Piano Tuner Los Angeles
What do you need to know to tune a piano by ear? Beat rates, right? Learn the beat rates and set the pins. Sometimes this advice seems about as useful as teachers admonishing bored kids to sit up straight and pay attention. We aren’t going to tell you to forget about beat rates. We do want to call your attention to some things that are subtler and more basic. More basic than beat rates? How about just hearing? Are there basic techniques for hearing? We think so. Perhaps struggling is the first clue. Have you noticed that accomplished tuners work very peacefully? If you’re struggling, perhaps something basic is missing from your tool kit. You can only work as well as your tools allow. Take a look at our list of secret tools, maybe you’d like to try one.
- Close your eyes when you listen. Your brain has many different “departments.” Sometimes they work together, sometimes they vie for attention. Our visual centers are very powerful and can interfere with hearing. Staring is a sign of tension. You cannot stare a tuning pin into submission.
- Move your head while tuning. Reach out with your ears and seek for the sound.
Every situation is different. Moving your head is a lot easier than moving the piano!
- While you’re moving your head, ease up and let your body move, too. Feel your feet flat on the floor. Let your torso expand and rock a little. Close your eyes and reach for the sound with your ears. Feel how nicely your body adjusts to follow your ear.
- When you listen, just listen. What we call a “beat” is really a rather “round edged” signal. If you imagine clearly what you want to hear, your imagination may distort your perception. Listen very patiently, “passively,” if you will. Just listen to hear what’s there. Give your mind time to process the information and discover the clear signal. Then ask “Is this what I want to hear?’
- Notice how the sound changes over time. It takes time for the piano to organize the moving string into a clear signal. The beginning of the sound is too complex to tune, and the louder you play, the longer it takes to settle down. Jerky, jabbing punches to the key build tension in the tuner. If you’re having trouble hearing, take a quiet breath and play more gently.