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piano tuning as a profession (Read 1535 times)

Offline Bolshevik

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piano tuning as a profession
« on: December 06, 2004, 01:23:01 AM »
I've been thinking of different ways I can earn an independent income without selling my soul to corporate America. Tuning pianos was an idea I've come up with recently. So I have a few questions for anyone who can help:

1) How much mechanical expertise is required?

2) How deft of an ear must one have? We're not talking perfect pitch, right?

3) How high of a market demand is there for tuners these days?

4) Who can teach this skill to me (that is, if I cannot teach myself)?

5) What tools does it require?


Thanks,
Bolshevik

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: piano tuning as a profession
«Reply #1 on: December 06, 2004, 04:12:13 AM »
1.  Not too much.  All you are really doing are turning pins micromillimeters at a time.  But this is a very difficult skill to acquire and takes much time.

2.  Having a good ear is not that important but you will soon develop one after many months of practice.  There are some tuners who can't hear very well.

3.  It depends on the area.  When was the last time you had your piano tuned?  In the 10+ years of having a piano in the house, it has only been tuned 3 times by a professional.  The first time was free because it was new.  The second because someone was taking a exam.  The third because I requested it.  It is recommended that a piano be tuned twice a year.  I highly doubt most people get this done and wait years between tunings under the false belief that the piano still sounds good so it must still be in tune.  Boy are they wrong most of the time. ::)

4.  You can learn it yourself but it takes a lot of time and patience.  Or you can go to a technician school and take a course on it.

5.  Tuning hammer, reference pitch (tuning fork or electronic tuning device), mutes of all kinds.

Offline Alde

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Re: piano tuning as a profession
«Reply #2 on: December 09, 2004, 07:21:43 PM »
Go for it!  This is something that I have been thinking about.  But location is very important, stay away from very large cities, because there will probably be a lot of competition. 
Tuners make great money.  Where I am from, they charge about $100 to tune a piano.  The population in my city is about 300,000.  I believe there are 4 tuners.
But do your research and make sure you become a certified piano technician.
There are many scams out there, where one can become a tuner from watching these videos.  Look for a college program, where you will get hands on training.