site share what I’ve discovered over many piano tunings.
Be Honest With Yourself Before Trying To Tune Your Piano
Piano tuning isn’t as simple as it appears, and if carried out poorly can harm the piano (so be careful). In case your piano is valuable or you are unsure if you can undertake this project, contact an expert. The easy technique right here can repair a sour note however it won’t replace the abilities of an skilled tuner in the community. Even so, tuning your personal piano may be an enjoyable method to discover and learn more about this fascinating instrument.
Understand that the tools may be costly up front. You’ll need a number of tools to be able to do fundamental tuning on a piano. Genuine experts will occasionally need a huge selection of tools to complete a single job. Even the fundamental tools can be as much as 100 dollars. Then, additionally, you will need tuning equipment to be able to make sure you are really tuning the piano and not make it worse! By the time you finish purchasing all of the gear, you may be much better off just paying a pro. Evaluate costs and needs before starting. I am always curious about my instruments so this was a fun experience.
Tools You Will Need!
You will need a couple of fundamental, specialized tools. At minimum, you’ll need to buy 3 tools to tune your piano:
1. Tuning lever (Tuning Hammer)
2. Electronic chromatic tuner (basic tuners will not work!)
3. Last, several rubber tuning mutes
First Tool: The Tuning Lever
Also known as a tuning hammer or wrench, a tuning lever is unique tool produced just for tuning pianos. Don’t try to substitute with socket wrench or other makeshift set-ups. Correct tuning requirements a delicate touch along with a safe hold around the pin. With out each of those, at very best you’ll possess a poor tuning outcome, and at worst you are able to permanently harm the pin or the piano which will cost you.
Please do not skimp on the tuning level at all costs. Look for a genuine piano reseller or shop online to buy a high quality tuning lever. A poorly produced tuning lever is almost as poor as a socket wrench. It’ll frustrate you at very best, and permanently harm the piano at worst. A great lever will begin within the 50 dollar range.
Notice the 8-point “star” socket? This fits the square head completely and at numerous angles. You would like the tool in just the proper angle all the time to ensure that you are able to apply the fine touch required…and within the tight quarters from the piano cabinet. Most pianos produced for the American marketplace use the number 2 sized head. Pianos produced in or for other nations might use other sizes. Seek the advice of your piano tool supplier for guidance if you’re not certain what to use in your area.
Much better hammers include interchangeable heads, in case you’ve an odd size pin or require a longer or shorter head, or perhaps a various angle to reach into the piano cabinet. In the event you sized it correct for 1 piano, you will get by with 1 head, however it by no means hurts to help keep your choices open. Lower quality hammers have fixed heads (goose neck). Extra heads or adapters may be bought as required. Notice: In the event you buy a tuning lever with interchangeable parts or heads, make sure to also buy a tip wrench to tighten them. Otherwise, the tip might unscrew itself whenever you are attempting to tune.
Second Tool: A Chromatic Tuner that is electric or a Tuning Fork
You’ll need some kind of outside tuning device. Advanced tuners may use tuning forks; other people prefer the best electric tuners on the market developed for pianos. We’re going to make use of a easy pocket tuner. It will not be as correct as a accurate electronic piano tuner, however it will function nicely for our purposes. For about 20 dollars or so, you can find a Korg CA-30, which has been replaced with theKorg CA-40, will be the least costly tuner that functions nicely. It must be chromatic; a plain guitar tuner isn’t sufficient. The digital needle may be difficult to see or read. It may be better to pick up a more expensive chromatic tuner with a physical needle for visibility.
Third Tool: Tuning Mutes
These are simple rubber wedges that push in between the strings on either side that you aren’t tuning for better accuracy. Extremely affordable, do not waste time attempting to make a substitute here! Get a number of sizes and shapes simply because string size and position varies inside any single piano. Purchase them when you are buying your tuning hammer. Now that we’ve the tools gathered, it’s time to tune. Open the piano cabinet to ensure that you are able to function. Be sure you have great light in your area so that you can see what you are doing!
You might wish to eliminate a couple of additional pieces on the piano to get more visibility, it lets much more light in. Additionally, it tends to make it simpler to adhere to which key is operating which string. These pieces are effortlessly removed, but frequently needing a screwdriver.
I’ve opened up my piano completely to see everything inside. You are able to see I’ve removed all of the cabinet down towards the tops from the keys. Once more, you do not need to go this far, however it may be useful for your first time. Start by tuning all of the keys within the middle octave, middle C to C’, utilizing the electronic tuner. This is setting the temperament; the temperament will turn out to be the reference by which we tune the rest from the piano.
Initially, determine 1 string from 1 note to tune. Most notes except the extremely lowest ones may have two or three strings per note. My small piano only has two within the octave we start with (you will usually see three strings). First check to see which hammer strikes which string and follow it back to the pin for tuning. Follow by selecting your string while muting all other nearby strings with the mutes within the set for that note. Wedge a rubber mute in between the string to become muted and also the soundboard or the following string.
Tune the unmuted string utilizing the electronic tuner. Make sure to tune your piano when there is no other noises in the area. With 1 hand around the lever, 1 finger around the key, and 1 eye around the electronic tuner, strike a key firmly. Move the lever very, very slightly whilst striking the key firmly. If you want to raise the pitch of your piano note turn clockwise. To lower a piano note turn the pin counter clockwise. While looking at the electronic tuner, make sure you get the need as close to center as possible.
Tune the other strings within the note. Eliminate the mute from among the other strings within the set for that note. Place aside the electronic tuner, and use your ear to match the untuned string towards the string you tuned. Repeat for the third string, if essential; unmute all 3, to ensure that the third string matches the very first two. Why not use the electronic tuner? Simply because hearing the match is much easier than attempting to adjust that pesky bouncing needle tuner.
• Minimal pin movement is essential; as well a lot wiggling can loosen the pin to ensure that it’ll not hold. Loose pins require expert repair. Don’t overwork the pin! It is also feasible to break a string. It could occur if over-tightened, but even experts break a string on occasion. It’s a common repair, but beyond this tutorial. You will find books on piano repair, or contact a pro.
• It is hard to get the needle dead on. I generally err a bit towards the sharp if in doubt, as my piano generally goes flat. Alternatively, the Korg tuner can play the tone for you personally, and also you can match by ear.
• An expert normally tune the higher notes a bit sharp while they tune the lower notes a bit flat. This really is referred to as stretching the octaves, a sound much more pleasing towards the ear than tuning to equal temperament, which would ideally adhere to a pure mathematical progression. This really is simply because error is introduced by the physical variations in between strings. The very best stretch is really a judgment determined by an expert tuner. If we had to tune the whole piano having a easy chromatic tuner the outcome could be poor. That’s why we tune more by ear, which is closer to approximate what an expert does.
You are able to decrease the price of owning a piano by taking precautions that help the piano stay in tune. By no means move your piano in the event you might help it. Next make sure and certain that it stays inside a space where the temperature is continuous and store it away from doors, heater vents, and windows. The wood is extremely susceptible to temperature modifications, so maintaining it in a perfect atmosphere can reduce tuning needs to every six months.
If you are new to piano and this seems to overwhelm you, then it may be a good idea to have a pro tuner come over and help you for the first few times. Remember, you won’t be saving money if you end up damaging your piano instead of helping it.