Services I Provide
Diagnostics, Tuning and Repair
When I provide a basic "piano tuning" service, I also inspect the piano and inform the customer of any repairs it needs. I do minor repairs for free. (About 90% of the time, a "stuck key" is a minor repair). I tune using a computer program as a helper, but the ultimate fine-tuning is done by ear. Often people remark "You must have a good ear". I don't know if my "ear" is better than anybody else's, but I have spent a great deal of time learning how to listen to piano tones in order to maximize the beauty of a particular piano. I find it very rewarding to tune a piano beautifully.
Action Regulation and Balancing
"Regulation" means adjusting all the mechanical parts of a piano so that it plays optimally. The wood and felt in an instrument always changes over the months as it is played, and regulating the action returns the ability of the player to play its full dynamic range. Action balancing and touch-weight analysis involves measuring the weight distribution, geometry and friction in the action and keys. This is a science of making exact measurements combined with the knowledge gained by others about action efficency and effectiveness.
Voicing refers to making the tone of the piano to be even throughout its range and pleasing to the customer. Traditionally, this involves steaming or needling the hammer felt to soften the tone; or adding a chemical substance of some kind to harden it. It also involves making sure the strings are secure in their positions, the hammer is striking each string appropriately, and the action isn't causing extraneous sounds. Different playing situations and different customers demand different voicing, and my intention is to listen to the customer and to my own ear to get the best tonal sound.
I was at a seminar recently given by David Andersen, a gifted and passionate technician from California. He summed up his business philosophy very simply: The Golden Rule. Mr. Andersen has a thriving business not only because he is very talented, but also because he is always honest and treats his customers with respect. It will take me a few decades to have his experience, but I can live by his philosophy right away. He also emphasised the idea of having collegial relationships with other technicians. There is a supportive community of piano technicians in Columbus, and if I am not the person to do the best job at a particular task, I will ask for help or refer the customer to the right person.