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Out of tune in less than five days ?! (Read 1973 times)

Offline alessandro

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Out of tune in less than five days ?!
« on: August 10, 2015, 07:50:15 PM »
Pianotuner came by middle of last week.   It was approximately one year and a half ago that my upright, a fine Yamaha upright, built in around 1990 had its tuning.   I bought this piano eleven years ago and had it tuned apprixomately every 14 months since then.  I have never been overall convinced by my pianotuner, to say it politely.   He's tuning is a little bit weak, literally.   I like it a little dryer, righter, higher.   It's always tuned a little too, I don't know how to say it, sleazy, just a tiny little thing under "right".    But this "tiny little thing under right" is valid for every damn note.   I never had the guts to tell him directly.   I told him already I liked it tuned very correctly (this may sound a little bit silly), but I also have to admit that out of the six-seven times that he dropped by, one or two of his tunings were well... interesting.   There was really some music, some fine sound.   Not dry-correct-in-tune, but juicy.   Interesting to tell you is that the piano in two of the six-seven tunings that he did for me, gets a little bit better after six or seven months after tuning.   But this last phenomenon is, I'm quite sure about it, a matter of environment, temperature, humidity etcetera.    The whole house is a little bit humid.   But a little bit constantly humid.   I think it is better than constantly dry.   There are better environments for my instrument, but I'm not unhappy with it because there is some "constance" in it.   What I wanted to tell you - damn ! - he dropped by five days ago and there are already approximately three notes out of tune.   And I really mean "out of tune".   I only have played once since the tuning.   So i'm quite sure it has nothing to do with climate and environment, or I'm a wrong ? Is it possible that it goes wrong in just four days ?!  I think I will try another tuner next time, and I think it's for very soon.   Maybe these three notes go "up" again, I don't know, but I don't have to hope for this kind of phenomenons everytime.   I can except from a tuning of a new instrument, that the tuning lasts more than a half year, isn't it ? Damn.

Thanks for reading.

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Out of tune in less than five days ?!
«Reply #1 on: August 10, 2015, 08:53:14 PM »
I would say that there is a problem, both with the ear -- hearing intervals correctly -- and with tuning technique.  There certainly would be no harm in finding another tuner and giving him or her a try.

A note should not go perceptibly out of tune in a matter of days or even weeks, if it is tuned correctly, unless a fairly good raise of the entire piano is required, in which case it might.

But that said -- I personally regard six months as the maximum time between tunings, to really keep the instrument in tune, and that is with a fairly decent grand.  You may be causing part of the problem yourself with the long interval between tunings.
Ian

Offline dogperson

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Re: Out of tune in less than five days ?!
«Reply #2 on: August 10, 2015, 09:07:52 PM »
As an owner of a 1900 piano that had not been tuned recently when I purchased it, my experience is that the strings will lose their pitch quickly , as they need to be retrained to keep an A440.  This may take several tunings at a short interval. In my case, the second tuning was two weeks after the first. 

 This was also the information provided by my technician.. After that initial setup, you need to tune every six months.

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Out of tune in less than five days ?!
«Reply #3 on: August 11, 2015, 11:27:27 AM »
In order to keep my grand piano up my standards of tune i had it tuned every three months. I notice the a slight change and my tuner and I had a close working relationship so generally he would stop by after a week or so and just kind of refine the tune slightly, might be a few strings he would just barely move. Then I would see him at each season change, so four times a year. In time I learned to do that touch up myself and now the whole tuning. Which is good because he moved to an entirely different area and I wouldn't want to pay today's fees quite honestly ! But my piano could go a little ragged sounded in three months time.

Do you know that most concert grands get a touch up tuning during the intermission, to maintain that perfect sound the performer expects ?

To fully drop a note in a week though, unless the piano was brought up from seriously out of tune, I'd suspect that your tuner either didn't set the pin on those notes quite right or the pin has begun to loosen and isn't locking well on the set. Either is possible with that age piano. And incidentally, if you don't re-explain to your tuner that you want a different sound from your piano than you are getting from his tunings then how would he know ?
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline silverwoodpianos

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Re: Out of tune in less than five days ?!
«Reply #4 on: August 11, 2015, 12:42:20 PM »
The recommendation from manufactures is 4 tunings per year. The more a piano is tuned the more it will “settle” or “lock” into a stabilized position of both the non-moveable structure and the flexible structure.

This instrument is being tuned @25% of that recommendation. There will always be movement or flexing from the position the tuner leaves the instrument in which is not the responsibility of the service person.

It is the owner who chooses to provide limited service to a regularly used piece of machinery.
Dan Silverwood
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http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/

If you think it's is expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.