Piano tuners perform minor repairs such as replacing broken or worn strings, and also major repairs such as recovering keyboards, replacing wooden bridges and rearranging components. Piano tuners adjust the pedal action assembly on keyboards after testing and assessing pianos for restoration. A piano tuner may also repair barrel organs and service accordions.
Before a piano tuner can perform the actual tuning, it is necessary to determine whether the instrument needs any mechanical repair:
- the felt-cover hammers can wear out or reproduce bad sound quality, they need to be replaced or scoured off
- the tuning pins to which the strings are attached sometimes have to be replaced with a thicker set ? piano keys need to be bleached or treated to regain the original colour
- when one of the steel strings breaks, it has to be replaced.
After the piano is cleaned and repaired, the actual tuning can start. Tuning-forks, hammers and felt wedges, which are pressed between the strings, are used. When piano keys are struck, felt-covered hammers strike steel strings in the piano, which cause the strings to vibrate. The number of times that the string vibrates per second is called the pitch.
Piano tuners adjust piano strings to the proper pitch by using tuning forks. A steel pin is turned to tighten or loosen the string until its pitch matches that of the tuning fork. First the pitch of the ‘A’ string is adjusted and then the pitch of each of the other strings is adjusted in relation to the ‘A’ string.
A piano is a very complex instrument. It contains about two hundred and thirty strings, eighty-eight keys and more than four thousand working parts, depending on the size and model.
There are two types of pianos - the upright piano and the grand piano. The largest concert-type grand piano has the longest string, which is about two hundred centimetres long, while the shortest is approximately five centimetres long. Strings are tightly stretched and exert a pull of more than ten thousand kilograms in the frame to which they are attached.
- piano repair shops
- music dealers
- piano manufacturers
- provincial administrations
- self-employment, with the necessary experience, can start own business
- try to obtain vacation or part-time work at a musical shop
- arrange to speak to a piano tuner about this type of career