Archive for the ‘Tuning’ Category

It is August 2015. My last blog appeared on the 30th of December last year. I’ve been busy.

I have written over 100 articles about pianos since I started this blog. The blog has received over 40,000 visits. You would think that the experiences I shared in 100 blogs would have altered consumer behavior. Maybe a few parents would have reconsidered before buying a junk piano off Craigslist. Maybe local piano dealers would stop making outrageous claims about their products.

Nothing has changed. I have helped many people make decisions about pianos – in person, but to my knowledge, the blog has not helped me save the world, one piano at a time. By the way, that’s my company slogan. I changed world to planet. I still can’t decide which I like better. Planet is rather impersonal, but it has more geek appeal.

Grand piano hammers ready for installation

A new set of grand piano hammers are being prepared for installation. New hammers makes a dramatic improvement to the volume and tone of an old piano.

We each need to realize that our work, opinions, ideas and actions do in fact contribute to the sum of all work, opinions, ideas and actions. It just isn’t very obvious or even noticeable at times, but we are each shaping this world we live in – each saving the planet as we are able. I have my hands full saving pianos, otherwise I would offer to help you. If you do your part and I do mine, the planet will be saved eventually. When saving planets (and pianos) it is best to embrace a long term attitude. (Pack a lunch.)

What I Have Been Doing

Like I said, I’ve been busy. I moved. That took a long time. We moved into the new house in November of 2014 (which may explain why I have not been writing blogs!). Six months passed before the last box was emptied or stored in the attic. I had to build a new shop (after I moved all of my pianos from the old place.) My shop is now functional, but it is not yet cozy. It is also no longer located in Coppell, although it is closer to Coppell’s Towncenter than it was before.

I lived in Coppell for 25 years. I knew a lot of people, worked as a volunteer for many  groups, and watched as young leaders destroyed the town one building, one road at a time. It was painful at times. Coppell was such a nice little town when we first moved there, but today it has too much traffic, is over-crowded, and the population turns over so often that the community experience is very limited. You move in, raise your kids, and then leave. After age 50, the demographics drop off. The median age stays around 34. (Time Magazine recently ranked Coppell #8 in Best Places to Live.)

Pianos in my shop are undergoing repair.

The new and improved Coppell Piano Shop.

And that means that the amenities, services and features of the community are guided by the short-term interests of thirty-four year old parents. I do not know if you have been a parent, but 34 y.o. parents do not know a lot about parenting, and even less about running a community.  Coppell is a nice place to raise your kids, but I would not want to live there. That should be the town slogan.  For me, it was time to move Рso I headed north to Lewisville.

For the next year I will attending the Lewisville’s Citizen University. I hope to learn about my new community and join other volunteers in community service in some capacity. I try to participate in one major community event each year. It may be a committee, a task force or a

This is Lewisville City Hall, located in the older part of town.

This is Lewisville City Hall, located in the older part of town.

project volunteer. I never know what it will be. Lewisville is a much larger community than Coppell. It is far more diverse in its offerings. There is an established old part of town, a natural lake area, a lake, and a mall area to the south. It is a little overwhelming to understand how people in this community, who are spread out over a very large distance, can share a common view of the city. A large community has many personalities – I seek to learn what those identities are – but it must also have a general and broadly stated common personality. I do not yet know what that is.

Business is Good

The business has not suffered for the move. I am centrally located within the territory of customers I wish to serve. Flower Mound, Lantana and Coppell are just minutes away.  I continue to maintain the pianos at Coppell High School and the Community Chorale, but unlike most technicians, I do not pursue business from institutions often. I much prefer working with individual pianists, and parents of piano students. I have a ton of work to do in the shop, which Рin terms of pianos that weigh 500 lbs each, could mean as few as 4 projects РI will busy for some time.


Eating lunch at the kitchen table, taking a break from saving the planet, one piano at a time.

I need people to buy junk pianos off Craiglist so there will be a need for someone like me to make them playable. I truly wish they would not buy those pianos, but since there is little hope of that happening, it looks like I am going to be busy for a while longer.

As I continue to add articles in this Part 2 episode of my piano blog, I invite you to follow along.

Piano tuner

Image via Wikipedia

Piano tuners are interesting people. mechanically nerdy, but interesting. You should follow at least one piano tuner on your Twitter account.  Preferably it would be someone in your community.

The whole idea behind using social media is to broaden your exposure to diverse people.¬† SEO isn’t really doing that though is it? You get recommendations on who to follow, which webpages to visit,¬† which ads to click on, and all of this just narrows your exposure to diversity. If you stick to the recommendations, you aren’t following the world, you are just following people who are like you, or who like the things that you like.¬† That is BORING. You have to be pro-active to build diversity on your Twitter account, and in real life.

Piano tuners talk about harmonics, and wippens, and capstans and temperaments. We discuss the effects of inharmonicity and how to stretch a tuning. Google “Pitch raise” and see how many hits you get. It’s amazing, and you aren’t in the loop brother. You are missing out!

We also write about exotic instruments, harpsichords, clavinets, woodworking,  jigs and tools, and pretty much anything related to music. You may know a lot about music, but piano tuners know more people who know a lot about music. We visit musicians every day. We walk into concert halls of all sizes. We talk to conductors, directors, administrators, teachers, parents and children.  We live in a network of people who need things fixed.

Did you know there are 8,000 different brands of pianos being played in the U.S.  Oh yeah! Piano tuners repair those instruments. We tune and repair pianos made by Broadwood, Erard, Laffargue, Scheidmayer and Son, and thousands of others.

Ok, your turn.¬† Name five brands of pianos…..

1. Steinway….

Gooood. Four more to go…..

2. Yamaha

Ooooo. You are on a roll now….

3. ???

Maybe you can name five. Can you name ten?

You don’t have to know this stuff. You don’t have to know anything.¬† But Twitter gives you easy access to information that just might prove interesting or helpful at the right moment.

Ok, maybe not.

You won’t know for sure unless you try.

Give it a shot.

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