What Skills Does A Piano Tuner Have?

What Skills Does A Piano Tuner Have?

With certain jobs, skill and knowledge might not have much of an impact. Take, for instance, the clerk down at the local discount store. They were hired to ring up sales, maybe answer a question or two about where something is in the store, and get as many people in and out in the quickest way possible. It doesn’t really matter is she knows where a certain product is; she can ask several people around her and provide you with the answer.What Skills Does A Piano Tuner Have?

But that mindset doesn’t follow through to all jobs. If you hire the right piano tuner, your piano will have a beautiful sound after he leaves, and carry that sound through many hours of play in the coming weeks and months. Hire the wrong one, and well … probably not so great results.

But how do you know? How can you protect yourself from piano tuners that aren’t in it for quality, just merely for the money? This is the the time to ask the right questions to find the right person for the job.

Question #1 What qualifications do you have?

There are several ways for a piano tuner to gain the qualifications it takes to be a great piano tuner.

  • They can receive training and become a registered piano technician through the Piano Technicians Guild, which provides classes and training for both beginning piano tuners and for those wanting to improve their skills. They also have a series of tests to be awarded with the certification of being a registered piano technician.
  • They can attend a school or training program specifically for piano tuning. Colleges, universities, even piano manufacturers put on classes for people to learn more about the art of piano tuning. This can provide training with many of the artists in the industry, and give a person hands on experience with a variety of instruments while being overseen by musicians that love what they do.
  • They can complete an apprenticeship with an experienced piano tuner. In some cases a love of the art and on the job training can provide the skills necessary to be a great piano tuner.

While any way can be valid, keep in mind that in many cases its about the drive to become better at what they do. You can tell if a person loves music and cares about quality just by talking to them.

Question #2 What experience do you have?

It seems like there are all kinds of start up opportunities out there right now with people trying to make a few extra bucks by setting up shop and undercutting people that have been in business for years. Its happening in all kinds of trades and industries, and its easy to be swayed by their low-ball fees.

In some cases it may be worth looking at. In other cases, not so much.

Imagine hiring a piano tuner that read an online manual and decided to open up a business on nights and weekends. Sure, they might be able to tune a piano, but what’s the quality and how long will it last?

Piano tuning is an art. It takes years to develop a sense about what to do in every situation. You have to continue to run into new problems, ask the right questions, and learn from people that have been in situations before to really get a feel for the right processes. Because its not just about tightening a string here or reducing tension on the strings over there. Its about the coordination of the entire process, and learning how one piece integrates with another to reach and maintain the perfect sound.

And all of that doesn’t come from reading a book and trying your skills out on a piano or two. It comes from learning from many other piano tuners and working on different pianos year after year.

In the end, finding and trusting the right piano tuner is a personal choice. When you get that “feeling”, you know you’ve found the right piano tuner for you.