Piano Tuning Course | Piano Tuning Procidure | Piano Training for Repairing |

  • Piano tuning is the act of making minute adjustments to the tensions of the strings of a piano to properly align the intervals between their tones so that the instrument is in tune. The meaning of the term in tune in the context of piano tuning is not simply a particular fixed set of pitches. Fine piano tuning requires an assessment of the interaction among notes, which is different for every piano, thus in practice requiring slightly different pitches from any theoretical standard. Pianos are usually tuned to a modified version of the system called equal temperament .In all systems of tuning, every pitch may be derived from its relationship to a chosen fixed pitch, which is usually A440.
  • One practical method of tuning the piano begins with tuning all the notes in a "temperament" octave in the middle range of the piano. A beginning pitch is tuned from an external reference, usually an A440 tuning fork, and the tuner successively adjusts each note's tempered intervallic relationships to other notes in the scale. During tuning it is common to assess fifths, fourths, thirds (both major and minor) and sixths (also major and minor), often in an ascending or descending pattern to easily hear whether an even progression of beat rates has been achieved.

    Once the temperament octave is tuned, the tuner may proceed to tune the other notes on the piano, using octaves to compare them to the tuned notes in the temperament octave. This is convenient, because the octave is the easiest interval to tune (having the simplest ratio of 2:1) after the unison (1:1). It is unusual to tune 2:1 octaves on a piano (i.e. tuning the 1st partial of the higher note to the 2nd partial of the lower note). Often 6:3; 4:2 or other ratios are used. The octaves are tuned beatless at one partial only, though on rare occasions the 6:3 and 4:2 octaves may both be beatless.

    The followings table lists the beat frequencies between notes in an equal temperament octave. The top row indicates absolute frequencies of the pitches; usually only A440 is determined from an external reference. Every other number indicates the beat rate between any two tones (which share the row and column with that number) in the temperament octave. Slower beat rates can be carefully timed with a metronome, or other such device. For the thirds in the temperament octave, it is difficult to tune so many beats per second, but after setting the temperament and duplicating it one octave below, all of these beat frequencies are present at half the indicated rate in this lower octave, which are excellent for verification that the temperament is correct. One of the easiest tests of equal temperament is to play a succession of major thirds, each one a semitone higher than the last. If equal temperament has been achieved, the beat rate of these thirds should increase evenly in the temperament region.

 

  • Piano Tuning Tools..

  • A set of basic piano tools is not too expensive, certainly no more than a standard professional tuning.The first thing you obviously need to learn to tune pianos,  is a piano in a reasonable good state. Bear in mind that some very old ones specially if they still have wooden frames are simply not tunable, so better disregard those ones as they will make the tuning very difficult or practically impossible. The piano can be old but must hold the tune, that means it must be in a good enough condition to stand a standard A-440 tune and hold it for some time. Also better to choose a good size one. Big uprights and grands are easier to tune than spinets and small uprights.

 

  • The temperament, setting the temperament
    The temperament could be defined as a group of notes in the center of the keyboard, stretching approximately one octave (normally from F33 to F45 or from F33 to A49) that are tuned in a certain way. Once the temperament is set we will use it as a reference to tune the rest of the keyboard.
  • Setting the temperament is the most important aspect of tuning. The quality of our piano tuning depends a great deal on how well the temperament has been built. Although setting the temperament is not really complex, its study required some time and practice. Time well spent I would say, as once learned, you can apply to every tuning you will make in future.
  • Basically there are two groups of temperaments. In one hand the ones that use mainly fifth and fourth intervals and only third and sixth intervals for testing. The other group of intervals on the contrary utilizes mainly third and sixth and only fifth and fourth to check and evaluate. In my humble opinion, the second group is better. Why? Because the third and sixth intervals produce faster beat rates, about 7, 8 and 9 bps (beats per second), generally easier to listen and judge. In contrast, the first temperament group, the one that uses mainly fifth and fourth intervals, generates slower beat rates, which for most of us are significantly harder to recognize.